3 Diabetes-Friendly Fermented Alternatives to Soda

Soda is not your friend, but these drinks might be.


Soda is one of the most difficult dietary vices to give up. Filled with sugar, brimming with flavor, and undeniably tempting on hot summer days, soda packs a wallop when it comes to unhealthy beverages. Some studies have found that soda is addictive, making kicking the soda habit difficult.

Although it has been suggested that diet soda is a healthier alternative to regular carbonated beverages, this is not necessarily the case; the body processes many artificial sweeteners in a manner too similar to sugar to make any real difference. While diet sodas may not hold the answers to keeping your health and your penchant for carbonation and syrup, there are drinks that can provide both carbonation and a sweet flavor.

3 Fermented Soda Alternatives

#1. Water Kefir

Water kefir is a fermented beverage that feeds on sugar and offers a sweet, bubbly drink accompanied by probiotics and less sugar. Water kefir begins with sugar, and as the bacteria inside of the drink feed on the sugar to grow, the fermentation process begins, eventually rendering the sugar virtually nonexistent.

Water kefir can be purchased at health food stores, or may be made at home with a starter. This is a great option for anyone who is looking to give up soda, but is unwilling to part with the bubbles and sweetness accompanying the drink. Kefir can be sweetened with juice, spices, or herbs to create a more flavorful equivalent.

#2. Kombucha

In a similar vein, kombucha is a fermented drink that starts with black tea. A colony of bacteria is introduced, which uses the black tea as a source of food and ferments the tea and sugar, creating a bubbly drink. On its own, kombucha has a deep, earthy taste, but this strong flavor can be tempered with the addition of fruit juice, herbs, and even honey.

Most health food stores and grocery stores carry various brands and flavors of kombucha. The drink can also be brewed at home, using the colony of bacteria unique to kombucha.

#3. Kvass

Kvass is Russian in origin and is traditionally created using rye bread. Bread is soaked and fermented, creating a strong drink with natural carbonation. Like beer from grains, kvass is known for having a thick, robust taste. The most common type of kvass is beet kvass, created with red beets, but the brew can be enriched with honey, raisins, and other strong flavors to create a more temperate taste.

Whether you crave the rich sweetness of your favorite cola, or you love the pop and fizzle of carbonation, these 3 beverages will not only give your palate something to love but will fill your belly with probiotics and give your health a leg up.


Weston A. Price Foundation. Accessed 8/23/17.

Clinical Trials.Gov. Accessed 8/23/17.