There's a myriad of reasons why soda isn't good for you. There's the high amounts sugar which lead to other health problems concerning your heart, liver and dental health. Due to these issues, this summer I've decided to try and cut back and ultimately eliminate drinking soda from my diet. This is my top six list of soda alternatives to try and get me off the soda kick.

6: Green Smoothies/Juices/Drinks

tea, matcha, green tea
Liza Keller

This really isn't my first choice for my soda alternative, but there's no denying the health benefits green juices can give you. Green vegetables are high in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, plus they have their own natural sugar that'll give you a small kick like the caffeine does in soda. If you're lazy (like me) or don't have time to make your own every day there are plenty of store-bought options to chose from. There's also the option of making your own at home so you know exactly what's going into them. That way you can add the greens and juices you like the most to this soda alternative.

5: Coconut Water

Alex Tom

Coconut water is like nature's Gatorade. It's high in electrolytes, potassium, and vitamin C to help you recover post-workout. It's easy to purchase some bottle's at the grocery store, but unless you're reading the labels before you buy, coconut water can start racking up it's own calories and grams of sugar. Unsweetened is the best, healthiest option but for a delicious drink that is also full of nutrients, it's pretty good.

4. Water (with Lemons)

ice, lemon, cocktail, juice, alcohol, lime, liquor, tequila, tonic
Becky Hughes

Believe it or not, water is actually an excellent soda alternative. Your body needs water to keep itself functioning; after all an adult body is up to 60% water. While soda isn't necessarily dehydrating, the simple act of adding lemon to your water provides some additional benefits to the water itself. Lemons are high in Vitamin C and also low in sugar, about 1.5 grams per lemon. Now perhaps the next time you go out to eat at a restaurant and they bring you some lemon with your water, you'll think twice before casting that wedge aside.

3. Seltzer Water (with Fruit)

I'll be honest, sometimes I just drink soda to feel the bubbles on my tongue and in my mouth. It's a fun, silly and albeit addicting feeling which is where seltzer water comes in. Seltzer water is just water to which carbonation has been added. That means that seltzer water, without any added sugars or juices, has the same benefits as normal water. To keep those benefits, adding fresh fruit like cherries, strawberries, or blueberries can add some nice natural flavor. 

2. Green Tea

genmai cha, loose leaf tea, green tea, tea, tea pot
Jocelyn Hsu

If caffeine is what you crave most from soda, which is what I drink soda for the most, green tea is chock full of natural caffeine. On it's own, green tea might have a peculiar taste but there's a lot of ways to remedy that. Adding natural sugars is one, and mainly I mean honey, which will make it sweeter. There is also adding some of our good old friend, the lemon. You can also make it into iced tea and add some juice or lemonade and it'll be just like going to Starbucks.

1. Kombucha

Torey Walsh

Kombucha is on the rise recently as a "magic elixir" of the tea world. Kombucha is made by adding specific strains of bacteria, yeast and sugar to black or green tea, and then allowing it to ferment for a week or more. A lot of times Kombucha is combined with other fruit juices like pomegranate, berries, and apple to combine with the tea and other spices like cinnamon. Kombucha does have caffeine in it, but not as much as green tea. The taste can be a little shocking at first, like a really fruity beer, but the properties and texture of the tea will have you coming back for more. 

Soda (and coffee) don't have a lot of health benefits to them, and the amount of added sugars and flavoring can make the drinks increasingly addictive. I've cut my soda intake down to about one a week, and that's if I absolutely need it. By adding the soda alternative drinks above into my weekly diet, especially when I'm craving a soda or coffee, I've gotten much less dependent on the sugary drink.