There’s nothing like a cold, carbonated drink to quench your thirst. However, sugary sodas and even their diet versions can make it harder to keep stubborn fat off. So it’s not surprising that many people have turned to lighter options like LaCroix sparkling water as it delivers on both flavor and fizz. But you may be curious how healthy those fizzy drinks truly are — and how often you can enjoy them. To answer these questions, we tapped a nutrition expert duo for insight on the dangers of sipping diet soda and whether a carbonated drink like LaCroix is good or bad for you to drink on a regular basis. Keep reading to learn more.
What is LaCroix?
LaCroix is a brand of zero-calorie sparkling water that’s comes in plain and flavored varieties. Flavors of this drink such including key lime, berry and orange are made using carbonated water and natural flavors — that’s it.
Why LaCroix is a healthy alternative to soda
The main reason LaCroix has the edge over soda is because it’s free of artificial ingredients and sweeteners. In contrast, Mira Calton, CN, and Jayson Calton, PhD, nutrition experts and authors of Rebuild Your Bones, note that artificial sweeteners — especially ones in diet sodas — may actually increase cravings and contribute to weight gain.
“Artificial sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame trick the brain into thinking you’re ingesting sugar, but when your body realizes the error, it sends ‘still hungry’ signals that trigger more cravings,” they explain. A 12-oz. a can of diet soda contains approximately 200 milligrams of aspartame, while the amount of sucralose usually varies by brand.
Research also supports the notion that sweetened sodas can trigger stubborn weight gain. A 2014 study found that, in a series of three experiments where participants either drank a soda (regular or diet) or an unsweetened drink, those consuming soda were more likely to increase their calorie intake. A 2017 follow-up study found that, out of 71 obese women, those who replaced their regular artificially sweetened drinks with water lost more weight after 12 months than those who didn’t.
These results suggest that limiting your soda intake is a good option for weight management. But can switching to sparkling water or seltzer actually help shed pounds? Well, according to the Caltons, the answer is simple: carbonated water is just as hydrating as still water. “There’s evidence the carbonation helps fill you up, and staying hydrated aids weight loss,” they note. (Click through to learn more about the benefits associated with sparkling water.)
Still, they recommend sipping carbonated water like LaCroix in moderation as too much of it can have negative effects on your body, more specifically your teeth.
What happens when you drink too much LaCroix
One issue that could arise if you consume a lot of LaCroix (flavored or unflavored) is erosion of the enamel on your teeth due to its acidity. A study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association came up with a scale for measuring the pH level of a drink. Beverages with a pH below 3.0 were considered “extremely erosive,” a pH between 3.0 and 3.99 was labeled “erosive,” and anything above a pH of 4.0 was “minimally erosive.” Compare that to regular still water, which has a neutral pH of 7.
In a different study, a McGill University researcher tested the pH levels of nine different seltzer waters (LaCroix was not one of them) and found that cold seltzer had a lower pH than warm seltzer. All but one of the brands she studied had a pH of 4.0 or higher when it was cold, classifying them as being minimally erosive.
What does this all mean for your teeth? Consuming 3 cans of LaCroix a day could wear away at enamel over time. And that may make your teeth more prone to damage and infections. (Click through to find out more on why sparkling water can be bad for your teeth.)
How to spruce up LaCroix
Although this drink is tasty on its own, you can mix LaCroix with other ingredients to create a fizzy, thirst-quenching mocktail. Here are two flavorful recipes that you can prepare with just five ingredients — we’ll cheers to that!
Lemon Mint Marvel
- 2 cups lemonade
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 Tbs. agave syrup
- ¼ cup lemon-flavored LaCroix (Buy from Walmart, $3.72)
- Mint leaves
- Active: 5 mins
- Total time: 5 mins
- Yield: 4 serving
- In ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine first 4 ingredients; shake. Strain into ice-filled glasses.
- Fill each glass with sparkling water to top.
- ½ cup 100% pomegranate juice
- ½ cup plain LaCroix (Buy from Walmart, $3.72)
- 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- Pomegranate seeds, for garnish
- Active: 5 mins
- Total time: 5 mins
- Yield: 1 serving
- Combine pomegranate juice, sparkling water and fresh lime juice in glass over ice.
- Garnish with pomegranate seeds.
Keep reading for more stories on the benefits of sipping H2O:
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
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