Seltzer beverages are everything but new. For at least 300 years they have gone in and out of fashion as trends and tastes changed and since couple of years the bubbly dinks have gained their popularity again! Why are seltzer beverages so beloved nowadays and what should you know about them? Are they good for your health or not? Keep on reading to find out!
Brief History of Seltzer Drinks
Today there are many selzter producers, the popular (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) products are White Claw, Polar, Bubly, La Croix, Corona etc. But, how did it start? When did people actually fall in love with bubbles in their glasses?
Even in the ancient Greece it was thought that sparkling water has some medical properties. However, natural mineral springs have become especially popular since the 1700s with the rise of the spa culture among the higher classes in Europe. Back then the doctors had the idea that sparkling water could cure or at least minimize any possible health issue. Niederselters is one of the spa towns in Germany, famous for its natural sparkling mineral water that was bottled and exported at the end of the 18th century; hence the name “seltzer” for soda water.
At about the same time Joseph Priestley, an English chemist, invented seltzer by carbonating water. He thought that the bubbles are the reason why natural sparkling water has the healing properties. Even though Joseph Priestley was wrong about that, we can’t argue that his invention led to developing an industry of seltzer bottlers and producers.
However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that people started to see seltzer as a pure pleasure, not only as a cure. For example, during Prohibition in the U.S. many bar owners chose not to close their businesses, but to offer flavored carbonated beverages. Simply put, seltzer went viral! In the 1950s, alas, Coke found the way to the consumers and became arguably the queen of all non-alcoholic beverages. Simultaneously, seltzer faced a decade-long decrease in popularity.
Sparkling Mineral Water, Club Soda & Seltzer – Where is the Difference?
Sparkling mineral water contains naturally occurring minerals because it is made with well or natural spring water. Sometimes carbon dioxide is naturally present, but nowadays mineral water is usually additionally carbonated. Depending on its origin, natural sparkling mineral water can taste a bit heavier compared to club soda or seltzer.
Club soda is still water with added carbon dioxide, potassium sulphate and potassium bicarbonate. These compounds give it a bit of a salty taste, which makes club soda ideal for some mixed alcoholic beverages and cocktails.
Seltzer is the most basic beverage: it’s still water with added carbon dioxide. Because of its neutrality in taste, seltzer comes usually flavored.
Seltzer Water – Potential Health Pros and Cons
Pros of drinking seltzer water include improved dental and digestive health, as well as hydration.
Better dental health: Even though seltzer water is a bit more acidic compared to still water, it isn’t likely to damage the tooth enamel. Sodas, on the other hand, cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Better digestive health: If you experience various digestive issues, seltzer water may offer you some relief. It can help with irregular bowel movements, stomach pain, indigestion, as well as with constipation.
Better hydration: As already explained, seltzer is still water that’s been carbonated (infused with carbon dioxide), thus bubbly. One cup of seltzer water, therefore, contains only water and no sugars, fats and calories. If it’s infused with syrups, seltzer water may contain additional flavor, vitamins, minerals etc. Otherwise, drinking it is just as hydrating as drinking still water, which makes seltzer water an exceptional choice for keeping oneself hydrated.
Better weight management: The lack of calories and sugar is the main reason why seltzer water makes a healthy alternative to sugary drinks and sodas. Its hydrating qualities encourage healthy weight management/loss. Moreover, according to research, seltzer water promotes feeling of satiety or fullness, therefore it can help overcoming unhealthy eating habits and overeating.
Cons: Even though seltzer water has many health benefits, there are some things to be considered before drinking this type of beverage. Seltzer water might cause symptoms such as acid reflux and increased gas. So, if you experience GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or excessive gas, it might be better to avoid drinking seltzer water.
What is Hard Seltzer?
You like neither beer nor hard liqour, yet you’re looking for a perfect summer alcoholic drink? Hard seltzer might be the answer to your needs! Hard seltzer or spiked seltzer is a flavored sparkling water with added alcohol derived from malted barley or fermented sugar cane. The alcohol content is 5% by volume, which makes hard seltzer similar to a light beer. Its low content of calories and sugars/carbohydrates makes it so popular.
Due to the versatility of flavors, the seltzer alcoholic beverages are also extremely popular among younger consumers. Hard seltzers are easy to mix, without the risk of diluting the drink.
Why is Seltzer Popular (Again)?
Sparkling waters have regained their popularity once the consumers started looking for healthier beverages. Nowadays, people want to drink something that’s low in calories and carbohydrates and seltzer waters are the perfect solution addressing this requirement. Not only that seltzer beverages provide health advantages, but they are also refreshing and tasty.
When it comes to the popularity or hard or spiked seltzers, the reasons are numerous. Here are the main grounds for it: it’s accessible, pop-culturally appealing and as guilty-free as it gets.
The truth is, marketers often overlook health-conscious alcohol consumers. If you expect that someone with a healthy and active lifestyle doesn’t ever want to drink, you’re terribly wrong! The yuppies want low-carb, low-calorie products that look cool and one can drink a lot. Hard seltzer checks all the boxes! And since they are so easy to make, many popular beer companies have started to produce hard seltzers, for instance Budweiser.
Well, now you do have an idea of what seltzer is! Even if you had some doubts, we’re quite sure, next time you drink it, you’ll enjoy it even more! Cheers!