Spiked seltzer: is it healthy for your body?
- Spiked seltzer has surged in popularity over the past few years, giving consumers more choices in the beverage aisle. But many are asking:
- Is it good for me? Studies have shown that seltzer can aid weight loss, but the jury’s still out on whether or not spiked seltzer falls into that category.
- We tested four different kinds of spiked seltzer to see which one was actually good for you and which ones you should avoid at all costs. Our verdict?
Health Myths Debunked
Sparkling water is much healthier than sugary sodas, right? Most people think so—but they’re wrong. In fact, some of your favorite carbonated beverages contain just as many calories and grams of sugar as soda!
That’s why we investigated: can you safely enjoy a cold brew on a warm summer day or is drinking spiked seltzer unhealthy for your body?
Our investigation revealed some surprising findings that might make you think twice before quenching your thirst with a bubbly beverage.
Sparkling waters also contain additives and sweeteners to give them flavor. Some of these are safe; others are not. In addition, some have been linked to cancer in animal studies while others have been linked to diabetes in humans.
And if that wasn’t enough, recent research has found that consuming fizzy drinks could increase your risk of stroke by almost 50%.
This research was done in mice but there is no reason to believe it wouldn’t apply equally well to humans. The bottom line: sparkling water may be healthy for your teeth but it isn’t healthy for your body!
If you want something fizzy and refreshing, try plain old tap water instead. It’s calorie-free and naturally flavored by minerals from deep within our planet’s crust.
The Body Benefits
While there is no magic formula when it comes to weight loss, drinking more water can help with a number of problems. First and foremost, all your body needs in order to function properly is water—and lots of it.
In fact, most people are actually dehydrated without even realizing it! The benefits aren’t just limited to healthy bodies: Water can aid with digestion, prevent fatigue, improve cognitive functioning and even lower your risk for certain diseases such as cancer.
To keep yourself hydrated (without sugary sodas), try infusing your tap water with healthy fruits and veggies like cucumbers or lemons. Or if you’re looking for a little more kick from your H2O, consider switching to an unsweetened brand of seltzer.
These carbonated waters have zero calories and sugar but still provide some flavor. And while these sparkling waters were originally developed as low-calorie alternatives to soda, they’ve become popular for their own health benefits.
Research has shown that carbonation may stimulate saliva production, which helps neutralize acids in your mouth that lead to tooth decay and cavities.
If you want to add some flavor but not calories or sugar, look for flavored sparkling waters that contain natural ingredients like fruit juice concentrates instead of artificial sweeteners.
These options also come in handy if you’re trying to cut back on alcohol consumption—just make sure they don’t contain any added sugars!
Maintaining Healthy Bones
The calcium in milk is crucial for healthy bones. It also helps prevent osteoporosis, according to The World Health Organization.
Calcium also helps boost your metabolism and reduces belly fat, especially when paired with weight-bearing exercises like walking or jogging, according to a 2016 study published in Cell Metabolism. Another perk:
Dairy consumption may help fight mental decline by protecting you from age-related memory loss (cognitive impairment), even after adjusting for confounding factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes, according to a 2015 study published in Neurology.
A meta-analysis of nine studies found that those who consumed more dairy products had an 11 percent lower risk of cognitive decline.
Who Should Drink Spiked Seltzer?
Keep in mind that while seltzer is by no means a weight-loss drink, it does have some health benefits. If you’re looking for a way to hydrate with fewer calories than water or soda, then carbonated water is definitely a viable option.
Plus, if you’re trying to minimize alcohol intake but still want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage at times (for example, before hitting happy hour with friends), then seltzer could be your best bet—you can essentially get your buzz on without packing on extra calories from sugary mixers and beer.
The bottom line: If you already drink one of these beverages and would like to swap out soda or beer with something low-calorie yet bubbly, there’s nothing wrong with doing so.
How Long Until I See Results From Drinking This Beverage?
A Big Question many readers want to know is how long they’ll have to wait until they notice an improvement in their health and well-being by regularly drinking an artificially-sweetened beverage like spiked seltzer. The answer is simple, but it isn’t as straightforward as you might expect.
With any weight loss plan that encourages a change in your eating habits, there are often slower changes at first (e.g., drinking water instead of soda) that eventually create momentum for more substantial shifts (e.g., substituting seltzer for juice).
When you learn about how different beverages affect your body and make a commitment to select them based on healthy criteria rather than personal taste preference, you can literally feel yourself getting healthier over time.
What to Avoid
Flavored seltzers (aka sparkling waters) are a relatively new addition to the beverage world. They typically contain many of the same ingredients you’d find in regular soda, including artificial sweeteners, preservatives and coloring agents. These added ingredients may cause or exacerbate health issues over time if you drink them regularly.
This study found that kids who drank sodas—even diet sodas—daily were more likely to be overweight than those who did not drink soda.Another study showed drinking more than one sugary beverage per day can shorten your life span by up to five years.
How Often Should I Drink Spiked Seltzer?
Most people drink seltzer to be good to their body. While it’s true that most sparkling waters are less sugary than soda and have fewer calories, they’re not calorie-free.
And let’s be honest, a can of seltzer isn’t going to satiate you for very long. So how often should you drink spiked seltzer? A few times a week?
Once a day if you’re having trouble cutting down on your sugar intake? The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits all answer.
The best way to figure out what works best for you is to try different things until you find something that fits into your lifestyle and makes you feel good about yourself.
It might take some trial and error but in time, we think you’ll find a balance that works well for both your body and mind.