We often think when dieting that diet sodas are most effective when trying to cut calories. Unfortunately this is not accurate. Artificial sweeteners have actually been linked to weight gain. I’m not a fan of diet soda at all because most conventional brands use artificial sweeteners that have been proven to lead to health problems. I love finding new natural food brands that embody a healthy lifestyle, eating organic wholesome foods is the best thing for your health. 

Being a super fan of stevia, I was a bit hesitant to try a soda type beverage, let alone flavored water. However, I am always open to trying new things as long as they have ingredients that I can read and know where they came from. As you may or may not know, stevia is a sweet leaf and is extremely potent. It is a go to for diabetics, as it is a better than aspartame and sucralose and measures at zero on the glycemic index. I was surprised when I was finding a plethora of new beverages that are using this botanical sweetener. Needless to say, I began to stockpile on soft drinks and flavored water to enjoy during the hot summer months. 

Here are a few of my summertime favorites, they are healthier options for you to consider when replacing your artificial sweetener drinks:

1. AguaCon: This is not your typical flavored water; AguaCon is a zero calorie, no sugar, no preservative and no sodium water. This is one of my favorites because they infuse Latino flavors with a refreshing twist. Flavors like Horchata, Guayava, Lima y Limon all are thirst quenching and go well with an afternoon snack.  

2. Zevia: It is all natural soda, it has Zero calories and no sugar and is made with 100 percent natural ingredients, which include my favorite botanical sweetener stevia. If you are a cola drinker, you will be surprised at how similar it is to the ones with real sugar. They also have a root beer flavor that you can use for a root beer float!

3. Honest Tea: An organic bottled tea company in the U.S.. They carry calorie free beverages that are naturally sweetened with organic stevia. Another reason to indulge in your favorite summertime beverage flavors like Passion Fruit Green Tea and Fresh Lemonade in the zero-calorie line-up.

4. Flavored Sparkling Water: Infused with flavors like tropical fruit, orange, raspberry, lime and lemon…more and more grocery stores are carrying different brands of sparkling water. If you don’t like the taste of  sweetener in your soda water but still crave just a little hint of fruit essence this is a great option.

5. Water: Yes friends, water has zero calories and is a vital part of our human health. Without water, your body would stop working properly. Water makes up more than half of your body weight and a person can't survive for more than a few days without it. So drink up.

If you are substituting regular beverages because of health concerns, or are just looking for a low carb drink that is all natural, these options should help suit your needs. Enjoy the summer with an all natural zero calorie and refreshing beverage.  

Rosie Acosta is a sunny California native of Mexican heritage, she writes about her passion for Yoga and Mexican Food. She transforms her grandmother's hearty recipes into organic healthy alternatives for a healthier lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter: @RosieAcosta FB: facebook.com/organicmexicangirl and visit her website organicmexicangirl.com

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