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5 Low-Sugar Soda Alternatives You Need to Try

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Our #NoSodaSeptember campaign challenged our community of 117K sweat sisters to avoid soda for 30 days. For those who have been soda-free so far this month, your body is thanking you – reducing soda intake lowers the risk of diabetes and heart disease and can lead to weight loss. We all know that resisting soda, or any other cravings, is an insanely difficult mind game. Luckily, there are plenty of healthy soda alternatives on the market today that can help you quench your insatiable desire for the fizzy drink. I’ve found five low-sugar beverages that can help you maintain a soda-free diet, beyond #NoSodaSeptember.
 
But before we begin, here's an important tip when shopping for soda alternatives: avoid Aspartame and other artificial flavors. Diet soda may have zero calories, but it is still unhealthy because of artificial sweeteners. Also, Walmart’s “Clear American Sparkling Water” contains Aspartame, an additive linked to increased appetite and serious health issues. The five following drinks are low in calories, naturally flavored, and most importantly, free of artificial sweeteners!
 

1. Bubly

 
 

Bubly is unsweetened sparkling water. It comes in 15 natural fruit flavors, which beautifully complements the crisp, sparkling water. They can be found in almost all standard grocery stores such as Walmart and Target.
  • Calories: 0 • Fat: 0g • Total Sugar 0g • Added Sugars: 0g •  Sodium 0g
  • Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Natural Flavor
Bubly has zero added sugars! And the drink is flavored from natural substances such as spices, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. When sipping this drink, you’ll still get those satisfying carbonated bubbles found in soda, but not the excess sugars. That’s what makes it a great soda alternative.

2. La Croix

 

Similar to Bubly, La Croix is a naturally essenced sparkling water. With 20 different fruity flavors, LaCroix offers a fizzy fix that's as refreshing as soda, but without extreme amounts of calories and sugar. This drink has become widely popular in recent years. Numerous people have stated that the drink was the main player in ending their soda addictions.
  • Calories: 0 • Fat: 0g • Total Sugar 0g • Added Sugars: 0g •  Sodium 0g
  • Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Natural Flavor
La Croix does not contain any sugars or artificial flavors and sweeteners. This drink is a massive upgrade from soda.

3. Vita Coco Coconut Water

 
 

Coconut water has been dubbed "Mother Nature’s sports drink." It is filled with electrolytes and is super hydrating. When I sip on this coconut water before exercising, I feel lighter on my feet and have more stamina throughout the workout. 

  • Calories: 45 • Fat: 0g • Total Sugar: 11g • Added Sugars: 0g • Sodium 30mg
  • Ingredients: Coconut Water, Less than 1% Sugar*, Vitamin C
The small amounts of sugar in coconut water are all-natural – straight from the coconut. Coconut water also has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink.

4. Vita Coco Sparkling Coconut Water 

 

If you prefer a fizzy aftertaste, Vita Coco's line of Sparkling Water may be a better alternative for you. It combines the hydrating benefits of coconut water with refreshingly crisp bubbles of CO2. 

  • Calories: 25 • Fat: 0g • Total Sugar: 4g • Added Sugars: 0g •  Sodium 85mg
  • Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Coconut Water from Concentrate, Lime Juice from Concentrate, Raspberry Juice from Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid
There are no added sugars and no artificial colors and flavors. The 25 calories and 4 grams of sugar are straight from the coconut.

5. Fruit-Infused Water 

 
This homemade option is by far the healthiest soda alternative here. Fruit-Infused water is made by simply adding a combination of sliced fruits, vegetables, or herbs into water. With this option, you know exactly what’s going into your beverage. Any calories or sugars present in this drink come directly from fresh fruits and vegetables.
 
How do you make fruit-infused water? Start with cold, filtered water. Then, decide what flavor combinations you want in your water! Here are some common ingredients to add:
  • Lemon, Strawberry, and Chia seeds
  • Strawberry and Basil
  • Watermelon, Lemon, and Mint
  • Cucumber and Mint.
Then, cut up the necessary fruits, vegetables, or herbs for your desired flavor combination. Place the fruits in the large container of water. Let that infuse in the fridge for a few hours. Make sure to remove the fruits, vegetables, and herbs after 12 hours of infusion.
 
These beverages serve as great soda alternatives but make sure they don't replace your daily water intake. Which beverage is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
Tiffany Marie Tran is currently a high school senior in San Jose, CA. She loves the challenge of writing: her poetry is in the Articulation is Power anthology, and she writes monthly activism articles as the Editor-In-Chief of Youth Art Magazine. Hoping to become a political journalist, she spends her time preparing for policy debate tournaments, organizing community events as a city council intern, and participating in the Santa Clara Office of Women's Policy Girls Advisory Team. To stay healthy during a busy week, Tiffany Marie enjoys figure skating or gardening.