Carbonated water is made by dissolving carbon dioxide gas into plain water. You are aware of carbonated drinks like soda water, club soda, seltzer water, sparkling water, fizzy water, flavored carbonated drinks and carbonated soft drinks. Carbonated water is common ingredient in all of them and other ingredients like salts and flavors are then add to make the drink of your choice. Then an obvious question that comes to your mind “is sparkling water the same as club soda?” and “do they have the same effect on your health?” Simply put, except a few ingredients in club soda, the two carbonated drinks are pretty much similar.
In the process of making carbonated water, pressurized carbon dioxide is passed through water. The solubility of water increases due to the pressure. As the solubility improves more carbon dioxide is dissolved. Whenever the gas in the solution is released you find bubbles. Until World War II carbonated water was called as soda water. Later on it came to be called as sparkling water and seltzer water as well. Seltzer water is derived from German town Selters meaning “water from Selter”.
There is a subtle difference between sparkling water and club soda. Usually sparkling water is available naturally. It may also be produced by adding carbon dioxide to water. No other ingredients are added to it. You may even say that it is the same as simple carbonated water. You may add flavors of your choice but the base is carbonated water. The difference between club soda and sparkling water lies in the way it is produced. A small amount of salt in added while making club soda. Commercial club soda manufacturers also add sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate and potassium carbonate. It is also available after a natural process to produce carbonated mineral water, like from Medzitlija in Macedonia and Mihalkovo in Bulgarian Rhodopes. As compared to sparkling water you may find club soda much milder and slightly sweeter. The sharp burn and effervescence of sparkling water is dulled due to the ingredients like potassium bicarbonate.
Club soda is often the first alternative for dieters who do not want to add up calories with Mountain Dew, 7-Up or tonic water.
You may use either club soda or sparkling water to make drinks and cocktails. Their quality would depend on soda used, its strength, saltiness and even the smooth fizz of sparkling water.
Initially carbonated drinks were considered healthier than water. It was assumed that it was beneficial against ailments like indigestion and mineral deficiencies. However, there are concerns expressed over effect of sparkling water and club soda on bone density and tooth decay. Studies suggest that, though there may be some possibility of effect of soda on bones and teeth, it is negligible and not really at alarming levels.
More or less, sparkling water and club soda are same except a few ingredients like salts added to club soda. Many prefer the taste of club soda. For those looking for an alternative to plain water sparkling water is the choice.