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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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September 30 2009

10 Ways to Quench a Primal Thirst

By Mark Sisson
97 Comments

I’ll admit it. For the most part, beverages don’t get a lot of attention around here. I tend to take a pretty dismissive stance on them, perhaps as a reaction to the ridiculous mainstream obsession with water intake (64 ounces per day? C’mon!). Also, besides the occasional hankering for a cold beer, I don’t really crave beverages. Coffee in the mornings, water when thirsty, and the occasional glass of wine with dinner is my typical lineup. Most of the fluids my body needs comes from the food I eat so I tend to view beverages as largely inessential. They’re nice and refreshing, but rarely needed.

But I also realize that giving up certain types of drinks can be a huge stumbling block for some PBers: athletes who grew up chugging Gatorade during competition might pine for the sugary liquid, and ex-soda addicts may still be tempted to keep a stash of diet cola on hand for those difficult moments. Or there are the health nuts who bought into the Vitamin Water hype, went Primal, and now need something to sate their cravings. Or there’s even the parent who, while successful at weaning them off sugary cereal, Lunchables, and mac-n-cheese, has yet to find a suitable replacement for the kids’ juice boxes and Capri-Suns.

Water is, of course, the primary beverage of choice in the Primal lifestyle, but that can get boring. I know when I want a beer but know I shouldn’t, I go for sparkling water. Perrier, San Pelegrino, or any of the store brands are delicious and represent a viable alternative to boring water. Add a squeeze of lime or lemon for added kick.

Juice is a tough one. We’ve spent most of our lives hearing that fruit juices are the healthiest beverages around, but we now know they’re just concentrated sugar. If we’re talking straight juice, you’re better off just eating the fruit. You could also make a spritzer – mix two parts sparkling water with one part juice – if you absolutely can’t give up the juice. The sugar content is drastically reduced and you can drink relatively guilt free.

Tea, coffee, and wine are all sensible liquid vices, and I partake in all three. For obvious reasons, though, you probably don’t want to make their ingestion a regular habit (no more than once or twice daily). I have coffee and wine most days, but I keep it within reason. Tea has far less caffeine content, and making a jug of home-brewed iced tea to have around is cheaper than buying pre-made stuff in the stores. As a general rule, black tea has the most caffeine, followed by green and then white. And if you want to avoid it altogether, drink herbal teas.

One of my favorite herbal teas is a Thai delicacy: iced lemongrass tea. Get a few stalks of lemongrass, trim and peel them, then cut and smash the stalks with the flat of knife blade to release the “juices.” Bring them to a boil in a pot of water and cover. Cut the flames and let it steep for twenty minutes. At this point, I’ll even add a touch of real sugar for some sweetness, but you can leave it out. I prefer this stuff chilled, but you can drink it hot. Optional: add fresh mint leaves.

Another tea I like to make is iced ginger root tea with lime. Depending on your tolerance for ginger, peel and grate a sizeable amount of ginger root. Boil it in a pot of water, then reduce the heat, cover it, and allow the concoction to simmer for twenty minutes. Add the juice from five limes and let it cool before drinking. Pour it over ice when it gets hot. Some claim ginger tea promotes digestion and fights cold symptoms; I just like it because it tastes great.

Kava root tea is another interesting one. Traditionally consumed throughout Polynesia, Vanuatu, and Melanesia, kava is a mild sedative that relaxes without disrupting your mental alacrity. You can find it at health food stores, and it actually tastes pretty foul, but it’s an incredibly relaxing way to spend an evening. Just be sure you strain out the actual root (you don’t want to gag; cheesecloth works best here, especially if you have kava powder) and you avoid steeping it over 140 degrees (which is the temperature at which the active ingredients are destroyed). It won’t win any taste tests, that’s for sure. There’s also some evidence that excessive amounts are hard on the liver, so be cautious, but a single glass won’t hurt you every once in awhile.

What about the athletes who miss their sports drinks? How about a Primal electrolyte-enhanced beverage? After all, the key components to any sports drink – the stuff that really matters – are the electrolytes: sodium, chloride, and potassium. When you sweat, those are the minerals that you excrete. Making a proper sports drink entails adding enough electrolyte-containing ingredients. Sodium and chloride are easy enough; basic table salt has what you need in a teaspoon or two. The most potassium-rich foods are yogurt, pork chops, broccoli, avocados, bananas, and spinach, respectively, but I doubt a pork chop smoothie’ll go down smooth when you’re working up a sweat. Luckily, an average-sized lemon contains 48.3 g of potassium, more than your typical bottle of Gatorade contains. Squeeze the lemon and add a few pinches of table salt to your water for a Primal alternative to sugary sports drinks.

Simply adding various flavorings to plain water may even be enough. Cucumber slices, mint and lemon wedges in ice cold water are great on a blazing summer day, and while apple cider vinegar is an acquired taste, a few tablespoons of that stuff in a glass of ice water can be strangely delicious (it’s also supposed to help bolster immunity, so it might be worthwhile to try it during the onset of a cold).

Whatever you try, don’t beat yourself up over drinks. I may come across as overly critical of the beverage industry, but the very fact that we eat most of our calories (as opposed to sucking them through straws and from bottles, like a huge part of the country) gives us Primal Blueprinters an enormous health advantage. A cup of coffee here or an herbal ginger tea there won’t be a problem. Homemade drinks are truly Primal.

What about you? I’d love to hear about your go-to Primal beverages. Share your thoughts in the comment board!

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97 thoughts on “10 Ways to Quench a Primal Thirst”

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  1. “Water is the only drink of a wise man.” – Henry David Thoreau

    Yeah, I’m not much of a beverage guy, either. Water only.

    Maybe an occasional ginger tea, or a chai once or twice a year, but that’s it for me. Luckily, I never got hooked on coffee, sodas, or any kind of fancy/expensive/sugared drinks – knock on wood!

  2. Great post! Drinks are something I’ve been pondering as I get acclimated to the Primal diet, and you’ve provided some excellent-sounding options here. I can’t wait to make some iced ginger tea!

  3. I really like this post, though I don’t have much issue with beverages. I drink water, occasionally milk, and once a month or so I’ll have coffee. I luckily grew up in a household that rarely ate fast food and even more rarely kept soda in the house. Pop was a treat, to be my choice of dessert for the day, not a drink in addition to my normal meals. Unfortunately, my boyfriend did not grow up with this experience and he’s slowly being weened off the stuff with help from iced tea and juice cut with seltzer. I’m hoping he’ll get less of a taste for sugar by doing this as well, as he makes his coffee in the morning with enough sugar to be considered soda anyway….
    I would really love to see an article about the best of the worst alcohol/cocktail choices. It’s my only real beverage vice. I don’t drink often but really love beer. I’d love to hear some of the better options- tequila based cocktails, sangria, etc. Are potato or sugarcane -based vodkas better than grain alcohols or both the bottom of the list? And so on. Great article, though, thanks!

    1. All distilled spirits have 0 carbs (pure vodka, gin, rum, tequila, etc), so I’m not sure why you would be interested in potato based vodka as opposed to grain alcohol. Not saying that ingesting alcohol doesn’t (negatively) affect your metabolism in a special way, but technically any of these “pure” liquors (served on the rocks or with seltzer) make the top of my alcoholic beverages list. I prefer dirty (vodka) martinis, red wine or if I must have a beer, Michelob ultra has lowest carbs. I think it’s actually fun to make inventive low-sugar cocktails at home (try muddling things like berries, peaches, watermelon, basil, mint, etc), but in most bars, the “fruity” ingredients are concentrated juice and not worth it. Not to mention the simple syrup that seems to be in almost every specialty cocktail, sigh.

      1. “All distilled spirits have 0 carbs”

        But not zero calories! Alcohol has 7 calories per gram. Also, she is interested in potato based vodka as opposed to grain alcohol because PBers avoid grains and their derivatives. However, since vodka is usually at least triple distilled if not more, I wonder if it has any gluten, gliadin, or other bad grain stuff at that point.

      2. Just be aware that alcohol breaks down into sugars. An alcohol molecule is essentially a ring of sugars.

  4. Apple cider vinegar does it for me! When I come in parched from exercise on a hot day, I put two tablespoons of the stuff in a glass of cold water. It’s supposedly good for something else too, but I just drink it for the taste.

    1. I make a sports drink out of one tablespoon honey and two tablespoons aplle cider vinegar(Braggs)in a bottle of water. Really does the job for energy and aplle cider vinegar is alkalyzing.

    2. It’s supposed to help with hunger, too….I think it works GREAT for that purpose so please don’t tell me if I am wrong 🙂

  5. Thanks for some great drink ideas!

    I’ve been cutting down on my water intake recently. And I used to be crazy addicted to lots and lots and lots of water.

    Literally upwards of 8 12oz cans of sparkling water (no cals, no sweetener) but still lots of water.

    Truthfully, I miss it a bit. 🙂

    I think I’m going to bring back up my water intake again just cause I like it.

    But I’m also a *huge* coffee drinker. (Hey can you blame me, I’m from Seattle…)

    I don’t plan on giving up my coffee anytime soon 🙂
    -Sean

  6. I like coconut water in place of Gatorade though it is rather expensive.

    1. Yeah, that stuff really works! I don’t love the taste, but it really quenches. I’m from Tucson, AZ and when the first waves of summer heat hit, the coconut water is a helpful in staying hydrated when reg. water just isn’t cuttin’ it. We usually acclimate after a week or two, but, well you get the drift!

  7. When I went on a 1 week canoe trip in the backwoods, at the end of the week I was the only one who wasn’t looking forward to getting back just for another diet coke.

    Soda (caffeine?) addiction is real, do you really want to be controlled by it? I know near alcoholics who stop drinking for a few months every year just so they are not controlled by it. I know a guy who gave up tobacco just because he didn’t like something controlling him (the long term health problems didn’t bother him – a different story I don’t understand).

    1. As an ex-smoker, I understand completely – I hated being addicted to nicotine.

  8. “ex-soda addicts may still be tempted to keep a stash of diet cola on hand”

    Once I figured out that the phosphoric acid in cola beverages was the principal cause of my RLS, it was easy to give up my ‘addiction’. Completely. Permanently.

    The stuff is basically canned osteoporosis.

    1. Oh my! I was just remarking to my friend and massage therapist the other day that my Restless Leg Syndrome (awful stuff — I was resorting to taking a muscle relaxant and a couple Advil PMs about 3 times a week just to be able to get some respite so I could sleep AND getting full-body massages, with an emphasis on my legs) is completely gone shortly after going Primal. Didn’t take very long, either (maybe 2 weeks).

      I like coconut water when I am parched; it perfectly replenishes electrolytes. My favorite special-occasion drink is home-made chai (while not truly primal, it is an 8000-year-old recipe), iced, with coconut milk.

      1. I have been plagued by RLS most of my adult life. It was at its worst when I was pregnant. I cut back on caffeine, tried not to sit or stand too much, etc. Then I read an article recently that said that some people metabolize iron too fast. Even though I thought I was getting more iron in my diet by eating more primal (used to be a veg) I also test low in iron on blood tests. so I added a daily iron supplement. Presto! no more RLS 🙂

  9. I squeeze one lemon into a glass, add water, add Stevia to taste. Very refreshing. I also add a tablespoon of Braggs apple cider vinegar to a glass of tea, then Stevia to taste. I actually prefer that over regular non-spiked tea now.
    And then there’s milk… raw, unpasteurized goat milk. Tasty and extraordinarily good for you.

  10. What are your thoughts on the Kombucha Tea’s? I love the Synergy brand and its nice and cold and refreshing.
    LC

  11. I second the coconut water.

    I drink plain day-old tap water every day, along with limited amounts of black coffee, various teas and a glass of red wine. But when I’m dying for a taste of ‘sweet and cold’ I reach for the unsweetened coconut water.

  12. Recently I have been asking myself “Do I really crave something delicious or am I just thirsty?”

    I think a HUGE reason people “crave” sweet drinks is that they are just dehydrated and the first liquid that comes to mind is the one that has billions of dollars of advertising behind it. Of course people want a Coke, Cocca-Cola has been colonizing our minds since our birth.

    Now, when I get that craving, I go chug a half-liter of water and then if I still want something sweet I’ll give it to myself.

  13. I like to drink kefir. Whole Foods sells a good brand of goat-milk kefir from a farm in California.

    I also have made my own kombucha, but have heard mixed reports about whether it is or is not good for you.

    Also, the raw apple cider vinegar I purchase from the local farmer’s market is a great treat. I actually like to drink (well, sip actually) a small juice glass of it straight up.

    I cannot, however, give up my coffee (though I try to limit it to mornings), wine (usually every evening), or beer and spirits (fine single malt, Kentucky bourbon, or aged rum or tequila) which I have once or twice a week (instead of, not in addition to the daily glass of wine). They do not seem to affect me adversely so I don’t see a need to cut them out completely.

  14. homemade lactofermented sodas can be fairly good and low in sugar.

    1. Lacto-fermented sodas sound delicious! Got any recipes or tried-and-trusted links? 🙂

  15. I second the Kefir. I get mine at the same place I get the raw goat milk, a local farm that specializes in the stuff. Pricey but worth it for all those beneficial bacteria.
    Be careful with the uncut apple cider vinegar. It’s VERY acidic and rough on the teeth and esophagus. It’s better to cut it with something.

  16. I loved your post on frankenfoods and shared the link with lots of friends and family. I struggle to explain why zero calorie / no sugar soda is bad for you. It took a lot of brow beating to convince my 14 year old daughter that she should avoid those beverages. I’ve read that low or no sugar soda can actually lead to greater weight gain than regular soda due to the body’s reaction to the sweetness of those drinks. I personally avoid the stuff and treat it like poison. Do you have any other insights about zero calorie sodas and other impacts they might have on health?

  17. I really like kombucha. I make my own which allows you to control the final sugar content. The trick is to allow the tea to sit with the culture long enough for all of the sugar to be consumed by the yeast and bacteria. A lot of store bought brands add additional sugar to the final product to make it more palatable. It really shouldn’t be sweet at all.

  18. People who use the word “addiction” to soda or coffee are admitting defeat before they begin.

    Sure you can “experience” a craving or withdrawl from sugar/caffeine (but you get over it). You don’t own an “addiction” to anything mentally, because if you did…you would never be able to get rid of that baggage (as you won’t let yourself, because you need the identity of being an adict).

    Notice how people who can give up something (smoking, soda, sweets, alcohol) do it because they are aware of how much better they are with out it….yet most that struggle already know the negative effects.

    Dump the word “addiction”…you are not a victim, take full control. Otherwise it’s your baggage to carry for life.

    1. That is such a great point. I have a friend who drinks a lot of soda and smokes. I’ve seen her back off the soda to some extent, but only to replace it with vitamin water and coffee (to which she adds sugar and some flavored creamer, doh!); I just can’t see why people don’t appreciate good ‘ol H20. I like coffee and tea in moderation, but have never been one to add sweetener to either.

      I have also seen her quit smoking, only to find out a while later she has picked it up again. This last time she hadn’t smoked for about a year, and I really thought she had “gotten it” because her behavior and attitude towards it had really changed. She confessed a while back that she had picked it up again due to some stressful events. I think that’s a cop-out. You know how you quit something your “addicted” to? You stop doing it! First, you have to really want to quit, and before that you have to be honest with yourself about what your “addiction” is really doing to your health and quality of life. So much of addiction is mental. If cigarettes disappeared from the planet tomorrow, would cigarette smokers all die? Nope, but they would be cranky for a while:)

  19. I’m having a really hard time giving up Pepsi/Coke. I really love the taste (the burn too) and everything else just tastes boring to me. I know it’s horrible for my body, and have been successful at quitting for periods of time, but I can’t seem to kick the habit permanently!

    1. You need to watch a lecture on UCTV called SUGAR: THE BITTER TRUTH. Dr Luskin outlines out fructose is metabolized and the effects.

  20. A few years ago I made it a habit to drink a beer when I got home from work. Sometimes 2. But I switched over to drinking carbonated mineral water from Trader Joe’s own brand. I drink as much as I want to now, and it satisfies my habit for something refreshing after a long day at work… and leaves no alcohol calories that throw a wrench into my effort at maintaining 5% body fat and good health. Alcohol calories cause a different and negative metabolic response as compared to non-alcoholic carbohydrates.

    But I still enjoy a glass of wine with the wife now and then!

  21. I like to make some iced coffee. Coffee + cream + stevia

    Lemonade: water + lemon juice + stevia

    Homemade ginger ale: take a plastic bottle or jug (2L) mix a bit of sugar and 1/4 tsp of bakers yeast, grate a piece of ginger, juice a lemon and put in bottle, shake. Pour water. Cap. Wait 24 hours. Bottle should be very hard. If not, wait longer. Stick it in the fridge. When ready to drink, strain the liquid. Add stevia to sweeten it to taste.

    Do not use glass container.

    Chocolate milk shake: cold water + yogurt + coconut milk + cacao powder + stevia + egg yolk (optional)

  22. Coffee/tea (unsweetened and un-dairy’d) and milk (usually pasteurized but non-homogenized) is about it for me. I have always found the myth about water absurd as well, as most foods, especially primal foods, are primarily water.

    To wit:

    Broiled porterhouse: 138 grams water/241 grams total weight = ~57% water
    Apple: 118 grams water/138 grams total weight = 85% water

  23. I drink alot of mineral water…I drink it because I enjoy drinking it and it quenches my thirst, I really dont see how that could be bad?

  24. coconut water(fresh if you can find young coconuts or not at all)+powder from a probiotic pill
    let sit at room temp for a day or two (in a glass, with a coffee filter or some other air permeable fabric) on top
    ferments into one of the most satisfying thirst quenchers….
    also be sure if you are drinking reverse osmosis water to add just a bit of good quality mineral salt so that you are not pissing out your minerals…:)

  25. p.s. not sure if its any better but i stopped drinking coffee with the help of mate
    now i drink a shit ton of that a day but if i miss my morning cups it dont feel burnt out and no afternoon grogs

  26. Well, I drink fluid constantly. So much so that there have been times I worried about diabetes. I’ve been addicted to all of the bad stuff over the years, and when I finally really quit smoking sometime in 2008, I also quit the diet sodas and went to water and home-brewed iced tea. When I decided to give the Paleolithic diet a try, I kept my 2 cups of coffee but gave up all alcohol and the tea. So now I drink 1/2 Cranberry Apple juice and 1/2 lime seltzer, over ice, and at cocktail time I put it in a wine glass. It’s very tasty and refreshing. (It also creates some of that fizz effect that you get from Diet Pepsi.)

  27. I used to drink soft drinks like crazy. Sweet tea too that was loaded with sugar. Grew up on Kool-Aid and Pepsi. I’ve had maybe 5 or 6 soft drinks in the last year since I got healthy.

    My big drink is really, really, really watered down fruit juice. Maybe one part juice to 8 parts water in a 9 oz water bottle. Just enough to give it a little bit of taste. I really only drink it at home. When I’m out or at work it’s just plain water.

  28. I quit drinking soda by drinking sparkling water/club soda/seltzer water, and now I love it (but am not addicted). You can spend the big bucks on Perrier or San Pellegrino, but it’s really the same to get cheap seltzer water without any sweetening (READ the ingredients! Many chemical cocktails with artificial sweeteners purport to be ‘sparkling fruit water’). It really does the trick at the times where I used to go for a soda. Also, if you’re out with friends but driving or don’t feel like drinking, it’s great to have in your hand at a bar without worrying about the alcohol, sugar, or caffeine of drinks or sodas. (And awesome bartenders often will provide plain club soda for free… so I tip!)

    1. So glad someone mentioned this! I just bought Yerba Mate in a powder form and it has stevia mixed in with it for a bit of sweetness. You mix it with cold water just like you do with instant coffee. It’s really good! I got it at The Vitamin Shoppe. I highly recommend it.

  29. I drink rooibos tea everyday. It’s naturally caffeine free and contains a decent amount of antioxidants.

  30. I love the kombucha too. I also just bought some great coffee from Living Beyond Organic, which is site featuring nutrition/products based on high enzymes. They claim this coffee is a good detoxer, so far I really like it (and no I do not work for them, I just like their product) http://www.lborganic.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=coffee

    My Blog is an paleo folks are interested in dairy-free beverages:
    http://www.examiner.com/x-8953-Chicago-DairyFree-Food-Examiner

  31. I drink very little straight water. It’s almost always mixed with raw ACV, herbal tea, tea, or a bit of lemon or lime.

    The rest of the liquids are all fermented. All forms of Kefir made into concoctions (milk & water) & Kombucha.

    MY KITCHEN LOOKS LIKE A SCIENCE LAB

    As a huge caffeine consumer until recently, for some reason coffee just never quite did it for me. I love the flavor with all the added sugars ect.. but I think the quantities were always too small to justify the absorbent costs they charge for that stuff.

    1. Follow up:

      Coconut water is the best, most refreshing… but I already have a hard enough time keeping my carb intake down without getting addicted to that stuff 😉

  32. I personally love milk – milk in Thai Iced Tea, steamed with some almond flavoring, or just a tall cold glass of good old 2%. The carb to protein ratio is 12 g of carbs for 6-8 of protein for a serving, and it’s got healthy fats.

    What could be wrong with that? Would love to hear your thoughts, Mark.

  33. I brew my own kombucha now, we love it! Tomorrow my Whole Foods is having a special on kombucha. Buy one, get one free!

  34. Water, water, water. I’ll admit I do love to stay hydrated, but as the weather starts to cool off, I’m already drinking less of it. I love green tea, oolong, red tea and white tea, but only have one cup a day, somedays I go without. Herbal teas probably 3-4 cups a day in the wintertime. Apple cider from my own orchard in about two weeks, but that’s only once a year as a sensible/special vice. Cocoa and carob drinks also in the winter for those days when I come in after hauling wood and chopping wood in the rain.

    I’ve also re-discovered coconut water. Kombucha is another favourite. Coconut milk when watered down (to make it easier to drink otherwise it’s too thick). Kefir is also good, but too pricey too make it a regular habit.

    But mostly water.

    1. Great list.

      Make your own kefir. Super easy. You can use the store stuff to ferment regular milk. That’s what I did as first.

  35. Coconut water! And I still like good old water with a lemon slice. In Arizona we HAVE to drink a lot of it!

  36. I did not read all the posts so this may have been posted already.

    I get filtered water, lemon juice, lime juice and stevia and mix the together.

    It tastes great and the citric acid helps prevent kidney stones. Which was my first motivation in putting this concoction together.

  37. @Grok Organic milk still fit your description?

    I stand by my love of the cow drink, however open to hear others’ thoughts.

    1. Absolutely not. I think almost all organic milks are UHT. The stuff has a shelf life of 6-9 months a room temperature. Do you really want to drink it?

      Google UHT

      Look for RAW milk. It’s the good stuff. As much as I ABSOLUTELY LOVE dairy more than about anything i could put in my mouth, I would not consume it (and I didn’t for a while) anymore if I could not get raw. That store stuff you’re drinking now will gag you once you start drinking real milk.

      RealMilk.com

      1. I doubt very much Grok ever milked a cow, into some kind of container and then drank that milk. …just saying.

  38. Nice post. Here are some things I like:

    – Green Tea Chilled with a dash of apple juice and squeezed lemon
    – Water left in the fridge with sliced up mint and cucumber (leave for a while before drinking)
    – Red Bush Tea
    – Fresh Basil and Thyme made as a tea (in a cup with hot water)
    – Coconut Water

    All make for delicious primal thirst quenchers!

  39. Kombucha is great, especially if you miss the fizz from soda. It’s a little sweet, a little sour, and a lot good.

    The storebought stuff is crazy expensive so I’m venturing into brewing my own.

  40. I quite often pour just boiled water over a slice of lime – sometimes with a pellet of Splenda for sweetness.

    Appreciate your and other commenters’ suggestions.

  41. Instead of table salt I like to use a high quality sea salt for the trace minerals and nutrients. Redmond RealSalt brand is my favorite: realsalt.com Make sure the sea salt you choose is free of additives and is sun dried, etc.

  42. Wow. I am consistently amazed at the torture I was putting my body through before going Primal. My ignorance ran so deep…

    I started the PB hard-core and tossed my daily habit of 3+ cans of diet soda at the beginning of August. I find that eating primal, as Mark mentioned, makes me less thirsty, so I don’t drink a lot of anything anymore. I have tried diet soda a couple of times since going Primal, and it tasted TERRIBLE to me!! I don’t know how I ever got so hooked on the stuff…

    Reading the comments to this post, I discovered something. I used to have restless legs- not so bad I needed medicine, but quite annoying. When I read the previous posts about RLS, I realized I haven’t had restless legs since going Prmal and cutting out soda! I am still slack-jawed over that realization… One more clear piece of evidence the PB is the way to go!

    My favorite beverage of choice now is sparkling water (nothing added). Sure, Perrier is great, but expensive, so I opt for the store brand that’s $.69 for a 2 liter. I use a small glass for it at meal times and splash in a little juice (pineapple is my favorite) or a squeeze of lemon or lime.

    Grok on!

  43. I can’t give up milk! I don’t really touch juice or sodas, but I crave my milk every day. The way I look at it, it may not be primal, but I can credit my ancestors with a solid 8,000 – 10,000 years of pastoral living. And that means sucking down the cow milk, which my body is now pretty well evolved for.

    Good lactose tolerance is an evolved advantage in my opinion.

  44. I am STILL addicted to diet soda!! Even though I’ve been primal for 6 months now. …it’s my last vice. I’m a big believer in doing one thing at a time, succeeding then tackling the next thing. Not trying to do everything and then failing at all of it. 15 months ago I quit a HEAVY drinking habit. I mean from near blackout drunk every weekend, to never drinking again (I recommend Allen Carr’s “The Easy Way to Stop Drinking” over AA any day.) When I quit drinking my casual smoking turned into chain smoking. Which I allowed for 8 months until I was acclimated to going out to bars with my friends sober. Then I quit smoking. Then I went primal with grains, then I dropped the grains. So from where I was 15 months ago: getting WASTED 3 nights a week, smoking cigarettes, LIVING off processed carbs, to where I am now is AWESOME! But I can’t seem to kick the last vice and ditch the quart of diet dr. pecker I drink almost daily.

    I don’t think it’s so much that I’m craving icky sweet, it’s that I’m craving TASTE in a beverage. Swapping delicious diet soda (I don’t care what you say, that stuff tastes good!) with water just hasn’t worked out. So maybe if I swap it with water with lemon… or the Apple cider vinegar trick people are talking about?

    I don’t know. It’s driving me nuts that I can’t kick this one last habit. Diet soda by itself does NOT make you fat. I’ve dropped 38 pounds while chugging the stuff. But it’s NOT natural. And I know all those chemicals are not good for me. If I’m going to shun cheese because I think it’s too processed and not something Grok would have done, then CLEARLY the same is true for Diet soda.

    1. Personally I found the general taste-in-liquid-form thing, like the taste for sweet things, vanished once I cut it out for a while, and I didn’t even miss it. I was a big pop&booze drinker too, but I look at a bottle of root beer (used to be my favourite) and there’s just no desire to pick it up any more. YMMV.

    2. Fixed Gear…..would a re-read of your book “The Easy Way to Stop Drinking” work for your Diet soda habit? Just a thought.

  45. When I am really thirsty, there’s nothing that quenches my thirst better than good old water!

    I definitely need to try that lemonade and milk shake made with SweetLeaf Stevia –my favorite brand! (the only stevia brand with 0 calories, 0 carbs, and 0 glycemic index!). It sounds sooo good!

    I think it’s awesome that you lost weight, but I doubt it was directly related to your diet sodas–unless all you did was drink diet soda, then immediately started losing weight.

    Anyway, however it happened, congratulations!

  46. My friend brought back some kava kava from the cook islands while touring round the world on university summer holiday many years ago. We drank it after an all nighter out in London.. It was very relaxing, speech & conversation flowed as if we had a few beers but we kept a totally clear head. It also had a numbing affect on the mouth.

    I think (don’t quote me though), that it is actually illegal in the UK now as well as a few more other European countries

  47. I’ll admit, I hate water. So I really appreciate some of these ideas that are more interesting than just a tea bag in a cup of hot water. The ginger and apple cider vinegar ideas sound really good! And I really wouldn’t mind a sub for my coffee — I won’t say I’m addicted, because the only thing I’m really “addicted” to is the ritual. If it’s tasty, though, it can easily replace my morning brew.

  48. I have been soda free for 2 weeks now! And for me, the soda queen, thats pretty darn good!

    I do however still drink iced tea but i went the healthier route, I make homemade brewed iced tea, with just a pinch of splenda and then I add a splash of real orange juice instead of lemon (because the acid is higher in lemon juice) Sometimes i’ll skip the OJ and add blackberry or mango or maybe a few mint leaves. It is so refreshing!

    My other favorite drink is Polar seltzer. That stuff is amazing!

    And since i stopped drinking soda I have lost a few pounds and haven’t had acid reflux! *knock on wood*

  49. I have shifted to tender coconut water which is available fresh from the trees in abundance here. It is taken straight from the coconut shells and no human made stuff(glass,bottle etc.) gets in between. No more synthetic drinks for me.

  50. I’m fast losing my taste for coffee going Primal. However, Tea is, for me, a Fine Art. I’ll drink any of it — white, green, oolong, black, rooibos, herbal — as long as it’s a good quality without a lot of additives. Teavana is a fabulous tea company that has so many varieties you can’t possibly get tired of the tea. And the quality is SO high, drinking them straight (no sweetener) generally isn’t a problem.

  51. Apple cider vinegar, how funky is that? I’ve been drinking LOADS of apple juice before I went Primal. Now I just tried apple cider vinegar and it’s quite nice! And it’s really really cheap since you only need a teaspoon for a glass of water. I have to look for more things to put in the mix. I bet there could be some interesting combinations with some fresh herbs of some kind..

  52. How about fresh Almond milk (raw almonds and water blended, strained and chilled) or Green smoothies as an alternative? I think both of these would fit under the “Primal” category. Any thoughts?

  53. Mark, I love the lemongrass tea! I tried it thanks to the Primal Blueprint Cookbook.

    Mark also mentioned putting lemon, mint, ginger, and cucumbers into water, but not all 4 at once. You should try it though, it’s delicious! Do an internet search for “Sassy water” from the Flat Belly Diet. That water is so good.

    Like others, I drink yerba mate, green tea, and coconut water. One of my favorite teas is a blend from Whole Foods that has yerba mate, green tea, and peppermint. Now I just make my own blend, but it was the WF product that turned me onto that combination. It’s pretty smooth tasting – unlike mate or green tea by themselves.

    Just read the label on the canned coconut water. It’s surprising / annoying how many brands have added sugar.

  54. I am currently 3 weeks into primal life and haven’t touched a coffee since I changed, I used to believe my body was incapable of waking up without a jolt of caffeine. Going from 2 double espresso every day to H2O has been slightly trying but the benefits have included – cessation of daily stomach ache, no more coffee halitosis!, a financial saving of £55 so far ! hurrah!

  55. Ireally liked this conversation. I hate straight water. I started drinking coconut water. Also Coconut juice mixed with pineapple juice. Found both at Whole foods. The Water brand is Foco. Someone pls tell me this is a good water substitute. Love the stuff.

  56. Thanks for any other wonderful post. Where else may just anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am at the search for such info.

  57. When I am craving soda (which is rarely nowadays, but was more of a trial after I first quit drinking sodas…) I buy either grape juice or pineapple juice, and mix them with at least an equal part of seltzer. It’s a delicious treat! Orange juice & seltzer works, too.