Seltzer water can be a healthy choice as it generally contains no added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or calories. It's essentially carbonated water, which means it's hydrating and can be a suitable alternative to sugary sodas or drinks high in calories. Or is it?

Many individuals opt for sparkling and carbonated waters as substitutes for other fizzy beverages. A study published in Medicina in September 2020 observed a rising preference for sparkling water among Americans over a decade, likely due to this inclination.

Given this trend, you might be curious about the ingredients in various carbonated waters and the overall advantages of consuming them. To delve deeper into this category of water, we consulted Marisa Moore, RDN, a nutritionist based in Atlanta."

Differentiate types of Carbonated water

Seltzer Water

Seltzer, also known as sparkling water, is artificially carbonated, featuring larger, more effervescent bubbles. It typically consists solely of water, although certain brands like Polar, Canada Dry, and Schweppes offer naturally flavored variations infused with lemon and lime.

Sparkling Mineral Water

Brands such as San Pellegrino and Perrier offer sparkling mineral water that is bottled directly from a natural source, containing inherent minerals and carbonation (with San Pellegrino often adding extra fizz). Additionally, mineral water tends to be less acidic compared to other carbonated waters, but due to its natural sourcing and often imported nature, it tends to be slightly pricier.

What's Alkaline Water, and Can It Alleviate Heartburn?

Club Soda

club soda

Club soda shares similarities with seltzer but includes additional ingredients such as salt, potassium bicarbonate, and potassium sulfate, lending it a slightly salty, mineral taste. However, the taste difference is subtle, often going unnoticed by many. Brands like Schweppes and Canada Dry offer club soda.

Tonic Water

Comparable to club soda, tonic water contains added minerals but distinguishes itself with the inclusion of quinine. Historically used in treating malaria, quinine is added to tonic water primarily for flavor, as per a February 2021 article in Organic Letters. Options from brands like Canada Dry, Schweppes, and Seagram provide tonic water variations.

Is Sparkling Water Equally Beneficial to Still Water?

Indeed, according to Moore. A serving of carbonated water fulfills your daily fluid requirements. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sparkling, seltzer, and flavored waters can be included in a well-rounded diet. Furthermore, carbonated water serves as an excellent substitute for those aiming to cut down on soda consumption: It offers enjoyable effervescence without the added calories and health concerns linked to both regular and diet soda (consider issues like weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease).

Is the Claim True that Carbonated Water Harms Bones?

The assertion that carbonated water affects calcium absorption, thereby increasing the risk of osteoporosis, is simply a myth, as per Moore. "There's no substantial evidence showing that carbonated water alone damages your bones," Moore clarified.

However, it can impact your teeth. Carbonated water produces carbonic acid, reducing its pH level. According to a December 2015 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association, dental erosion can occur when teeth are exposed to liquids with a pH level lower than 4.0. Hence, consumption of acidic beverages (such as certain types of carbonated water) may result in the erosion of tooth enamel. Enamel erosion can lead to tooth sensitivity and cavities."

What's the Story Behind Sweet-Tasting Carbonated Drinks?

Not all clear, fizzy, zero-calorie beverages are carbonated water.

Certain diet sodas are labeled as seltzer despite containing artificial sweeteners. The only surefire way to confirm whether you're drinking authentic seltzer water is by checking the ingredients. If you spot additives like aspartame, it's not carbonated water.

Nevertheless, there are methods to add a hint of sweetness or flavor to your carbonated water. Adding fruit or herbs such as lemon, mint, or cucumber can enhance your drink without piling on extra calories.

In the end, opting for carbonated water can be a great choice to stay hydrated and steer clear of sodas, offering a refreshing alternative to plain water.


The carbonated beverage landscape offers various options, ranging from authentic seltzer waters to alternatives with added flavors or sweeteners. While genuine carbonated water doesn’t significantly impact bone health, it might affect dental health due to carbonic acid. Adding natural flavors like fruits and herbs to carbonated water provides a healthier alternative, avoiding excessive sugars and artificial additives.

Choosing carbonated water offers a refreshing and hydrating option, bridging the gap between plain water and sugary sodas. Understanding labels and ingredients helps ensure a choice aligns with health goals. It's a great way to stay hydrated without sacrificing taste or health, offering a middle ground for those seeking a fizzy drink without the associated health concerns.

November 09, 2023 — Four Leaf

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