Have you found it exceedingly difficult to quit sugary beverages? Some people find giving up soda and sweet drinks about as difficult as giving up cocaine, which isn’t surprising given the research that shows it to be just as addictive. But the immediate health benefits of giving up all the empty calories are strong enough to make someone think twice about their next drink. Reduced risk of cavities, more stable blood sugar, less fat storage, and less inflammation are associated with lowering your intake of sugar sweetened beverages. But with a taste so enticing, they can be hard to quit. Enter: sparkling water.
If you want to improve your health by reducing sugar, try switching to sparkling water. Here’s why you should.
You know that “Ahh” sensation you get after your first couple pulls of soda? The exact same thing that happens with sparkling water; we were just tricked into thinking it’s the sugar. But sparkling water has no sugar. And more than that, most sparkling waters are actually loaded with minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous, which are essential to bone health, nervous system functioning, arterial health, and enzyme production.
Of all the virtues of sparkling water, perhaps the greatest is its variability. You can pour any healthy fruit juice to provide additional sweetness you prefer, not to mention extra vitamin C, and a bevy of vitamins and minerals. One of the most popular modifications is a small splash of organic lemon juice. This add-in provides an alkalizing benefit while enhancing the flavor tenfold; the refreshment of a lemon-spritzed sparkling water is unparalleled, and the taste is shockingly similar to Sprite — without the 50 grams of sugar. Simply miraculous.
Americans are slow in catching on to sparkling water, but the beverage is part of cultural fabric in Europe, especially in Italy, which consumes twice as much sparkling water as the rest of Europe. Sparkling water is so popular in Italy that they have a special name for plain water; they call it flat. This is no offense to regular water, which we could not live without; it’s just that sparkling water is that much more refreshing.
If you’re wanting to add a new delight to your life that improves your health and reduces your overall calories, sparkling water is just for you. Here is a list of some of the finest bottles available for purchase in North America.
1. Gerolsteiner: Gerolsteiner is Germany’s No. 1 mineral water brand, and fortunately for us, it is popular in North American stores as well. Since German is fun to pronounce, it’s almost as fun to order it as it is to drink.
2. Mountain Valley Sparkling Water: Mountain Valley has some of the most quality sparkling water sourced from the titular springs. They also sell in convenient quantities, even offering a 5 gallon bottle.
3. San Pellegrino: San Pellegrino is the most famous of sparkling mineral waters in America with just enough bite to go well with a meal and mellow enough to drink on its own.
4. Voss Artesian Sparkling Water: This water is collected in the pristine environs of Norway. Voss is endowed with a mellow mineral profile that complements perhaps the strongest effervescence of brands available in the store. As a bonus, Voss bottles are super convenient for reuse.
5. Hildon Mineral Water: If Hildon is good enough for the queen of England, it might also suit your tastes. This brand is endorsed by the House of Commons and the Royal Opera House in England, which makes it among the snazziest and fizziest beverages you could possibly consume.
6. Badoit: Its signature is “French bubbles of joy since 1778.” If you’re looking to fancy the heck out of your evening, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get the Badoit.
7. St. Geron Mineral Water: St. Geron comes from the Auvergne region of France, which is renowned for its water’s quality and mineral content. This water is distinctly mineralized because it travels through rock formations for over 1,000 years before emerging as a natural sparkling water.
If you catch the spark craze, which indeed you may after sampling any of these beauties, you may find that even a 5 gallon tub of water (who knew there were tubs of water?) is insufficient to dampen your ravenous thirst. In such an event, you may consider the purchase of an at-home carbonation kit. Soda Stream Fountain Jet is one of the top-rated tap water sparkling conversion kits available for purchase, and you can get it on Amazon for under a hundred bucks.
Williams and Sonoma carries an elite home kit that has a customizable feature, which is worth the extra Benjamin.