10. Filtered Water
It may not be the most exciting drink ever but there is no denying that a glass of water is an incredibly healthy alternative to sugary soda. Included in the long list of benefits of drinking water are that it aids digestion, helps keeps the skin clear, increases concentration, increases energy and promotes an increase in physical performance.
If you are trying to get kids to drink more water then there are a number of techniques to entice them into it including adding some of their favourite fruit to it. The ones that I find work best are citrus fruits like lemon and lime or more traditional flavours like strawberry and orange.
After much personal research into the quantity of water to drink a day I was left confused. Some reports say only drink when thirsty, others report that 8 glasses of water are needed. Maybe a compromise is needed and 4 glasses should be consumed and more if thirsty? I can’t say for sure but I think everyone would agree that a glass of water is healthier than fizzy soda.
Milk is not just for adding to coffee and pouring on your cornflakes but can also make a nourishing and refreshing drink.
Milk contains the elements calcium, protein, potassium, phosphorus and riboflavin (B2) as well as the vitamins A, D, and B12. These benefit the body by strengthening bones, improving muscle repair, increasing the function of the immune system and helping maintain proper blood pressure.
Not bad for just one drink. However just make sure you don’t look like your taking part in the popular got milk? advertising campaign and wipe your top lip after drinking.
8. Fruit Juice
Although many of us enjoy a healthy glass of orange juice in the morning we seem to forget this healthy alternative for the rest of the day. Juices, whether freshly squeezed or bottled, have high levels of vitamins and minerals as well as many antioxidants.
Although packaged juices are better that most soda be careful when buying store bought juices. Many contain chemicals that prolong the self life as well as added sugar for flavour.
The best alteratives to soda in the fruit juice department are the juices that are freshly squeezed or juiced in your own home. That way you are sure what is actually going into your glass.
7. Tonic and fruit juice
If you are missing the fizziness that you get with soda then there is a different way of drinking fruit juices that might stop your craving for those bubbles. If you add tonic water to some fruit juices then it makes a refreshing fizzy fruit drink substitute.
6. Red Wine
Yes, I am aware that to some this sounds like a completely crazy idea to many....and to some like a completely brilliant one.
If you are one of those crazy nut-job people and are currently in shock then calm yourself. Take a breath. Let me explain.
Red wine has many health benefits that fizzy soda does not. For starters, the antioxidant compound resveratrol. Resveratrol protects the heart and arteries against the effects of saturated fat in your diet.
Another benefit of drinking red wine suggests that it can help in preventing cancer due to decreasing oxidation in the tissues of the body, oxidation damage is responsible for the process of aging as well as Alzheimer's and type 2 diabetes.
So how much red wine is enough? One serving of red wine is equivalent to a four-ounce glass. Sorry ladies but to achieve the maximum benefits men should consume two servings per day and women should consume only one serving.
Obviously it should be said that it isn’t the best idea to substitute your lunch soda with a glass of wine, particularly if you eat a box lunch at your desk.
5. Green Tea
Whilst in China, I was lucky enough to drink a lot of green tea which was a very relaxing and enjoyable experience.
In China. green tea has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. The difference between Green tea and more traditional grown tea is all to do with the processing methods. Traditional tea, such as English, is processed in a way that allows for fermentation whereas green tea’s processing avoids the fermentation process. The results of this are that the green tea retains maximum amount of antioxidants and a substance called poly-phenols, which give the tea it's health benefits.
We all know that fruit and vegetables are great for the body and our diet so it makes sense that they would make a healthy drink too.
They really are incredibly simple to make with a plethora of recipes out there covering nearly all fruits and veggies. Just get that blender out and go crazy!
3. Flavoured Teas
There are many flavoured teas in the market today. Whilst a lot of them won’t bring the same health advantages as Chinese Green tea they are still healthier than most soda drinks.
The most popular flavoured teas take their flavourings from fruits with exotic names such as raspberry blasters and strawberry infusion.
2. Hot Cocoa
Now I bet you were thinking that the list couldn’t get any better after the red wine alternative? Well it’s in for a test here because hot cocoa can actually be healthy for you. It is a little known fact that cocoa has double the amount of antioxidants that red wine has and more than three times the amount found in green tea.
The problem with cocoa is what we usually add to it: cream, whole fat milk, sugar and marshmallows are soon going to increase the fat and sugar content so resist these 'extras'.
The best cocoa to drink is the dark chocolate kind which contains the highest % of cocoa solids as possible. When adding milk be sure that it is low fat milk such as semi-skimmed or skimmed.
1. Coconut water
Not surprisingly coconut water isthe clear liquid inside young coconuts. It is extremely popular where coconuts can grow naturally, such as the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean.
The great thing about coconut water is no only that it is just healthier than soda but it carries a lot of benefits in itself. For example, it has more electrolytes than most fruit juices and energy drinks without the extra sugar and artificial flavourings.
Another advantage is that the liquid naturally speeds up your metabolism meaning that you have more energy, work out longer with more intensity, and lose weight faster.
If you don't have a coconut tree growing in your garden then don't panic they are a few companies that produce coconut water in handy containers, stopping the need for you to climb a tree with a machete between your teeth.
In case you needed another reason to try it, it’s also popular with celebs such as Madonna, Sienna Miller and Gwyneth Paltrow.