Saturday, September 24, 2016

What's Sparkling in YOUR Water?

Water. It's the one thing that my Keto diet recommends that I was having trouble with. (Well, that and giving up my Almond Joy creamer!). Don't get me wrong, I am drinking more water than I used to, but unless I get the kind I like, it's a challenge. If you're having the same problem, take a look at some tips I've had suggested to me:
  • Adding lemon (or lime) juice to the H2O. Lemon is supposed to be good for the body anyway so, adding some to the water makes me feel like I'm doing doubly good.
  • Getting the water as cold as possible works for some folks. I'll explain to you about my temp preference in a moment.
  • Drinking the water at room temperature works better for some people.
  • Drinking through a straw. I've heard some of my friends say that they can do triple the amount of daily water just by using a straw. It's something to do with getting more per gulp.
  • Adding low-cal or no-cal "water enhancers". I went through a kick of bingeing on the Target and Walmart brands of those tiny squeeze bottles of flavorings. Watermelon-Strawberry was my first and favorite. I got burned out though and only use them every now again. The best thing about them (or at least this is true for the Market Pantry brand) is that they don't have any of that icky aftertaste of no-cal stuff. Oh, and they are no-carb** also. Score!
  • Training your taste buds to like water. That might mean cutting back in the juices and other sugary sippings.
  • Choosing bubbly water. And that's what I really want to talk about.
There are all kinds of fizzy waters. Fizzy, bubbly, sparkling - whatever you want to call them. I generally shop Walmart, Target, Costco and Sam's for the bulk of my groceries. The common bubbly waters I see are Perrier (so chi-chi!), Pellegrino, La Croix, and this newer one (to me anyway) called Voss. Oh, and don't forget the club sodas and seltzers. 

Just a quick note about the differences between the seltzers and clubs and mineral waters. It seems to have to do with what gives the drink its bubbles or fizziness. Clubs and seltzers get the carbonation from carbon dioxide. Mineral waters are bubbly from naturally occurring carbonation.

For me, the winner is....
Just looking at the pic makes me crave!

Now, you wouldn't think that there'd be enough difference to influence preferences. Wrong! I, for one, am extremely picky about my bubbly water. I am just so-so about Perrier, but I looooove San Pellegrino water. Not the flavored kinds (too many carbs and there's something about the taste), but the plain old mineral water. I am seriously addicted to the stuff and have been for years. Thank God I have a Costco membership. I can get a 12 pack of the 25.3oz glass (love the glass, by the way) bottles for just about $20. The case wouldn't last more than a couple of weeks if I had a bigger budget, but I manage to make the purchase last most of the month.

The reason I prefer Pellegrino does not come down to just taste. Pelligrino has n advantage over some other "bubblies" such as, say, Perrier. Here's what another blogger notes:
Perrier is, in fact, certified by the French government as a natural mineral water, which means that it has a stable composition of ‘healthy properties’.  San Pellegrino, however, not only contains minerals, but can actually claim to have some naturally occurring bubbles (although they are indeed enhanced substantially by the addition of carbon dioxide).
Since I learn a lot of information about my keto diet from people with more actual experience, I was pleased when I saw what I found on Bulletproof regarding sulfates in San Pellegrino.

I wanted to do a comparison of nutrition labels. Naturally, I went straight to the sources - the sites of San Pell and Perrier. I can tell you another thing I prefer: the less annoying and easier loading site of San Pell. (Did you notice I'm on familiar terms with "San Pell"? Hahaha) Neither site makes it easy to find nuts and bolts info - such as detailed nutrition labels. Mostly, they are all fancied up, showing off how elegant their products are. The freaking websites have more sparkle than the waters!

Let me stop and shout out a message to these brands:
Not everyone drinking your water does so as a class statement. Some of us are just "regular" folk (aka: not rich, famous, jet-setting, or trying to impress anyone else). We like your water and would like it even if it didn't 'pair well' with certain foods. So please get over yourselves. Maybe you could make separate websites for us 'common' folk. 
Okay, rant over.

I was able to find labels on Wikipedia, so here is a side-by-side:

My beloved San Pell has more magnesium, sodium, calcium, and lots more sulfates . And... hold up the horse-drawn carriage! San Pell has lithium???? Hot dang. No wonder my nerves are a bit more b.s.-proof after a couple bottles of the sparkly! (By the way, like many people, I kept mixing up sulfates and sulfites.)

I have no idea what "strontium" is so let me go look that one up. Apparently, like anything, this supplement has benefits and cautions listed, so do your homework. What I found most interesting is the possible use of strontium to treat osteoporosis. Hmm.

Taste is my primary reason for preferring San Pellegrino. Perrier tastes like it's trying too hard. I get a slight Alka Seltzer-y taste from it. I like putting a bottle of San Pell in the freezer to get super chilly, then I use one of my metal straws to sip it up. Love it. With Perrier (which I have several 16.9oz bottles of thanks to a friend who picked them up for me when she saw a sale), I have to add a little bit of lemon or (and my docs might freak) a few grains of salt. Someone suggested that I add a couple teaspoons of apple or orange juice but... I'm a keto chick now.

I haven't tried many other waters, but I hear people talking all the time about the different brands. There are so many. I have tried La Croix and it's not bad - although a little more seltzer-y than I like. It's what I get on sale when I can't afford San Pell. Schwepps is not bad in a pinch.

If you want more info about the different brands and varieties of waters, check the site 10 Best Water. That's the name. Seriously. Or try BevNet (for info on all things beverage). I'd love to find out about some more affordable waters. I will budget for my San Pell, but I'm going to start looking for coupons!

The main thing that I've learned over the past few years is how important it is to get enough water. Since I've been doing keto, I've cut my beverages down to water and coffee (minus the sugary creamers). I do feel better and I know that between the water and the fats that I'm getting more of has done incredible things for my hair and skin. My hair is growing (and getting thickness back) and the eczema on my feet is almost gone. Even my perfumes smell better and last longer. I think that has to do with the fats I'm eating so much of!

So, drink your water. Find one that you like and read the label, then research the label. And chug, chug, chug! If you notice, the first thing most weight loss programs suggest is to drink lots of water. Not just because it's filling but also because it just so good for you. So, drink up!


** Some very strict keto folk will argue that the substitute sweeteners in the no-cal water enhancers are a no-no. I'm middle of the road on the subject. I no longer go overboard with them like I used to, but they are really nice for certain occasions. Beats drinking a soda when you are out somewhere having a meal.