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An Alternative To Daily Soda, Which Helps to Improve Health

soda drink alternatives

How many sodas or other sugary drinks do you drink in a day and do you know that replacing them with healthier alternative can make a big difference in your health? New research shows that no matter how many you drink, replacing just one with water could make a significant difference in your health.


You already know that drinking soda pop and sweet tea can add a significant amount of calories to your diet, putting you at risk for weight gain. You probably have already made a pledge at some point to stop drinking these sugary drinks completely, but then fall off the wagon and slip back into old habits.

But the good news is that even cutting back by one a day and replacing that with a glass of water can reduce body weight and improve overall health. Excess added sugar can increase the risk for conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease,.

Calories in Coke and Pepsi
Just one twelve ounce can of Coke or Pepsi has about 150 calories. Drinking two a day for ten days could add up to enough calories to pack on a pound of excess body weight. Sodas aren’t the only beverage you drink where calories can sneak in. Drink an energy drink, a sports drink, flavored coffee, or even a fruity beverage, and you can increase your daily intake anywhere from 100-250 calories over and above what you eat at meals and snacks.

Of course, these drinks taste good and are usually more convenient to purchase on-the-go than finding a water fountain. So, if you find it hard to cut them out completely, why not try just replacing one a day at first with a bottle of water?

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"Regardless of how many servings of sugar-sweetened beverages you consume, replacing even just one serving can be of benefit," said Kiyah J. Duffey, an adjunct faculty member of human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech University.

The Water Alternative To Sugary and Soda Drinks
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that no more than 10 percent of daily calories come from added sugar and that calorie-free drinks, particularly water, should be favored. If you are consuming 2000 calories per day, just one drink per day almost eats up your entire allotment of sugar calories.

"We found that among U.S. adults who consume one serving of sugar-sweetened beverages per day, replacing that drink with water lowered the percent of calories coming from drinks from 17 to 11 percent," said Duffey. For those who consume more, the reduction could be as much as 25 percent of their daily caloric intake – a significant calorie savings.

If your goal is just to cut calories, you may think that diet drinks are a better choice, but be aware that water still holds a clear advantage for overall health. Previous research has shown that people who drink water over low-calorie alternatives still tend to eat more fruits and vegetables, have lowered blood sugar, and are better hydrated.

Journal Reference:
Kiyah Duffey, Jennifer Poti. Modeling the Effect of Replacing Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption with Water on Energy Intake, HBI Score, and Obesity Prevalence. Nutrients, 2016; 8 (7): 395 DOI:10.3390/nu8070395



Calories from all sources count, as this study shows - a calorie from a beverage with sugar is no more unique than a calorie from food. All beverages can be enjoyed as part of a balanced lifestyle. The key is being mindful of all calories and balancing what you eat and drink with what you do.