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.
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:
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:
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.