Seltzer Water. You either love it or you hate it. But is it actually good for you? After all, it is water. It just happens to be fizzy. This is the result of carbonation, or the process of pressurizing carbon dioxide gas. It turns out, Seltzer Water does have its pros, but it also has cons; some fizzy water contains carbonic acid (this is what creates the bubbles) that has been rumored to eat away your tooth enamel. But do not misunderstand: if you are choosing between Seltzer and Soda, that acidic water is still going to be a better choice.
How much do Americans spend on soft drinks?
While we all know how expensive our coffee habits can be, it is just as important to monitor what we spend on other things, such as soft drinks. The average American household spends about $850 a year for soft drinks. This adds up to an unbelievable $65 billion on soft drinks alone! Now remember that, on average, a can of soda (12 oz) contains about 39 grams of sugar. Spending billions and billions on soft drinks equates to spending billions and billions on our own poor health and deteriorating teeth.
Why Seltzer is a better choice than Soda?
First, let’s start with sugar. While 12 fluid ounces of soda has nearly 40 grams of sugar, the same amount of Seltzer has 0. There are also zero calories, while soda cannot say the same. It’s also a more economical option. With Americans spending almost $900 a year on soda, Seltzer can help save some of that money for more important things. In fact, Seltzer was first introduced specifically as a cheap alternative to mineral water (more on this later) and is still chosen for its price tag, time after time.
Even if you love regular, non bubbly water, you may find yourself craving the little bubbles found in soft drinks and carbonated water. Some people crave carbonated drinks and immediately grab one without questioning where that craving came from. It turns out, when our bodies want food and our blood sugar is low, our brain signals to us that we want something carbonated because we know it has lots of sugar. However, we would be better off eating something with natural sugar and some fiber , like an orange or even an apple, because it would gradually increase our blood sugar rather than a dangerous spike, and it would fill us up more successfully than all those empty calories. Regardless, if you just can’t shake the craving for a fizzy drink, a clear, bubbly, zero calorie Seltzer would be a better choice than a dark, unhealthy, syrupy soda.
So What Seltzer Water actually is?
When it comes to the label, Seltzer Water looks exactly like regular bottled water, showing zeros across the board. But if you’re looking for a fizzy water with vitamins, you want to find mineral water.
Sparkling Mineral Water also comes from a natural spring, so it automatically contains various minerals like salts. The bubbles are naturally occurring (unless the specific bottler adds more, such as San Pellegrino). While Seltzer Water can be added to alcohol, think Vodka Soda, Mineral Water would be enjoyed on its own.
Additionally, Mineral Water will give you a little more nutritional bang for your buck . A 6.5 oz of Sparkling Mineral Water has 0 calories and sugars, but contains 2mg of sodium and 26.9 mg of calcium .
Why Seltzer Water can be considered as healthy?
While regular water is still a healthier choice than fizzy water, Seltzer does boat a few impressive benefits.
It helps to ease Indigestion
Along with hydrating more successfully than a sugar soda, Seltzer can also calm an upset stomach. The carbonation (and sugar free element) assist in settling nausea and indigestion. A study published in the “European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology” showed that drinking one glass of carbonated water after a meal helped participants avoid or ease symptoms of an upset stomach.
Alleviate Contipation and Lower High Blood Pressure
Seltzer has also been shown to alleviate constipation and lower blood pressure thanks to its magnesium content. A study done in 2002 showed that fluids such as carbonated water assisted the absorption of fiber in the body. Be advised though, if you are looking for magnesium in your bubbles, not all fizzy waters are created equal; be sure to check the label. Alternatively, if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), sparkling water can actually make your symptoms worse. If you’re on a low-sodium diet, check the sodium content on the bottle before indulging. And of course, it should not take the place of regular water .
It can help you lose weight
Perhaps one of the best health benefits of Seltzer Water, weight loss can be a result of intake. Substituting sugary drinks such as sodas with Seltzer can reduce calorie intake. More so, the bubbles help you feel fuller faster, possibly aiding in eating less .
it helps with hangover
When it comes to drinking, most all of us know that the more sugary the alcoholic beverage, the worse we will feel the next morning. Instead of choosing a sugary soda as a mixer, opt for Seltzer. A group of researchers in Guangzhou found that hangovers aren’t caused by the ethanol itself, but rather its metabolite, acetaldehyde. So stick with Seltzer! Not only will it potentially prevent a hangover, it also lessens the calorie intake! Double win !
Avoid the feeling of cheating yourself out of something you want
I don’t know about you, but if I’m on a diet, the only thing I want is the sugary food I can’t have! Trying to avoid soda or substitute it for still water can feel the same way. Opting for Seltzer can feel like an indulgence since you get that satisfying fizz, but you don’t have to feel guilty about it! Laureen Smith, PhD, RN and associate professor at the Ohio State University College of Nursing found that kids had a better chance of dropping those sugary sodas if they opted for Seltzer. It provided the carbonation they craved without the sugar they didn’t need .
Helps you stay hydrated while getting the fizzy feeling
I love water. But I understand that some people have to force themselves to drink it. Thankfully, Seltzer can hydrate your body as well as regular water does! Drinking about 64 ounces of fizzy water can meet your hydration needs, but it’s still important to enjoy anything in moderation. Sara Bleich, PhD and assocaite professor in health policy and management at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health says “Seltzer water is like drinking regular water. It’s harmless.”
Can it be bad for you?
In the very beginning of this article, I mentioned Seltzer Water could be stripping away your tooth enamel. This is no small thing! But with all the positive aspects of bubbly water, should one cautionary warning prevent us from reaching for our favorite fizzy brand? Maybe not.
Soda is full of sugar and acid, leading to an acidic playground in your mouth once it mixes with all that oral bacteria. Though tooth enamel is strong, it’s also porous. Therefore, when the bacteria in your mouth grabs all the sugar from the soda you’re drinking, it stores some acid that ultimately erodes your enamel. And unfortunately, once it’s gone, it’s gone. But if the Seltzer water you’re craving doesn’t have sugar, it may be a fine alternative and completely safe for your teeth . The explanation is simple: sparkling water is just water that’s undergone a carbonation process. Unless it’s got added sugar, sodium, etc., it’s just water! Therefore, it’s not going to hurt your teeth at all .
Some Fun Recipes For You To Enjoy:
Sure, you can tell your bartender you want a vodka, soda and lime, but there are other delicious ways to enjoy Seltzer.
- 4 C boiling water
- 8 hibiscus tea bags
- 1/2 C honey
- 2 C sparkling water or seltzer
- 1/4 C mint leaves, for garnish
- Strawberries, for garnish
- In a large pitcher, combine tea bags, honey, and boiling water; let steep 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how strong you like your tea.
- Remove tea bags.
- Add ice to pitcher and stir in sparkling water.
- Add mint.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled.
- Garnish with strawberries.
Seltzer water can be enjoyed by children and adults alike, and is proven to be not only nutritionally beneficial, but also completely safe for your teeth, as long as there are no unsafe additives. Seltzer is super versatile and can be enjoyed on its own or with alcohol and more. Though anything and everything should be enjoyed in moderation, using Seltzer to get your daily recommended intake of water seems to be completely fine unless you suffer form IBS, in which case you may want to avoid it.
So raise a glass and enjoy, knowing you are only helping yourself!
Featured photo credit: Aidan Meyer via stocksnap.io