Healthy Soda Alternatives: Homemade Cola Substitutes
Just quitting soda cold turkey is a lot harder than finding a healthier drink to replace it with.
To make withdrawal easier an effective cola substitute should be similar enough in taste, while cutting out the unhealthy and addictive ingredients like sugar, phosphoric acid and caffeine.
It sounds like a tall order but it is possible using special superfruit concentrates.
This page explains how to make healthy alternatives to soda that taste similar to carbonated beverages, but can actually be good for you.
Finding a Replacement for Soda
While it’s important to drink more water when you’re replacing soda, water alone is too plain to be a real coke alternative for most people. The same goes for milk, which has other potential issues, like lactose intolerance that makes you fart.
Commercially produced fruit juices are not a healthy option either. The vast majority have been processed in a way that makes drinking them give a dramatic sugar rush.
This usually brings on an energy crash, which is the last thing you need when giving up a caffeinated drink like cola that is already taxing your adrenal glands.
Virtually all other commercially produced sweet beverages are loaded with fattening sugar or the even worse high fructose corn syrup.
Some people turn to artificially sweetened drinks, but these usually contain aspartame, which is now being shown in studies to increase weight gain and disease risk — not exactly a healthier option.
To be effective your soda substitute needs to be portable, ready to go a moments notice and similar enough to cola in the ritual of drinking it, without being any of the above.
Here’s the solution that worked for me.
How to Make a Healthy Soda Alternative
Simple, plain soda water, also called carbonated mineral water or sparkling water, is available from the supermarket in the same bottles and cans as coke and diet coke.
It’s much cheaper than brand name sodas and has the fizz, without the sugar, HFCS or aspartame. It has no calories and no addictive caffeine. It’s also free of phosphoric acid and suspect sulfite ammonia caramel coloring 150D.
Some people like premium sparkling mineral waters, like San Pellegrino with a little lemon juice or lime. If that works for you then stick with it.
For the purpose of this article though, I’m going to assume most soda addicts have a sweeter tooth than that and are looking for more flavor or tang in their replacement.
The first thing you need for your healthy soda alternative is a good supply of sparkling water. The same number of bottles as you would usually have bought of cola for two weeks.
Importantly, this is plain soda water only. No flavorings, no additives. The label should read carbonated or sparkling water and that’s it.
Definitely no sugar, HFCS, aspartame or any other artificial sweetener. Tonic water is a different sweetened product and is unsuitable to replace soda with if you are looking for a truly healthy substitute for soda.
Next we need our flavorings. For that I recommend a new range of superfruit concentrates that have just recently come onto the market.
Unlike regular cordials or concentrates, the ones I’ll list ahead are full of antioxidants and nutrients, without added sugar or sweeteners and actually good for you.
Great Tasting and Healthy Homemade Soda Flavors
Superfruit concentrates diluted with sparkling mineral water make for great tasting and very healthy alternatives to soda.
These concentrates are made from special fruits and berries, like black cherry, elderberry, pomegranate, maqui berry and acai, that are particularly high in antioxidants, vitamins and other beneficial nutrition.
It’s only in recent years that the demand for these kind of products has reached a level where they are no longer only affordable to the rich.
In fact, some of these superfruit concentrates are great value for all of potent nutrition they provide. They may well be the ‘multivitamins’ of choice in the future.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching and trying the different ones available so let’s have a look at some of the best.
Best Superfruit Concentrates for Coke Replacement
Dynamic Health have a great range of concentrated superfruit juices. My favorites, in terms of best price, high in nutrients and potential as a great tasting soda replacement, are the delicious black cherry, tangy cranberry and antioxidant rich pomegranate concentrate.
These are concentrated juice only with no added sugar (though check the label on others in the range). Compare the beneficial properties of these superfruit drinks to the negative effects of cola and the choice is clear.
Soda Alternatives for Better Health
Despite being directly opposite in healthiness, these superfruit concentrates mixed with sparkling water make a great tasting substitute to drinking soda.
They might not have the same bite as coke, but when you realize that bite comes from soda’s high acidity, combined with excessive amounts of fattening corn syrup, it shouldn’t be a difficult choice.
There’s something special about the exotic ingredients and the unique flavors in these concentrates that makes them particularly good for replacing soda. Additionally, the high antioxidant and nutritional content can help with caffeine withdrawal when giving up soda.
If you try any of these superfruit concentrates for soda replacement please let me know what you think and how they make you feel after using them for a while.
Unlike most store bought beverages, they are not loaded with sugar or HFCS, so most won’t be super sweet. The flavors are more subtle and complex than that.
If you like, it’s fine to add a few drops of zero calorie stevia to the mix to sweeten them at the start, but ultimately try and lower this over time and get used to less sweetness in your beverages. You may find yourself reducing sugar intake in other areas as well and that can only be good news for your health.
Next is a 10 step plan to stop drinking soda once and for all. If you follow this simple plan for 2 short weeks you’ll have a great chance at kicking the habit for good with these healthy soda alternatives, and looking and feeling much better for it.