An industry standard for its subtle refreshment, Perrier is naturally carbonated from spring water. For those who like a lot of fizziness with their drinks, Perrier has more bubbles than most other brands. Some say it's also not as salty as other mineral waters.
The extra bubbliness can be harsh on the throat.
San Pellegrino has fewer bubbles than competitors if you're averse to strong carbonation. A can goes great with just about any meal. Of course, San Pellegrino is equally enjoyable by itself, or mixed in your favorite beverages.
The subtle fizziness falls flat for some.
Spindrift is made with real fruit juice and no added sugar. Spindrifts separates itself by having more flavor than water-heavy competitors. With its pretty packaging, the variety pack allows you to try lemon, raspberry lime, grapefruit, and orange mango flavors.
More comparable to carbonated fruit juice. Some complain of bitterness.
The antioxidants add to the health benefits. Added fruit juice. Despite being sweet, Sparkling Ice has zero sugar, zero calories, and zero carbs and is a great substitute for those who want a sweet drink without the carbs or calories.
With the added juice, this is not a replacement for plain water.
More La Croix than Spindrift, AHA has no artificial sweeteners that give similar drinks an unnatural taste. Variety pack includes the caffeine-infused citrus + green tea flavor and non-caffeinated orange + grapefruit and peach + honey.
AHA has great bubbles upon opening but goes flat rather quickly.
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Drinking sparkling water is a guilt-free way to invest in your health. It’s refreshing and fizzy whether you’re at a party or just enjoying it after a trip to the gym.
Sparkling water is very similar to still (or flat) water, but it’s infused with carbonation. Some sparkling water is naturally carbonated, thanks to the well or spring where it’s sourced. In other cases, carbonation is added to water that’s naturally still. The degree of bubbles can vary by manufacturer and is a matter of personal preference.
Some turn to sparkling water to replace sugary sodas or diet drinks loaded with artificial ingredients. Others are trying to increase their water intake for a specific reason.
Some use the terms sparkling water, mineral water, seltzer water, and club soda interchangeably. It’s important to understand what you’re putting into your body, particularly if you’re switching to sparkling water to improve your health.
Natural sparkling water comes from sources like underground rivers and springs. It’s sometimes called sparkling mineral water because it’s naturally filtered through rock layers where it picks up trace amounts of minerals as well as carbonation. One of those minerals can be sodium, so those who need to watch salt intake should check the label carefully. Most sources of sparkling mineral water are in mountainous regions of Europe, so they may be priced higher than other types of water.
Carbonation is sometimes added to still mineral water to create sparkling mineral water. In this case, the minerals are naturally occurring, but the sparkling aspect is added.
Sparkling water is plain, still water that has been infused with carbon dioxide. It may also be known as seltzer water or carbonated water. Some sparkling waters are flavored with natural oils from fruits or with fruit juice. Pick this option if you need to watch your sodium.
Club soda also gets its effervescence from carbon dioxide, but it’s flavored with a blend of sodium bicarbonate, potassium sulfate, and sodium chloride. Club soda is frequently used as a mixer in cocktails and has a relatively significant sodium content.
Unlike other sparkling waters, tonic water is not calorie-free. Tonic water is carbonated and sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup. It also contains a few other substances, most notably quinine. Quinine is a natural chemical that gives tonic water a bitter flavor that pairs well with some liquors. It can interfere with some medications like antacids, blood thinners, and statins.
Most sparkling water is sold in BPA-free plastic bottles or aluminum cans. Both have minor impacts in their favor. On the whole, sparkling water packaged in plastic bottles is a few cents less expensive per ounce than that sold in cans. The bottles can also be resealed so they last longer, and they’re less prone to spills.
Over time, unopened plastic bottles lose carbonation quicker than cans. This is because the gas is more quickly released through plastic than metal. If you’re getting and using your sparkling water quickly, plastic bottles are more cost-effective. Aluminum cans are better for getting in bulk and storing for a matter of months.
Some palates prefer the crisp, clean taste of sparkling water, but many don’t, especially those trying to give up soda. Sparkling water comes in a variety of fruit flavors, from subtle citrus to vibrant berry. Variety packs can help you find your new favorite. Be sure to check what’s used to flavor your water — some calorie-free options use natural oils from fruit rind or peel. Others may add juice, pieces of fruit, or artificial flavors and may not be totally calorie- or sugar-free.
A number of sparkling waters are fortified with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This may bolster their nutritional content, which is a benefit as long as they don’t interfere with medications, nutritional supplements, or health conditions. Check labels carefully to make sure additives won’t exceed recommended levels or react poorly with a vital medication.
Some sparkling water brands include a surprising amount of sodium, both naturally and artificially. Mineral water often naturally absorbs sodium and other minerals at its source. Many club sodas are infused with sodium bicarbonate to add fizz and flavor. Those on a low-sodium diet or who need to limit sodium for other reasons should check labels carefully and limit consumption if necessary. Seltzer water (also called sparkling water or carbonated water) usually has no sodium.
There’s no concrete way to measure how effervescent each sparkling water brand is. Still, any sparkling water aficionado will tell you that different brands fizz differently. Some brands barely register a bubble, while others are so strong that some say they sting. Make sure you’ll be satisfied with the carbonation level.
While pricier than tap water, sparkling water costs only a few cents more per ounce than soda. It costs you less in the long run in terms of your health and related expenses.
Inexpensive: The least-expensive sparkling water packs cost around five cents per ounce of water. At this price, you can get a multi-pack of bottled sparkling water. You can find both natural mineral water and sparkling water infused with natural flavors in this price range, as well as other options.
Mid-range: The next tier of sparkling water packs start at around seven cents per ounce. These packs are usually sold in cans. They likely have a light, fruity taste, thanks to natural flavoring.
High-priced: The most expensive sparkling water packs usually cost a dime per ounce or more. At this price, you are likely paying for added ingredients, such as flavoring from real pieces of fruit. Just make sure you’re getting healthy additives that you want and nothing you don’t.
There’s no shortage of sparkling water choices, from basil and cinnamon to cucumber. Some are even caffeinated. Here are a few more options:
If you’re looking for pure, crisp sparkling water, look no further than Icelandic Glacial Sparkling Water. It’s renowned for its low mineral content, thanks to filtration through layers of lava rock. Icelandic Glacial water is sourced from the well-known Olfus Spring, which is replenished annually by rain and snow.
Bai Bubbles Sparkling Water Voyager Variety Pack incorporates both exotic fruit flavors and antioxidants to deliver a healthy helping of hydration. It boasts a single gram of sugar per serving, maintaining a low glycemic index, and it packs about as much caffeine as a cup of black tea.
Q. How much water do I need to drink each day?
A. Most experts recommend drinking eight glasses of water per day. This number may not be spot on, scientifically speaking, but it’s not hard to remember, and it’s a good goal. Those living in high temperatures or humid environments need more, as well as those who are exercising. The human body is roughly 60% water, and even slight dehydration can cause fatigue. Water is vital to your body’s waste removal, temperature regulation, joint protection, and many other key needs.
Q. Does sparkling water hydrate your body as well as regular water?
A. Yes. Drinking sparkling water keeps you just as hydrated as still water, as long as it’s truly just water. Club sodas or other formulas that add sodium bicarbonate and other sodium compounds for fizz, however, may be less effective, thanks to their salt content.
Q. Can drinking too much sparkling water weaken your bones and teeth?
A. Thankfully, these rumors are mostly false and come from studies tested with soda, not carbonated water. First of all, sparkling water does not appear to affect bone health. It is, however, slightly more acidic than still water, and could theoretically erode enamel, though it’s unlikely you could drink enough for this to happen.
Sparkling water with added flavors — even those without sugar or high fructose corn syrup — can damage your teeth if you drink them in excess. Many brands improve their taste with acidic citrus-based additives, which can eat away enamel over time when drunk in large quantities. Still, they’re nowhere near as bad for your teeth as syrupy soft drinks. If you’re concerned, you can add fluoride to your water, rinse your mouth after drinking sparkling water, drink through a straw, or enjoy it as a dinnertime treat so that your food cuts the acid.