Flavored sparkling water can be a good way to incorporate additional water into your diet, and it also can be a healthier alternative to soda, which is often very high in sugar and caffeine. Found in either the water or the soda section in most grocery stores, there are many brands and flavors of flavored sparkling waters from which to choose.
Since water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight, and it is used in most of your body's systems, you need to make sure you are staying hydrated. Mayo Clinic recommends between eight and nine glasses of water daily, and glasses of sparkling water count toward your daily intake. Many people feel that flavored sparkling water is a more interesting alternative, compared to ordinary water, while still offering the same benefits as water.
Most flavored sparkling waters are sweetened with the noncaloric, artificial sweeteners aspartame or Splenda. Also known by the generic name sucralose, they're approved by the FDA. (Still, some people are allergic to these substances, so check with your doctor first if you've never had them.)
Caffeine and Carbonation
Flavored sparkling water has additional benefits beside its low-calorie content. Most sparkling waters are caffeine-free, making them less likely to trigger the headaches that caffeine in soft drinks can cause. In addition, the carbonation in sparkling water has been shown to potentially relieve symptoms of indigestion and constipation in some people, according to the Bastyr Center for Natural Health. Carbonated water also tends to be higher in minerals, such as potassium, fluoride and magnesium, helping you get your daily recommended intake.
There are many brands of sparkling water in most grocery stores, but not all of them are the same. Some are enhanced with vitamins while still remaining calorie-free. Others are simply flavored, plain, carbonated water. When you shop for a flavored sparkling water, make sure you read the nutrition facts on the label. This will tell you what vitamins and minerals may have been added, and what artificial sweetener may have been used.
- MayoClinic.com; Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day?; April 2010
- MayoClinic.com; Artificial Sweeteners: Understanding These and Other Sugar Substitutes; October 2010
- Bastyr Center for Natural Health; Carbonated Water Relieves Indigestion, Constipation Symptoms; Maureen Williams; February 2003
- SparklingIce.com: What's Inside: Essential Vitamins and Antioxidants
- LaCroixWater.com: Flavors