After years as a faithful addict, I had decided it was time to clean up my act.
I was done with caffeine, the legal and addictive stimulant found in coffee, certain varieties of tea and sodas, which are my particular vice.
Yes, I know soda is bad for you. I know it lacks nutritional value and has been linked to many health conditions, namely diabetes, but I grew up drinking soda and I wasn't drinking the stuff by the gallon, so I figured I was mostly in the clear.
Nonetheless, I knew it was time for a change, and my search for an alternative to the brand-name sodas I was purchasing and drinking, soon began.
At first, I tried delicious, sparkling fruit beverages made from ingredients like blood oranges and pomegranates and, best of all, actual fruit juice.
But with all that nutrition came a price, one I couldn't justify spending on soda each week. If Big Soda has demonstrated nothing, it's their somewhat insidious ability to cheaply sell millions of Americans, and millions more around the world, a product that is mostly bad for us. I mean, 29 cents a can is a difficult price to beat.
Then I found Hansen's Natural Cane Soda.
Made with cane sugar, and not high fructose corn syrup or brominated vegetable oil -- controversial ingredients found in many popular soft drinks -- I found Hansen's not only to be delicious but affordable at a price of about 50 cents a can.
As is the case with anything, it's all about moderation.
These drinks are healthier than I was drinking and they come in flavors like Cherry Vanilla Creme, Mandarin Lime and Pomegranate.
This recommendation does not come without a tinge of irony.
Hansen's Natural, a company founded in California in the 1930s, was later acquired by the company that also produces Monster Energy.
In addition to Hansen's, the company makes a line of hyper-caffeinated beverages that recently drew the ire of a group of doctors who asked for tighter FDA regulations on drinks like Monster Energy because emergency room visits for excessive caffeine consumption continues to rise.
Hey, you can't win 'em all.
Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/IPBG_Patrick.
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