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The 411 on Sparkling Mineral Water

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate — that bit of advice has been pounded into our head, and for good reason. Even mild dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, headache, constipation, brain fog and general irritability, but nearly half of adults still don’t drink enough water!
I love the taste of water and have no problem downing my daily requirement, but for those who find it a struggle, you might want to give sparkling mineral water (or another type of bubbly water) a chance.

sparkling water

Pedras Salgadas is naturally sparkling mineral water from Portugal.

Effervescent water is refreshing, much more exciting than plain ol’ H2O and may help to improve digestion. Here’s what you should know before you pick your bubbles.
Seltzer Water: This may look fancy, but it is ordinary water that’s been treated with carbon dioxide to produce the fizz.
Mineral Water: Naturally filtered from underground springs, mineral water contains good-for-you stuff like calcium, zinc and magnesium. Some brands add extra carbon dioxide to enhance the effervescence. The spring’s source will affect mineral content and taste.
Club Soda: A man-made mineral water knock-off; the minerals have been artificially added.
Tonic Water: This fizzy water has been sweetened (often with high fructose corn syrup) and infused with quinine. Great for a gin and tonic.

Testing the Waters

To confuse matters more, there are loads of choices that range from the basic to the gourmet. Like fine wine, terroir dictates the flavor profile, and mouth feel is dependent on the size of the bubbles. With no caffeine, sugar or calories, sparkling water is a fun, zero-cal hydrator and a great alternative for those trying to break the soda habit. A side-by-side taste test is a fun way to find your favorite and stay hydrated. Here’s how three popular brands size up.
Perrier: Refreshing, crisp and clean with a hint of lemon and no aftertaste. The bubbles are big and loud and they don’t dissipate. Origin: France.
San Pellegrino: Slightly sweet tasting with long lasting, medium sized bubbles. With enhanced carbonation, this one is super bubbly. Origin: Italy.
PedrasA distinct flavor that’s both earthy and salty with small, delicate bubbles. Origin: Portugal.

More Fun, Bubbly Facts

Sparkling water should be served between 50 and 55 degrees.
Some sparkling waters contain low amounts of sodium. Read your labels.
Add lemon, lime, herbs or a dash of cocktail bitters to brighten up your drink.
A glass of bubbles may help you feel full, but over indulging can result in bloat. IBS sufferers may want to stay clear.
Sipping a glass of sparkling water after dining may aid in digestion.
Can you taste a difference in brands or types? I definitely can and prefer bottled over tap, and natural over purified. —Karen

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