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The Good and the Bad about Sparkling Water

Mar 10, 2016

By Dean George

Tracking beverage popularity is like studying ocean tides. Drink appetites rise for awhile, then later recede before a new wave of beverage choice rides in atop consumer tastes and expectations.

The tide of popularity has been in for bottled water sales for over a decade as people have become more health conscious. Simultaneously, the sales of sugary soft drinks have receded over that same period of time.

Still, plain H2O can become repetitive day after day. Flavored waters and vitamin-enhanced blends amused consumers for awhile, but their time has peaked.  Many flavored and vitamin-enhanced blends contain unhealthy amounts of sugar and have exaggerated health benefits.

Consumers want a healthy calorie-free beverage brimming with “natural” water that contains a little “pizzazz.” This revelation lead to the beginning of America’s fascination with the latest beverage craze: carbonated water.

Carbonated water, also known as sparkling water or seltzer water, is made by injecting water with carbon dioxide. The fizz, created from the injection of carbon dioxide, gives the water an effervescence taste that teases the taste buds into thinking they’re enjoying something different than “still” water.

The best -gage of the growing popularity of carbonated water drinks is in the beverage marketplace where consumers truly put their money where their mouths are.

For example, sales of LaCroix® Sparkling Water have nearly tripled to $175 million since 2009. Sparkling Ice® sales have enjoyed a tsunami in sales growth from $27 million in 2010 to $550 million in 2015. Sales of Perrier®, San Pellegrino® and other brands have risen to almost $1.5 billion, more than doubling what they were five years previously.

Sparkling water products seem to have a glittering future too as Nestlé , the Swiss parent company behind Perrier® and San Pellegrino®, have announced plans to invest more than $200 million and build seven new U.S. production lines to help launch more flavors of sparkling water  in 2016.

Consumers seemingly thirst for a beverage that is calorie-free, sugar and artificial-sweetener free, sodium free and that has zero calories.

TOOTH TELLING

Buyers beware, not all sparkling water is sweetener-free or chemical-free. Are unflavored sparkling water drinks safe for your teeth? 

Any unflavored water that is carbonated contains carbonic acid. As with soda, when consuming a carbonated beverage a chemical reaction in the mouth converts the carbon dioxide, or CO2, into carbonic acid. This gives the sparkling water a refreshing, tangy taste.

Unfortunately, the prolonged exposure to teeth when sipping drinks with carbonic acid can wear down tooth enamel, although sparkling water is less acidic than orange juice or soft drinks. As indicated in our recent infographic, plain or flat water has a neutral pH balance of 7.0%. By comparison, Perrier® has a pH balance of about 5.5%.

Many brands offer a cascade of flavors and adding such flavors lower the healthy pH balance of sparkling water, making it slightly harsher on tooth enamel

FINAL WORD

Used in moderation sparkling water beverages are a healthy alternative to sodas, fruit juices, and sports and energy drinks. Of course, sipping sparkling water does not negate the need for good oral hygiene and regular dental visits.

To find affordable dental plans that can help offset the cost of regular dental visits, click here.  

Sources: washingtonpost.com, theatlantic.com, today.com, foodnetwork.com
Photo source: alittleberdie.files.wordpress.com


Copyright 2016, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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