I really try to stay away from sodas. Especially Diet Coke. Why? One reason is that I used to have a severe Diet Coke habit (about 8 a day) and another reason is that soda is expensive. The main and probably most important reason is that not only is the caffeine in soda a bad, bad thing but the aspartame is terrible.
I made a concerted effort last year to completely hang up the Diet Cokes. I was on the wagon for a long, long time but have had the occasional Diet Coke over the last 6 months. (Once a month at most!)
I decided to make a list of my favorite calorie-free diet drinks for those needing a little extra boost to their drinking routines:
- Water! – Yes, water is always the best use of liquid in my opinion. It is the purest form of hydration we can do and does wonders for our joints, hair, nails, and skin. Try adding sliced lemons or oranges, or even cucumber slices to water to give it a little natural flavor!
- Tea – Most black teas do have caffeine but you can add some GREAT flavor to your hydration requirements by trying out different teas. Herbal teas are great for a fruity or floral flavor and are especially nice over ice. Oolong teas are rich and great as a hot drink. Black teas are good in the morning. As a matter of fact, I need to do an entire post on tea because I am an admitted tea-lover and have an entire cabinet in my home devoted to my love of tea! http://www.Teavana.com is a great resource! Try to steer clear of sugar or honey as a sweetener to avoid empty calories! With herbal tea, I have found that I don’t need sugar anyway because the sweetness of the herbal blend is enough for my sweet tooth!
- Fruit Juice – Yes, fruit juice is chock full of sugar. The way to have your favorite fruit juice without all of the sugar is to either juice it yourself or use the fruit juice as a flavor-booster to regular water. If you are feeling like something special, splash some orange juice in some ice cold club soda! I have also loved adding cranberry juice in my water for a sweet treat. TIP: Grapefruit juice is generally the lowest in juice calories.
- Vegetable juice – Did you know that tomato juice generally only has about 30 calories a cup? It’s true! I have a small V8 low-sodium can just about every morning. Vegetable juice is delicious, low in calories, and a GREAT way to stave off hunger. You can also get a full serving of vegetables in one can of V8!