20 Healthy Alternatives to Soda With Recipes

healthy alternatives to soda

The latest research on soda isn’t all that promising. It’s been linked to increased fat buildup in your liver (a definite contributor to insulin resistance and diabetes), increased weight gain (particularly for diet sodas), cancer (via many of the caramel coloring agents), kidney problems, accelerated aging, and much more.

So, if you’ve been wanting to kick the soda habit, I’ve collected 20 fabulously fizzy, healthy, homemade drink recipes for you to try.

These healthy alternatives to soda will please even the pickiest palate and satisfy your cravings for fizz.


Healthy Alternatives to Soda: Kombucha

Kombucha is an ancient Chinese beverage gaining wider popularity around the world in the past decade. The combination of kombucha’s health benefits with it’s naturally-carbonated fizz make it a great healthy alternative to soda.

Recipes

Strawberry Kombucha from Hollywood Homestead
Elderberry Booch from Pickle Me Too
Watermelon Kombucha from The Dabblist
Lavendar Kombucha from Shalom Mama
Apple Pie Kombucha from Health Starts in the Kitchen
Ginger Grapefruit Kombucha from GNOWFGLINS
Orange Ginger Hibiscus Kombucha from Divine Health from the Inside Out
Easy Probiotic Strawberry Limeade with Kombucha from Mindful Mama

Healthy Alternatives to Soda: Water Kefir

Water Kefir is a wonderfully easy and simple probiotic beverage to make. It creates a naturally fizzy drink that’s a perfect and healthy alternative to soda.

Recipes

Sparkling Apple Cider Water Kefir from Pickle Me Too
Fuzzy Navel Water Kefir from Common Sense Homesteading
Nectarine Blueberry Water Kefir from Divine Health From The Inside Out
Cinnamon Coconut Water Kefir from A Harmony Healing

Healthy Alternatives to Soda: Basic Ferments & Soda Water

Homemade sodas can be refreshingly simple. Whether you’re adding carbonated water from a soda stream (this is the one I use) to a homemade juice or tonic, or lightly fermenting something like lemonade to create a sparkly, sweet, probiotic beverage, these healthy alternatives to soda aren’t time consuming or terribly expensive.

Recipes

Citrus Cardamom Tonic Water from The Dabblist
Strawberry Black Pepper Soda from Healthy Green Kitchen
Apple Ginger Soda from Holistic Squid
Fizzing Strawberry Lemonade Cubes from Jar O’ Honey
Pineapple Ginger Soda from Nourishing Time
Ginger Ale from Homegrown and Healthy
Fizzy, Probiotic Lemonade from Food Renegade
Homemade Root Beer Recipe from Nourished Kitchen

healthy-alternatives-to-soda

(top photo by chotda; bottom photo by reeselloyd)

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
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9 Responses to 20 Healthy Alternatives to Soda With Recipes
  1. Michelle
    December 16, 2013 | 4:25 pm

    Hi,

    I don’t know much of anything about kombucha or water kefir… But I have multiple allergies (dairy, soy, egg, wheat, barley,& mango). Can I have kombucha & / or water kefir?
    How do I get / find / purchase them / the ingredients? ( I am in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.)
    Thank you very much!
    ~ Michelle

    • Melissa
      December 17, 2013 | 1:17 pm

      Michelle,

      You should be able to have both with no problems! I order a lot of cultures from the website culturesforhealth.com. I’ve had great success with everything I’ve bought from them. Good luck!

      Melissa

  2. heidihobbie
    December 19, 2013 | 4:09 pm

    I had been making and drinking fermented ginger ale when friends told me there was alcohol in it due to the fermentation process…I understand the basic chemistry of it, but I can’t see how the alcohol content could be significant. Does anyone have an opinion or experience they can relate? I don’t want to purchase expensive equipment to test the alcohol content of every batch…thank you!

    • Kristen
      December 19, 2013 | 4:24 pm

      Heidi,

      I don’t know about standard ginger ale, as I’ve not tested it. But I do have a friend, Kelly of Kelly The Kitchen Kop, who tested the alcohol content of her kefir soda pops.

      You can read her test here: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/10/kefir-sodaan-alcoholic-beverage-real-food-wednesday.html

      I think it’s fairly safe to say that as with her results, most of these fermented beverages like kombucha, kefir soda, and even old-fashioned ginger ale contain very little alcohol.

  3. eaters roundup
    January 9, 2014 | 5:02 pm

    I believe that anything we do to reduce or remove high fructose corn syrup from our diets promotes our better health. I think it’s critical to do this for our children. With so much of our US corn being genetically modified, we need to avoid this product as much as possible. All sodas that are in mainstream commercial grocery stores (not health food stores) are full of high fructose corn syrup.

    To say nothing about diabetes or insulin resistance! and both these topics merit another discussion.

  4. Judie Ingram McMath via Facebook
    February 8, 2014 | 8:29 pm

    I have found that the easiest thing for me to make that is low carb and refreshing is freshly juicing two cucumbers, one lime, and a tablespoon of powdered Stevia. I’m diabetic so can’t drink anything sweetened with fruit juice except lemon and limes because they are low carb. I find this drink to be easy and incredibly refreshing.

  5. Sarah Dolman via Facebook
    February 9, 2014 | 2:58 am

    Naomi Rose – in case you are still having cravings .. Thought maybe one of these might appeal?

  6. Paul Ewing via Facebook
    February 9, 2014 | 2:33 pm

    The soda cravings didn’t really last long for me. It has been about 8 months since I was drinking them. I used to drink at least a 2L of diet soda a day, but dropped cold turkey to water and coffee with the occasional iced tea at a restaurant. I think I have had maybe three or four servings of soda in that time and they were things like Mexican Coke or real cane sugar root beers.

  7. Laurie Kelley via Facebook
    February 10, 2014 | 10:07 am

    Once I got the toxins out of my body, I found that water was extremely satisfying. That is all I drink now!

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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