According to one report, six in 10 (63%) U.S. youth and five in 10 (49%) adults drink at least one sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) per day. While examples of SSBs can include anything from sports drinks to sweetened waters, the most common type is regular soda.
Do you tend to reach for one yourself? While your favorite soft drink might quench your thirst in the beginning, you may be surprised to find that you're thirsty again just as soon as you finish it.
That's because while these drinks might seem nourishing and hydrating, they're anything but. It's time to find a healthy soda alternative that fills you up, keeps you going, and keeps you hydrated all day long. That's where Stur comes in.
Today, we're taking a closer look at why soda substitutes are good for you, and how to find the best one.
What's the Big Deal About Soda?
Before we dive into the wonderful world of soda alternatives, let's take a step back. What's so wrong with soda in the first place? After all, most of us were raised on bottles and cans of the syrupy sweet stuff.
While this might have been the case, that doesn't mean it was good for us. In fact, medical experts explain that, as a whole, SSBs are the single largest source of both calories and added sugars in the U.S. diet.
In a typical 12-ounce can of soda, you'll find a whopping seven to 10 teaspoons of added sugar. Each teaspoon contains 4.2 grams. You might not think too much about it when you're super thirsty and it's convenient, but it can lead to some health effects that aren't exactly sweet.
Here are a few reasons why it's time to ditch the soda and find healthier, more nutritious drink options instead.
More Calories, Fewer Nutrients
The average can of soda contains between 125 and 180 calories. When you drink one, you may think you'll feel full. However, studies show that individuals who consume a can of soda do not feel as full as they would have it they'd gotten those same calories from solid food.
Moreover, they're also unlikely to compensate for the drink's high caloric content by eating less food at their meal. This means you're heaping calories on top of calories, and the ones in your drink are empty ones. They're not benefiting your body and offer only short-lived, temporary satisfaction.
Over time, increased consumption of soft drinks is linked with a higher caloric intake. If an average person consumes just one per day without cutting back on their calories elsewhere, they could gain up to five pounds in a single year.
Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Research shows that people who consume one to two cans of sodas per day are 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. It can also affect the ability to control blood glucose in people who already have this condition.
Why is this the case?
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin. This is the hormone that unlocks cells and allows glucose to enter them. When an individual's cells become accustomed to receiving an excessive amount of sugar in the bloodstream, it can affect their ability to effectively absorb glucose, which lowers their insulin response.
Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
The increased caloric intake and subsequent weight gain that sodas can trigger are one reason why these beverages are linked to a higher risk of heart disease. In addition, research also suggests that the fructose found in the drinks' sugar or high-fructose corn syrup can catalyze harmful metabolic effects that weaken the heart.
There may also be a link to the beverages' high glycemic load, which can elevate factors such as blood glucose, cholesterol, and inflammation. Combined, all of these issues can be hard on one's heart, leading to both immediate and long-term damage.
The American Heart Association (AHA) confirms that drinking just one SSB per day can make adults vulnerable to health problems such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
Compromised Bone Health
Another way that soda can damage your health? Studies show that the high level of phosphate it contains could weaken your bones. This study links regular soda consumption with a higher risk of bone fracture, noting that reducing your intake is critical to maintaining overall bone health.
In addition to containing excessive quantities of phosphate, sodas are also limited in or devoid of the nutrients your bones need to stay healthy and strong, such as:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
What's the Best Healthy Soda Alternative?
We get it. Making the switch away from sodas can be hard, especially if you've gotten used to your daily habit. Unfortunately, most products designed to help you make the transition aren't exactly good for you either.
Most traditional water flavorers and enhancers contain added sugars, while others contain empty calories without any valuable nutrients. They might be fractionally better than chugging a soft drink, but they aren't beneficial for your health.
That's why we created Stur.
Using only natural, delicious ingredients such as real fruit and stevia extracts, we've created a product that you can feel good about adding to your water. If you're on the fence, here are some facts about how we're changing the game.
To date, Stur has:
- Helped millions of people achieve their hydration goals
- Served up more than 583 million glasses of water in the past year
- Eliminated a collective 33 million pounds of sugar from daily diets
- Helped nearly 4,000 people access clean drinking water through our Thirst Project
A quick word on that last bullet point: Did you know that when you place an order with Stur, we donate one year of clean drinking water to a person in need? Our Thirst Project is the world's top youth-led water activism organization.
We give high school and college students the resources they need to build freshwater wells in impoverished communities and developing nations, making sure everyone can enjoy the benefits of clean, safe, and sanitary water.
Next, let's take a closer look at the features that help us stand out from the rest, earning us the title of the best healthy soda alternative in 2023 and beyond.
If you wanted to fill your water with icky additives, you'd just drink soda. That's why we're dedicated to keeping our ingredients list natural, short, and simple.
No matter which flavors you choose, you'll never find any artificial flavors, colors, calories, or sweeteners in any of our products. They're also devoid of other additives, such as:
- Acesulfame potassium
- Red/ yellow/ blue dyes
When you add Stur to your water, you'll find that it tastes just like nature intended it to, only a little better.
Each portable bottle includes 20 eight-ounce servings. To enjoy Stur, just flip open the cap, point it down, and squeeze it into your drink. From tap and bottled water to sparkling water and even cocktails, you can add it to your beverage of choice!
Instead of a list of processed, artificial chemicals, you'll find the following in our formulas:
- Natural fruit flavor extracts
- Natural stevia extract
- Natural citric acid
- Vitamin C
- Fruit and vegetable juice
- White grape juice
We obtain all of these ingredients in the healthiest, safest way possible. For instance, we steep our natural stevia leaf extract using heated water only, never methanol.
Those colors you see? They come directly from vegetables, and we add them to lightly color each flavor so you know how much you're adding. There's no Red #40 here, just a pale red hue thanks to beets.
After all, our founder created this brand so that his wife would have a healthy, nutritious way to boost her hydration while she was pregnant with twins. He was dedicated to using only the best, natural ingredients for his own family, and that commitment to quality continues today.
If you've tried other water enhancers in the past, we commend you. You thought you were making a good decision, swapping from soda to a more nutrient-rich alternative. However, the unfortunate reality is that most of those products aren't much healthier than the soft drinks they're designed to replace.
On our website, you can find a breakdown of how Stur's ingredients list compares to some of the other leading brands on the market. Notice how many ingredients in brands like Crystal Light, Kool-Aid, and Mio are miles long and hard to pronounce!
When you make the switch and prioritize all-natural ingredients, you'll feel and taste the difference.
Try the Best Healthy Soda Alternative Today
Soft drinks can be hard to quit. The sugars and chemicals they contain are designed to trick your brain into wanting more, which leads to a cycle of unhealthy consumption.
Over time, sodas can damage your health, increasing your risk of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. It's time to switch to a healthy soda alternative. It's time to try Stur.
When you're ready to discover how delicious natural ingredients can be, check out our full collection of liquids and powders online. Let us help you kick that soda habit for good, one delicious, nutritious sip at a time.