Millions of people drink soda each and every day. However, soda is horrible for you. It can add to your waist line, is full of unnatural ingredients, rots the teeth, and doesn't do much good for anyone. If you are one who drinks far too much soda, you may want to start replacing all those ounces with something healthier!

A Note on Diet Soda.
Many diet soda drinkers don't classify their diet soda as "soda" because it is a low calorie or calorie free drink. However, there are two things that every diet soda drinker should take into consideration.

  • Diet soda contains all of the bad stuff regular soda does with the exception of sugar.
  • Instead of sugar it as an artificial sweetener. Many studies are showing that artificial sweeteners are bad for you. Not only do some of them (including aspartame most commonly used in diet soda) have some serious side effects they also trick your body because they cause the body to prepare for sugars that never come. This leads to sugar and carbohydrate cravings because there is then too much insulin in the blood and nothing for it to consume.

Because of these two factors, diet soda should never be considered a healthy alternative to soda. It should remain classified as "soda" and should be limited in the same manner.

Water.
Water does the body good. It is good for you in so many ways and it is calorie free. This alone should be enough to have you drinking more of the clear stuff. However, most of us struggle to do just that. If you struggle drinking more water consider these options to help you out.

  • Carry a water bottle with you. Get something easy to take with you where ever you go and you will find you drink more water because you have it there whenever you need or want it.
  • Add a dash of lemon or lime. At home you can cut a fresh lemon or a fresh lime and squeeze a bit of juice into your water. Add ice and you have a nice tasty treat. You can also order lemon at restaurants instead of an expensive drink (most places don't charge for a glass of water with lemon). You can also get Real Juice lemons and limes or a bottle of lemon or lime juice that makes adding these things to your water really easy.
  • While the lemon and lime juices are the perfect option because you get loads of flavor with a splash of juice and they are low calorie, you can choose to add a splash of other types of juice as well. Just make sure that you are using 100% juice and not a "cocktail" that contains loads of sugar.
  • You can also go for carbonated, flavored, or vitamin water if you must. However, before you down that fancy water make sure you read the label. Many of these have a large number of calories because of the sugar content or are sweetened with artificial sweetener putting you back in the same category of the diet soda.

Juice.
Juice is a very tasty option. Many doctors suggest that you avoid adding a lot of juice to your diet because it is high in sugars and calories. Instead of replacing your 10 sodas a day with 10 juices a day go for 1 to 2 cups of juice each day (cup defined as 8 ounces and not your 16 ounce tumbler). Additionally you really need to make sure that you are choosing 100% juice rather than a juice cocktail.

Milk.
Studies have shown a lot of good things about milk. You want to make sure that you are choosing low fat or no fat milk. You can have one or two cups of milk each day. Some studies suggest that regular consumption of lowfat and no fat dairy products makes it easier for you to lose weight!

Coffee.
Coffee tends to be an acquired taste. Some people love it because they love the taste of coffee. Others love it because it has caffeine in it and they feel that they need it (or they felt like they needed it at one time and now they do need it). However, coffee can be a great option for those no longer drinking soda, but feeling the need for some caffeine. There are a few things to consider.

  • Coffee can be consumed hot or cold and there are a wide range of options for making great tasting drinks in both varieties.
  • Watch what you put in your coffee. If you trade your soda for coffee that has a ton of half and half or cream in it and scoop (or packet) after scoop of sugar in it then you haven't improved your options any.
  • When ordering at a coffee shop make sure you consider what they are putting in your coffee as well. You should avoid blended drinks altogether (even the diet and low fat versions are high in calories). You should always talk to the server about your different low fat and low calorie options.

Tea.
In America most people avoid tea, however it can be a fantastic drink no matter where you live. It comes in a huge range of varieties including green, black, herbals, and herbal blends. You can have it hot or cold and there is always something new to try. Just remember that you still need to watch what you put in it. Consider low fat milk if you need milk or cream. You should also use honey rather than sugar and you should make sure hat you are only using a little. You can also enjoy tea hot or cold.

Sports Drinks.
Sports drinks can be consumed. However, you need to make sure that you aren't having very many of them in a day. You should also read the labels and be sure that you know how many calories that it is costing you!

Your best choice for replacing a large number of sodas is to drink a wide variety of healthy drinks throughout the day. This will make it easier for you to make healthy choices, enjoy a wide range of beverages, and avoid getting bored and heading for your favorite soda. While you are at it though, aim for drinking more water! Your body really does need it.