Is there any better sound than the pop of a can of soda? When you hear the fizz of the carbonation, you know it is time to take a breather. Whether you’re a big fan of ginger ale or you live for Sprite and Diet Coke, you’ve likely had soda more times than you can count.
If you are starting on a healthy lifestyle journey, you may feel like your soda days are through and that you’re going to have to stick with just water for hydration. But did you know, drinking a low sugar soda can actually be the perfect hack for a healthy lifestyle?
Oftentimes we focus so much on what we have to take out of our lives to be healthy, and soda is the first thing to go, but it doesn’t have to be—and we’re not talking about swapping in seltzer or kombucha, either.
Low sugar sodas like prebiotic sodas, sparkling waters, and sparkling teas can be great hacks for a healthy lifestyle, especially if they have functional ingredients for added health benefits. Keep reading to find out what to look for in a healthy soda and how to use it as a hack on your healthy lifestyle journey.
Read the Ingredient List
The first hack for a healthy lifestyle is knowing how to choose the right low-sugar soda for you. The ingredient list and the nutritional information will tell you all you need to know about your soda. Make sure there are no artificial flavors, sugars, or dyes. If you are looking for a soda that is beneficial to your healthy lifestyle, look for organic, natural ingredients that support health.
Part of the reason that traditional soda is so bad for you is because of the high amounts of sugar—and consuming high-sugar drinks in amounts like that is linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and much more. They’re also often high in sodium and have a large amount of caffeine.
Remember, adding a low sugar soda to your day should benefit your healthy lifestyle, not take away from it. When looking at your ingredient list, here are some specific things you should be on the lookout for.
Understand Your Sugars
One of the worst things about traditional soda is all of the sugar. Most mainstream sodas on the market have about 40 grams of sugar in a can! Consuming excess sugar can have a negative impact on your cardiovascular health, inflammation, metabolic function, and weight maintenance. Low sugar sodas should have less than five grams of sugar per can.
There are many different types of sugars used in low sugar soda. Some sugars come naturally from fruit juices, some are added, and there are both natural and artificial sugar substitutes. Understanding what to look for and what you want will help you make the best decision. Less sugar is usually better, but the types of sugars are important, too.
When you look at the nutritional values of your soda, you may notice that there are sugars listed under carbohydrates. These sugars are from naturally occurring sugars, usually from fruit juices used to flavor and sweeten the soda. Unless you have a reason to stay completely away from all sugars, you don't usually have to worry about these sugars.
Some sodas have added sugars in their products like cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, and dextrose. The problem with adding sugars is there is no nutritional value. They are simply increasing the calorie count of the soda. Be mindful of the amount of sugar you consume. Consuming excess amounts of sugar can be one of the biggest obstacles to a healthy lifestyle.
Sugar-free and diet sodas of the past were loaded with aspartame. This highly processed artificial sugar may have a negative effect on brain health, heart health, and metabolic function. Saccharin and sucralose are also artificial sweeteners used in some soda brands.
Natural Sugar Substitutes
When you think of a refreshing, bubbly beverage, you want a little sweetness. Luckily, you have better options than filling the soda up with added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Natural sugar substitutes like xylitol, erythritol, or our favorite, stevia, can be added to add a little sweetness. These sweeteners have zero calories.
Stevia is made from the stevia plant. The leaves go through a process to remove the steviol glycosides, which is what makes the leaf sweet. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than regular table sugar, so only a little is needed to add sweetness—all with zero sugar added.
Look for Real, Organic Fruit
When it comes to flavor and color, look for real fruit on the ingredient list of whatever soda packs you’re buying. Sodas that use real, organic fruit juice as a natural flavor are a perfect boost for a healthy lifestyle. Fruits taste delicious and are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and while you can substitute all of your fruit out for a soda, it never hurts to get an extra dose of nutrients.
In VINA Prebiotic Soda, you will find lemon, lime, grapefruit, cherry, and pomegranate as some of the fruits we use as natural flavoring.
Look for Functional Ingredients
Another hack for a healthy lifestyle for low sugar soda is finding a soda with functional ingredients. Functional ingredients add an added boost of health to the soda.
At VINA, we know the importance of health. Why not add a boost of health to our favorite fizzy drink? Here are the functional ingredients in our sodas.
Are you looking for a way to liven up your gut microbiome? Sipping on a soda with prebiotics will make your gut happy.
Prebiotics are special plant fibers that the good bacteria and probiotics in the gut use as fuel. Prebiotics are good for gut health, mineral absorption, and weight management.
In our soda, we use organic inulin. Inulin is a prebiotic fiber found in many foods like onion, bananas, leeks, and especially chicory root.
We don't stop at supporting the gut. In our sodas, you will find a healthy dose of trace minerals that support your brain health. Trace minerals that support the brain are zinc, manganese, and iron. These minerals are necessary for the growth and function of the brain.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A lot of people are adding apple cider vinegar (ACV) to their daily routine these days. Adding it to a glass of water in the morning seems to be a common practice. That said, you might find the idea of vinegar a little hard to stomach. Let’s just say it is an acquired taste.
While we may not love drinking ACV with water alone, we do love the health benefits it brings. We have added ACV to our sodas in a delicious way, with all the health benefits. ACV provides more prebiotic power, gut health, and weight maintenance.
Low-sugar sodas can be a perfect hack to a healthy lifestyle. Switching out traditional soda for a healthy option can put you on the road to health—and you don’t even have to drink solely cucumber and mint water or tart lemonade to get there.
Knowing a few simple tricks to finding the right low sugar soda is key. Reading the ingredients, watching out for added or artificial sugars, looking for fruit as an ingredient, and drinking sodas with functional ingredients, are all easy ways to find the perfect soda, rather than settling for whatever you find on the shelves.
If you are looking for a refreshing, the bubbly beverages we carry at VINA have you covered. Vina Prebiotic Sodas have functional ingredients like prebiotics, trace minerals, and apple cider vinegar. Our fun flavors always come from organic fruit juices and are sweetened with a touch of organic stevia.