As Americans scramble to find alternatives to soda, flavored waters have become big business. Along with options like LaCroix, Spindrift drinks have become a popular choice. But is this line of sparkling water flavored with "real squeezed fruit" truly healthy? Let's take a closer look to find out.
What ingredients can one expect to find in a can of Spindrift? Most of the 10 available varieties contain just two ingredients—carbonated water and the relevant flavor of fruit juice (Lime Spindrift, for example, contains carbonated water and fresh lime juice). More complex flavors like Cranberry Raspberry and Orange Mango contain more ingredients due to their inclusion of multiple juices. The exact amount of juice included in each can varies by flavor (the Lime variety contains 4% real juice, for example, while the Grapefruit variety includes 10%). But all in all, the ingredients lists for Spindrift drinks are encouragingly barren.
Same goes for the nutrition facts. For a 12-ounce can, the calories vary from 1 to 17, and the grams of sugar from 0 to 3. Lime, Lemon and Cucumber are among the most guilt-free varieties, while Blackberry and Grapefruit are highest in calories at 13 and 17 a piece. No matter which variety you pick, the nutrition facts are going to be way better than soda. For comparison, a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola Classic contains 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar. Now most 100% fruit juices actually aren't much better, as Minute Maid's Fruit Punch and Apple Juice varieties contain just as much sugar and calories on a per ounce basis as Coca-Cola. However, while Spindrift makes use of real fruit juice in their products, they use very small amounts. This adds a touch of natural flavor while keeping the calorie and sugar totals totally manageable.
One potential concern regarding carbonated or "sparkling" water is their effect on your teeth. The idea carbonated water significantly enhances your risk of tooth decay can be enough to scare people off beverages like Spindrift, but thankfully, this fear seems to be overblown. Per the American Dental Association:
"According to available research, sparkling water is generally fine for your teeth—and here's why. In a study using teeth that were removed as a part of treatment and donated for research, researchers tested to see whether sparkling water would attack tooth enamel more aggressively than regular lab water. The result? The two forms of water were about the same in their effects on tooth enamel. This finding suggests that, even though sparkling water is slightly more acidic than ordinary water, it's all just water to your teeth."
The ADA does recommend including plenty of regular, fluoridated water in your routine, as well, and states that pairing acidic drinks with meals is the safest way to consume them. Swishing with regular water after you finish a can may also help. But as long as you're not going crazy with your sparkling water consumption, the effect on your teeth seems generally negligible overall—especially compared to soda.
All in all, Spindrift looks like a winner. The drinks may not have zero calories, but their calorie and sugar totals are still extremely low. Many highly processed zero-calorie beverages, such as diet soda, make use of artificial sweeteners that can lead to a slew of potential health issues, so it's nice Spindrift uses real fruit juice instead. Regular water is always going to be the best go-to choice for your health, but if you like a little flavor with your H2O, you could do a lot worse than Spindrift.
Photo Credit: Spindrift Official Facebook Page
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