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5 refreshing alternatives to soda

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Soda is terrible for our health. So terrible, in fact, that the California Senate recently approved a bill that would require a warning label on the front of all bottles and cans of sugary drinks sold in the state. The bill has not yet been signed into law, and heads to the state Assembly for approval before being signed into law.

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Let's be honest. Most of us already know soda is bad for us, even without a warning label. Kicking the habit can be hard, partly due to caffeine and sugar addiction, and partly because soda is delicious! If you'd like to clean up your drink habit a bit, here's a list of refreshing soda alternatives:

1. Iced Coffee - Keep the caffeine boost, ditch the sugar. Stir in some milk for a shot of protein. If you need to sweeten it a bit, try adding some stevia or other natural sweetener. If you must use sugar, lessen the amount of sugar you use daily, and you'll eventually find that you enjoy unsweetened coffee.

2. Iced tea- Add a couple of citrus slices to sweeten the deal. If you must use sweetener, try stevia, and taper off slowly. You may eventually find that you enjoy unsweetened tea more than the sweet stuff. Black tea is great for a caffeine boost, but there are plenty of excellent caffeine free tea flavors out there.

3. Bubbly water- If it's the carbonation you crave, get your fix from seltzer water or tonic. Lightly sweeten bubbly water with a splash of juice or a slice of fruit.

4. Infused Water- Toss some fresh fruit or herbs into your water for a natural flavor boost. Think beyond citrus slices, and throw watermelon, cucumber,or mint leaves into a pitcher of water. Refrigerate the mixture for a few hours for the best flavor infusion.

5. Lemonade (real lemonade)- Yes, you'll have to sweeten it, but it's still far better for you than soda. Try using stevia or honey, or use pureed berries in place of some of the sugar.

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