Before the pandemic, it was easy to indulge ourselves with a can of soda at lunch, since there were many opportunities to make up for the extra sugar intake. We could run up a few flights of stairs or vow to walk/bike to work the next day instead of taking the car.
However, work-from-home culture has limited most of us to an almost-completely sedentary lifestyle, which makes it extra hard to shed the extra calories we consume on a whim.
As such, you really should be looking for better alternatives to soda, which is incredibly sinful at a time like this. Here are our best beverage alternatives that can beat the heat without the dangerous sugar content.
If you think a cold bottle of soda is refreshing, then you should try a bottle of water straight out of the fridge. Water is your best bet to beat the heat, as the sugar content in most other drinks can actually make you thirstier.
It’s also worth mentioning that swapping one sugary drink a day for water or unsweetened coffee/tea can make you 25% less vulnerable to developing type 2 diabetes.
The fermentation process that creates kombucha produces probiotics that are essential to your gut health. So while it may not be as tasty as your favorite soda, this drink has all benefits and none of the dangers present in cola.
At first, kombucha might have the same effect on you as drinking pure apple cider vinegar, but trust that you will eventually get used to the taste. After all, if you can chug a bottle of beer with no problem, then the slightly acidic flavor of fermented tea should not bother you all that much.
3. Iced Tea
Of course, if you’re still not accustomed to the taste and texture of kombucha, you can always opt for regular tea and just add ice for that refreshing effect. You can make your own blend — just make sure that you don’t add sugar so as not to defeat the purpose of cutting out soda. You may use honey or artificial sweeteners to temper the bitterness, but keep it at a minimum.
4. Fruit Juice
If you really must have sugar, then it’s best to source them naturally — from fruits. Fruit juices have amazing benefits for the body and are not nearly as sinful as soda. But the best advantage of swapping soda with nutritious, fruit-based juices is that your taste buds don’t have to adjust that much. Fruit juices are amazingly delicious, and there are literally hundreds of flavors and flavor combinations for you to choose from, so there’s definitely something for everybody’s taste and preference.
5. Sparkling Water
If, after years of downing soda, you feel that other beverages fall flat on your mouth, then you might be yearning for that bubbly, carbonated feel of soda. To ease your transition to other alternatives, you can start with sparkling water. This way, you can reap the benefits of plain water while still enjoying the soda-like carbonation.
Once you’re ready to let go of that bubbly goodness, you can transition to infused water. Lime and lemon, when added to water, can be reminiscent of your favorite citrus-flavored soda. Then, you’d be ready to transition to fruit juices.
6. Red Wine (Occasionally)
Red wine is hardly the epitome of healthy options when it comes to beverages, but you can rest assured that it has way more health benefits than your regular soda. Red wine has been linked to cardiovascular health, so if you must indulge yourself with a fancy drink at dinner, then you’re better off ordering red wine.
This is hardly the time to expose ourselves to factors that might diminish our health, so we must always find ways to keep ourselves healthy. Hopefully, you can at least cut down on your sugar consumption by substituting your regular soda intake with any of the alternatives listed here.