Since I first had IBS and then a Heart Condition years later, I am more convinced than ever that your Gut is frontline to your body’s overall health and well being. I often feel that If I would have paid attention to my IBS, I would not have suffered the heart condition! While I have no definitive scientific proof to prove this claim, I am feeling better since I started focusing on my gut health, even lightening my heat arrhythmias to a point where they are manageable (but not completely gone).
My Achille’s heel for the final push to gut freedom? SODA, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, RC Cola, etc. Since my heart surgery, I have not been able to drink soda for almost a year. The Doctors told me that I should not have caffeine, and since I felt so bad, I really didn’t even want to try. So I moved away from any caffeinated beverages to the magnificent three: Root beer, Ginger Ale, and Sprite. This is what has been giving me my “fix” since my surgery! While I love these, it still doesn’t replace real cola.
The surprising thing is that I still crave cola after not having it for almost a year! Before my heart surgery I was having at least one or two sodas every other day. The good news is I have lost over 20 pounds by eliminating caffeinated and sugary beverages from my diet, I also switched to the mini cans and limit one soda per day of the magnificent three (Root beer, Ginger Ale, and Sprite). WHY AM I STILL CRAVING SODA? It has to be the taste, or secretly Coca-Cola and Pepsi have found a way to become more addicting than crack, which is a complete possibility!
Funny how I crave the cola flavor, not Dr. Pepper (Although I do love me some Dr. Pepper). So is there anything I can do to help my craving and not fall backwards and let the Cola addict win the battle against my health?
So I have tried a few solutions, and I will give a brief summary of my findings. To spare you the 30 healthy cola alternatives I have tried so far, I will narrow it to the top three:
1. Live – Cola (10 Calories)
This is the best out of the three. Decent soda taste and enough sugar to give you the satisfaction. They say they have a new taste, and while I never tasted the old “taste”, the new taste definitely scratches the itch! I also purchased the LIVE Doctor, and it does a great job mimicking Dr. Pepper!
2. Olipop – Vintage Cola (35 calories)
Olipop had only a hint of soda taste, but enough to get the satisfaction. This beverage has a small amount of sugar and caffeine. CAFFEINE you say? Ys, I drank it before I read the entire ingredients label. Both times I have had the soda, the caffeine in the drink has made me super wired! Overall a decent drink, but that cola taste doesn’t last long! Since live is my number one choice, I will not be buying this one again. However, it can help kick the soda habit for people without heart conditions, I would like to point out that this drink did not hurt my gut or cause IBS!
3. Zevia – Cola (0 calories)
If we are being brutal honest here, this soda gave me terrible gas! What did you expect me to say from a doodude website? While it does nails the cola taste initially, it has a terrible long lasting after taste (thanks stevia). I also noticed that I had the munchies hours later each time I drank the soda. This soda may be an okay alternative to Cola, but with the gas and the munchies it causes, I do not recommend it for your gut!
Hope this helps. You can order these on amazon, or can go to your local health food store like Whole Foods or Sprouts. As I find more Cola flavored alternatives that work with my digestive health, I will be updating this post!