This Healthy Swap Can Help With Your Soda Addiction

You know that post-lunch period when you're at work and the clock doesn't appear to move? You're slightly full from your take-out, and the vigor you felt in the morning has dissipated into a sluggish loll. For many of us, this is when we choose to pop open a can of our favorite soda. The fizzy bubbles and the hit of caffeine feel like just the thing we need to power us until it's time to go home.

Unfortunately, your afternoon can-of-soda habit — or any soda habit you've acquired, for that matter — isn't the best habit to have for your overall health. According to Medical News Today, soda contains a large amount of sugar. Usually, a 12 oz can of soda contains anywhere between 29.4 to 42 grams (or seven to 10 teaspoons) of sugar. Overconsumption of your favorite brand of cola could lead to an increased risk of diabetes, weight gain, and obesity.

Unfortunately, switching to the diet versions of your favorite soda isn't a better choice, either. Sure, artificial sweeteners may fulfill the purpose of sugar, but without many of its associated dangers. However, Insider reveals that "diet," "light," or "sugar-free" versions of soda can also lead to an altered digestive tract, tooth decay, and stronger sugar cravings.

Ask yourself what it is you like best about soda

If you're ready to kick your soda addiction but can't imagine your afternoon without the energizing kick of fizzy bubbles, then consider giving kombucha a try. Kombucha is a type of fermented tea that may provide the benefits of gut-healthy probiotics, as well as a dose of healthy antioxidants (per Healthline). Kombucha can help regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels. There are many brands and flavors to choose from, so do your best to avoid the ones containing added sugar.

You can also find a perfect alternative beverage to soda if you start by asking yourself why you like to drink soda in the first place (via Everyday Health). If it's for the carbonated fizziness of the beverage, you can swap out your Coke for sparkling water. If you want more flavor in your beverage, throw in a splash of juice or some orange or lemon slices. If you drink soda for a much-needed hit of caffeine, than grab some iced coffee, green tea, or black tea instead.

The truth is, soda can be a great way to liven up your afternoon. You don't even have to give it up completely. But in order to keep your health a top priority, keep soda in the 'sometimes' section of your diet — and just find healthier alternatives to your daily addiction.