The Truth About Sparkling Water and Seltzer
There’s so much hype about carbonated waters. This two billion dollar industry has really taken off. Consumers are shopping smart and they’ve found a drink that’s zero calories. It’s a guilt free beverage that leaves you feeling satisfied and refreshed, and there’s a variety of flavors for the consumer to try. I teamed up with the team at The Dr. Oz show to find out why this has become America’s new obsession. There’s a lot of confusion about the difference between all the different types of bubbly waters on the market, so we built an experiment to help show you what each one is made up of. We started with seltzer vs. club soda. Beginning with a glass of water, we injected it with carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide triggers bubbles in the water which makes it seltzer. However, some companies will add in mineral-like ingredients to the seltzer. Adding minerals to seltzer makes club soda. What kind of minerals are added? Club soda often contains minerals like potassium sulfate, disodium phosphate, sodium chloride, and sodium bicarbonate. How does this affect the taste? When would you use Club Soda vs. Seltzer? Some of these minerals may give club soda a slightly saltier, tangier taste than the other waters. Club soda is good to mix with cocktails & seltzer, which has a clean simple taste. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to soda, seltzer is a good place to start. Next we looked at Sparkling Mineral Water Sparkling water comes from a completely different source. Unlike club soda or seltzer, sparkling mineral water is naturally carbonated in nature. Its bubbles come from a spring or well with naturally occurring carbonation. Spring water contains a variety of minerals, such as sodium, magnesium and calcium, however, the amount varies based on the source from which they were bottled. How does mineral water taste different than club or seltzer water? Interestingly, the mineral content of water may change the taste significantly. That’s why different brands of sparkling mineral water typically have their own unique taste. Speaking of taste, all of these types of carbonated drinks come in various flavors like lemon, lime, and grapefruit… How do they add flavors without adding any calories? Some companies may be adding things like artificial flavoring or artificial sweeteners to trick your taste buds – while other companies may be adding in ‘natural flavors’. These companies are able to manipulate certain flavors so it tastes like you’re drinking grapefruit, for example, but in actuality you’re really not. I’m ok with natural flavors, but anything you can’t pronounce, I’d suggest you stay away from. It’s important to look at the back of the label to see what you’re actually drinking. Does sparkling water lead to bloat? What does the science say about what happens when you swallow all those bubbles? We looked into this and found that carbonated beverages can actually make you more bloated. The reason is because you’re swallowing gas as well as water and that can lead to your stomach feeling extra gassy or full. Can sparkling water lead to weight gain? Scientists from one study found that drinking plain carbonated water may increase the hunger hormone ghrelin. People who had sparkling water for breakfast were found to have six times the ghrelin level of those who had still water… and more hunger could lead to eating more calories. However, this is just one small study & there is no conclusive evidence that sparkling water leads to weight gain. Watch the video to find out which sparkling water is the bubbliest, which has the faintest fizz, and more! Keep thinking Big and living BOLD!