15 New Drinks That Make it Easy to Quit Soda

15 New Drinks That Make it Easy to Quit Soda

To ensure your brain stays sharp over the summer months, we thought we’d give you a pop quiz (no pun intended)! What increases the risk of weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease? If you guessed soda, you’re spot on. (Did the headline give it away?) According to a Journal of the American College of Cardiology report, the bubbly beverage really does live up to its villainous reputation. And if you think you’ve got nothing to worry about because you only sip a can or two per day, you’ve got things all wrong. The researchers found that drinking just one serving of pop a day can increase the risk of fatal heart disease or heart attack by a whopping 35 percent. No fizzy drink is worth that risk—which is why you should seek out soda alternatives pronto.

However, diet soda drinkers aren’t safe either, mainly because the beverages are filled with potentially carcinogenic chemicals like caramel coloring (which is present in the regular varieties, too) and artificial sweeteners. “Even though diet drinks are calorie-free, they cause insulin to be released in your gut because their artificial sweeteners are sweet like sugar,” says registered dietitian Miriam Jacobson. “Insulin is your body’s primary fat-storage hormone, so consuming it will cause the body to hold onto any extra fat.” Yikes!

While your go-to source of hydration throughout the day should be water, it can be tough to go cold turkey if soda’s been a part of your routine for a while. While coffee, detox water, and tea can make the transition to a soda-free life easier, sometimes you just want to grab something with a bit of fizz or flavor that’s ready-to-drink. Thankfully there are tons of new healthy soda alternatives flooding the market that fit that very description, and we’ve got the scoop on the best of the lot right here.

1.Sparkling Bitters

Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

While the name may be a bit off-putting (who wants to drink something bitter?!), don’t let that scare you away from this trendy elixir. This drink is made by blending sparkling water with the highly concentrated liquid extractions of herbs, roots, and fruit. (If you’re into craft cocktails you’ve likely had bitters in boozy drinks like the Manhattan and the Sazerac.) Think of these bottles as the cooler younger sibling of tired seltzer.


Nutrition, per bottle: 30 calories, 100 mg sodium, 10 g carbs, 8 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Organic agave nectar, organic stevia

If you’re an avid EatThis.com reader, you’ve likely read about detox water before (we’re sort of obsessed with the stuff). By adding fruits that have detoxifying properties in their flesh and peels to water, you can sip your way slim. What could be more awesome than that? Well, Detoxwater comes close—simply by taking the leg workout out of the equation. To create their signature beverages, the beverage maker combines water, agave, fruit juice flavors, and aloe vera (a potent skin firmer and fat burner), stevia and vitamins (like 20 percent of the day’s vitamin B6 and B12). While it’s more caloric than making a batch of detox water at home, it’s not a bad runner-up if you don’t have time to make it yourself.

3 & 4.Runa Teas & Energy Drinks

Nutrition, per bottle: 0-80 calories, 0 mg sodium, 1-19 g carbs, 0-17 g sugar

Added sweeteners: organic sugar cane, Vermont maple syrup

Whether you want something that’s totally free of calories and sugar or on the hunt for something with a bit more punch, Runa’s got you covered. Their teas come in nine different flavors, all of which are made from a base of guayusa leaves, a plant native to the Amazon rainforest with double the antioxidant capacity as green tea. (The unsweetened guava flavor is our ultimate fave!) They’ve also got a line of lightly carbonated energy drinks which come in 0, 10, and 80 calorie varieties. They all have about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.

5.Tickle Water

Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A
It may be the first-ever sparkling water for kids, but the grown-up editors of Eat This, Not That! are big Tickle Water fans. One staffer who tried the stuff said the cola flavor tasted “like sparkling water with a splash of Coke” but still thought it was a great soda alternative despite the less-intense flavor.” I tried the apple flavor and found it to be light and refreshing—something I’d definitely reach for again.

6.Vertical Maple Water

Nutrition, per bottle: 31 calories, 21 mg sodium, 6.33 g carbs, 6.33 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Before Maple tree sap is boiled down to the consistency and sweetness of pancake syrup, it’s far thinner and less sugary. And recently, a handful of companies began pasteurizing and bottling the stuff, which they’ve aptly named maple water. It more or less like water, but is slightly thicker and carries a hint of maple-y sweetness. It carries a bit of added nutrition, too. A bottle provides up to 66 percent of the day’s manganese, a nutrient that staves off disease-causing free radicals, joint damage, and inflammation. Though some inflammation is necessary to heal our muscles after a workout, too much inflammation can break down the healthy muscle mass, slowing your metabolism.

7.Hint Kick

Nutrition, per bottle: 0 calories, N/A mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Hint Water may not be carbonated, cola-flavored, or sold in 64-ounce Big Gulps, but these new(ish) flavored bottled waters do have 60 milligrams of caffeine derived from coffee beans. That’s more than you’ll find in Diet Dr. Pepper (41 mg) or Mountain Dew (54 mg), so you’re sure to get the jolt your of energy your body needs—without having to down a bunch of chemicals or brew up a cup of coffee. Try the Lemon Cayenne Hint Kick (and don’t overdo it, since caffeine can dehydrate you), and you’ll never go back to Coke again.

8.Bai Lemonade

Nutrition, per bottle: 10 calories, 10 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 2 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Erythritol, stevia extract

The bulk of Bai’s beverages are made with nothing more than white tea (which has been shown to break down fat) and various fruit extracts, but somehow they’re all addictively delicious. And the newest flavors to join the Bai family have us super excited! Limu Lemon and São Paulo Strawberry Lemon take up back to the days when running a successful lemonade stand and not killing off our pet fireflies were the only things we needed to worry about once summer came.

When mixed with 8-ounces of vodka and sliced strawberries and lemons, the Limu Lemon flavor makes for a killer mixer for backyard picnics and barbecues.

9.Wtrmln Wtr

Nutrition, Per bottle: 90 calories, 0 mg sodium, 22.5 g carbs, 18 g sugar

Added sweeteners: N/A

Her album may be called Lemonade, but Beyoncé is promoting another kind of drink, too. Queen B has invested in WTRMLN WTR, a pressed juice with just two ingredients: watermelon and lemon. Not only is it light and refreshing, but it’s also a functional beverage to boot. In a study of Spanish athletes, researchers found that watermelon juice can diminish post-workout soreness, likely thanks to its high potassium and magnesium content, two electrolytes that aid hydration, muscle relaxation, and restorative sleep, explains Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN. Sure the sugar count in the beverage look a bit high, but all of the sweet stuff comes from fruit, so it’s the healthy, naturally occurring variation. Simply put: Don’t sweat it.

10.La Croix Sparkling Water

Nutrition, Per bottle: 0 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 0 mg of caffeine

Added sweeteners: N/A

Sure, the cans may look like something that’s filled with the latest boozy drinks coveted by festival-going college kids, but ask anyone who’s tried a can of the stuff (both young and old) and they’ll tell you: LaCroix sparkling water is straight up delicious. The bubbles are light and frothy and the flavor is just intense enough to be pleasing. It’s really no wonder that the drink has assumed a cult-like following. In fact, it’s the fastest-growing unsweetened sparkling water brand, with its sales more than doubling in the last two years to $225.5 million. Our suggestion: Get your hands on a can to find out for yourself what the hype is all about!

11.Sparkling Live Drinking Vinegars

Nutrition, Per bottle: 22.5 calories, 0 mg sodium, 4.5-6 g carbs, 3-4.5 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Stevia

By combining carbonated water, apple cider vinegar (ACV), coconut, whole fruit juice concentrate, and stevia, Sparking Live has created a gut happy beverage that’s light in calories yet full of flavor. For years, healthy foodies and svelte celebs have kept ACV is their flat belly arsenal—and research published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, Biochemistry explains why. In the study, participants who were given ACV over a 12-week period lost more weight, body fat and inches from their middle than participants that were given a placebo. While the results were not partially dramatic (they only lost about a pound), the participants were not given an exercise or diet regimen to follow, which would have helped them shed some additional weight. Up until the creation of this new beverage, those who wanted to get in on the trend had to mix their own apple cider vinegar-water elixirs at home—and suffer through sipping it down. These delightfully refreshing beverages are definitely the better way to go.

12 & 13.Zevia Sodas & Energy Drinks

Nutrition, per can: 0 calories, 20 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, g sugar

Added sweeteners: Stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol

This small company, founded by soda-loving parents who wanted something healthier for their children, distributes a variety of classic flavors, from cola to ginger ale to grape, without using artificial sweeteners or colors. Instead, they’re sweetened with the sugar alcohol erythritol. “The upside is that sugar alcohols are not as artificial as some of their counterparts in the low- and zero-calorie sugar industry,” explains Smith, “Unlike other sweeteners—specifically artificial sweeteners—they are not thousands of times sweeter than sugar, so they may cause less metabolic confusion in terms of sweetness as compared to caloric delivery. Although, more research is needed.” The only downside to their colas? They’re free of caffeine. Thankfully for those of us who are looking for a jolt, Zevia just released a line of energy drinks made with 120 milligrams of caffeine from coffee extract. (That’s about what you’d find in a 10-ounce cup of coffee.) Zevia Energy is available in three flavors: mango ginger, raspberry lime, and grapefruit.

14.Bai Bubbles

Nutrition, per bottle: 5 calories, 10 mg sodium, 11 g carbs, 1 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Erythritol, stevia extract

Bai Bubbles, which comes in flavors like Guatemala Guava, Jamaica Blood Orange, and Bolivia Black Cherry, are sweetened with fruit juice, erythritol and stevia (not aspartame) and powered by 45 milligrams of caffeine, thanks to the tea and coffee fruit, they’re delicious enjoyed straight-up or as a mixer. Interestingly, rather than beat Bai, one soda titan joined them: the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, who once only distributed the product, recently bought a stake in the company.

15.Honest Fizz

Nutrition, per can: 0 calories, 25 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 0 g sugar

Added sweeteners: Organic erythritol, organic stevia leaf extract

Root beer? Check! Ginger ale? They’ve got it! Orange soda? You betcha! This brand puts a wholesome twist on all of your favorite soda flavors—and then some. The best part? They’re super easy to find. Pick up a case at your local Wal-Mart or supermarket.

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