Soda has been getting a bad rap lately. Just yesterday the New York Board of Health approved a ban on the sale of large sugary sodas from movie theaters to restaurants. It’s the first restriction of this kind in the country.
While the ban is focused on the soda’s sugar content, it turns out even the “diet” variety, we recently learned, is full of chemicals, colors, and other questionable sugar substitutes that can wreak havoc on your body.
Fortunately, lots of natural-leaning companies have been launching new fizzy beverages to fill the space in your fridge door that Diet Coke used to occupy.
We found four soda substitutes (most available at Whole Foods) that are still sparkly and delicious but have none of the unhealthy, artificial additives… —Lisa Elaine Held
Spindrift’s small-batch sparkling waters, in flavors like Raspberry Lime and Tangerine, are super tasty. They’re made with fresh fruit pulp (which apparently is not easy to carbonate and bottle) and each has just 10 calories and two grams of sugar a piece. Plus, we’re pretty smitten with the packaging.
The Massachusetts-based company also makes actual sodas using fresh, whole fruits—just be mindful of the evaporated cane juice in those that boosts sugar content to about 20 grams.
Kevita is the alt-soda world’s nutritional supplement, with live probiotics in every bottle (but no dairy). The vegan drinks are USDA-certified organic and most include coconut water, fruit purees, teas, and just a hint of Stevia.
The Strawberry Acai Coconut we sipped had a mere 20 calories and two grams of sugar, although its sweet flavor will fool you into thinking it’s higher.
There are nine flavors in all, including Pomegranate Coconut and Lemon Ginger.
Since Hint Water’s launch in 2005, we’ve spied a growing number of the bottles in workout classes across the city. Healthy-leaning ladies love the fact that they can get a little fruit flavor in their water without added sweeteners—the “hint” comes from oil essences taken from fruit skin and pulp.
Now, the company has added bubbles, creating an almost-soda, Hint Fizz, with the same perks: No calories, sugar, added flavors, or preservatives. And thank goodness, they added fizz to our fave flavor, watermelon.
This one’s fizz-free, but if Snapple is your personal Diet Coke, Honeydrop is the perfect switch. Its drinks are made with fresh brewed tea and a tablespoon of pure, unrefined honey—plus fruit juice concentrate in the flavored versions, like Peach.
You’ll have to watch the sugar content here (23 grams per bottle), since honey is beyond sweet, and the company adds a touch of Stevia as well.