December 15, 2014 – By Jenna Birch – Yahoo –
There are a lot of sparkling water options on the market right now. Among the bunch you’ll find a perfect mixer for alcoholic drinks, another you might want to drink straight from the bottle — and one you might want to avoid completely. We asked Keri Gans, MS, RD, author of The Small Change Diet, to give us the 4-1-1 on these popular fizzy drinks for us.
Popular Brands: San Pellegrino, Perrier, Gerolsteiner
What it is: If you like the idea of sparkling water containing natural minerals and carbonation, this one is for you. Gans explains that mineral water is taken directly from a spring, so it’s bottled with natural salt and sulfur compounds that lends the drink its bubbles. If you can’t identify mineral water from the brand—lots of restaurants and chains carry Pellegrino and Perrier now—you’ll likely know mineral water from its price tag. It’s usually the most expensive of the bunch.
How to sip: Your best bet, due to subtle taste variations and the price point, is to guzzle your mineral water straight-up. “This one’s just for drinking, no mixers,” Gans says. “Maybe just squeeze a little lemon or lime in for an extra boost of flavor.”
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Popular Brands: Canada Dry, Schweppes, Polar, Hal’s
What it is: Seltzer water is simply plain water, artificially carbonated by dissolving pressurized carbon dioxide gas into the drink. It’s a nice, affordable option if you’re a big fan of soda and want to get that same feel without the added calories, sodium and dyes. “A lot of people are making their own now,” says Gans. “People also think it’s the same thing as soda water or club soda, but it’s not. No salt has been added here.”
How to sip: Gans says this is a popular drink with young women, as many like to mix seltzer water with vodka or wine. “It’s also good with simple lemon or lime,” she says. “I even like to cut my orange juice with seltzer—try a three-quarter cup of seltzer water with a one-quarter cup of orange.”
Popular Brands: Canada Dry, Seagram’s, Schweppes, Hansen’s, Polar
What it is: Taste-wise, club soda falls in right next to seltzer water—but they’re not the same beverage. “Makers add potassium-bicarbonate and potassium-sulfate to the water,” says Gans. “It has sort of a salty taste to it.” If you’re not big on extra additives, then your best bet is to opt for the seltzer water. Otherwise, you can basically think of club soda and seltzer water as interchangeable.
How to sip: “Again, some love this with a little lemon or lime, or you could use it as a mixer for your alcoholic drink,” says Gans. “Calorie-wise, it’s still zero, so I still consider it a good option.”
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Popular Brands: Canada Dry, Shasta, Schweppes, Fever Tree, Hansen’s
What it is: Gans says you could use all other sparkling substitutes in place of water, but not this. “With tonic water, quinine is added, because years ago it was used for medicinal purposes,” she says. “Anecdotally, although the FDA doesn’t approve, I know some people still use quinine and tonic water for leg cramps.” With much less of the element in the drink today, though, more than likely you’ll see people choosing tonic water for its bitter taste.
How to sip: You’ve likely tried tonic water’s claim-to-fame mixed drink. “The number-one thing here is the gin and tonic,” says Gans. “But I tend not to recommend tonic water, because it has calories. You’re looking at 87 for an 8-ounce serving.” Few RDs will recommend drinking your calories, and this one’s no exception. So if you like G&Ts, then factor it into your calorie total for the day.
Gans says, overall, she’s a fan of sparkling waters—except for the one that’s not really a calorie-free water. “All the others I truly believe are pretty interchangeable, but less so the tonic water because it does have calories,” she says. (And you really don’t want to be swapping in a caloric beverage all.the.time.) If you’re looking for the cleanest, most unaltered option, Gans says to choose between seltzer and mineral waters. “If you’re on a budget, seltzer water is less expensive than mineral water, so I’d recommend that,” she says.
Health, Food, Nutrition, Mineral Water, Water