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La Croix, Waterloo, Schweppes, and more: The best sparkling water on the market

With all of the fizz and none of the fat, these refreshing bubbles are a great way to hydrate

Fresh spring sparkling water
Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock

A nice refreshment is essential to stay hydrated at all times. One drink that has stood the test of time — and has exploded in popularity in the last few years thanks to a few different factors — is sparkling water. No matter where you go, someone is bound to be sipping on some bubbles (both of the alcoholic and non-varieties).

Why? It’s delicious, that’s why. Not only that, it offers a flavorful option that isn’t high in sugar, carbs, et cetera that you would find in soda or beer. And for those looking for a mid-day bubbler, the fact that it is alcohol-free means you can pound as many as you want during that conference call with no worry of it affecting your performance (except for some burps).

Sparkling water in glass
Getty Images

The best sparkling water options

Whether you’re looking to replace sugar-filled sodas with something lower in calories, trying to find a great substitute for your post-workout or lawnmower beer, or you’re already a fan of flavored fizzy water, you’re in the right place. I was slurping back cans of club soda long before sparkling water worked its way into the zeitgeist, and I’ve been thrilled to see this section of the grocery store beverage aisle grow. By my quick estimation, I’ve probably tried 20 or more different kinds of flavored, carbonated waters in recent years, so you can trust me when I say these are the best sparkling water brands you simply must try for yourself.

Coconut La Croix flavor sparking water
La Croix Water

La Croix Sparkling Water

If you’re a fan of fizzy water, then you already know La Croix. This brand is “sweeping the nation” as my friend Tom so aptly put it, and the brand is doing so for one reason above all: There does not seem to be a single fruit La Croix has not yet used to create a seltzer water flavor. (OK, maybe breadfruit.) In fact, the brand is even running out of blends of fruit at this point.

There’s coconut, passion fruit, key lime, apricot, mango, and oh so many more. Blends include peach-pear, pineapple-strawberry, sweet and sour blackberry-cucumber, and so forth. At the time of this writing, La Croix offers more than 2o different flavors, but by the time you read this, I’ll bet they’ve added jackfruit-huckleberry and kiwi-fig. (Full disclosure: There are several empty cans of La Croix Passionfruit sitting on my desk right now. For real. I should probably recycle them at some point.)

Waterloo watermelon Sparkling Water
Waterloo Sparkling Water

Waterloo Sparkling Water

Waterloo sparkling waters hail from Austin, Texas, and they are Texas-sized in flavor. Whether you’re sipping watermelon, grapefruit, black cherry, or any of their other flavors, you’ll probably find yourself checking the nutrition facts with incredulity, surprised to find that this stuff is indeed free of sugars, calories, sodium, and … well, everything.

The company states that the huge flavor profiles are created thanks to a three “class” system: Class A ingredients are aromatic extracts captured from steam boiled off fruits, Class B ingredients consist of concentrated fruit oils extracted using high pressures, and Class C ingredients are “all-natural botanical elements” that help “bond Class A and Class B ingredients together.” I’m not 100% (or even 43%) sure what they mean by Class C, but I am 100% sure that these are the most flavorful seltzer waters I’ve ever tasted.

Schweppes lemon lime sparkling water

Schweppes Sparkling Water Beverage

People have been drinking Schweppes for what historians term a “long-ass” time. The brand was founded back in 1783, so that means a 238-year history as of 2021. I’ve only been drinking Schweppes for about three decades, but that’s only because I didn’t drink sodas or seltzers or anything of that ilk until my elementary school years.

While perhaps best known for their tonic waters, ginger ales, and classic club soda, today Schweppes offers seven flavors of sparkling water that are refreshing, tasty, and priced to sell. My personal favorites are black cherry and cranberry lime, but who knows, you may be a pink grapefruit or pomegranate fan. Sidebar: If you mix some Schweppes seltzer water with fine booze (bourbon and orange FTW, or a good vodka with any of ’em), you’re doing it right.

Polar Beverages seltzer orange vanilla sparkling water
Polar Beverages

Polar Beverages

If you love soda but realize that drinking more than a couple of sodas a week is really not the best practice, then you owe it to yourself to try Polar Beverages. Sure, this company makes a lime flavor, a lemon, and an original just like everyone else, but Polar also offers some blends that are tasty enough to curb your desire for cola or root beer.

Try orange vanilla, triple berry, granny smith apple, or strawberry watermelon if you want something sweet, and don’t miss cranberry lime or ruby red grapefruit for pure refreshment. Ah, what the hell … just try all 17 flavors the brand offers.

Perrier pink grapefruit sparkling water

Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water

You’ve drunk plenty of Perrier in your day, no? You’ve sipped it on airplanes, in hotel rooms, at the house of that one friend whose mom always had a lot of Perrier around, and so on. So you know what this stuff is, then: sparkling water with minimal mineral flavoring. Right? Wrong! Oh, you’re so wrong. In recent years, this staid water purveyor has added numerous fine flavors to the lineup.

Perrier now offers flavored seltzers like peach, watermelon, strawberry, green apple, and more. Now look, Perrier waters don’t pack as much flavor punch as most other brands, and they sparkle with less vigor, too. But that’s kind of the point — sometimes you don’t want to be overwhelmed with taste and effervescence; you just want a bit of mild refreshment. When that happens, grab these new twists from a classic brand.

Adirondack sparkling water

Adirondack Seltzer

Like the waters that flow down the rivers through the Adirondack Mountains, Adirondack seltzer is crystal clear (well, obviously), but that clarity also translates to the flavor profiles of the brand’s flavored seltzers. Take the lemon-lime, for example. It is crisp and bright and doesn’t taste like you’re drinking a chemical solvent of some sort. Adirondack also gets bonus points for creativity — the brand sells a white chocolate-flavored seltzer. It won’t be for everyone, but it is definitely something to try at least once.

Bubly sparkling water
Bubly Sparkling Water

Bubly Sparkling Water

Pepsi’s entrant into the sparkling water game is Bubry, a hell of a name for people who hate the red squiggle on Microsoft Word, but also a hell of a beverage. Designed with (we can only guess) millennials in mind, the cans are bright and offer up greetings on the tabs, automatically making you feel like you’re making the right decision by opening a can.

The brand has many flavors to choose from, with Mangobubly, Cherrybubly, and Limebubly being some of the top flavors (and yes, they’re all spelled like that, for better or worse). They manage to pack a lot in without the flavors being overwhelming and veering toward soda.

Deer Park sparkling water
Deer Park

Deer Park Natural Spring Water

A standard when it comes to regular ol’ bottled water, Deer Park also makes a fantastic sparkling beverage. Using real fruit flavors, their line of nine different flavors covers a good deal of the fruity landscape. The pomegranate lemonade is zippy and tart, while the wild berry has a roundness to the flavor profile that makes it great when it’s ice cold. If you’re used to drinking Deer Park bottled water, then this will be an easy transition when you want something with a little more kick to it.

Spindrift sparkling water
Spindrift Beverage Co.

Spindrift Sparkling Water

OK, so one on this list is not like the others, and it is Spindrift. Unlike the other beverages listed above, Spindrift uses real juice (just squeezed, according to the brand) to flavor its sparkling waters. There are pros and cons to this approach — if you want a calorie-free beverage, then this isn’t for you.

If you want real flavors (as opposed to the “natural flavors” you’ll find in most seltzers), then Spindrift is indeed for you. Also, because of the fruit, the drinks are bright and colorful, which is aesthetically a nice touch. The blackberry, raspberry lime, and cranberry raspberry all made for great refreshers (though if you’re in for Spindrift, you won’t be disappointed by the other six flavors, either).

Water on white background
manu schwendener / Unsplash

Is sparkling water good for you?

Sparkling water can be a healthy choice, but there are some nuances to consider. There are positives and negatives. Some of the positives are mentioned above, but here are more details.

  • Hydration: Sparkling water is just as hydrating as regular water, making it a good option if you struggle to drink enough fluids, especially water.
  • Calories and sugar: Plain sparkling water contains no calories or sugar, unlike sugary sodas and juices. This can be beneficial for weight management and overall health.
  • Digestion: Some research suggests that sparkling water may help with digestion and relieve constipation.
  • Alternative to sugary drinks: For people trying to cut back on sugary beverages, sparkling water can be a satisfying alternative.

Potential downsides:

  • Dental health: While the acidity of sparkling water is mild, it can still erode tooth enamel. Opt for plain sparkling water over flavored options that might have added sugars or citric acid, and don’t sip on it all day.
  • Bloating: The carbonation in sparkling water can cause bloating in some people. If this is an issue, try smaller sips or stick to flat water.

Sparkling water can be a part of a balanced diet. Just be mindful of the potential downsides, choose plain over flavored options, and limit your intake if you experience any negative effects.

Editors' Recommendations

Steven John
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven John is a writer and journalist living just outside New York City, by way of 12 years in Los Angeles, by way of…
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