Is Sparkling Water a Competitor’s New Dieting Secret?

by Matt Weik

When competitors or even those looking to diet down are in full blown restriction mode, it can get pretty boring drinking plain water. Some might splurge with a calorie-free beverage like a diet green tea, black coffee, or even a zero-calorie soda. But, it seems like there’s a new craze out there revolving around sparking water. Brands like LaCroix are blowing up around the industry and for good reason, it gives those dieting a little piece of heaven even though it’s not truly bad for them or potentially going to ruin their diet.

The guilt-free beverage

It’s not just those dieting down that seems to have sparkling water on their radar—researchers do as well. Everyone seems to enjoy the fact that sparkling water gives them the effects of a carbonated beverage along with some flavor, without any guilt that would be had drinking a beverage filled with sugars and artificial flavors. One researcher even mentioned that he himself uses it as an alternative to soda, saying, “Sparking waters in particular are positioned well because they are a good midpoint between still water, which can only ever be made so exciting, and highly-processed drinks. Sparkling waters create a sense of responsible indulgence and I think that is the core of their appeal.”

This is extremely important in that not only does it count towards their water for the day, but like mentioned above, it’s truly an indulgence that competitors and dieters aren’t used to getting when they truly restricted. Could this be something that people who are severely overweight and obese can use? Absolutely. However, I’m willing to bet that many of them aren’t educated on these types of beverage and therefore don’t even know they exist. Could this help some of those individuals lose weight and potentially get their bodyweight back under control? Absolutely.

Yet, it’s not uncommon to see some competitors dieting down and still consuming things such as Coke Zero, diet green tea, among other beverages other than plain water. To each his or her own and everyone’s body reacts differently, so some competitors can get away with drinking flavorful beverages and not have it affect their physique in any negative way. Coffee, is another hugely consumed beverage to those dieting due to its caffeine content.

What’s the big deal?

Some people might think it’s not a big deal. Why would someone be craving things enough that they would go to sparkling water as a solution? And to those, I’d like to know how serious they’ve dieted during their life. Did they go a day without eating junk, or did they go 12 weeks without eating junk? Big difference on cravings and mental health (meaning people are ready to eat everything in sight after being restricted for so long).

When talking to a few competitors, they mentioned that they enjoy the fact that brands like LaCroix provide them with a beverage that tastes like a treat yet it isn’t. They talk about how important it is to find food and beverages that are either no or low calorie to maintain their sanity when they are truly cutting out a lot of the unnecessary pieces of their diet and going barebones and plain with everything they consume to cut back on their calories. This could go to the extreme of even skipping out on condiments. Another selling point for those dieting is that along with no calories, there are no artificial sweeteners added—great for those who aren’t fans of putting artificial ingredients and additives into their body.

With brands like LaCroix, competitors have the choice of around 20 different flavors so they can constantly change things up and keep things fresh. When dieting, it might not seem like much, but just eating or drinking something with a little flavor can be a mental savior when you’re keeping things basic. With flavors like: lime, orange, cran-raspberry, peach pear, coconut, mango, tangerine, and many others, you can constantly be changing up the flavors to keep your sanity.

From personal experience, I will say one thing… Some of the flavors LaCroix has are not the best. Again, this is according to my personal taste. Other members of my family couldn’t even find a flavor they enjoyed. But again, if you are expecting something super sweet and similar to a diet soda, you’re going to be disappointed with sparkling water. However, if you are fine with having something with just a little extra flavor and some fizz, sparkling water will fit the bill and keep you on track to losing that unwanted body fat.

Shoup, Mary Ellen. “Growing Trend of Everyday Wellness Positions Sparkling Water as ‘guilt-free Indulgence’: Euromonitor.” N.p., 12 June 2017. Web. 12 June 2017.