Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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Alternatives to soda

In a column for last week’s new Live Well section, dietitian Jennifer Motl listed soda as one several things (including smoking and too much salt) that can sap strength from your bones.

 Of course, we should all know by now that there are a multitude of reasons to drink soda sparingly, if at all. “It’s hard to find anything nice to say about soda,” Motl wrote in a 2009 column.

So what are some alternatives for people who find water — the best alternative — boring? Here are a few options to consider:

  • fruit juice mixed with seltzer water
  • iced tea with mint or honey
  • tomato juice
  • plain or seltzer water with lemons or limes

Even if you sweeten your drinks with sugar, you’re likely to end up consuming far less than you would if you drank, say, a Coke; a 12-ounce bottle of Coke has nearly 8 teaspoons of sugar in it, which helps explain why soda drinking is linked to obesity and diabetes.

If you have ideas for kicking the soda habit and replacing it with healthier alternatives, send me a note at; I’ll be happy to update this blog with new suggestions.