I’ve had a lot of people tell me lately that they hate water and it’s so boring to drink. Okay, yeah.. water can get a tad monotonous sometimes and while it’s the healthiest drink you can put into your body to keep you hydrated and keep your systems running smoothly, most people hate it. But it’s water? It really doesn’t have a taste (besides some bottled waters that taste like glue :X). So with all of the people I’ve had ask me, I figured I’d make a post about some healthy alternatives to pop and ways to make water more fun(?) to drink!
First off, let’s get into some of the negatives of caffeine.
HEADACHES ! Whether it’s from not drinking or drinking too much, caffeine is an addictive drug, yes I said drug, that a lot of people can’t kick. You have anxiety and drinking a diet coke helps calm you down? Actually, caffeine worsens anxiety and gives you jitters.
Caffeine in large amounts can also give you heartburn and an upset stomach. Not only that, it’s also a diuretic that can dehydrate you and make you crave more because it doesn’t quench your thirst! Kind of counterproductive if you ask me, a never-ending cycle of constantly being thirsty while putting liquids into your body? Interesting.
Caffeine also raises your blood pressure because of the stimulant effect it gives off. Have a heart condition (murmur, lapse)? Caffeine is actually making that worse along with if you already have high blood pressure.
Do you break your bones easily? Well, caffeine causes bone thinning because it affects the absorption and metabolism of calcium in your body. Next time you fracture your toe on the corner of a coffee table, don’t blame your bones for being brittle, blame that Coke or Pepsi you drink 3 times a day.
Reproductive issues can also arise from drinking too much caffeine. Some studies have shown that caffeine can cause fibrocystic disease (painful breast lumps- ouch!). Think that diet coke isn’t affecting your baby? It is. Caffeine causes slowed fetal growth, raises your baby’s heart rate and metabolism, and in some worse cases- can cause a miscarriage.
Now this would make you think caffeine is the root of all evil in sodas, right? Wrong. Sugar is also a huge issue. So let’s get into why that’s also awful for your body.
Sugar is awful for your teeth- so if you keep getting scolded by your dentist from your enamel and cavities- it’s the sugar in your diet. Sugar also causes liver issues because the fructose in sugar can only be metabolized by the liver- and accumulation of this can cause non-alcoholic liver disease- yikes.
Diabetes. This single-handedly affects millions of people in the US because our diets are so high in sugar. Sugar causes insulin resistance- which eventually leads to the onset of diabetes. If not taken care of, this can lead to Type II diabetes as well.
Sugar also raises the cholesterol- contrary to the belief that it’s ONLY saturated fat- it’s not. Sugar causes the cholesterol to rise which in turn results in heart disease, which is the #1 killer in the US to date.
Diet pops are also high in sugar substitutes which have a multitude of risks linked with them. If you’re going to use ANY sugar substitute, organic stevia is the best way to go.
So I’m hoping all these facts are enough to at least get you thinking about how much pop you consume on a daily basis and to maybe consider replaces it with some of the more healthy options I’m going to list below.
#1: Fruit-infused water
This is by far my favorite way to spice up water. Adding different fruits to water is a great way to get away from drinking pop. Not only that, adding fruits like lemon & lime help cleanse your system, raise metabolism and also clears complexion! There’s a ton of recipes for fruit mixtures and combinations on the internet. Search this Pinterest page!
#2: Green Tea
By FAR my favorite tea to drink. My favorite way to make it is brewing it with hot water, then adding lemon and a little bit of organic honey! Green tea has so many health benefits linked with it like raising the metabolism, a good source of antioxidants, better brain functions and also has been linked with lowering the risk of cancer! If you’re tired, green tea also has a little bit of natural caffeine, nothing like the amount in pop. Can’t go wrong with green tea! If I’m on the go, I’ll stop at Starbucks and get a green tea over ice with no sweetener, it’s delicious!
#3: Seltzer water with fruit + stevia
Seltzer water is basically water that has had carbon dioxide dissolved in it under pressure. So if what you crave from pop is that fizzy throat burn, this will give that to you! Just add some fruit and a tiny bit of organic stevia to make it a little sweet, and you have your own home-made pop! This is a good link for recipes!
#4: Red Wine
I personally love wine, probably a little too much, but that’s beside the point. This is a good alternative to sugary drink when you’re out with friends (tequila is also a good alternative- but whoa, tequila is intense). In moderation, red wine is actually heart healthy because it raises the level of HDL (good cholesterol) and protects us from artery damage! Red wine is made from red grapes so it has a good level of antioxidants in it as well! Some of my favorite brands are Barefoot, Robert Mondavi, Beringer, and Sutter Home!
#5: Fruit or Veggies in a juicer
Now this is a great way to also get your veggies in for the day if you don’t necessarily like eating them. This is also a good alternative to apple juice, orange juice, and other processed juices that are from concentrate and are high in sugar. Here are a ton of recipes that are delicious!
#6: Black Coffee (in moderation)
Now I just said all those bad things about caffeine up top, why in the hell am I listing coffee on this list?! Well, because most coffee has naturally occurring caffeine, like green tea, in moderation, it’s not that bad for you. A lot of people just cannot function without coffee in the morning, so if you’re going to drink it- drink it black. Once you start adding sugar and creamer into it, that’s when you start making the coffee less beneficial. Coffee also has many health benefits as well such as lowering heart disease risks, can be good for your liver, can lower your risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and can lower risk for type II diabetes!
Now I just recently discovered these while I was at Sam’s club with my mom. I looked into the ingredients and the nutrition label and saw they weren’t half bad for you. Upon further research I found they also have some really good health benefits like a crazy amount of antioxidants from the coffeefruit (fruit part around the coffee bean) which stops free radical destruction on the body. It also uses natural sweeteners like stevia and erythritol which is a natural low-calorie sugar alcohol. So after this I was like okay, if it isn’t bad for you- it probably tastes like shit, right? NO. Oh my goodness, these are so good! My favorite one is the blueberry one because it tastes like I’m drinking a blueberry (I know, but it’s hard to explain). If you like juices and a good boost of energy- I would 100% give these a try- there are TONS of flavors! Go here to read more about them!
#8: TRUE lemon
I stumbled upon these about a year and a half, maybe 2 years ago. These are SO good! If you love lemonade, you’ll love these! They have a ton of different flavors like lemon, orange, lime, iced tea, raspberry and more! They have 25% of your DRV of vitamin C, no preservatives, all natural and only 5 calories for the whole pack! Go here if you want to learn more!
#9: steaz Sparkling Green Tea
Steaz is made from 100% organic green tea and only the highest quality ingredients- which you can really taste when you drink it. It’s sparkling so again, like the seltzer water- it gives you the same fizzy throat burn that water does. They make a good variety of flavors and use 100% natural can sugar, and other natural ingredients! They have lightly sweetened, zero calorie, unsweetened and organic energy options to choose from. Again with the green tea in them, it’s a good source of antioxidants, reduces risk of heart disease and boosts energy and working memory. Go here to find out more!
So I hope this list was somewhat helpful to all of you and maybe motivated you to drink something other than pop and sugary sports drinks. Let me know if you try and of these and how you like them! Also let me know any of your alternatives to pop because I would love to try them out!
Thanks for reading (: