There’s more than enough evidence to show that drinking sugary soda is bad for us. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, those who consume 1-2 cans of sugary soda per day are 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
And finally, it seems, the message is getting through.
Earlier this year the Wall Street Journal reported that soda sales in the U.S. have declined for the tenth straight year. Including diet soda! Word’s out that the artificial sweeteners in diet soda may mess with our metabolism.
Instead, lots of people – me included – are drinking more water. But plain water doesn’t always satisfy; sometimes we want a little something … extra. Lucky for us there are healthy ways to treat ourselves without undermining our healthy living goals.
Here are 3 great ways to get a splash of flavor (and/or bubbles, if that floats your boat!) in your water with no extra calories or artificial sweeteners:
Fruit-infused water bottles: There are scads of DIY fruit-infused water bottles on the market (click here to see) that allow you to create any flavor combination your creative juices can dream up. Simply place the fruit (or herbs – try mint – or tea) of your choice inside the inner chamber and fill the outer chamber with water, and voila! You’ve instantly got delicious flavored water for a fraction of the cost of bottled flavored water. Make sure your bottle is made of BPA-free plastic. Most are $10-$20.
LaCroix flavored water: I’m a can-drinker from waaaaaaay back when I had a powerful addiction to Diet Coke. I dunno what it is, but I like drinking bubbly things out of an ice-cold can. LaCroix is my answer. The dozen or so flavors (from apricot to passionfruit) are derived from natural essence oils extracted from that fruit. There are no artificial sweeteners, sugars, sodium or artificial ingredients contained in any of the flavors. The appeal of any particular flavors is very personal; a friend told me she the coconut was to die for, yet I found it to be a bit like drinking suntan lotion. My personal favorite is grapefruit. An 8-pack costs $3.39.
Hint water: #ItMatters community member Elizabeth emailed me recently to tell me about a flavored water (no bubbles this time) by Hint. She says that her doctors had been on her to dump diet soda and drink more water, but she hated the taste of plain water and even adding fresh lemon, lime or orange slices didn’t make it any more appealing. Then a co-worker shared Hint water and she became a self-described addict. Her favorite flavors are peach (“which is fabulous!!!!” she says), crisp apple, and pineapple. (Side note: she advises we avoid cucumber flavor at all costs.) Like LaCroix, Hint water has no sweeteners, no sodium and no artificial ingredients of any kind. Their newest product is called “Hint Kick” because it’s boosted with 60mg of caffeine (less than a cup of coffee, but enough that you’ll probably notice it). Ordered from drinkhint.com they’re $18 for twelve 16-oz. bottles.
Let me know your favorite ways to add a little zing to your water routine in the comments below, or email me and tell me all about it! Now go out and drink like it matters!