Soda has an interesting history. Before it became the bane of healthy beverages, its origins were in the American pharmacies in the late 19th century. It was an amalgamation of pharmacists that experimented with different, exotic ingredients to create cure-all, feel-good drinks. It was the combination of the coca leaf and the cola bean that created Coca Cola, the biggest and more consistently profitable product in the world. But now with a world anxious about carbohydrates, carcinogens and stomach problems, sodas are an issue. Sodas come in a variety of flavors though. Colas are accompanied by an increasing amount of fruit-flavored sodas beyond orange and cherry (which is often artificial, by the way). Natural flavors and an effort to actually package vitamins and minerals with the bubbly beverages are changing the game for healthy sodas. Here are a few examples of healthier-than-normal fizzy drinks you might find soon (or can already track down) at your local supermarket:
1. High-Fiber Pepsi
In November 2012, Pepsi Japan announced a “Special” Pepsi that contains dextrin, the main ingredient in Benefiber. It will have added health benefit as so long as drinkers don’t use it as a gateway to less beneficial sodas like Coca-Cola Classic or traditional Pepsi.
2. Schweppe’s Grapefruit Soda
This product is available in Israel and contains Vitamin C. While the Israeli market hasn’t had the benefit of major American flavors like Vanilla Coke or Dr. Pepper, there is a fondness for citrus in the Mediterranean country. The percentage of real fruit extract in the soda approaches 40% (not just grapefruit), a strong characteristic for any fruit-“flavored” product.
3. Steaz Sparkling Green Tea
Caffeine doesn’t have to have negative effects on your health. Steaz‘ Green tea soda manages to hold onto the chemical but also contains the antioxidants that non-carbonated tea is known for. It’s also a no-calorie beverage and is packed with the rarely found B12 (rare that is, if you’re a vegetarian).
4. Reed’s Light Extra Ginger Brew
‘Who cares? Ginger ale is sold by a lot of companies.’
Wrong. While most ginger ales on the market contain a ton of sugar and little natural ginger extract, Reed’s uses the most real product. Ginger ale is one of the many ways you can consume ginger, a natural fighter of nausea and muscle pain.
Bionade is a major drink in Germany that’s proven so independently strong that it’s rejected buyout offers from Coca Cola. The drink is flavored typically with exotic fruits like lychee and elderberry, but is fermented with malt like beer (how Germanesque!). It’s low in calories and only contains 14 grams of sugar per bottle.
Among the often sought yet rarely found club of organic sodas, Oogave offers a number of fruit flavors like strawberry-rhubarb accompany alternative colas. They contain roughly 24 grams of sugar per bottle and are under 100 calories as well.
7. Diet Coke Plus
With all the flavors and more, Coke actually got in trouble with the American Food & Drug Administration because “plus” denotes the addition of a certain cocktail of vitamins and minerals. Even so, Coke has carried on with the name and even outlived other attempts by Pepsi to promote similar soft drinks.