Summer is officially here, and we’re all looking for ways to quench our thirst and beat the heat.
While old-fashioned H2O is a tried-and-true hydration method, sometimes you want something a little bit more exciting! Now that we are more aware of the health consequences of sugary drinks such as soda and juice, finding healthier alternatives (and knowing what they are) can be challenging.
Here’s a handy breakdown, written by our former intern, Aviva Ariel-Donges, to help you navigate these waters:
Naturally bubbly water
Mineral water comes from a natural spring and, therefore, contains various minerals like salts and sulfur compounds. It’s naturally bubbly, and it tastes mineral-y!
Water + Fake Bubbles
Seltzer is plain water that has been artificially carbonated (by adding carbon dioxide). Seltzer is cheaper than mineral water and does not have that mineral-y taste.
Water + Fake Bubbles
Sparkling water is a synonym for seltzer. They’re the same thing! Both are plain water that has been artificially carbonated with carbon dioxide.
Water + Bubbles + Minerals
Club soda is seltzer (aka sparkling water) with some added minerals… It’s plain water that has been artificially carbonated PLUS mineral-like ingredients are added (e.g., potassium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate).
Water + Lots of Other Stuff
Tonic is seltzer water (aka sparkling water) mixed with other ingredients like guanine, sugar, salt, citric acid, spices, and citrus zest. Tonic has about 130 calories for 12 ounces, and it has a bitter taste.
The current Institute of Medicine water intake recommendation for people ages 19 and older is 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women. These numbers include water consumed from both food and beverages. Men should aim for about 13 cups of water daily from beverages, and women should aim for about 9. You should aim for even more if you exercise, or if you live in a hot climate!
However you choose to hydrate this summer (and year round), try to make an informed choice by reading nutrition labels, and be hydrate properly and frequently. Stay cool out there!