The Real Difference Between Seltzer And Club Soda

Whether you're a loyalist to La Croix, San Pellegrino, or Perrier, you might wonder what the difference actually is between all of the fizzy drinks out there. While some sparkling water options might have more apparent differences such as sparkling mineral water or tonic water, seltzer and club soda have more discreet differences. Many might even believe that seltzer water and club soda are interchangeable. 

The truth of the matter is that seltzer water has fewer additives (via Eater). Seltzer is the most basic form of sparkling water because plain seltzer water has nothing but carbon dioxide incorporated into regular water. According to All Recipes, this is what you get when you make sparkling water at home with a soda machine. Since there are no other ingredients added to the water to alter its flavor, you will tend to see flavors added to plain seltzer water more often than other sparkling water options like club soda, per Eater.

Club soda has other additives

Unlike seltzer, club soda has more additives in addition to carbon dioxide. Club soda also has potassium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate, which are minerals that are responsible for the somewhat salty flavor that the bubbly water has a hint of, according to Eater. The downside to these other additions to the water is that they cause club soda to have a higher level of sodium.

According to Brierley Horton, a registered dietitian, you should drink plain seltzer water for the healthiest sparkling water option (via Martha Stewart). Horton explains that some kinds of club soda can pack as much as 100 milligrams of sodium per 16-ounce serving. So, if you love to stay hydrated with bubbly waters, drinking more than one can really add up with regard to your sodium intake.

Though the primary difference between seltzer and club soda comes down to the minerals that have been added into club soda, you might want to consider the flavor too. If you are drinking a small amount of club soda, the salty tinge can balance out the sweetness of a cocktail should you keep it for your bar. Otherwise, seltzer is your best pick for sipping all day long.