If you have a habit of reaching for a diet soda every time you get thirsty, you may not know there are healthier options that are just as tasty. It may seem you're not causing any health damage by drinking large amounts of diet drinks, since they are usually calorie free. While the diet soda won't increase your daily calorie intake, there are other risks you should think about. The safety of drinking large quantities of diet soda is still in question, since it's not definitively known what long term effects artificial sweeteners may have on your body. Even if such sweeteners are one day deemed to be completely safe, these substances may trigger a craving for more sweets or sugary snacks, indirectly making you pack on extra pounds. While you probably know how important it is to drink plenty of water, plain water may not fulfill your craving for something a little sweet or different. It's easy to cut down on your diet soda intake, especially with the help of one of the FitDay beverage intake trackers. Here are 3 alternatives to diet soda that are both tasty and healthy.
Diet Soda Alternative #1: Flavored Water
There are a variety of these sold, with flavorings like strawberry, watermelon, raspberry or a fruit medley added. However, many of these flavored waters are actually very little different from diet soda, since they also contain artificial sweeteners to enhance the taste. Instead, you can mix up a truly healthy water-based alternative to diet soda in your own kitchen. Try adding a few pieces of fruit to a pitcher of ice water. Lemon, lime, watermelon, raspberry, strawberry, kiwi - the possibilities are virtually unlimited. Allow the pitcher to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to get the maximum taste from the fruit added.
Diet Soda Alternative #2: Green Tea
Green tea continues to grow in popularity due to its potential health benefits (it contains antioxidants, as well as possibly helping manage medical conditions such as high cholesterol and diabetes, according to some research), as well as its pleasant taste. Even if you're not a believer in the green tea health claims, you can still benefit from this drink as a great tasting calorie-free alternative to diet soda. There are many green tea flavors to choose from, and you can have this drink either hot or over ice. If you still crave extra sweetness, a drop of honey will suffice, and adds minimal calories.
Diet Soda Alternative #3: Light Tonic Water
Tonic water is something you might only associate with alcoholic beverages like gin and tonic. Tonic actually stands on its own as a diet soda alternative, especially when it's spiced up with some lemon or lime. Regular tonic does contain calories, since it often has additives like high fructose corn syrup, but you can have a diet tonic for only about 10 calories per serving. Add a few slices of lemon or lime to give this fizzy water some extra flavor.
Even if you think you're hopelessly hooked on diet soda, it's possible to change your habits with a little bit of effort. Keep track of your beverage intake, and try introducing some of the alternatives above to start a healthier way of drinking diet beverages.