Have you seen the two liter bottles of soda? They are huge! Growing up, my mom would often make us fresh lemonade or “aguas frescas” (natural fruit drinks), like agua de sandia or melon (watermelon or cantaloupe drinks). On occasions, we would buy the one liter or two liter bottles of soda for dinner. I can picture the giant bottle sitting on the dinner table and can still feel the fizz in my throat. As you know, I have to work at maintaining my weight (yes, I gain weight easily), so years ago I decided to stop drinking sodas. It was probably around my early twenties. Little by little, I just stopped drinking them. Mostly, because I started to read about the ingredients and realized they were adding to my daily caloric intake. I still missed the fizz, so I started drinking sparkling water instead. Just like that, with this one simple change, I cut between 200 – 400 calories from my day.
Sparkling water has zero calories and fat, no sugar or ingredients that sound like chemicals. It is basically natural spring water with carbonation. It gives me my fizz fix and refreshes me. It is also hydrating for the body. Some sparkling waters are healthier than others, some contain more sodium than others, and some are from natural springs. But, they don’t have calories, and overall are much healthier for you than soft drinks.
I buy mine at Trader Joe’s because I like the “natural lemon flavor” sparkling water they sell – and because it is the main store I shop at for groceries. The 18 oz. bottles come in four-packs and they also sell a 42 oz bottle. I always have multiple bottles in stock at home and keep about five bottles in the fridge, to ensure they are chilled and easy to reach for. The Trader’s Joe’s brand tastes the same as the Crystal Geyser brand which can be found at most grocery stores and the bottle even looks the same (I’ve often wondered if they are bottled by the same company). I also drink Perrier and Pellegrino. I have been encouraging my husband to stop drinking sodas and even though he still orders a Diet Coke (or lemonade) when we are eating out, at home he drinks the sparkling waters instead of soda. We no longer buy soft drinks to have at home. Even little changes like this one can add up to a big difference in your daily calorie intake, and overall health throughout the years.
An average serving ( 8oz – 18 oz) of a soft drink has between 182 – 364 calories, of which 27g are carbs, and 12g are sugar (most of the calories in soft drinks come from the sugar). It is ok to have a soft drink every once in a while, kind of like a special treat, but if you have one or two sodas every day you are adding quite a bit of calories to your day with just a serving. Also, diet soft drinks may list zero calories, but they may contain caramel color, citric acid, potassium citrate, aspartame, caffeine, phosphoric acid, and natural flavors (which may be made of chemicals to mimic natural tastes).
So, if you want to cut between 200 – 300 calories from your day, try replacing a soft drink with a sparkling water. Just try it – you’ve got nothing to lose, but calories! It may not happen overnight, but eventually, like me, you may no longer crave sodas. Plus, you’ll still get your fizz fix! I haven’t ordered or bought a soft drink for myself in years.
Do you drink sparkling water? Do you have a favorite sparkling water brand?