With the knowledge of the adverse effects of sugar on the human body getting prevalent, the need to find substitutes for it skyrocketed. As sodas come packed with excess sugar, the alternative to these arrived as diet sodas.
These diet sodas are the same as your run-off-the-mill sodas but with an exception, which is the presence of natural/artificial sweeteners, which can bring in zero calories and curb the adverse effects of sugar intake via sodas.
However, with more advancement and research came the knowledge of unhealthy side effects of artificial and natural sweeteners, with aspartame leading to cancer in the worst cases.
Therefore, the need to find an alternative to satiate the craving for fizz in sodas gained momentum again. That’s why it brings us to the question of what to drink instead of diet soda.
The best option is to go for water. Also, if you crave the fizz, take sparkling water. Furthermore, you can drink fresh vegetable and fruit juices, a blend of seltzer and juices, lemonade, green tea, or coffee. But for all the alternative options, the point to keep in mind is moderation is the key.
Here we will go into several alternatives to diet sodas that can help you tackle your soda/diet soda drinking habits and how to quit them.
The Best Alternatives to Diet Sodas
The need for something other than diet soda arose because the unhealthy effects of these drinks came to light. As a result, it caused quite a lot of stir, but except for aspartame, there is no authentic evidence behind the adverse aspects of diet sodas.
That’s why; drinking diet sodas in moderation (one can or two at most daily) won’t cause any harm to your body.
But why not go for healthier options instead of being unsure whether it’s good or bad?
1. Water or Sparkling Water
For the majority, the decisive factor that keeps them coming for sodas is the fizz. While water is the most significant drink of all time, and your body needs it for various functions, drinking plain old water doesn’t cut it for some.
In this case, the friendlier option is to drink sparkling water. It won’t have any adverse effects like sodas, and you can get your fill of fizz.
Also, there are various variations between them, and you can check out the difference between sparkling water, seltzer, and club soda here.
There are premium versions of sparkling water that can give many health benefits, but if you aim to quit the soda-drinking habit, it is better to buy the home device for your at-home sparkling water.
2. Vegetable and Fruit Juices
If fizz isn’t the thing that makes you tick for diet sodas, then it’s the flavor. To fulfill this craving for the taste, try using vegetable and fruit juices.
Many brands sell flavored water, but sugar is still there, so instead of switching from one unhealthy option to another, try being adventurous and making it yourself.
If preparing it from scratch every time is the problem, then don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Simply learn to make fruit purees, and you’ll be able to make a variety of lemonades in no time.
If you want the same drink as your diet soda, i.e., flavor and fizz, you can mix your juice with sparkling water or seltzer to prepare your soda alternative.
The best thing about it is you know the ingredients you put in it, and it can be of any flavor of your choice.
For example, you can choose grape or pomegranate juice or make a mint cucumber pairing with seltzer.
Lemonades are another alternative to your diet sodas. This old yet still popular summer drink can also be called the best alternative to diet sodas, as the citric flavor removes any craving for diet sodas.
However, the point where they lack is the addition of sugar, which you can replace with natural sweeteners, but the problem persists of having an unhealthy diet, albeit a bit better than diet sodas.
Another alternative is using salt instead of sugar. But it comes with its fair share of troubles. If you use too much salt, in the long run, it can lead to blood pressure problems.
Contrarily, the drink will be too citrus to drink, so unless you love the flavor, you won’t be able to handle the lemonade.
4. Green Tea
While it may sound strange, drinking tea can help you avoid gulping down diet sodas. It means you are shifting your habit from drinking sodas to teas, and why not because green teas come packed with countless health benefits.
Another aspect that makes them a great alternative and superior to coffee is the lower caffeine content in green teas. Teas have been drunk by people since ancient times, and some teas can aid in digestion after a meal.
Also, teas come in an abundance of flavors, and you can drink them iced or hot. But one thing to be mindful of is drinking them without additives (milk and sugar) makes them healthier than diet sodas.
Among teas, kombucha tea is another option you can try instead of diet sodas, but because of the fermentation process, a slight alcohol content is in the tea.
5. Black Coffee
Drinking a cup of black coffee as an alternative to diet sodas can help you get the same caffeine as 3-4 cans of these sodas. By standards, coffee has roughly 140 mg of caffeine per cup, but on the other hand, it’s in the 40-45 mg range.
Also, enjoying coffee black without any additives comes with various health benefits.
However, moderation is necessary in this case, e.g., drinking more than the recommended amount daily (roughly 3-4 cups) of coffee isn’t necessarily healthy. It can lead to anxiety, sleeping troubles, heart palpitations, and many more unwanted health conditions.
6. Coconut Water
Another healthier alternative to diet sodas is coconut water. According to a study, instead of sports drinks, coconut water can provide a more beneficial effect while maintaining the necessary hydration.
Also, the flavor of coconut water isn’t flavorless like water. But it might not be to the liking of everyone.
However, the primary edge over diet sodas is from the essential nutrients in the coconut water, which provide various health benefits. Check out the science-based health benefits of coconut water here.
How To Quit Diet Sodas for Good
While you know several alternatives to diet sodas, quitting them is no easy feat. When you get used to drinking diet sodas or sodas in general, it takes a lot of effort to avoid chugging them down.
That’s why there are several methods that you can try out, which are as follows:
Don’t Go Cold Turkey
Starting with the option, everyone tries at least once to quit drinking sodas, which is going cold turkey. However, this option isn’t meant for everybody and has a higher chance of recurrence, i.e., going back to drinking sodas as usual.
So, your best bet is to reduce your intake slowly until you can get by without drinking sodas.
Don’t Buy Them
Another thing to try is reminding yourself of the cost that sodas are raking up in your budget. That way, you can keep things economical and not buy sodas whenever you try to reach out your hand to buy them.
As sodas are more of a treat rather than a necessity, they count toward things that you don’t need in your life to get by.
Replace Them With Alternatives
As mentioned in this article, there are countless alternatives you can try instead of diet sodas; whenever you crave a drink, go for the alternate option.
Look for Triggers
The last option, and arguably the primary culprit behind your diet soda consumption, is the situation that triggers your craving. It may be a relaxing situation to treat yourself, a stressful situation to get the caffeine dose, or a side drink with snacks.
You have to look for these triggers to avoid drinking sodas. Check out this article on how to spot alcohol triggers to get an insight into how to look for triggers.
Lastly, there are countless drinks you can try instead of drinking diet sodas. There are healthier and unhealthier options, but with the primary focus on health in the current era, healthier alternatives prevail.
These include; drinking water or sparkling water, vegetable or fruit juices as standalone or mixing them with seltzer for a fizzy flavor, using lemonade, green teas, black coffee, and coconut water.