With replacing soda with tea you may start doing yourself a big favor. Not only will you replace a nutritional empty drink with a healthier cup full of antioxidants, you might start living a healthier life, and replace sluggishness for more sustained energy.

By changing your soda habit you may drastically reduce daily calorie intake. For example, a 12 oz can of regular soft drink may have around 100-150 calories. With cutting down on 3 cans of soda per day, you may be able to lose 1 pound a week.

But, sugar free soda is still OK, no?

No. Diet soda may have no calories, but it has no nutritious value either. Besides, it may contain many artificial sweeteners, flavors and colors, preservatives and other ingredients. On the other hand, pure tea usually contains none of the additives. Even flavored teas may be a better choice. While they may have natural flavors added to enhance the drinking experience, they will also contain lots of antioxidants too. Besides, most blends don’t have any artificial sweeteners – and they will almost always be present in sodas.

While artificial sweeteners are very likely to be safe, some studies suggest that we still don’t know what they may cause if taken in very high amounts[1]. Next, some soda drinks may have huge amounts of caffeine, well above daily recommendations and well beyond the amount in a regular cup of coffee.

Drinking tea may be a very good decision and a great alternative to drinking soda.

How to replace soda with tea

Start tasting different types

Not all teas are the same. If you switch to loose leaf, you will have hundreds of thousands of flavors to choose from. Out of all minty, fruity, earthy, light, full bodied, sweet, chocolaty or smoked blends, it’s impossible not to find the one you will like. If you have a sweet tooth, choose blends that contain licorice. Licorice is naturally sweet and may provide many health benefits. Blends such as Lemon Zest are both refreshing and sweet, but contain no sugar or artificial sweeteners. Try brewing tea using different water temperatures and steeping times to get the flavor you like the most. If you are not a regular tea drinker, there are many naturally sweet teas that you can try first.

Go sparkling

Although there is some controversy[2] linked to sparkling or carbonated water, some studies suggest it may be beneficial – if drank in reasonable amounts. A study on 19 healthy young women showed that drinking sparkling water may induce a feeling of fullness, thus reducing the overeating and intake of unnecessary calories[3]. To enjoy a flavored sparkling tea, brew a stronger cup of flavored tea, let it cool down and mix with sparkling water. Serve with ice and lemon (optional, depending on the tea). The best teas? Flavored greens!

Avoid milk and sugar when possible

If you are not ready to cut off drastically on sugar, adding a teaspoon may not be as bad as drinking a can of sugary soda. One can may hide anywhere between 5-13 teaspoons of sugar. That’s a huge amount of sugar, well beyond daily recommendations. 1 teaspoon holds about 4 grams, which is 10% of a recommended daily sugar allowance for women, and 10% for men[4]. Or,  learn 20 different ways how to make tea taste better without adding any sugar.

Start cold-brewing

Cold brewing is the easiest way to incorporate calorie free flavored drinks into your life. They are refreshing and taste great, and you won’t be getting as much caffeine as you would normally get from a cup of hot tea. Just add a spoon of flavored tea into a big 1-1 ½ liter glass teapot or a pitcher, lukewarm or cold water and let it brew for at least 3-5 hours in the fridge. The best pure tea for cold brewing is Chinese sencha. You can brew it pure, or add fresh mint, slices of unwaxed organic lemons or oranges and other fruits and herbs.

Make a home-made iced tea

Commercially available bottled iced teas rarely contain any tea at all. By making your own iced tea, you can control exactly what you are drinking, which ingredients you are using and add replace sugars and empty calories with antioxidants and vitamins. Make a stronger cup of tea of your choice. Add a bit of honey and drink it ice cold. Black teas are a great for making iced tea. By hot brewing a stronger cup first, you will get a drink that will not only provide a caffeine boost, but refreshment and enjoyment too.

Brew it with fruit

Brewing tea leaves in a put full of chopped fresh fruit is like getting a cup of best naturally made iced tea in the world – only hot. Fill the pot with fresh, washed and chopped fruits, add tea leaves and hot water. Pay attention to the water temperature if you are brewing green tea. While this isn’t a calorie free drink, it’s one you are likely to enjoy the most if you are a soda addict.

Make your own tea soda

And finally, make your own tea soda with home-made fruit juices. Use a fruit of choice and appropriate pure loose leaf tea as a base. Brew ½ cup of strong tea, strain and let it cool down. Wash and cut the fruits, blend them into a puree or squeeze the juice. Use a mesh strainer to remove the pulp. Mix it together with cooled tea and cold carbonated water. Serve with ice. Fresh fruit contains natural sugars too, so pay attention to the calorie and sugar intake. Make fruit brews a treat, rather than an everyday habit.

Dislaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Every person is different and may react to different herbs and teas differently. Never use teas or herbs to treat serious medical conditions on your own. Always seek professional medical advice before choosing home remedies.

References

[1] https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/artificial-sweeteners-sugar-free-but-at-what-cost-201207165030

[2] https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/does-carbonated-water-harm-bones

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23327968

[4] https://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/the-growing-concern-of-overconsumption.html#.XjNqbCMoUk

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