Alternatives to Soda? (For Me)

Updated on July 12, 2012
M. asks from Dallas, TX
35 answers

I have always been a regular coke drinker. I have tried diet and the 0 drinks, but I always go back to regular. It did not used to be a problem, but after my second child I have gained about 15 lbs. I eat pretty good and try to exercise 4-5 times a week, so I have decided I have to try to get off the soda. I tried 5 hour energy, but can barely choke it down. And Green tea is the same. By the middle of the afternoon I am so tired. I work full time and am a full time mom, so I want to have the energy to play with my kids and also feel good. I would like to find something that will give me energy but not the calories but also tastes decent. That may be too much to ask, but thought I would throw it out there!

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So What Happened?

You guys are awesome! thank you so much for the advice. I do drink a lot of water and I am going to try some of the suggestions below.

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

Vitamin Water Zero. Sometimes it's better diluted, depending on the flavor, and they are usually on sale at Kroger or Tom Thumb. I think lemon is my favorite.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Coffee, coffee, coffee, iced coffee. Oh, and coffee. Water is good too.

OK, I read the other responses. Are there no coffee drinkers on mamapedia?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I know how you feel! I'm also trying to quit soda and I HATE tea but I need that caffeine fix to get me through the day. I was thinking of going to the store teavana at the mall because you can try the tea before you buy it. I'm going to just explain my dilema to them and see if they have any ideas on a good tasting tea (one that doesn't taste like dirt, and hopefully more like juice or something). I'm only on day 2 of no soda, but I did get a coffee today though. Good luck and pm me if you want to be accountability buddies or something, lol!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Norfolk on

It's good to get use to plain cold water.
You might have to re-train your taste buds but it can be done.
Water with a drop or two of lemon or lime juice can be quite refreshing.
Also try going on a break from caffeine for several weeks.
Caffeine can set you up for a wild up and down ride and just getting off it for awhile can help.
For lunch try having a well balanced meal that has adequate carbs and protein.
You'd be surprised how good a tuna salad at lunch can make you feel in the afternoon.
Your exercise routine sounds good and I'm assuming you are getting enough good quality sleep at night (no snoring or apnea).
Diet soda does a number on you kidneys and it sets up your metabolism to burn calories more slowly (defeating the diet purpose).
We try to do soda (any carbonated drink) only once a week and we all feel better for cutting down on it (but it's still not forbidden).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You've gotten a lot of good advice but I'll add anyway :)

If you're looking for caffeine, try iced tea... I know it's not carbonated (would that be good I always wonder??) but it's got a bit of caffeine but not too much. Just be careful as some of the sweetened ones can have as much sugar as soda.

If you want refreshing bubbles, try Peligrino or other sparkling waters. Sometimes I just need some cold bubbles! And obviously way healthier. The Italian/Fruit sodas are great too, but watch out since they also can have as much sugar as soda (i.e. Peligrino's Lemon sodas). Izze has a new low-cal/lower sugar version in watermelon and boysenberry (I think). I tried the watermelon and love em! Most of the sparkling water companies make fruity waters or you could just add some juice to the plain stuff. Just read labels.

It's true what they say that too much caffeine does nothing for us. But I still need a little to get me up in the morning and through the afternoons. I think after a withdrawal period you will adjust caffeine-wise and will find something to quench your cravings.

Good luck!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I just recently stopped my Diet Coke addiction - I've been "clean" ;) for about a month now.

I would drink 5 cans a day easily.

What worked for me was telling myself that if I was thirsty, I'd drink water first to quench my thirst. Then if I still wanted a Diet Coke after that I'd have one. Funny thing, I never seemed to grab one. If I'm eating popcorn or pizza or something, then I'll have one for sure though.

For me, if I told myself NO Diet Coke - then it would be all I wanted. Now, I have it in the fridge, but it's just getting old.

Replacing soda with other artificially sweetened drinks or (even worse) energy drinks is doing you no good. It's the artificial sweeteners you want to avoid and changing one for another is not helping you.

You may stop feeling the afternoon crash if you can stop all the sugary drinks altogether.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Really, keeping up on your water should give you some energy since you will be hydrated. I like to keep a pitcher of water with some orange slices or something in it. Tasty. Regular old coffee is okay too, not too many calories in that unless you add a lot of cream and sugar.

Diet sodas are bad. I my opinion the regular is better. Diet sodas have been proven to make people gain more wait because the arificial sweetners cause people to be more hungry. I always tell people if there is only one thing you can change in your diet, it is to not drink any sodas. Good luck! I know it is a hard habit to break!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Iced water with lemon, honestly it is refreshing and zero calories : )

A friend turned me on to this as she orders this when she eats out (and saves on the cost of a drink.) I tried it and found it makes your food taste better, the flavors are sharper. i told someone else about this and they tried it and agreed.

Worth a try!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

Try the mio energy. I like regular mio and havent tried the energy ones.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

You are not going to like my answer just be warned. You may think caffeine gives you energy, but in the end it takes more than it gives. I recommend getting yourself off stimulants, making water your beverage of choice and letting the exercise you do improve your overall energy (there is no miracle beverage, you are either caffinating yourself, drinking sugar ((which is just terrible for you)) or consuming artificial sweeteners, which are also horrible for your weight management). I gave up caffeine and it took me a month to feel normal, but in the end I feel better without it. I also picked up on my exercise and that is my new drug of choice. i say stop searching for a replacement and learn to be happy with just water. If you need to, flavor your water with diced fruit, mint, lemon...but in the end, learn to give up that pick-me-up.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I havent read the other responses but I can tell you about my addiction to coca cola. I think at my worst I was drinking 5 a day and when I stopped drinking it I lost 15 lbs. I still have one occasionally but I try to drink a lot of water and tea now. My husband loves soda too but he likes iced tea as an alternative to cola. If you buy unsweetened or make it yourself you can adjust the amount of sugar and its better for you than the corn syrup in cola. ETA part of my reason to stop drinking so much cola was b/c my sugar was borderline bad and my teeth were getting bad also. After I stopped drinking so much cola the dr. checked my sugar again and couldn't believe how much it changed, he was like what on earth, what did you do? lol

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

I love iced tea! Either plain or with lemon or with 1/4 part lemonade!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

Water and a b vitamin complex should help.

And I agree. soda is bad. They say people who drink regular weigh less....but it's good to get off soda all together.

that being said....i gave up soda years ago....replaced with water and didn't lose a single pound. Probably replaced it with another sugar craving....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Izzie's...have you seen these? They are flavored carbonated juice and they are fantastic!

Other than water or flavored water that you can make yourself, I got nothing besides Iced Tea?

~I am still riding the high of the new Dr. Pepper 10...finally a diet I can drink!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I drink vats of unsweetened tea, hot or iced. Unsweetened iced coffee, and "juice water" or wine water (basically 1/5th beverage, + water + ice). You can also have flavored water by adding mint, lemon, lime, raspberry, watermelon, honeydew, canteloupe, cuccumber or grape to a pitcher or water and letting it steep.

use B vitamins for more energy, make sure you are getting enough sleep. lastly call in all the favors, if necessary to cobble together a weekend "off." so you can really catch up. i.e. get hubs to take both kids to the water park in the morning then to grandmas for an overnight. on sunday, have him take them to an IHOP then to a kiddie museum, then lunch and a movie, and get them in time for dinner and bedtime routine on Sunday night. They'll manage, you'll feel better, everyone will come out of this happier.

good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

If you don't like to drink water try flavoring your water with frozen fruit or cucumbers (look online for ideas, it's REALLY good!)
I like unsweetened black iced tea with a little lemon and mint.
My husband likes taking carbonated water and mixing it with fruit juice, usually cranberry cocktail (two parts water, one part juice.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

When you are properly hydrated you will have energy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

The problem with sugared and caffienated drinks is that later you crash harder, which it sounds like what you are experiencing. I would experiment with water that you can add fruit or other ingredients to to flavor it, and then get in the habit of just drinking that. Some good ones to try are strawberry, orange, lemon, lime and cucumber-mint, in different combinations (I have a pitcher of strawberry-mint water "brewing" in my fridge right now!).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Little Rock on

Try those low calorie drink mixes (like Crystal Light/Wyler's Light) that you add to water. They are usually about 5 calories each and they taste pretty good. I've been adding them to my bottled water to replace with coffee/cokes. Also, have you tried fruit? The natural sugar should give you a boost for less calories also. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You have a lot of answers already, but I glanced through them and didn't see anyone mention caffeine pills. Call me crazy, but I hate coffee, hate tea, and did away with soda in the home, so I turned to caffeine pills. They usually have 200mg of caffeine, the same as in a Starbucks coffee. They are cheaper than Starbucks and really any coffee, they work, and there are no calories! I buy them on Amazon, and you can see from the reviews that I am not the only one! :-) I take one in the morning with a glass of water, and then if I need it after lunch, I take 1/2 pill (cut with a pill cutter). I drink water, Vitamin Water zero, or Sobe Water with natural sweetener during the day. I tried giving up caffeine altogether, but that just didn't work for me, especially on days when the kids decided to be up at night for whatever reason. I needed some alternative, and this has really worked for me. I do let myself have soda when we go out to eat sometimes so that I don't miss it or feel deprived at home.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I make unsweetened iced tea and add a splash of fruit juice to sweeten/flavor it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

When I needed more energy to take care of my baby, I went from one prenatal vitamin to two per day. That made such a difference.

Is it the caffeine that you need? Maybe iced tea or coffee? Or do you like the sugar? Maybe fruit juice or drink, or a slush? Maybe it's the carbonation. Get some carbonated water and mix it with Hawaiian Punch.


answers from Dallas on

I can't do caffeine or artificial sweeteners, I can do stevia. but anyhow the B vitamins are supposed to give you energy, might check into that. but I like Smart Water for the electrolytes! no calories and good for you! I agree with the person that said caffeine and artificial sweeteners make you gain weight.



answers from Dallas on

I really like the Mio liquid water enhancer. There are many flavors and you just quirt a little of it into a cup of water, and you have a zero calorie drink that tastes great. (I can't drink diet sodas either, but this is good!)

If you think you need caffeine, I use Zippfizz (I buy at Costco). They're a little pricey (moreso than soda anyway), but I usually only use half a tube to about 10 oz of water so they last a while. I drink it before I work out (at 5:30 AM), and I feel it gives me a little energy boost. There is NO sugar in it though and supposedly the caffeine is "natural". There is also a ton of B12, B6 and Vitamin C (as well as other vitamins) so I feel like I am not only getting an energy boost but am giving my body nutrients it needs. There are 3 flavors in the box - grape, orange, and pink lemonade. They're fizzy like soda and taste great.

I hope this helps. I don't know if the "fake sugar" in these two products cause cancer in lab rats or not, but I think it's better than drinking soda. :)



answers from Atlanta on

They're expensive, but I find that all-natural flavored waters (my favorite brand is Hint) perk me up and make me feel refreshed. Add me to those who think an occasional full-calorie soda is better than drinking diet soda every day.


answers from Austin on

I drink flavored seltzer. I needed something with NO sweeteners because I am trying to avoid sugar and I don't react well to artificial sweeteners and don't like the flavor of stevia. It still has the bubbles that make my throat feel good. I also like the boxes of chai tea concentrate. Lots of flavor(and sugar) but I can dilute it with as much water and ice as I want.

You could try to gradually wean yourself off caffeine and sugar. Retrain your tastebuds to prefer less sugar, and avoid the rebound headaches from quitting caffeine. Or see if there are pill forms of the caffeine that don't have the calories.



answers from Los Angeles on

Iced tea.

Water (by itself or w/lemon slice).

Those are your best choices.

Not sure I'd go w/those 5-hr energy drinks.


answers from Grand Forks on

I drink coffee until noon. I drink plain ice water with all of my meals (that way I can enjoy the flavour of my food). I drink iced tea with lemon and water with lemon. I used to drink alot of Coke, but I probably only have two cans a month now. I didn't want my kids to start the soda habit, so I stopped it myself.



answers from Dallas on

For afternoon energy, I go for one of the advocare SPARK or SLAM products.
I agree with the water and vitamin B.
Keep us posted on what works for you:)



answers from Dallas on


There are different brands but GT's/Synergy is the best tasting.



answers from Seattle on

I half live on coke.... 1-2 2litres a day on average. Some of the following are caffeinated, some arent. For the ones that aren't, I tend to eat espresso beans throughout the day. I'm ADHD, so caffeine is CALMING to me. I'll 6shot a bunch of espresso before bed, if I need to get to sleep, for example.

When I'm NOT drinking coke
- Spicy Bloody Mary Mix (no alcohol)
- Sweet Tea
- San Pellagrino & Lime
- Ice Soy Lattes
- Espresso shots (double shot + heaping teaspoon of sugar)
- Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans (munch munch)
- Cucumber Lime Mint water
- Chocolate Milk (milk + Hershey's)
- Udon Soup Base


answers from Dallas on

I am not a soda drinker myself with exception to occasional Ginger Ale.

I recently tried the new Cranberry Cran-Energy sparkling juice. It is in single serve cans with the single serve juices, etc.

I love this.. it does have 90 calories, and 22g of sugar, 35 mg sodium, 50mg Potassium The caffiene comes from green tea extract. I am drinking one now so that is why all the detail!

I also take a sublingual B-12 vitamin daily. I take one in the morning and if I am draggy in the afternoon, I will take another. You would need to run that by your Dr. though. My body has absorption issues so my Dr. gave me an ok for the higher dosage. I was on b-12 injections.

Flavored water is a favorite as well. I put a little lemon juice or slice of orange in mine. If you need the carbonation.. use a touch of club soda.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I like decaf iced tea with Stevia & lemon.



answers from Portland on

For me, I make up a quart of iced tea every couple mornings or so, for drinking in the afternoons. I tend to like mine sweetened, and so I add a moderate amount of sugar while the tea is still hot, so it can completely dissolve. I like two teaspoons of sugar to 8 oz of liquid. This is still far less in sugars than the Coke, which is 39 grams of sugars per 12 oz. (they use high fructose corn syrup, but it is still a sugar). 1 t sugar= 4 grams of sugar. This way, you are getting 12 grams per twelve ounces of tea as opposed to 39-- that's 27 grams *less* sugar per 12 oz serving.

So, you can get the 'sweet', but this way, you are coming out way ahead.

I'm currently enjoying a blackcurrant black tea from Peets. Twinings also makes a good one. Or you could do Earl Grey tea with a twist of lemon.
If you want the fizz, too, here's what to do: use half the the amount of boiling water you normally would, so you are steeping a concentrated tea. Add your sweetener while hot. Then, when you are ready to serve, use 4 oz of your concentrate per 4 ounces of seltzer/bubbly water. Voila! Trader Joe's has plenty of flavored fizzy waters to choose from, too, so that adds a nice twist.

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