“Within the first 10 minutes of drinking a soft drink 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. This is 100 per cent of your recommended daily intake,and the only reason you don’t vomit from the overwhelming sweetness is because phosphoric acid cuts the flavour.” Cyndi O’Meara.
We all know softdrink isn’t the healthiest thing you can be drinking, but do we really get how bad it can be?
Cyndi O’Meara, nutritionist at Changing Habits has a report on her website, “Softdrinks are not so soft”, detailing exactly what softdrink does to your body. Softdrink consumption is linked to diabetes, cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, obesity, cell damage and heart attacks. It’s also highly addictive. Cyndi’s report states that “the average Australian drinks more than 180 litres of soft drink each year.”
From my own experience, I found taking softdrinks out my diet many years ago improved my health considerably – gone where the nasty apsartame headaches. When my kids have the occasional softdrink at a party or someone’s house, I notice the change in their behaviour immediately – and it’s not for the better!
Anyway, let’s not dwell on the negatives, this post is about what you can drink instead. I know that some of you mentioned on Facebook that you are addicted. So, make the transition a gradual process. Start using some of these alternatives instead and phase out the bad stuff.
Obviously, you can give up fizzy drinks and just drink plain water. That’s what we do. Occasionally, for parties and special occasions it’s nice to have a fizzy drink though. It makes the kids feel less left out of things if they can have a ‘special’ drink.
Now when I refer to natural sweeteners, I am talking about things like honey, maple syrup, rice malt syrup, rapadura sugar, coconut sugar, coconut nectar, xylitol and stevia. What you prefer use is up to you and a matter of personal taste.
So here we go – my top 5 alternatives to softdrink.
1. Iced Herbal Tea and Mineral Water.
There are many delicious fruity herbal teas readily available now. Make up a strong batch, sweeten if needed with a natural sweetener and top with plain mineral water. I recommend the Apple Tree or Fruity Tutti organic tea from Tea Tonic. My kids love it and we don’t need any added sweetener. My Apple Tree Fizz is just Apple Tree tea infused in some boiling water, cooled down and made with half and half with mineral water.
Kombucha is a naturally fizzy, fermented drink, based on tea. It’s pretty easy to make yourself. Have a read over at the Naughty Naturopath Mum as she guides you through kombucha making at home (as well as giving you all the health info). Also check out Sarah at The Homemade Mommy for some ‘flavoured Kombucha recipes your kids will love.’ This is such a great option because kombucha has gut health benefits.
3. Fresh Juice and Mineral Water.
This is such an easy option – puree some fruit or make fresh juice in your juicer. Use a mix of half juice and half mineral water or to taste. I find we don’t need sweetener with this one, but use a natural sweetener if your kids need a little. Check out these great recipes from some amazing natural, new age mums.
Raspberry Lemonade from Jo at Quirky Cooking (pictured).
Homemade Fruit Cordial from Iwa at Additive Free Bites. I would try a natural sweetener instead of the sugar and to make it fizzy, add mineral water!
Pink Sparkle Drink from Bek at Author Rebecca Mugridge. It’s healthy and sugar-free!
Strawberry Coconut Spider. The wonderful Tania from Gluten Free Grain Free Co. gave me this idea for a yummy natural drink she makes.
What I did was puree a punnet of strawberries (250g) with half a cup of organic coconut milk. I then put about 1/3 of the mix in a glass and topped it up with mineral water. It froths up like an old-fashioned spider. Fun!
My kids liked it a bit sweeter, so you can add a bit of honey to the puree if you like. It makes 3-4 glasses of spider! Yum.
4. Homemade Lemonade or Ginger Beer.
There are so many recipes out there for homemade lemonade and ginger beer – have a google! Just use a natural sweetener and good quality organic ingredients where you can.
5. Natural Softdrinks.
Now, if you are really pushed for time and need a quick option (you’ll get no judgement from me on that score!), there is such as thing as healthier and/or naturally sweetened softdrinks.
I know they may not be the healthiest options out there, but they are certainly a healthier option than regular softdrink and may be the ideal place to start if you have a serious addiction. They are something that would still be a treat for my family.
These are all available online.
Phoenix Organic. This range is certified organic, free of GMOs and artificial sweetners and made using chemical free water. Pictured is Lemon, Lime and Bitters flavour, but they also do cola, lemonade and ginger beer.
BioBubble. Kombucha already made up for you! A great way to get your probiotics. “This is a fizzy, fermented liquid derived from the microbial digestion of eight organic cereal grains and several legumes including alfalfa and soybeans.”
Chi Herbal Mineral Water. Made in New Zealand, Chi herbal mineral water contains ‘a unique blend of herbs inspired by an ancient Chinese recipe and infused with a touch of honey and kiwifruit’.
Zevia. Zevia is a softdrink range that is sweetened with stevia. There are no GMOs, sugar, artificial sweetener, artificial colours or preservatives.
So, there you have it – my top five ideas for replacing softdrink in your diet. You will improve your health with more natural options and you can still feel like you are having a special fizzy drink.
I would love to hear what recipes or ideas you guys have!
Parts of this post are sponsored. This post contains affiliate links.