Soft drinks come in a range of flavors and varieties. and while they taste great, many of them contain more than 30 grams of sugar! That’s not good for anyone’s metabolism. Healthy soft drinks are definitely the way.
According to our friends at Bubblebase, Wales’s first Bubble Tea Bar, diet versions are also available, but they still contain many E numbers and saccharine. E numbers are additives that aim to enhance the flavor, texture or longevity of a drink. They have been used for centuries but have been linked to digestive problems, as they aren’t what the human body is meant to digest.
Saccharine is a sugar replacement that is much sweeter than cane sugar and is therefore consumed in smaller quantities. It has no nutritional value, but is considered safe by the world food organization.
Now, just because a drink contains sugar, E numbers or saccharine doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily unhealthy. However, if you’re someone who wants to avoid these, take a look at our list of:
5 Healthy Soft Drinks
1. Sparkling Water
Sparkling water may not be the most interesting drink of choice, as some people would prefer to just drink water out of the tap.
However, sparkling water can be a great compromise. For those of you who are not aware, sparkling water is simply carbonated water. It poses no detriment to your teeth or digestive system.
Although sparkling water does cost more than standard bottled water and is not far off the price of other soft drinks, it can be worth the money. There is no compromise to your health and it can hit this spot when you’re craving a soft drink.
2. Bubble Tea
The main benefit of drinking bubble tea, or why it can be so healthy, is that most bubble tea shops allow a lot of customisation to your order.
Bubble tea is actually one of the easiest drinks to control the level of sugar that you consume in the drink. It varies from store to store, but most allow you to add either extra, standard or less sugar. Other stores go as far as to give you a range of percentage sweetness you’d like your bubble tea to be, ranging from 25% to 150% sweetness from the norm.
In addition to controlling the sweetness level of your bubble tea, the range of “toppings” you can add come with some health benefits.
Tapioca pearls are not only a delicious addition to bubble tea but they are a great source of fibre and carbohydrates. They do have some added sugar to them so they are not entirely sugar free.
However, they are not deeply as unhealthy as a typical heavily sugary soft drink. Tapioca contains around 100 calories per serving, depending on serving size.
A healthy swap for tapioca pearls is grass jelly. Grass jelly is made using the Platostoma plant and does have a mild taste. What makes it relatively healthy is that it has one calorie per gram, making it a healthier alternative to tapioca pearls.
Grass jelly is a jelly-like dessert and is created by using the Platostoma palustre plant (a member of the mint family) and has a mild, slightly bitter taste. The best part is that 15g of grass jelly only contains around 15 calories, whereas you’re looking at a couple of hundred calories for a serving of tapioca pearls.
Seltzer isn’t far off from sparkling water but is a bit more fun. It is still a carbonated water based beverage, but the main difference from sparkling water is that it is naturally flavored.
The flavors that seltzer comes in vary from brand to brand, but they are typically tropical, lime, strawberry and mango.
While a seltzer isn’t miles off a typical soft drink, it is generally considered more healthy. It is a product that has become more popular in the past year or two. Therefore, as the market for the product has expanded, it has become modernized in line with what the market wants.
Modern brands of seltzer aim for it to be a low calorie, vegan and naturally flavoured drink that consumers can drink without the guilt of previous soft drinks.
Smoothies have been around for years, but there’s a good reason for that.
Fruit smoothies, depending on the ingredients, are a very good way to get in your dosage of fruit and fibre. You’ll get the most fibre from consuming the fruit ingredients before they are blended smoothly but eating a range of different fruits can be time consuming.
Having a blended fruit and vegetable smoothie is an efficient way to get your fibre, minerals and nutrients in a tasty soft drink.
5. Infused Water
Last, but not least, included among healthy soft drinks is infused water, which is essentially tap or filtered water that has been infused with fruity flavors.
While you can buy flavored still water, it’s much easier and healthier to make your own with your favourite fruits and vegetables.
From refreshing flavors such as cucumber and mint, to watermelon and strawberry, infused water is the perfect beverage to drink throughout the summer season.
The great thing about it is that you can prepare a big batch of infused water and allow it to chill in the fridge. During this time, the flavour becomes stronger as the fruit infuses the water and you can enjoy the soft drink for the following few days.
You can think of these healthy soft drinks as delicious liquid treats that are actually good for you!