3 types of sugar-free drink that will satisfy your sugar cravings

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Most of us are partial to a sweet treat, particularly when we’re thirsty. From Coca-Cola and energy drinks, to juice and sports drinks, many of our favourite beverages are laden with a certain carbohydrate to create that irresistible sweet taste. We’re of course talking about sugar. 

Great tasting and a fantastic way of fueling our bodies, consuming sugar also rewards us with a hit of dopamine, signalling to our brains that the event was positive. It’s no wonder that we love sugary drinks (and food) so much.

But sugar isn’t the healthiest thing to consume regularly. In fact, doing so can lead to a whole host of issues, from obesity and acne, to heart disease and cancer. This makes moderation key when it comes to drinking sugary beverages.

So what do you do when the cravings hit, but you’re looking to cut back on your sugar intake? Well, luckily for you, there are plenty of sugar-free drinks out there that can satisfy your cravings, without you actually having to consume it. Here are three of our favourite types.

1. Kombucha 

One of the main things we love about sweet drinks is their fizziness. If you’re a lover of sweet and fizzy drinks yourself, then you’ll be pleased to know there’s a beverage that not only features both of these characteristics, but is actually healthy for you too! The drink in question is kombucha, the fermented beverage made from sweetened tea. 

As explained by kombucha producer No. 1 Living: “[Kombucha] is brewed using a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and carefully fermented which ensures it’s bursting with live cultures and naturally energising enzymes.” These components can benefit your gut in particular, as well as supporting heart health, potentially ridding your body of toxins and giving you energy, among other health benefits.

Available in many fruity flavours, kombucha will give you your fix of sweet-tasting goodness while simultaneously boosting your health. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it?

2. Flavoured water

Drinking water is not just essential to our survival, but provides us with an array of health benefits from aiding digestion and normalising blood pressure, to regulating our body temperature and cushioning joints. However, almost half of Brits (43%) don’t believe they’re drinking enough water. 

For those that love a sweet drink, there’s an easy way to satisfy your sugar cravings and get more water down you: drinking flavoured water. According to Verywell Fit: “Simply put, flavoured water is taking water in its purest form and adding natural or synthetic ingredients to enhance the taste.” While some of these do contain sugar, plenty don’t, meaning you’re sure to find flavoured water that helps you kick your sugar habit. 

There are so many types on the market, from carbonated types with artificial flavourings to filtered water with natural fruit extracts. Be sure to carefully read the ingredients of any flavoured water products you’re considering buying, however. This will ensure that you’re actually getting the health benefits of swerving sugary beverages, and not drinking something that’s just as bad. Many artificial sweeteners may be just as unhealthy as sugar, if not more so.

3. Diet drinks

If you simply can’t resist your favourite brand of sugary drink, then switching to the diet version — at least on occasion — can also help you reduce your sugar intake. 

That said, some of these alternatives are a lot less healthy than others as they’re often filled with unhealthy artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame-k and sucralose.

According to this ranking of diet sodas by Eat This, Not That!, among the worst offenders in this regard are Diet Mountain Dew, Pepsi Zero Sugar and Fanta Zero. While the likes of Sprite Zero, 7UP Zero Sugar and Diet Pepsi at least contain fewer undesirable ingredients than their counterparts. Again, closely reading the ingredients before committing to a sugar-free diet beverage is key. Happy sugar-free drinking!

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