Dear Alice,

I read on someone's blog about drinking seltzer water if you're trying to quit drinking soft drinks but still need that fizz. Are there any good/bad side effects to drinking seltzer water?

Dear Reader,

Soft drinks may be a tasty treat, but the empty calories from sweeteners and/or the caffeine can be hard on your body. As you suggest, replacing soda with seltzer water is a healthier way to get your fix of fizz.

Congrats to you for trying to cut down your soda intake. In the nutrition world, soda gets a bad rap, and not without reason. To give that sweet jolt, soft drinks are often loaded with sugar and caffeine. Plain seltzer, sparkling water, and club soda (basically water carbonated with CO2) are healthier beverage options for folks who crave the sizzle of soda. One study shows that the carbonation in seltzer can cause a small amount of tooth decay, but the effect is one hundred times less harmful than soft drinks. If you choose flavored seltzer, look out for added sweeteners that add sugar. Also, try unsalted club soda if you don't want the added sodium in the regular variety (club soda typically has added sodium while seltzer does not). For more ways to help you say goodbye to soft drinks, check out Getting off colas, sodas, pop, fizz,... oh, whatever in the Go Ask Alice! Nutrition and Physical Activity archives.

If you're looking for a bubbly drink that's easy on your health, seltzer water is a smart pick. Cheers!


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