I drink a lot of soda, and have for a long time. I didn’t become wary of the negative dietary implications of so much empty-calorie sugar intake until I entered my twenties, and I have gone through some stretches where I have cut back on my daily intake. But I have always enjoyed the fizzy sweet goodness of a cold cola, and needless to say it has proven to be a hard habit to break. And, since this is America, maybe I don’t want to.
I have tried diet sodas before, but none have been good enough in terms of taste to really become a regular thing. Plus, on top of not tasting all that great, there is the concern of possible health implications involved with the artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks, especially aspartame. Whether that popular diet soda ingredient does any harm may be debatable, but I tend to want to avoid it just as a precaution. So when I first heard of Zevia a few years back, I was very eager to try it.
Zevia is a zero-calorie soda that is made with stevia, an all-natural sweetener that is derived from a plant. I have tried stevia before as a sweetener for tea, and very much enjoyed the taste. Still, I hadn’t gotten around to trying Zevia until just recently, because it’s not exactly easy to find. I tried visiting a couple of supermarkets to no avail, so I ended up ordering two cases from Amazon – one of the regular Cola flavor, and the other a rainbow pack with assorted varieties, including Black Cherry, Dr. Zevia (presumably Zevia’s version of Dr. Pepper) and Mountain Zevia (akin to Mountain Dew,) to name a few.
When I first tried the cola, I couldn’t quite place the taste of it. It tasted a little like a Diet Coke, and it was clearly evident that what I was drinking wasn’t a regular soda loaded with high fructose corn syrup. But it didn’t have the nasty aftertaste or strong bite that I experience with Diet Coke (and other diet colas.) It is quite fizzy, so you do get the pleasant carbonation to be expected with a good soda. In terms of texture, it goes down lighter than a regular soda, without feeling syrupy, which becomes a bonus if you are the type that drinks a few sodas a day.
Don’t get me wrong. Zevia tastes much better than Diet Coke or any other diet cola that I have tried. It’s definitely not as sweet as a regular soda, and I wouldn’t say that I actually prefer it to a regular soda, strictly in terms of taste. But, since I don’t want to end up looking like a manatee, and realize that multiple cans of regular soda can’t be included in my daily beverage intake if I am to feel like I am living a remotely healthy lifestyle, Zevia definitely tastes good enough to fill that void and deliver the satisfaction and refreshment that I have come to expect from soda. I was also quite impressed with the wide variety of flavors that Zevia offers. Black Cherry, Mountain Zevia, Ginger Root Beer and Orange were all quite good. So if you want something other than cola, you are sure to find something that works for you.
The only negative with Zevia is the price point. At $4.99 for a six-pack, it’s pretty expensive. I follow their Facebook page, which offers coupons from time to time, to lessen the blow. It’s definitely something that is worth the time and effort involved with finding a good deal. But if you are a regular soda drinker that is concerned with excessive sugar intake and are either displeased with the taste or diet sodas or the health risks involved with artificial sweeteners, I would definitely recommend giving Zevia a try.