- Everyone knows that fizzy drinks are not the best choice when you’re craving a delicious beverage. These sugary drinks don’t have any health benefits and, on the contrary, they are connected to a number of serious diseases, including obesity, increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and colorectal cancer.
- If you want to change your diet to include more healthy beverage options, you can find a lot of healthy soft drink alternatives that will satisfy your taste buds and even benefit your health instead of harming it.
- Sparkling spirulina water by FUL® is a healthy soft drink made from organic ingredients. It contains natural spirulina, which is packed with essential nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and protein. FUL® will help satisfy your soda craving and provide numerous health benefits at the same time.
- Other healthy soft drink choices include flavoured waters, green tea, coffee, kombucha, fruit and green juices, coconut and maple water. You can also mix juices or fruits with seltzer to create a healthy carbonated drink.
Consumption of carbonated beverages has become a part of popular culture all over the world, with millions of people buying beverages like Coca Cola, Fanta, and Pepsi every day. However, most people also realize that these drinks are not the healthiest beverage option out there. In fact, fizzy drinks can cause a lot of damage to human health. For instance, one study has found that drinking pop can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, colorectal cancer, and many other lethal diseases.
The consumption of fizzy beverages is also associated with obesity since it dulls the sensitivity of our tongue receptors to sweet taste, which can cause us to crave candy and sugary drinks even more. In addition, pop doesn’t contain any nutrients, and thus, there are no health benefits to drinking it. Plus, most conventional fizzy drinks are loaded with added sugar. Some studies have found that substituting just one sugary drink a day for water, black coffee, or tea can potentially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 25 per cent!
Switching to diet pop isn’t a good solution either. While these drinks generally don’t contain added sugar, they aren’t much better than regular fizzy beverages. Research shows that diet pop is directly associated with increased chances of abdominal obesity in adults who are older than 65, and it may also change the way the brain’s reward system processes sweetness.
But are there any options that are better than unhealthy pop loaded with sugar and chemicals? How can we satisfy our taste buds with tasty beverages without hurting our health? Finding a healthy alternative to pop may be a challenging task since replacing it with fruit juices or processed tea and coffee drinks that are packed with sugar or artificial sweeteners isn’t a much better solution. But there are plenty of healthy alternatives to pop, and they are easier to find than you think. Check out our list of healthy soft drinks below!
The Best Healthy Alternatives To Soft Drinks
#1: FUL® Sparkling Spirulina Drink
Sparkling spirulina drinks by FUL® are one the best substitutes for unhealthy fizzy drinks. Our beverages give you all the satisfaction of drinking a bottle of pop, but they are also loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. Many people find spirulina’s taste is off-putting, but FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks provide all the nutrients found in this blue algae with minimum spirulina taste since they are developed using a sustainable extraction process.
Spirulina is one of the best sources of antioxidants and essential nutrients such as plant protein, vitamins B1, B2, and minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, manganese and even choline. This amazing blue algae can also provide many health benefits, such as improving the levels of blood lipids, suppressing oxidation, supporting brain function and lowering blood pressure and blood sugar. Studies also suggest that spirulina can alleviate allergies, diabetes, and fatigue and can even relieve the symptoms of certain types of cancer.
FUL® gives you a win-win situation: you can satisfy your soda craving and consume a healthy and nutritious drink with a bioactive boost.
#2: Flavoured Waters
One of the healthiest substitutes for soda is a plain H20. But most people who are used to consuming lots of sugary drinks have a hard time switching directly from pop to water. One way to make this transition smoother is to drink flavoured water or seltzer. If done correctly, this will help you enjoy a delicious beverage and get hydrated without experiencing any downsides in terms of health.
Flavoured waters are very popular these days, but a lot of them contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners, which is why it’s better to prepare your own flavoured water by adding natural ingredients to it. For instance, you can add fruit or veggie slices and herbs to a glass of water to get a healthy, nutritious, and flavourful drink. Lemons, oranges, watermelon, mint, cucumber, or limes will work perfectly. You can also chop up fruit, put it in an ice cube tray, fill the tray up to the edges with water, and freeze. These fruit cubes will be an excellent addition to your drink that will give it instant flavour and colour.
#3 Green Tea
Green tea is an excellent soft drink that can keep you hydrated and supply you with lots of antioxidants. Scientific research shows that the consumption of green tea is linked with a reduced risk of several types of cancer, obesity, liver disease, heart issues, and type 2 diabetes. In addition, when consumed directly without any additives, green tea is a calorie-free drink. The beverage is also available in many varieties, as you can drink it hot or iced, adding a few drops of honey for natural sweetening if necessary.
Studies suggest that drinking coffee in moderate amounts is healthy and can even be beneficial. Coffee can lower the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, and many other lethal diseases. It is also well-known that caffeine in coffee can stimulate mental alertness and improve physical performance as long as you don’t consume too much of the beverage. Excessive caffeine consumption can cause anxiety, so it’s recommended to drink no more than a couple of cups of coffee per day.
Many people also believe that pregnant and breastfeeding women shouldn’t drink coffee, but the research on this topic is mixed. Plus, some studies have found a link between coffee consumption and increased risk of bone fractures in women. However, this topic also requires more research.
Kombucha (fermented tea) is another excellent option for when you’re craving a carbonated drink but want to keep your added sugar intake low. Because of the fermentation process that produces gut-friendly bacteria, kombucha offers quite a few potential health benefits, including improved gut health.
However, it’s important to remember that a small amount of alcohol is produced during the fermentation process, which is why individuals who are sensitive to alcohol, pregnant, or breastfeeding should avoid this beverage. In addition, individuals who are going through chemotherapy or taking immune-suppressing medication should also limit their intake of kombucha and opt for non-fermented drinks instead.
#6 Make Your Own Lemon-Lime Soda
If you can’t resist the urge to drink a bottle of your favourite citrus-flavoured pop, you can try to substitute it with a healthier homemade version of the beverage made with lemon or lime and a small amount of sweetener. Just take a glass of sparkling or seltzer water and add a few slices of lemon, lime, or both, and add a little stevia-based sweetener, which is calorie-free and low in carbohydrates.
#7 Mix Juice With Seltzer
Another way to substitute high-calorie pop is to mix 100% natural juice that doesn’t contain added sugars with seltzer. It’s as simple as that! Try using a thick, tart juice, such as pomegranate or grape, and mix one part juice with three parts seltzer to create your own “jeltzer”.
Pomegranate juice and grape juice are good sources of natural antioxidants that can help protect your brain and blood vessels from free radical damage. Pomegranate juice has also been found to help improve older adults’ memory problems, while grape juice helps maintain heart health.
However, even though this beverage is generally healthy, you should not consume too much of it because, despite all the benefits, fruit juices tend to be high in natural sugar and calories. Plus, they lack the healthy fibre found in whole fruit.
#8 Fresh Vegetable Juice
Vegetable juice is excellent if you want to get all the benefits of fresh veggies (except for fibre) and enjoy a nutritious, low-calorie drink. It also contains less natural sugar than fruit juices, but vegetable juice can be high in sodium. So if you’re choosing packaged vegetable juice, opt for a low sodium option, or make your own using a juicer!
To make a glass of vegetable juice, slice your favourite veggies and put them in your juicer. Alternatively, you can add a few slices of fruit to sweeten your drink! And if you prefer to have a little spice in your beverage, add some black pepper and a drop of hot sauce to the mix.
#9 Coconut Water
Unsweetened coconut water is an excellent natural source of vitamins and minerals, and it’s also low in sugar! In addition, coconut water is packed with electrolytes. These minerals help to maintain fluid balance in the body and prevent dehydration.
Keep in mind that coconut water is not the same as coconut milk. Coconut water is used to hydrate the body, while coconut milk is used in cooking or substitute for dairy milk. Coconut water comes directly from the coconut fruit and contains roughly 94 percent water. On the other hand, coconut milk is made by grating meaty coconut flesh. It contains around 50 per cent of water, and the rest is mainly made up of fat and protein.
#10 Maple Water
Maple water is not the same as maple syrup that you pour over your pancakes and French toasts. Maple water is unprocessed maple tree sap consisting of around 98 per cent water. It is also free of additives and preservatives.
#11 Red Wine
When consumed moderately, red wine has been shown to provide many health benefits, including better heart health and a lower risk of certain kinds of cancer. In addition, some studies have shown that resveratrol, an antioxidant compound found in red wine, can help prevent severe diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Still, it’s important to consume wine only in moderate amounts since statistics show that alcohol use is among the leading risk factors for death and disability worldwide. Alcohol is also the top risk factor for a number of different diseases.
This French brand sells not only its classic carbonated water but also a variety of fruit-flavoured beverages. This is a healthy alternative to sugary fizzy drinks, as it’s made with carbonated water and fruit extracts.
La Croix is another healthy substitute for pop that doesn’t contain any sweeteners or calories. These beverages are made with different natural flavours, and all of them are vegetarian, gluten-free, and kosher.
#14 Milk: Natural or Soy
Milk is the last beverage on our healthy soft drink list. This product is loaded with calcium, with one cup of non-fat milk providing 250 mg of calcium (19 per cent of your daily value). Milk also contains a lot of vitamin D, amounting to almost 10 per cent of the daily value in one serving.
People who are lactose intolerant or avoid dairy can opt for soy milk instead. It’s high in protein, plant-based, and available in a variety of flavours. While more research on the health benefits of soy is needed, some studies suggest that consumption of soy protein can potentially lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and blood pressure. It’s best to go for low-fat, unsweetened soy milk if your goal is to reduce your calorie intake. Also, opt for soy milk that has been fortified with nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, especially if you’re drinking it as a cow milk alternative.
What can I replace soft drinks with?
The best alternatives to soft drinks include sparkling spirulina water, fruit-infused water, herbal or green tea, black coffee, juice, homemade lemonade, and coconut water.
What is a healthier alternative to soda?
Healthier soda alternatives include FUL® sparkling spirulina water, jeltzer (fruit juice mixed with seltzer), and carbonated water.
What is the healthiest soft drink?
FUL® carbonated beverages with spirulina, green tea, black coffee, fruit juices (orange, pomegranate, or lemon), fat-free soy or almond milk, and coconut and maple water are the healthiest soft drinks you can try.
Is there a healthy soft drink?
Yes, there are healthy soft drinks that are low in sugar and high in essential nutrients. These include green tea, flavoured waters, coffee, kombucha, fruit and green juices, coconut and maple water.
What can I replace coke with?
The best options to replace coke with are FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks, flavoured sparkling water, homemade freshly squeezed lemonade, and kombucha.