Is sparkling water actually healthy for you?
Over the past few years, sparkling water has seen a rise in popularity. Everyone from musicians to politicians has been seen holding one at major events. We look at how this popped up in every store and how it can affect your health.
Becoming a worldwide delight
While sparkling water originated in 1767, it saw its first major boom in the 1960s. Various movie and TV stars were seen drinking the beverage on screen. In the ’80s, it saw its second resurgence over in the U.K. During this time, La Croix was created by the G. Heileman Brewing Company in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Created to compete against Perrier, it did fairly well in the Midwest throughout the ’90s.
In 2015, La Croix became a worldwide phenomenon thanks to a strong marketing campaign. “It has enough of an interesting package and fun, interesting names like ‘pamplemousse’ for the grapefruit-flavored sparkling water that it kind of almost created a life of its own online, and the marketing teams at LaCroix were very smart in capitalizing on that as well, probably even beyond what they had expected,” Beverage-Digest executive editor Duane Stanford told Huffington Post. Due to its growing popularity, La Croix began adding more flavors. While they started out with seven, that number has grown to 20.
Sparkling water has its ups
Some people have been skeptical about the health benefits of sparkling water. Fortunately, there are many reasons to keep La Croix in the fridge at all times. Sparkling water can help clear any digestive problems in your system. A 2002 study by the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology split 20 constipated people into two groups. One group could only drink sparkling water for 15 days. The other could only drink tap water for the same time period. The result is the sparkling water group weakened their constipation issues. The tap water group didn’t feel any changes.
Sparkling water also makes you feel full without eating. In 2012, the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology asked 19 people to drink only sparkling water for three days. Following the three-day fast, these individuals felt fuller than they did before the experiment.
No protection from decay
Sparkling water has its downside, too. Without any fluoride, you’re not getting protection against tooth decay. Recently, companies have made it to possible to include fluoride absent from bottled sparkling water. “In-home sparkling water makers, such as SodaStream, have gained popularity in recent years because they save money and have environmental benefits, but an additional advantage of making your own sparkling water from the tap may be the fluoride, which the ADA emphasizes is essential for maintaining long-term oral health,” journalist Sophie Egan stated in a New York Times blog.
Here to stay
Sparkling water won’t disappear soon. Yearly, the amount of sparkling water sold in the United States has been on the rise. In 2018, sparkling water grossed $2.3 billion in the country. Soda has been seeing a slow decline because of everyone’s new infatuation. Popular soda companies had to change focus to keep up with the trends. PepsiCo acquired the aforementioned SodaStream to jump into the sparkling water game. “SodaStream is highly complementary and incremental to our business, adding to our growing water portfolio while catalyzing our ability to offer personalized in-home beverage solutions around the world,” Pepsi CEO Ramon Laguarta said in a press release.
Coca-Cola is also hoping for big success with its recent acquisition of Topo Chico for $220 million. While Anheuser-Busch is known for its beers, they’re also going for the sparkling water crowd. They purchased Hiball Energy for an undisclosed amount of money. The only question about sparkling water now is, “Who’s next to jump on the biggest trend in beverages?”