Non alcoholic beverages do not impair your vision, driving or judgment. Many are thirst quenching. Some are healthy. Some are effervescent, some are not. The grand daddy of all non alcoholic beverages is water. It is healthy, low calorie, and delicious cold, hot or room temperature. You can drink tap water if its safe. If you live in a city like Chicago there may even be fluoride in your tap water which is tooth strengthening. Tap water is great because it doesn't create landfill with all the plastic bottles that bottled water creates. Tap water is convenient. If you drink no other beverage in your life, water is necessary for life. It's a natural diet drink. If plain water is too dull for you try adding a slice of lemon or lime, or few mint sprigs for taste and presentation. You may also add a teaspoon of lime or lime juice for a palate cleansing drink.

If you water is questionable or not safe you may wish to purchase a filtration system. The cheapest easiest fix is a Brita or Pur filter pitcher. If you rent you can take it with you when you. The filters work for about two months and then need to be replaced. If the pitcher isn't big enough for you they also have larger reservoirs you can keep on your counter near your sink. If you are a long term renter and your landlord doesn't mind, both Brita and Pur also have simple add to the faucet devices for charcoal filtration. If you own your own house a reverse osmosis system is wonderful. My filter had to be replaced once a year. The newest models flash a light when it's time to replace, so you don't even have to try to remember.

The next oldest beverages in the history of human drinking, are teas and coffees. Tea can be herbal (not a true tea) caffeinated or decaffeinated. Regular tea, made from a tea plant may be black, green or white depending on how it is processed. Green and white tea have less caffeine naturally than black tea, but they still have some. Even decaffeinated black tea and coffee have some caffeine, although it is much much less than green or white tea. Herbal teas are hot beverages made from leaves and flowers of other plants than the tea plant. Rooibos tea from Africa is popular as it is naturally uncaffeinated as well as extremely high in anti-oxidants. It is a very healthy thing to drink. Hot cocoa is another warm drink, with some caffeine and no alcohol in it.

Some people use soda for their caffeine fix. The Seven -up ads I've seen recently are pushing the "naturalness" of this drink. The problem with soda, of any flavor, is not so much the artificial coloring or flavoring. It's the sugar. Current size soda containers are about 2 or more servings, much larger than original glass bottles sold at the turn of last century when soda was popularized. The body doesn't need that much sugar on a daily basis. Diet soda is no better. The sugar substitutes are suspect in causing cancer and migraine headaches. Also, studies show that people who drink diet drinks, subconsciously translate the low calorie of their drink into license to EAT more calories in junky non-nutritional food. The net effect is that diet soda drinkers are on the whole, heavier than regular soda drinkers. There is actually no nutritional reason to ever drink a soda. If you want to have one once a month with a dinner out, it won't kill you. Be aware, that in hot weather, drinking soda to quench your thirst can have the opposite effect. The salt and caffeine may make you more dehydrated.

In an attempt to steer their kids away from cavity producing sweet sodas a lot of soccer moms bring along juice boxes. Juices actually have just as much sugar as sodas. IF you must drink them, dilute them with water. Or if you don't like the taste of water, add a slice of fresh ginger to the bottom of your water pitcher to give it a very different taste. Even if you must add sugar and lemon to your water, home made lemonade has much less sugar than any mix you buy. Plus the body doesn't need artificial flavoring for any reason.

If you must have juice, try vegetable juice. V-8 or tomato juice each have as much vitamin C as orange juice. Tomato juice at room temperature has more flavor than it does when its cold. You can mix in some Tabasco sauce for a really nice drink. A virgin bloody Mary is really good. If you want to walk around a party without looking like a teetotaler try a Virgin Pina Colada, made of pineapple and coconut. Its sweet and yummy. Coconut water, flavored or plain is also sweet without being overly sugared.