In 1767 Joseph Priestley was the first to infuse plain water with carbon dioxide and referred to the resulting sparkling beverage as his “happiest discovery.” He began to share his invention with friends, word spread and the bubbly refresher became a popular drink choice. Today, sparkling water is making a resurgence, in fact, it is taking grocery shelves by storm. Previously, a Pellegrino could be found here or there, now a myriad of brands have jumped on board adding hints of flavor as a soda substitute for our Coke addicted society.
What is sparkling water?
Sparkling water goes by a lot of names: carbonated water, club soda, seltzer, soda water, fizzy water or mineral water. But, no matter what the name, they are all water in which compressed carbon dioxide has been dissolved. This process leaves behind a slightly tart taste in the as the acidic level rises and pressure builds up the bottle. Once the top is popped, the gases are released and leave behind the effervescent bubbles.
The carbonation of sparkling water is exactly like soda minus all of the harmful health effects. Sparkling water is almost always suggested as a healthier alternative to sugary soda drinks (and sugar-free soda drinks for that matter). The suggestion comes with good reason as soda is incredibly dangerous for you in countless ways including:
- Soda is extremely acidic and has corrosive effects on your teeth.
- Soda is believed to contribute to low bone density.
- Soda accelerates dehydration and depending on it for hydration can result in chronic effects.
- Soda is high in useless calories and sugar.
- Soda can irritate ulcers.
- The phosphoric acid in soda has been linked to increased incidence of kidney stones and disease.
- Some soda cans are lined with BPA.
- The caramel coloring used in darker colas has been linked to cancer.
- Men who drink large amounts of soda are at a higher risk of cancer and heart disease.
Why drink sparkling water.
Sparkling water can provide the fiz you crave while helping you meet your daily hydration needs. When poured over ice, flavored, or infused with fruit, sparkling water can be just as satisfying as a soda. This alternative provides an excellent stepping stone in between pop and still water which is just too bland for some drinkers. Also, there is a myriad of health benefits associated with drinking sparkling water:
- Sparkling water provides an excellent alternative for diabetics as it is sugar and carbohydrate free.
- Sparkling water is believed to help relieve stomach indigestion.
- Sparkling water may help alleviate discomfort associated with motion sickness.
- There may be positive effects of blood pressure associated with drinking sparkling water.
- Sparkling water is an excellent source of magnesium.
- Giving up soft drinks allows a reduction in calorie intake (one can per day is the equivalent of 15 pounds in one year).
There are misnomers traveling around cyberspace regarding carbonated water. As mentioned above, soda can eat away at the enamel on your teeth and the calcium in your bones, some believe that all carbonated beverages have this same effect. It is true, sparkling water is more acidic than plain ol’ still water but, nowhere near the levels of soda. It has been estimated that when drinking sparkling water instead, you can reduce the effects by 100 times. On top of that only cola has been associated with low bone densities.
While I and most others feel full after drinking any carbonated beverage, some research has reported that carbon dioxide can make you feel emptier than you are as it triggers a “hunger hormone.” On the contrary, a 2012 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology found that drinking carbonated water on an empty stomach is significantly more filling than drinking plain water.
I prefer a hint of flavor in my sparkling water. Mountain Valley Spring provides two options that I reach for on a daily basis: lime twist and blackberry pomegranate in addition to a plain choice. Choosing unflavored sparkling water is an excellent opportunity to flavor your drink to meet your exact taste preferences. It is super easy to do, and the results are well worth the extra effort.
- Add prepped fruit and herbs to a tall glass.
- Add ice to the glass.
- Pour sparkling water into the glass.
- Allow time for the flavors to infuse and then drink and enjoy!
- Pear and Rosemary
- Pomegranate and Blueberry
- Strawberries, lemon, and basil
- Tumeric, Ginger, and honey
- Lemon and Mint
- Mixed Berry
- Orange and blueberry
- Watermelon and mint
- Strawberry, lime, and cucumber
- Kiwi and cucumber
- Pineapple, lime, mint
- Easy Blackberry Mint Infused Water
- 5 Powerful Benefits of Drinking More Water
- The Effects of Soda on Women’s Health