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Kicking the Soda Habit & 4 Better Alternatives

Rows of Soda Can

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Want to kick the soda habit for good?  Take it from this had-to-have-my-Vanilla-Coke-every-morning girl…it can be done!  And the best part?  You won’t even miss it (promise!)!

Poster of 3 soda alternatives that says "You are going to love this!"

Why You Need to Ditch the Sodas

I think we all know that sodas aren’t a healthy choice, but, oh, how we love them!  I get it.  For many years, I looked forward to my Vanilla Coke every single morning.  Then, eventually, I switched to Diet Vanilla Coke, hoping I was doing a little better.  But once I began to really understand WHY they were so bad for me, I knew I had to ditch them altogether.  I’m proud to say that its been YEARS since I’ve bought a single soft drink, and it really hasn’t been that difficult! 

The first danger you need to recognize about sodas is the sugar content.  Coke and Pepsi contain 35 grams of sugar and 41 grams of sugar, respectively.  That’s the equivalent of about 9 teaspoons!! The American Heart Association recommends that men consume no more than 36 grams of sugar per day and women only 25 grams per day .  Some health experts would argue that this recommendation is still too high, but either way, just one can of soda and you’ve maxed out for the day.

With these numbers in mind, the results of a study published in JAMA connecting soft drink consumption to Type 2 Diabetes won’t come as much of a shock. The study followed over 90,000 women for 8 years.  It found that consuming as little as ONE can of soda per day DOUBLED womens’ risk of developing diabetes just during the course of the study!  Can you imagine if they continued their soda habits for another 8 years? Or 16 years?

There have also been numerous studies from the NIH that connect soda consumption with decreased calcium levels, decreased bone density, and higher rates of bone fracture.  Similarly, there is an increased risk of cavities if you consume soda regularly. Increased blood pressure has also been tied to soda consumption.

So I think we can all agree that kicking you soda habit is an important step towards improving your overall health.

Some Healthier Alternatives to Help You Kick the Soda Habit

One of the reasons I was hooked on my Vanilla Coke was that I enjoyed a yummy caffeine boost in the mornings.  I’ve never been a coffee drinker, so Vanilla Coke was my morning wake-up juice.  As an elementary teacher and a mom, I needed to hit the ground running every morning.  Plain water would have been an excellent choice, but it just didn’t give me the boost I needed.  Which leads me to my FAVORITE soda replacement recommendation…

1. Pure Boost

Soda Alternative: Pure Boost packets

 Oh, how I love my morning Pure Boost!  If you’ve ever tried Arbonne Fizz Sticks or Plexus Active, these are very similar, only much more affordable.  Pureboost is full of electrolytes for hydration, antioxidants from ginger and turmeric, and its naturally sweetened (no sugar or sucralose)! It contains 100 mg of caffeine, which is similar to what’s in a cup of coffee.  Pure Boost also contains B12, which also helps with energy levels. 

You can get Pure Boost most anywhere, like Wal-Mart, Amazon, Walgreens, and even Costco.  If you are a Costco shopper, pay attention to their Pureboost sales because you can get it at almost half of what Amazon charges! 

Pure Boost is a really fun company that takes good care of their customers.  If you sign up for their texts, they’ll let you know when their product goes on sale in different stores.  They also have an awesome loyalty program that helps you earn free Pure Boost.  One perk I love is their receipt program.  Recently, when Pure Boost went on sale at Costco, I stocked up.  Then I was able to take pictures of my Costco receipt and submit them to Pure Boost to earn loyalty points for my account.  I earned enough loyalty points to try a huge box of their new Superfoods Apple Cider Vinegar drink mix for free! (It’s SO yummy!)

2. Cold-Brewed Green Tea

Soday Alternative: Box of Green Tea, mason jar of green tea, shaker of stevia

Another good substitute for soda is green tea.  Now, please don’t think that those bottles of Lipton green tea are a good choice (before I learned to read labels, I used to buy those!).  The regular version contains 25 grams of sugar, including high fructose corn syrup!  It also contains several other ingredients I can’t pronounce, so it’s a no-go in my book.  The diet version cuts the sugar, but it is replaces with aspartame.  And all of the other questionable ingredients are still there, making it still a no-go.  Not to mention, Lipton’s green tea is stored in plastic bottles, which can bring it’s own set of health concerns.

Never fear, there is a SIMPLE way to make your own, truly clean green tea at home.  I make a couple of batches a week for my family, and my kids even love to help.  By the time you buy the teabags (about 10 cents each) and the Sweet Leaf Stevia (about 12 cents worth per jar), you are looking at less than 25 cents per jar.  That’s a big savings over a can of coke or a bottle of Lipton!  Here’s how I make ours:

  1. Gather a dozen or so glass mason jars. You can even recycle old mayo or jam jars.
  2. Drop one organic green tea bag into each jar (I use Prince of Peace Organic Green Tea)
  3. Sprinkle a little Sweet Leaf Stevia in each jar.  I don’t measure, I just eyeball it.  I’d suggest starting with about ¼ teaspoon and adjusting to your desired sweetness.
  4. Fill to the top with filtered water.  We use a ProOne filter in our Berkey.
  5. Secure screw on lids.
  6. Store in fridge for up to a week.  It will cold brew and be ready to drink within a few hours!

3. Soda Stream with Flavors

Soda Alternative: Soda Stream with bottles of flavoring

Another suggestion to help you kick the soda habit is to invest in a Soda Stream.  If you really miss the flavor of soda, you can make your own at home!  Simply use the machine to carbonate your filtered water. Then add your flavor of choice.  You can even combine flavors to get something super-yummy (think Sonic-style drinks!).  You can bet that I combine cola and vanilla to reminisce about my beloved Vanilla Coke! Some of our favorites are:

  1. Sweet Leaf Drops, Cola (I love that this brand comes in glass containers rather than plastic!)
  2. Sweet Leaf Drops, Vanilla
  3. Sweet Leaf Drops, Root Beer
  4. Sweet Leaf Drops, Orange
  5. Stur Fruit Punch
  6. Stur Strawberry Watermelon
  7. Stur Lemonade

4. Zevia

Soda Alternative: Cans of Zevia soda

And my final suggestion is to check out Zevia.  These are still very similar to traditional soft drinks, only they are sweetened with Stevia instead of sugar or aspartame.  And overall, their ingredients list looks a whole lot better than the traditional soft drinks. Whether you are a Dr. Pepper fan or a Sprite fan or a Coke fan, they have a matching Zevia soft drink for you to make the swap. 

Take the First Step Towards Kicking the Soda Habit!

So, my soda-loving, yet diligent friend, you know kicking the habit is a step you NEED to take towards better health.  Let’s do it!!  I promise, if I can do it, ANYONE can do it!  I encourage you to add one of the options above to your shopping cart right now (while you’re still thinking about all of the reasons you shouldn’t reach for another soda).  Then when it is delivered, you’ll be stocked up and ready to go with your new, much healthier habit!

Want more tips for healthy swaps? Visit my Nourish with Diligence page or Shop with Diligence page!


Need to find non-toxic dishwasher tabs?  Been meaning to switch to a cleaner makeup? Looking for a good brand of vitamins and  supplements?  Would it be helpful to peek at what products I’ve chosen for my family?  You’ve got it…

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