Liquid forms of sugar, like soda, cause enormous spikes in your blood sugar, and each spike contributes to insulin resistance and weight gain. However, you aren’t any better off if there isn’t sugar in your soda because artificial sweeteners confuse your pancreas and put stress on your liver. Additionally, the phosphoric acid responsible for the carbonation is not only damaging to your teeth, but can alter the pH of your stomach and blood, leading to poor digestion and an overall reduced ability to carry out basic metabolic functions. Beyond that, soda is dehydrating, may contain caffeine that fatigues the adrenals and can be satiating but devoid of nutrients.
If you have a hard time breaking the habit, the first step is to challenge yourself to “earn” your soda by drinking the equivalent amount of water first. For example, if you want a 12oz can of soda, you must drink 12oz water first. This serves three purposes:
- Teaches you a new habit of reaching for water first.
- Helps you combat the negative effects of soda through hydration and detox.
- Reduces your soda intake because by the time you finish your water, you may not want the whole 12oz soda anyway!
Quitting soda doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to bubbly beverages forever! Here are 2 healthy recipes to feed your craving for carbonation:
Kim’s Kombucha Recipe
Makes 2 quarts
- 3 quarts purified or spring water
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tea bags organic black tea
- ½ cup kombucha from a previous batch
- 1 kombucha scoby (mushroom)
- Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add sugar and simmer until dissolved.
- Remove from heat, add tea bags and allow the tea to steep until water has completely cooled.
- Remove tea bags. Pour cooled liquid into a 4-quart glass bowl or jar and add ½ cup kombucha from the previous batch.
- Place the scoby on top of the liquid. Cover with a cotton cloth and secure with a rubber band.
- Transfer to a warm dark place away from other cultures or ferments by 6 feet.
- In about 7 to 10 days, the kombucha will be ready, depending upon the temperature. It should be rather sour and possibly fizzy with no taste of tea remaining.
- Decant into smaller bottles. Add fruits, if desired. Secure lids. Store in the cabinet for 1-3 weeks for second fermentation for carbonation. Refrigerate.
- Avoid storing scoby in plastic.
Kim’s Probiotic Pineapple “Soda” Recipe
- 3 cups pineapple juice, preferably organic
- 1 scant cup ginger bug (See recipe below)
- Pour strained ginger bug liquid into a 32-ounce bottle or divide evenly into smaller bottles.
- Add pineapple juice, leaving 2 inches of room from the liquid to bottle lid. Place a tight lid on the bottle and allow it to sit in a warm or room temperature spot in your home for 6-12 hours.
- If your home tends to be cool at night, consider purchasing a seedling mat. Just set the bottles on top of the mat and out of direct sunlight and cover with a towel. Checking your soda. Watch for bubbles rising to the top of the bottle. If you are unsure your bevi is ready, give the lid a slight twist and listen for a gas release.
Kim’s Ginger Bug Recipe
Makes 1 pint
- 1 ¾ cups water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 heaping teaspoons diced ginger, unpeeled
- In a pint size mason style jar, add the ginger and sugar.*
- Add the water up to the shoulder of the jar/
- Place a tight lid on the jar, give it a swirl and allow it to sit in a warm or room temperature spot (72º-80ºF). For very consistent results, particularly if your home tends to be cool at night, consider purchasing a seedling mat. Place the jar on top of the mat and out of direct sunlight. This will also come in handy when making sodas!
Feeding Your Ginger Bug:
- Every day for the next week, add 1 more teaspoon each of sugar and diced ginger. The liquid will begin to get bubbly towards the end of the week. If you’re using the classic Mason jar lid, you will be able to feel the top of the lid for pressure or even a distended lid. Give that baby a little burp to relieve the pressure.
- Once bubbly, it’s ready to use as a starter for sodas. When you are not making sodas and do not want to feed your ginger bug everyday, simply store your ginger bug in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to use again, just give it a day or two of feedings following the instructions above, feel for pressure and look for bubbles before making your soda.
- Feel free to double this recipe in a quart size jar, especially if you’re planning to make sodas for a big family!
Here are some additional recipes that you’ll love:
- Homemade Gatorade
- Water Kefir
- Fermented Lemonade
- Homemade Root Beer
- “Bodacious Beverages” – Includes a variety of fermented recipes and “Soda Taste Boosters”
This information is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice and treatment from your personal physician. Readers are advised to consult their own doctors or other qualified health professional regarding the treatment of their medical problems. Those taking prescription medications should consult with their physicians and not take themselves off of medicines to start supplementation without the proper supervision of a physician familiar with nutritional supplementation.
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