I have drank sodas most of my life. There was a long period where I consumed little else other than Dr. Pepper. Looking back on it, I am surprised at how negligent I was about nutrition. I was pretty abusive to my body.
Now, I know better. I strive to be healthy, because I know consuming healthy things makes me feel great! And when I feel great, I am happy!
There are so many reasons to not drink sodas. Here are a few:
- It is full of empty calories and there is a strong correlation between soft drink consumption and weight gain
- It can increase your risk for depression: in a study, participants who consumed more than 4 drinks a day had a 30% increased risk for depression.
- It contains benzene, which has been linked to cancer.
- Soda dissolves the enamel on your teeth, causing tooth decay.
- Consumption of sodas can increase your risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
- It’s expensive and a waste of money.
- A new study shows that 180,000 deaths a year are attributed to sugary drinks, like soda.
So now you know why you should not drink sodas. Right?
Even though we know how terrible they are, it is still hard it is to give them up! So I decided to compile a list of easy, yummy alternatives to soft drinks!
Soft Drink Alternatives:
- Water: Drinking water is a great habit to get into. It has tremendous health benefits! It regulates body temperature, boosts your metabolism, detoxifies your body, prevents dehydration, helps organs absorb nutrients, promotes healthy and clear skin, and so much more. According to the Mayo Clinic, men need approximately 3 liters of water a day, while women need approximately 2.2 liters.
- Flavored water: No, I am not talking about those packets of disguised sugar (essentially kool-aid) that you add to a bottle of water. Instead, grab some fresh fruit (lemons, oranges, watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, mint, or limes) to add to your water for a fresh and nutritious drink!
- Green tea: Full of anti-oxidants and with the added benefit of decreasing your risk of cancer, heart disease and kidney stones, this is a great alternative! Add some honey to naturally sweeten your tea.
- Sparkling water and lemon: If you like the carbonation in soft drinks, a great alternative is sparkling water. Add in a little fresh lemon for a great, refreshing drink.
- Fruit and vegetable juice: Fruit and veggie juice are great in moderation. It provides your body with substantial nutrients, and it tastes great! I suggest trying out a juicer so you can create your own combination of fresh fruit or vegetable juice. I have a Jack LaLanne Juicer that I absolutely love.
- Wine: In moderation, wine has tremendous health benefits. Red wine is reported to reduce your risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s and it is full of cancer-fighting anti-oxidants. Keep your intake at 1 glass per day for women and 2 glasses per day for men.
- Coffee: While sodas increased the risk of depression by 30%, coffee consumption decreased the risk of depression by 10%. It may help reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. It is recommended to keep your daily intake at 3 or less cups a day.
- Unsweetened Iced Tea: Similar to green tea, iced tea has anti-oxidants known to reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
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