Healthy Alternatives to Soda

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern



Many of us have developed a dependence on soda to keep us awake during the day or to help us stay up late to study. Unfortunately, daily consumption of soda is not very healthy (for more on this, see our Fill Your Plate article, Soda: Our Sugary Enemy).

Instead of drinking your usual soda, packed with sugar, calories, aspartame, caffeine, and carbohydrates, try one of these options instead!


Sparkling Water

There are so many good options for sparkling water. I personally hate the aftertaste of sparkling water, its very bitter in my opinion. But I did recently find a sparkling water that I really enjoy. Its Sparkling Coconut Water with Yuzu by Trader Joes. They come in a four pack for $3.99, in 8.45 fluid ounce cans. Each can is only 60 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugar, 3 grams of dietary fiber, and 115 milligrams of sodium. Plus it tastes so delicious!



Herbal or caffeinated tea both have many health benefits. My favorite tea is Teavana’s Passion Herbal Tea. A 14.5 ounce bottle has 90 calories, 21 grams of sugar, 21 grams of carbohydrates, and 10 milligrams of sodium. You can buy it bottled at grocery stores or Starbucks. The sugar content is lower if you get it made fresh from the counter at Starbucks versus buying the bottled version. Learn more on the health benefits of tea by reading these Fill Your Plate articles:


Health Benefits from Green Tea and Coffee

Switch up your tea game: Black tea is beneficial too!

Green Tea to Your Health

Filling Your Cup with Matcha Green Tea

The Green Tea Effect: From Coffee to Tea-The reasons, benefits, and myths

Health Benefits of Tea

Green Tea


Water Flavoring

If you need to drink more water, water flavoring is one thing you can do to help with that. I know a lot of people who have a hard time drinking as much water as we’re supposed to simply because they don’t like drinking water, they would rather drink something else. If you use water flavoring like Crystal Light or Liquid I.V., it makes your water taste better and easier to drink. It’s also a good way to avoid juices, which have a lot of sugar in them.

Liquid I.V. is different than other water flavorings though because it multiplies the amount of hydration your body receives. The Liquid I.V. Lemon Lime flavor has 45 calories, 500 milligrams of sodium, 370 mg of potassium, 11 grams of carbohydrates, and 11 grams of sugar. The high amounts of sodium and potassium are what help deliver water to your bloodstream faster than by drinking plain water.


Perk Energy or Perk Chill

My brother-in-law picked up some Perk Energy the other day and I got to try it. I must say, this is by far the best hot chocolate or coffee substitute I’ve ever tasted. It’s a powder that you add to a hot cup of water or almond milk. It is on the pricier side, but I would say its definitely worth it. It comes in several different delicious flavors. The flavor I tried is the white chocolate peppermint pretzel. Each serving of it has 7 grams of protein, 100 milligrams of caffeine, 70 calories, 5 grams of sugar, 11 grams of carbohydrates, and 180 milligrams of sodium.

I believe most, if not all, of their flavors come in a caffeine free version called Perk Chill. If you can’t have caffeine because of a health condition, are trying to cut back, or are just trying to find a substitute for hot chocolate that isn’t super sugary or makes you feel sick after, I highly recommend this.


Find more nutrition articles on Fill Your Plate’s blog!

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