Discover Which Fizzy Drinks Are Actually Healthy

healthy fizzy drinks seltzer vs sparkling water versus prebiotic sodas

Sometimes you get the craving for a tasty, fizzy drink and you just need to scratch that itch. So you head to the store to grab something, but you’ve been trying to make healthier choices lately and the number of options marketed as healthy is staggering. There’s plain water or fruit juice, but those don’t help when you want carbonation, and getting regular soda is just asking for digestive and health issues. 

Two big categories of healthy fizzy drinks are sparkling water, which has been around for some time in well-known brands like Perrier & La Croix, and a new health drink phenomenon called “prebiotic soda” which is represented by popular brands like vina, Poppi, and Lollipop. We’re going to take a look at both of these options, as well as what makes them so healthy compared to traditional soda. 

What Makes Most Fizzy Drinks Unhealthy? 

There has been a lot of debate over the years as to what the most problematic aspects of soft drinks are, but most of the research seems to point to the amount of sugar that is in them. The average soda, even non-caffeinated, has close to 40 grams of added sugar per serving, which might not seem like much to most people. However, to put it in context, the recommended daily allowance of sugar for an average adult male is just 36 grams and only 24 grams for most women. 

This means that even if you only have a single serving of soda, and no other sugar the entire day, you’re still overshooting the daily sugar consumption guidelines established by dietary and medical professionals. And if we are being really honest here, who sticks to a single serving of soda when they have some? This can make the amount of dietary sugar incredibly high, and even dangerous. 

Why Is Sugar So Bad? 

Sugar might not seem too problematic to some, but when taken in excess, it can cause some relatively significant changes in your health. It is also responsible for directly reducing or adversely affecting some key systems and organs in your body. Below are some ways the impacts of excess sugar can be seen. 

Not only can large amounts of sugar throw off your digestion and blood sugar, but they can even contribute to diminished mental health via depression. It can cause destructive bacteria to build up on the teeth, damage the liver which has to metabolize all that sweetness and contribute to premature aging of the skin as a whole. 

Which Fizzy Drinks Are Actually Healthy? 

There are two primary contenders for satisfying, healthy fizzy drinks, sparkling water, and prebiotic soda. Both have a great carbonated feeling and a wide variety of flavors, but there are some notable differences as well as a leader in the “which is healthiest” race. 

Sparkling Water 

You have probably seen sparkling water before, Perrier has been a well-known brand for several decades, and brands like Polar or La Croix seltzer are also enjoying a resurgence in popularity since being seen as a far healthier choice than traditional soda. These seltzers are usually relatively low in sugar and calories, making them an ideal replacement for a soda-lover. 

The downside to sparkling water is that many people find the taste a bit flat, underwhelming, or just not good. There are tweets and memes galore about La Croix, for example, poking fun at how the flavor is so vastly disappointing. Some brands are certainly better than others so your mileage may vary, but sparkling water will always just be carbonated, flavored, water. 

Prebiotic Soda 

Prebiotic soda is quite new to the health drink game, with the major brands only popping up within the last five years or so. They consist of not only carbonated water but added prebiotic fibers from apple cider vinegar, real fruit juice and flavors, and minimal added sugars. Most brands can keep the sugar content at 5 grams or less per serving, and that’s a soda you can have more than once per day. 

The prebiotic aspect makes the soda far healthier overall, not only by cutting back on the amount of sugar but by boosting gut health. The microbiome in your gut, all the bacteria that digest your food, need to be fueled by healthy fiber or they begin to affect your health in big ways. An unhappy gut due to deficient probiotics can even begin to significantly disrupt the nervous system communication between your brain and your digestive tract, even throwing off neurotransmitter and hormone levels. 

If You Are Craving A Fizzy Drink 

The next time you are craving something fizzy, sweet, and flavorful, skip the soda and the resulting negative effects of massive doses of sugar. Instead, cruise down the aisle a bit and grab some prebiotic soda. If you need a milder-tasting and less sweet option, sparkling water is where it is at.

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