How to Pick Sugar-Free Drinks

Drinking water instead of soda cuts calories.
Drinking water instead of soda cuts calories. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Choosing sugar-free drinks instead of sodas and juices will help you cut calories. Most drinks other than water add extra calories to your diet. Juices, while full of vitamins, are loaded with sugars, and simply eating fruit will still nourish your body with the vitamins it needs. In order to cut the excess calories in sugary drinks out of your diet, you will have to switch to water or diet, sugar-free drinks.

Check the Label

Read the nutrition label. The total amount of sugar present in the drink will be listed under "Sugars." Don't buy the drink if sugars are listed there if you are seeking sugar-free drinks.

Check the ingredients list. All types of sugar present in the drink will be listed there. It is located underneath or next to the nutrition facts. Don't buy the drink if fruit juice concentrates, honey, high fructose corn syrup, or corn syrup are listed.

Disregard the drink if it contains any ingredient with the suffix "ose," as that indicates that the ingredient listed is a sugar of some type. Sugar comes with different names, such as dextrose, sucrose and fructose. These are common sugars in soft drinks.

Modifying Water

Drink water instead of soda and other sugary drinks. Keep a jug of water in the refrigerator so that when you get thirsty you can refresh yourself with a glass of cool water rather than thinking of going out and grabbing a soda.

Drop slices of oranges, lemons, limes, cucumbers or berries into your water to add flavor. Do not squeeze them into your water, simply let the citrus diffuse into the water. It will slowly become more flavorful.

Water gets boring, so modify it by brewing tea -- without adding sugar -- and then cooling it in the refrigerator. You can also add herbs, ginger or mint leaves to this.

Diet Sodas, Coffee and Milk

Replace soda with diet soda. Almost every brand of soda has a diet variety. While these sodas still contain harmful elements like caffeine, they do not contain sugar.

Drink black coffee if you like coffee. Coffee contains very few calories, but still has elements like caffeine in it.

Avoid drinking milk. Milk contains lactose, a sugar. Do not add milk or sweeteners (other than artificial ones like aspartame or saccharin) to your coffee or tea.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plain water is always the best choice if you can stand to drink it.
  • Always research your possible choices before making a purchase. There are lots of online product reviews that can help steer you clear of drinks that are bad.
  • Ask your friends and family for suggestions of those sugar free drinks they like.
  • Whenever possible, stick with as many "natural" ingredients as possible. They are better for you and will actually taste better.
  • When in doubt, stay with name brands that have a solid reputation.
  • Don't consume ingredients when you don't know what they are.
  • Stay away from excess chemicals no matter how good the product might taste.
  • Don't support over-inflated product lines with no real reason to triple the cost of their drinks. It will force equal quality drinks of a lesser cost out of business.

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