Your Guide to Carbonated Drinks
Carbonated drinks, with their bubbly texture and wide range of flavours, play a major role in today’s food and drink culture. From fizzy soft drinks to sparkling waters, carbonated drinks offer a wide range of choices to suit different tastes and preferences.
Beyond the bubbles, carbonated soft drinks can differ greatly from one another and there’s lots to be aware of before choosing which one to drink. It’s important to understand which ingredients are often used in fizzy drinks so you can be fully aware of what you’re putting in your body.
What are Carbonated Drinks?
Carbonated drinks, also known as fizzy or sparkling drinks, are beverages that contain dissolved carbon dioxide gas, which creates bubbles and gives the drink its fizzy quality.
The process of carbonation involves dissolving carbon dioxide under pressure into a liquid, typically water, to create carbonic acid. This acidification gives the drink a slightly tangy or acidic taste, contributing to its refreshing quality.
Carbonated drinks come in various forms, including soft drinks like cola and lemonade, sparkling water, and carbonated fruit juices. The fizziness in these beverages is often achieved through the addition of carbon during the manufacturing process.
While some carbonated drinks are sweetened and flavoured, others are available in unsweetened, natural variations, making many carbonated drinks extremely different from one another.
What is in Carbonated Drinks?
What is in carbonated drinks varies depending on the type of beverage, but there are several common components found in many of them. The primary ingredient is typically carbonated water, infused with carbon dioxide to create bubbles and fizziness.
Sweeteners, such as high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, are commonly added in carbonated soft drinks like cola to provide a sweet taste. Flavourings, which can range from natural fruit extracts to artificial flavours, can be added to carbonated drinks too.
Additionally, some carbonated drinks may contain acids like phosphoric acid or citric acid to add a tangy flavour and act as preservatives.
Caffeine, found in colas and certain energy drinks, is another common ingredient that provides a stimulating effect. Some carbonated beverages can include colouring agents to achieve a desired appearance.
It’s essential to be aware of the ingredients in carbonated drinks, as it’s the additives and sweeteners that can affect how healthy the carbonated drink is.
Are Carbonated Drinks Bad For You?
While carbonated drinks themselves are not inherently harmful, certain aspects of their composition can pose potential health risks. Many carbonated beverages, especially sugary soft drinks, are laden with added sugars or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, contributing to excess calorie intake. Similarly, many carbonated soft drinks contain caffeine which should be consumed moderately.
There are, however, carbonated drinks that are good for you, such as sparkling water, as this contains carbonation without additional additives.
What Carbonated Drinks Are Good For You?
When looking for carbonated drinks that are good for you, it’s best to look for options with natural ingredients and minimal additives.
Carbonated water, or sparkling water, is a much healthier choice, because it’s typically free from added sugars, calories, and artificial sweeteners. It can therefore be a refreshing and hydrating alternative to drinks like Diet Coke.
Flavoured sparkling waters that are infused with real fruit can achieve a delicious taste without the need for sugars and artificial flavours, just like we do here at DASH.
Herbal teas or infusions combined with carbonation can also be good for you, so long as there are no artificial additives. Kombucha is a health-conscious drink that’s naturally carbonated in its fermentation process too.
It’s important to read labels carefully and opt for carbonated drinks with transparent ingredient lists, avoiding excessive sugars, artificial additives, and high-calorie content.
List of Carbonated Drinks With No Sugar or Artificial Sweetener
If you’re hoping to get your fix of fizzy drinks without the added sugar or sweetener, there are healthier carbonated drinks to try.
- DASH Sparkling Water - Flavoured sparkling water from DASH is infused with real fruit so that there are no sugars, sweeteners or calories.
- Homemade Fruit Sparkling Water - Create your own sparkling fruit concoction by garnishing sparkling water with berries, citrus fruits, or cucumber.
- Coconut Water Sparkle - Coconut water is naturally hydrating and contains electrolytes. Combine it with sparkling water for a tropical and health-conscious refreshment.
- Berry and Mint Sparkling Iced Tea - Brew a berry-infused iced tea, add fresh mint, and carbonate using a home machine for an antioxidant-rich sparkling beverage that is both hydrating and good for you.
- Kombucha - Kombucha is a fermented tea that contains probiotics, aiding in digestion and promoting gut health. It often has a fizzy quality, making it a flavourful and beneficial sparkling drink.
For more tasty drinks without nasty additives, take a look at our sugar free drinks list.
List of Carbonated Drinks With Sugar or Artificial Sweetener
Many carbonated drinks contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners, so it’s important to consume the drinks below in moderation.
- Cola - Cola is a classic carbonated drink that contains sugar, caffeine and colouring, while diet cola drinks contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame.
- Lemonade - Lemonade also often contains sugar and artificial sweeteners.
- Orangeade - Popular orangeade drinks can contain sugar, colouring and artificial sweeteners.
- Energy drinks - Energy drinks have high sugar and sweetener content, as well as caffeine content.
Here at DASH, natural ingredients are important to us, which is why we never add artificial flavourings or additives to any of our drinks. Instead, we infuse our water with real fruit, so that there’s no need for sugar or sweetener. Shop DASH now or learn about the benefits of sparkling water.