The Best Healthy Alternatives to Soda

Written by Abigail Jolly
April 14, 2024 | Reading time 7 minutes

In today's fast-paced world, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is more important than ever. While many of us reach for a can of soda either out of habit, to quench our thirst, or to get a quick energy boost, the long-term effects of sugary drinks on our health are less refreshing.

This article explores not just the impact of regular soda consumption but also shines a light on the best soda alternatives. We encourage you to find the answer you're looking for by easily navigating the article below:

Let's kick things off with our favorite and ultimate list of best soda alternatives.

What are the best soda alternatives

Looking for the best alternative to soda can be an uphill climb as nothing seems to taste close enough.

One of the best alternatives to soda is sparkling water. Sparkling water infused with carbon dioxide leaving it fizzy, fresh, and free of calories, sugar, and artificial sweeteners

Whether "sodas" claim to be healthy and contain probiotics in the store, soda alternatives found in a can may leave you with a strange aftertaste that makes you wish you crafted something better yourself.

If you're looking for an all-out ditch of soda and its similar counterparts, then this list is for you. Here 4 of the best alternatives to soda that will actually impact to your health in a positive way:

  1. Sparkling water
  2. Teas (Iced or hot)
  3. Coconut water
  4. Kombucha

Healthy soda recipes

Classic soda flavors are difficult to replicate naturally due to their unique flavor profiles that are often defined by sugar or artificial sweeteners. Recreating Coke, root beer, and even Sprite can be challenging.

However, some homemade flavorings are healthier than a can of soda that you can mix with sparkling water. Some of our favorite homemade soda recipes that resemble the real thing are:

If you possess a soda maker and are keen on exploring traditional soda flavors, consider looking for classic soda mixers on platforms like Amazon or at a Target near you.

While some flavors might not replicate the originals perfectly, you might find others that you enjoy even more than the authentic versions!

Fruit syrup soda recipes

One of our absolute favorite things is experimenting with fruit syrups in the kitchen. Sometimes you have a hankering for something fizzy and sweet, but don't want to compromise on sugar or artificial ingredients found in store-bought cans.

Mocktails that taste like sodas

For those warm summer nights when you're craving a fizzy soda but not sugar, sparkling mocktails are a fantastic choice to get your bubbly fix in through a natural source. Plus, alcohol can be easily added to turn your fizzy, fruity mocktail into a delicious summertime cocktail. Here are a few recipes:

Related Article: 12 Deliciously Easy Summer Drinks

Scary facts about soda

Soda has been around for centuries, but with modern science and nutrition, it has been found to be one of the worst beverages for your health. With an average of 10 teaspoons of sugar or more, sodas have a high glycemic load (GL) meaning they spike blood sugar quickly leading to fatigue, high blood pressure, heart disease, and even cancer. 

best soda alternatives

Source Intermountain Healthcare

The high sugar content in sodas is also known to contribute to tooth decay and cavities due to its ability to create plaque buildup on teeth.

Moreover, drinking soda has been found to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as it raises insulin levels in the body more quickly than other foods or drinks. Not to mention that many soda brands contain caffeine which can lead to jitters, insomnia, and an increase in anxious tendencies.

It's safe to say that there is a lot more wrong with soda than it is good.

If you're ready to make the switch from soda to sparkling water, don't forget to stock up on extra CO2 canisters for your soda maker at home!

How to make soda from home

Making soda from home is a great way to choose healthier habits and control the ingredients your body is consuming.

The best way to make healthy soda from home is to use a soda maker machine. The only upkeep that is required is simply refilling your 60L CO2 canisters.

Using a CO2 refill club is an awesome alternative to refilling at the store. Ship and receive new canisters straight to your doorstop with the Soda Sense CO2 Refill Club and never be without bubbles.

Related read: How to make sparkling water at home

More about soda alternatives

Opting for these alternatives can significantly reduce your intake of added sugars and artificial ingredients commonly found in traditional sodas. Incorporating a variety of sparkling waters, herbal teas, and homemade fruit syrups into your daily routine can satisfy your fizzy cravings while aligning with a healthier lifestyle.

Let's break down some more of the benefits of each soda alternative:

1. Sparkling water

best soda alternatives

Also known as seltzer water or carbonated water, sparkling water is the best alternative to soda. Sparkling water is free of added sugar, calories, and caffeine -- especially if made from home using a soda maker. It can help you stay hydrated without the competition of caffeine and sugar levels in your body.

The benefits of sparkling water are numerous, some of which include aiding digestion and acting as an appetite suppressor. The fizziness of the carbonated bubbles can make your stomach feel fuller than it really is, making it a great way to start your morning if you enjoy intermediate fasting!

Not to mention, you can add almost any kind of healthy flavoring you can think of!

Bonus tip: If you already have a soda machine at home, make sure you sign up for the Soda Sense Refill Club to easily exchange CO2 canisters from your home and on YOUR schedule.

2. Herbal tea

best soda alternatives

Herbal teas are a great beverage to substitute your traditional sodas as they can provide a great way to stay hydrated without all of the sugar from soda. You can even sweeten your tea with honey or stevia and it would still be healthier than soda!

Tea can be both caffeine-free and caffeine-forward; the key component here, however, is that the caffeine from green tea for example is natural, whereas the caffeine found in soda is synthetically produced from pharmaceutical plants.

Similar to soda, there are so many tea flavors to choose from! Some of our favorites are chamomile, peppermint, and ginger.

Switching from soda to herbal tea is a great alternative for people looking to relax or reduce their anxiety. To make tea from home, all you'll need is a pot or kettle (or even a microwave), water, and your favorite tea packet.

Bonus tip: If you like tea, try making our Sparkling Green Tea recipe and Sparkling Hibiscus Tea recipe from home today!

3. Coconut Water

best soda alternatives

Originating from Southeast Asia, coconut water has been known to treat digestive problems and promote better skin health in addition to providing your body with the hydration it needs.

Coconut water is naturally rich in electrolytes, making it a great choice for athletes or anyone who is looking for an extra boost of natural energy instead of resorting to sugary sodas or sports drinks.

Coconut water's natural sweetness makes it a great alternative to sugary sodas, and its potassium content helps reduce blood pressure. Coconut water is the perfect post-workout beverage for replenishing lost electrolytes during exercise or physical activity.

Coconut water's full body taste leaves you feeling refreshed and full without craving anything sweeter. It is also low in calories and fat, so it's a great option if you're also dieting!

4. Kombucha

best soda alternatives

Kombucha has been gaining popularity over the last few years. It's a fermented tea that has probiotic benefits that can help with staying healthy inside and out.

Kombucha is slightly sweet and slightly acidic, which makes it a great alternative to soda. Not only does it have probiotic benefits, but due to its fermentation process, it also contains antioxidants that can be extremely beneficial to those who have liver damage.

It also contains polyphenols, B vitamins, enzymes, and amino acids, which can help with digestion and boost your immune system.

Make it at home or buy it at the grocery store; both are superior options compared to consuming any kind of soda. If you do decide to make Kombucha, consider looking into the best ways to ferment from home to ensure you are following the necessary steps in taking care of the Mother.

Bonus tip: Try adding sparkling water to a kombucha concentrate and make it extra fizzy!

Choose a healthier alternative to soda

The best soda alternatives are within arms reach and can even be found at your local grocery store. Our top 4 soda alternatives are best for keeping your body hydrated without all of the added sugar and calories from soda.

A better tomorrow can start today, so toss out those toxic sodas and say hello to a world of possibilities starting with sparkling water.

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