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Giving Up Soda (and Beer) for Fizzy Water

Updated on September 23, 2014

Substituting one craving for another (healthier) one

Giving up soda entirely wasn't easy. It was actually a little tougher than giving up drinking, which I did about six years go after drinking consistently more or less every night for about a decade, maybe a little more. But luckily for me, my girlfriend suggested we try San Pellegrino sparkling water about a year ago. Up until that point, I had enjoyed the crap out of some Diet Coke (probably not the worst vice I could have enjoyed by that time, sure, but a vice nonetheless).

Nowadays, I enjoy a mixture of San Pellegrino, Perrier, and seltzer water in a regular rotation. Each one has its strengths, and each is useful under certain circumstances. All three have helped me to live a considerably healthier life without beer or soda (well, without much soda- I still enjoy Diet Coke with pizza or with a movie, but hardly ever otherwise).

San Pel

San Pellegrino has a bit of a mild carbonation, nothing as intense as Perrier or seltzer water. It also has the best flavor of any bottled sparkling water I've ever tasted. It comes from a particular region in Italy (at least in part), and has a few distinct mineral flavors that are subtle enough so as not to get in the way of enjoying it, but just present enough to clearly differentiate San Pel from the other bottled "fizzy water" products out there.

One other huge key to me no longer drinking soda (except for on very rare occasions) and beer (never) has been the consistent availability of bottled "fancy water" at my home. To that end, I've subscribed to San Pellegrino (the 12 packs of the larger sized bottles). This stuff is best enjoyed over ice, sipped slowly, although I've been known to go back for bottle after bottle if I'm winding down or watching a movie, or whatever other activities I might have enjoyed with a beer in the past.

I can honestly say that San Pellegrino has helped me virtually stop drinking soda over the last year. I am living considerably cleaner as a result.


Perrier, on the other hand, has a signature "fancy" bottle and has much more carbonation than old San Pel. If I'm winding down at the end of the night, I enjoy Perrier, and I kind of imagine that it's a stronger drink, perhaps something with vodka in it. It's pretty goofy, but it has been a small part of helping me build new, healthier habits.

Perrier is a good compliment if you've had San Pellegrino for a while and just want to change it up. The flavor is not as strong, even though the carbonation is stronger. I would venture to guess that there are less minerals in Perrier, although I don't have science to back that up (other than the empirical evidence of my thousands of taste buds!).


Ah, seltzer: the vodka of fizzy waters. It's funny, because while San Pellegrino is a bit mild in both flavor and carbonation, and Perrier is a bit more bold in carbonation, but still with a distinct flavor, seltzer water has essentially zero flavor, but boy does it pack a carbonated punch! I've been enjoying some very affordable setlzer water lately, drinking it as a first choice over Perrier or San Pel lately simply because of economics. And man, I have probably gone through at least 3 liters a day for the last several weeks!

Seltzer doesn't need any ice at all. I guess in that sense it's not like vodka at all, because when I was a drinker, I'd always want to mix vodka with something and ice it. But seltzer is, nevertheless, still considerably stronger in the fizz sense (the one that really matters here). You can't exactly chug it, although it will eventually quench your thirst (just by drinking it super slowly).


What is your favorite "fizzy water"?

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Your experiences

Your experiences drinking fizzy water may well be different than mine, and perhaps one will become the only stuff you drink. Remember: if you're going to be spending some money on this stuff, it's probably pretty easy to justify doing so if you were already going to be spending the same amount of money (or much more) on either soda or beer (or worse). At any rate, I hope your experiences with fizzy water are awesome. Let me know in the comments what you've enjoyed the most!


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