Sugary drinks are one of the biggest sources of empty calories and added sugars in the typical American diet. Drinks such as soda, fruit punch, lemonade, and some energy and sports drinks provide excess calories and little to no nutritional value. Drinking just one serving of any of these drinks a day, without changing typical calorie intake, can add an extra  5 pounds or more a year!

Soda is also a big source of health problems, say many researchers. Multiple studies link excessive soda consumption with obesity. For example, a study of Massachusetts schoolchildren found that for each additional sugary drink a child drank per day, their odds of becoming obese increased 60%. Experts say not to replace regular soda with diet soda, which had its own problems.

If you love your sweet beverages, limiting or eliminating soft drinks or other sugary drinks is a great step toward maintaining a healthy weight and improving your health. Cut down gradually: replace one regular soft drink (or one diet soda) per day with an alternative drink. The best choice: water.  If it's the caffeine you crave, you're better off with tea or coffee, with minimal added sugars. It may not be easy but in the long run, it will be worth it.

 

 

Here are some alternatives...

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    Infused Water

    Flavored water can be made right at home by cutting up your favorite fruits, vegetables, or herbs. You can try adding lemon, oranges, cucumber, or mint. Add these to a pitcher of water and you’ll have a refreshing drink that looks as good as it tastes!

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    Sparkling Water

    If you love the bubbly taste of soda, try drinking sparkling water. Same bubbly feeling with fewer calories!

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    Juice And Seltzer

    Mix up your own flavorful bubbly drink. Mix a no-sugar-added juice to seltzer to create a light bubbly beverage just like soda!

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    Green Tea

    Green tea has some great health benefits like boosting metabolism and reducing the risk of heart disease. You can drink it cold or hot and add a little bit of honey for some sweetness.