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“How seltzer water became cooler than Coke,” read the Washington Post blog headline in 2015. Sales of sparkling water have doubled over the last few years, while sales of soda pop have plummeted. Gotta love those trajectories.
What’s driving the bubbly-water boom? It’s the new crop of no-sugar-added flavored carbonated waters.
There’s Dasani Sparkling, Nestlé Pure Life Exotics, Perrier, plenty of store brands, and our favorites, LaCroix and Spindrift.
You can always flavor your own by adding freshly squeezed lemon juice or cut fruit to plain sparking water. But if that’s not in the cards, here’s more about a couple of our favorites.
The only ingredients in LaCroix—it’s pronounced la-CROY—are carbonated water and natural flavor. (Watch out for sucralose-sweetened impostors like Glacéau fruitwater, which also contains food dyes, and cans of sugar-sweetened San Pellegrino fruit juice drinks.)
What we love about LaCroix: the flavors. Try Pamplemousse (grapefruit). Or Melón Pomelo (cantaloupe pink grapefruit). Or Passionfruit.
“Sparkling water & real squeezed fruit. Yup, that’s it,” say the cans.
And that is it. That’s all the ingredients in Spindrift Sparkling Water. No added sugar. No sweeteners (artificial or otherwise). Just water and a touch of fruit juice (or juice and purée).
And we mean a touch. Juice comprises just 5 to 8 percent of each 12 oz. can. That’s no more than a couple of tablespoons—enough to deliver a delightful hint of fruit (and even a bit of pulp in some flavors), but only 0 to 15 calories.
Speaking of flavors, one’s better than the next. You’ve got Blackberry (our favorite), Cucumber, Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange Mango, Raspberry Lime, and Strawberry.
The downside for both LaCroix and Spindrift: like most cans, the linings almost certainly contain BPA. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has expressed “some concern” about BPA’s “effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and children at current exposure levels.”
So think of LaCroix or Spindrift as a great occasional treat, especially in the summer. Of course, it beats sugary soda any time of year.
Do you have a favorite sparkling water? Let us know in the comments.
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