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Should You Replace Your Soda Habit With LaCroix?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
It's no secret that soda doesn't do the body any favors.
 
According to nutrition information from Harvard, consumption of sugary drinks can increase the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. A 64-ounce fountain cola drink packs a staggering 700 calories—more than most lunches—with no nutritional benefit. And as SparkPeople's registered dietitian Becky Hand points out, even a 12-ounce can of regular soda has 10 teaspoons of added sugar and 150 calories.
 
So why, then, are roughly half of all Americans still consuming sugary beverages (primarily soda) each and every day? We suspect it's for either the taste or the fizz (or both).  
 
We get it: When you're thirsty and craving some carbonation, cracking open a can of soda can sometimes seem a lot more appealing than grabbing a bottle of water. But what if there was another beverage option that delivered those satisfying effervescent bubbles, with none of the extra calories, sugar or artificial sweeteners?
 

What's the Appeal of Sparkling Soda Alternatives?

 
Water is always the best source of hydration: It's an essential part of our bodies, has no calories or unhealthy additives and can also help to boost metabolism and weight loss. But for those who just can't or won't drink regular water, the makers of LaCroix and other zero-calorie sparkling water beverages would have you believe that their products are an ideal alternative to soda and other sugar-loaded drinks—and Hand tends to agree.
 
"Sugar-free, calorie-free and flavored with only natural essence oils extracted from natural fruit, LaCroix is also a preferred choice for people who may be wanting to decrease their intake of artificial sweeteners," Hand says.
 
These types of beverages offer the same level of hydration as regular water, with the added appeal of a little flavor and fizz. This makes the drinking process more tasty and enjoyable, which in turn makes it easier to stay hydrated throughout the day.
 
As a health coach, Liza Baker encourages her clients to move closer to whole foods and beverages and away from highly processed ones. In her opinion, LaCroix and other sparkling waters fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.
 
"Certainly, it's better for you than cola and other highly sweetened carbonated beverages that are chock full of artificial ingredients," she says, "but on the other hand, 'natural' is not a term that is regulated by the FDA, so claiming that the only two ingredients are carbonated water and 'natural flavoring' does not instill complete confidence."
 

Safely Enjoying Sparkling Water

 
For some people, drinking sparkling water can cause some degree of stomach discomfort from the carbonation, especially if it's consumed prior to an intense workout or competitive athletic event. If you're new to that type of beverage, Hand suggests testing your tolerance with smaller amounts consumed slowly, so you can gauge its effect on your body.
 
Another potential drawback of LaCroix and other carbonated water is the potential for dental erosion. As Hand explains, carbon dioxide is what gives carbonated water its desired fizziness. In the mouth, carbon dioxide is turned into carbonic acid, which makes the drink more acidic. Although sparkling water is less acidic than orange juice, soft drinks and sports drinks, it is more acidic than plain water. This level of acidity can potentially cause tooth enamel to wear away.
 
Hand suggests talking to your dentist about your dental wellness plan to prevent erosion. It's also best to consume acidic beverages only at meal time, not as a snack. Saliva flow is higher at meal time, which can help to neutralize the acid. When drinking, never swish or hold acidic drinks in your mouth—instead, sip and swallow or use a straw. Finally, it's best to wait an hour to brush your teeth after having an acidic beverage to give the saliva a chance to neutralize and wash away the acid.
 
Looking for a more convenient and cost-effective way to enjoy sparkling water? Baker recommends purchasing a carbonated beverage maker to make fizzy water at home. If you go this route, you can drink it plain or flavor it with a splash of juice or twist of citrus. If you're cutting back on sugar, start by sweetening to taste using raw honey, maple syrup, agave or sugar, then gradually cut back on the amount added.
 
Do you drink sparkling water or another soda alternative?

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Comments

TOMATOCAFEGAL 9/17/2020
Club soda. Yes, sparkling water! Report
REDROBIN47 9/17/2020
No! Plain water is best for me. Report
WHITECAT19 9/17/2020
I have a question. Does this have the same effect on your bones that soda pop has? Isn't the carbonization what contributes to osteoporosis? Not an expert. Just want to know. Report
DEFARGE2 9/17/2020
Soda Stream carbonation unit. All the fizz you crave, and the water from your water filter. Ice cold, just add a little lemon. Report
TERMITEMOM 9/17/2020
LaCroix is expensive. I drink carbonated water from Costco, which is much cheaper. Report
SISTERPRETTY 9/17/2020
I am not and have never been a soda drinker...thanks for sharing! Report
THINCPL2004 9/17/2020
Never cared for fizzy drinks, makes stomach upset! Report
ZELDA13 9/17/2020
I love that type of drink, but hate the cost. When I want something besides plain water, I'm just as happy with plain seltzer. If I have fresh limes or lemons, I add that to it. That and my son's cucumber water.... all I need. Report
SPARKLINGME176 9/17/2020
Never liked 'sparkling' drinks. Report
GMACAMI 9/17/2020
interesting article with lots of interesting comments Report
MWHIGGINS 9/17/2020
switching to sodastream here... Report
SNOOPYPAL2019 9/17/2020
I don't drink any carbonated drinks - simply put, they give me gas and bloating. So, why bother. I drink mostly plain water, but if I want some taste, I use a little lemon juice or lime juice.

I gave up carbonated drinks more than 20 years ago, and haven't missed them a bit. Report
GETULLY 9/17/2020
We purchased a soda stream and it is in constant use! Sometimes with flavors but mostly plain! Report
TURQUROISE 9/17/2020
Thank you for this information Report
LOVIJO20 9/17/2020
I tend to start the day and finish the day with tap water, but when I am losing my H20 drinking momentum in the middle of the day, that's when I crack a sparkling water. Report
NEPTUNE1939 9/17/2020
ty Report
ALEPEQUIJADA 9/17/2020
Thanks! Report
MARSHASHADOW 9/17/2020
I quit all carbonated drinks about 4 years ago and will never go back. That stuff is poison to my system. Report
CHERYLHURT 9/17/2020
Great Report
LEANJEAN6 9/17/2020
Water all the way-- Report
AQUAGIRL08 9/17/2020
Interesting article! Report
CORVETTECOWBOY 9/17/2020
Thanks Report
ROSSYFLOSSY 9/17/2020
Interesting article. Report
FERRETLOVER1 9/17/2020
I don't drink anything carbonated - it bothers my tummy. Report
LIS193 9/17/2020
Thanks Report
ETHELMERZ 9/17/2020
Never bought it, tasted it at a party, fake taste. Blah. Not even sure it is still sold in 2020. Report
_CYNDY55_ 9/16/2020
Thanks Report
RACHAEL2020 8/15/2020
Every now and then I'll buy Walmart's sparking no calorie soda. But normally, I am a water person. La Croix can be expensive. Report
HANOVERLADY 8/15/2020
A co-worker often had LaCroix on her desk. I'd like to give it a try sometimes although I do try a squirt of a citrus fruit in plain water. Report
ARCHIMEDESII 8/15/2020
I like La Croix. but two years later, there a lot more companies who make tasty fizzy flavored seltzer waters. I usually buy Polar. But there is also Bubly, Spindrift and Waterloo. There's something for every taste.

Report
NEPTUNE1939 8/15/2020
ty Report
GETULLY 8/15/2020
Love the sodastream! Report
CD26292703 8/15/2020
I discovered the sparkling ice water. Its fizzy and zero everything. I used to drink 8 or more cans of diet soda a day. I now drink lots of water and have a carbonated water with supper. Its nice to mix it up a little and still get that fizzy drink fix. Report
ROSSYFLOSSY 8/15/2020
Interesting article. Report
HEDSTS58 8/15/2020
I don't like any sparkling water. Luckily I don't drink much pop, so I will stick to plain old water or Bai water if need be Report
CATE195 8/15/2020
I love La Croix coconut. I only have 3-4 a week so I have no problem with that. I enjoy it. All things in moderation. Report
RO2BENT 8/15/2020
Skip the artificial sweeteners Report
CHRISINMIAMI 8/15/2020
Thank you! Report
CHRISINMIAMI 8/15/2020
Thank you! Report
POGONAMINIMA 7/27/2020
la croix (which means "the cross" in french), has been around a while. there are no sweeteners, but natural flavors are just as bad for you as artificial ones. they take the original fruit or spice, heat it, extract and refine the chemical that gives the item its flavor. artifical flavors are made in a lab, but it is the same chemical giving the flavor. the only difference is how it is made. just avoid it altogether. drink water, or teas. Report
TRUEPEACENIK 7/27/2020
I have a soda stream that gets used a few times a year. I bought it, used, because I was looking to reduce waste, and get seltzer. I’ve always added fruit juice or flavored simple syrup I made (think ginger ale).
LaCroix and similar are very popular around my area, but I’m good with the occasional one.
I’d rather have some calories and probiotic effects with kombucha. Report
CKOUDSI617 7/27/2020
Target near Boston has many flavors of LaCroix, but I find it too sweet for my taste. (I think it has Sucralose?) The Bubly's pretty good, but it's more expensive. Menh! I've started adding bitters to seltzer in different flavors. I discovered Black Walnut Bitters, which is great in iced coffee! I am trying to phase out artificial sweeteners entirely but it's better than sugary sodas. I'd like to get a Soda Stream one day but I'd prefer if they had recyclable carbon containers. That's a luxury that will have to wait until I'm working again. Best wishes! Report
GGRSPARK 7/3/2020
Never heard of LaCroix. Have been drinking plain soda from my grocery for years, Pellegrino , Perrier, Polar. Whatever is on sale. I sometimes squeeze in some lemon but natural flavours are not always natural. Deer Park is the only one I found too sharp. Report
KITTYHAWK1949 6/10/2020
sounds like something to try next time I shop Report
MJ7DM33 6/9/2020
Good read! Thanks! Report
ROBINRS 6/9/2020
I'm basically a plain water drinker - and sometimes a cup of coffee in the a.m. Have tried some of the sparkling waters but I find plain water more refreshing. Report
JIACOLO 6/9/2020
I do enjoy seltzer, but try to limit it to one a day. Report
DANDYO44 6/9/2020
I drink lemon water and apple cider vinegar. When I want fizzy I drink Kombucha! It tastes great. A little pricey but good for you. Report
NANASUEH 6/9/2020
thanks Report
TURQUROISE 6/9/2020
Great informative article Report