If a waiter asks you if you would like still or sparkling water, will you understand what they are asking? Still water is flat water. This can be tap water, spring water or plain bottled water. Sparkling water has bubbles and goes by many names: fizzy water, seltzer and sometimes soda water (not to be confused with soda pop).
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Sparkling Water Is Carbonated
Sparkling water is water in which carbon dioxide has been introduced through pressurization. The gas dissolves in the water and produces a fizzy quality which is referred to as effervescence. Effervescence is caused by the gas escaping the liquid. The introduction of the gas into the water is called carbonation. Carbonation is used in many types of manufactured drinks which gives them the quality of effervescence, but they also have many additives that do not make them a true sparkling water.
Discovering Sparkling Water
Joesph Priestley, an 18th century inventor, theologian and educator, is credited with inventing sparkling water. Known as a natural philosopher, Priestley is also credited with the discovery of oxygen. He authored information about theology, electricity and optics. His pamphlet "Directions For Impregnating Water With Fixed Air" (carbonation) was published in 1772. Joseph Priestley never gained any monetary reward for his discovery.
Types of Sparkling Water
The term sparkling water can also include spring water that has been carbonated or aerated. Mountain Valley produces such a water, as does Perrier. Claims that club soda and tonic water are sparkling waters are only true if there are no additives included in the product. In fact, today's tonic water usually has added sugar or artificial sweeteners. This moves tonic water more toward the soft drink category. Some club soda may have added small amounts of sodium, sodium bicarbonate or some other form of sodium.
Plain sparkling water has documented health benefits. A study, conducted in Spain and documented by The American Society of Nutritional Sciences, discovered that the use of carbonated mineral water can reduce cardiovascular risks for post-menopausal women. Cardiovascular disease risk was measured through total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol serum levels both of which were lowered 6.8 percent and 14.8 percent respectively.
Making Sparkling Water
Sparkling water can be made at home with the use of products like SodaStream. All that is required is tap water. Once the bottle of tap water is attached to the machine, the water is carbonated with a push of a button. Flavoring can be added after carbonation takes place. Adding a squeeze of fresh orange or lemon keeps the calorie and sugar count low.