Until a few years ago, the only time you probably drank sparkling water was if it had some kind of alcohol in it. Now, however, sparkling water is being used for so much more than vodka sodas. People who want a fizzy treat are skipping the soda and reaching for bubbly water. In fact, you’ve probably been offered (or opt for) sparkling water on the regular.
Sparkling water has become so popular that big names in the beverage business are taking note. In October 2017, the Coca-Cola Company announced that it struck a deal to manufacture and distribute Topo Chico, a sparkling water brand that is extremely popular in the Southwest. Coca-Cola paid a whopping $220 million for the rights to sell Topo Chico, sending a clear message that the company knows the demand for sparkling water is on the rise.
Coca-Cola isn’t alone. A Yahoo report from July predicted that sparkling water consumption would rise 20 percent during 2017. So what’s fueling the obsession with sparkling water?
Here are some of the secrets behind those bubbles.
What is sparkling water anyway?
There are a few different options when it comes to carbonated water, which can be confusing. Seltzer water is plain water that is infused with carbon dioxide. Club soda is water with mineral ingredients that is also carbonated with carbon dioxide. Sparkling mineral water contains naturally occurring minerals like salt and sulfur. Gases from those minerals can make the water naturally bubbly or it can be kicked up a notch with added carbon dioxide. Flavored options usually rely on specific natural ingredients that ensure they remain free from calories.
Does sparkling water have health benefits?
Sparkling water, unlike sodas and other carbonated beverages, is flavored with natural ingredients and has no added sugar, so its biggest health benefit is that it will quench your craving for a fizzy drink without any extra calories.
However, there may be additional health benefits to drinking sparkling water. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that drinking sodium-rich carbonated water can reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues in postmenopausal women. Another study from the Journal of the Korean Academy of Nursing found that sparkling water reduced constipation in elderly bedridden patients.
See? The bubbles that are lighting up your life (guilt free) might also be helping your heart and gut.
So which one should you try first?
Over the last few years, as more companies promote themselves using social media, some sparkling water brands have become household names. Here are a few of the top sellers:
- LaCroix: Arguably one the most popular sparkling water brands, LaCroix has tropical-inspired flavors that have no calories and no artificial sweeteners.
- Topo Chico: This Mexican mineral water, which was just acquired by Coca-Cola, has reportedly been consumed for its health benefits dating back to ancient times. Even after Coca-Cola takes over, it will still be bottled at its original source.
- San Pellegrino: One of the original sparkling water giants, San Pellegrino now offers fresh, fruity flavors that you will love.
Now and then most of us want a sip of something other than plain old H2O, and sparkling water is the perfect way to satisfy your craving while staying on track with your health goals.