Instead of quitting cold turkey when it comes to breaking free of your soda habit, maybe it's time you start sipping on some healthy sugar-free soda. You probably never thought you'd see the words "healthy" and "soda" together, but that's because we aren't talking about cola, root beer, or any other sugary-sweet cans.
According to a report by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, one serving of soda per day can raise your heart disease risk by 35 percent. And don't even try replacing them with the diet versions, which are filled with equally harmful artificial sweeteners that can cause your body to hold on to fat and disrupt your gut microbiome, which is important for keeping your digestion running smoothly, your immune system at its best, your hunger pangs even-keeled, and your mental health at its prime.
So no, we're not talking about your standard stuff. We're talking about brands that fall into the true definition of soda: carbonated water. That means healthy soda does exist; it's just been hiding this whole time in sparkling waters, seltzers, and club sodas. These can be just as tasty as the pop you love to crack open, but with far less sugar and calories.
Not convinced yet? Take a look at the most popular sodas ranked by how toxic they are and you'll be switching over to one of these sugar-free soda brands in no time. And while you're making healthier choices, be sure to stock up on The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Zevia Zero Calorie Soda, Cola
Say hello to the first stevia soda! It's a good thing the parents who founded Zevia wanted healthier sodas for their kids to drink because now we have another scale-friendly option to add to our shopping list. This was the first soda brand to use stevia, combining the leaf extract with citric acid, carbonated water, and natural flavors. Don't let the word "acid" scare you; citric acid is a safe additive that's naturally found in many fruits, and all of these ingredients add up to a yummy, sometimes caffeinated, zero-calorie soda. So chug another one if you're parched — there are 14 flavors to choose from after all.
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Virgil's Zero Sugar Root Beer
Virgil's makes all-natural versions of the sodas you love. In this no-sugar-added Root Beer, the company blends 15 roots and spices to create the familiar flavor you grew up with. The only difference? There are zero artificial sweeteners. In their place, Virgil's uses a proprietary sweetener blend of 12 grams of erythritol (why you see 12 grams of carbs on the label), along with stevia and monk fruit.
Reed's Zero Sugar Real Ginger Ale
When they say real, they mean real. Reed's actually uses real ginger juice to flavor this ginger ale (crazy, right?) and then sweetens it up with 12 grams of erythritol along with stevia and monk fruit extract in this certified ketogenic drink.
Bubly Sparkling Water, Cherry
Forget your cherry cola, and opt for this sugar-free soda instead. Bubly is a line of zero-calorie, zero-carb, zero sugar sparkling waters that come in 13 uniquely different fruity flavors.
Spindrift Lemon Sparkling Water
If these cute cans don't draw you in, the nutrition label sure will. While each of the 11 flavors varies slightly, all of them are low-cal and low-sugar with natural ingredients. Lemon, in particular, is our favorite flavor, and it just so happens to be sugar-free. Spindrift is the first and only sparkling water brand in America made with real fruit, which is picked from family farms, squeezed, and canned. This makes for a bubbly beverage that's slightly pulpy and totally delicious.
Poland Spring Sparkling Water, Lemon Lime
Letting go of your go-to Sprite might be easier than you thought with these colorful Poland Spring Sparklers cans. Not only are they zero-calorie drinks with yummy flavors like pomegranate lemonade and acai blueberry, but they'll make that hissing sound you know and love when you crack them open, which might help you forget it's not the sugary stuff you're used to. In fact, these are far from it with a nutrition panel that boasts a bunch of zeros and an ingredients list that lacks both added sugars and sweeteners.
You didn't think we'd make it through our list of healthy sodas without featuring this fan favorite, did you? If you've heard the hype, you know that LaCroix is killing the sparkling water game right now with 20 flavors in trendy, colorful cans that work just as well on your Instagram account as they do in your bodies. Open up your liquor cabinet and mix up a guilt-free cocktail with one of these light and fizzy drinks, or just crack one open on its own for a yummy choice that's free of calories, sodium, sugar, and sweeteners.
Originating in France, this brand has been stateside since the '70s and we can't imagine healthy hydration without it. Their sparkling mineral water is made up only of carbonated water and natural flavors, which is pretty incredible considering you need both hands to count the ingredients on the back of a Diet Coke can. With enough fruity flavors to compete with other popular brands, this isn't an sugar-free soda to overlook.
Q Club Superior
When it comes to crafting club soda, Q Club Superior is seriously committed. Their product is dashed with Himalayan salt, which is known for its high mineral content. Sometimes simple can go a long way, so drink a bottle of Q when you've got a carbonation craving or use it as a mixer.
When life gave Polar lemons, they made lemon seltzer'ade. While their cans come in sweet flavors like raspberry, cherry, watermelon, blueberry, and mango, there aren't any added sweeteners, sugars, or juices inside — just a refreshing, bubbly beverage. This is just another addition to the family-owned company's seltzer products, so if you're a fan of these lemonades, there's more where that came from!
Each one is made only of carbonated water and natural flavors, which means there's no need to be worried about the chemicals in your soda.
Vintage Seltzer Water
It's time we went back to our roots, back to the good old days when every bite and every sip wasn't filling our bodies with artificial additives. That's where Vintage comes in. Their sugar-free soda water keeps healthy hydration simple with carbonated water and natural flavors that satisfy your taste buds without sacrificing your well-being. Both of these ingredients are present in a can of standard cola, but they're joined by carcinogenic caramel color and high fructose corn syrup. When we put it like that, it's clear that going Vintage means putting your best foot forward.