I used to be really hooked on Soda. Like, seriously addicted. I drank it all the time, diet regular whatever. I thought water was boring, and I did not like drinking it at all. Juice can be pretty expensive and has lots of sugar and calories, so I totally thought that diet soda was a perfectly acceptable alternative to drinking water.
However, diet soda may be just as flawed as regular soda, and doesn’t help with weight loss at all. In my case, I was barely drinking any water at all which was contributing to other health problems such as headaches and digestive issues.
Getting off soda was one of the biggest challenges I had when pursuing my health goals. Because I found water flavorless and boring I needed to find creative ways to up my water intake in a way that was enjoyable and sustainable.
The following natural alternatives to plain water helped me kick my nasty soda habit and increase how much water I drank daily.
Apple Cider Vinegar Combos
Part of the reason I like soda so much is the tart flavor. I found that having 1-2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Braggs) in a large water bottle with a few shakes of lemon juice and some lemon and lime wedges really helped me to satisfy this craving. Sometimes I add orange slices or frozen berries as well, along with some ice. It depends on what I have in the fridge or freezer.
Fruit or Vegetable Infused Waters
Because I usually have a freezer full of odds and ends for smoothies, I found it easy to add cucumbers, lemon wedges, berries and citrus fruits to water before going to work for the day. I found that if I added the fruit to the water the night before the water would really be flavorful for the next day. My favorite combo usually involved cucumber and citrus fruit like lemon or oranges.
Muddled or Blended Fruit Mixes
If I have some berries that are getting a little softer than I like for eating raw, I will muddle them in the bottom of a glass and add water or carbonated water on top. Put a little bit of lime or lemon juice with raspberries or blueberries and you will be left with a delicious alternative to plain water. Likewise, you can take some frozen pineapple, mango or melon and add it to a blender with mostly water and get a homemade slushy juice. Just be aware of how much you are adding if you are looking for this to be a low calorie solution. Add too much fruit and you will basically end up with a smoothie!
Ice Your Favorite Tea
I have a tea cupboard that is practically bursting at the seams.
Many of the teas that I have are amazing flavors that I prefer as iced teas rather than hot ones. To make iced tea out of these I brew up a batch with hot water in the tea press, and then transfer to a juice jug once it cools and add lots of cold water. Pop it in the fridge and you have a big batch of flavored iced tea!
Some might want to add sweeteners to their tea, however I do not. I am trying to avoid all sweeteners including Stevia and honey as well. The only sweetener I use is fruit, and LOTS of it!
Lightened Matcha Latte
For Mothers day I received some amazing Matcha! I love having this on hand to make different drinks with. To make this latte I take just under a teaspoonful of Matcha and shake it up with a few ounces of hot water (I don’t have a Matcha whisk right now- #firstworldproblems) and then pour it into a mug. I then add Silk coconut creamer to the tea and stir. I usually add about 2-4 tablespoons of the creamer. This is a really creamy delicious alternative to water or regular tea.
When it comes down to it, one of the things I love about soda is the FIZZ! I found that no matter what I continue to crave a fizzy drink now and then. I get cans of carbonated water with some flavoring, or just get plain and add a splash of juice. I make sure to get carbonated water that has no sweeteners, so no sugar or aspartame etc. In the future I am planning to get a Sodastream machine for this purpose.
Drinking water doesn’t have to be a bore! In fact, once you develop healthier taste preferences it becomes easier and easier to say yes to water and no to soda.
Do you have any tips for drinking more water? Let me know in the comments!
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