Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between Seltzer vs Sparkling Water? Is sparkling water the same as seltzer? Is seltzer water the same as club soda? Here’s everything you need to know about the differences between seltzer water vs sparkling water vs club soda.

A clear drinking glass filled with sparkling water for seltzer vs sparkling water.


Seltzer, sparkling water and club soda are all types of carbonated water, but the differences between them vary in the methods in which they are processed and whether or not any carbonation and minerals have been added by the manufacturer.

A clear glass filled with sparkling water. Several bottles of sparkling water sit behind the glass.

What is Carbonated Water?

Carbonated water is plain water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas (CO2) which adds carbonation and makes the water bubbly. Carbonated water is also called sparkling water, seltzer water, soda water and club soda. Some sparkling water, such as Pellegrino and Perrier, are naturally sparkling mineral waters that are captured from mineral springs in Italy and France. 

Seltzer Water vs Sparkling Water

Seltzer water and sparkling water are not the same. Sparkling water (also called mineral water) is water that is naturally carbonated and contains some minerals from the source (a spring or well). Think of Pellegrino sparkling water from Italy and Perrier sparkling water from France. Seltzer water is plain water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas (CO2) for carbonation. There are no natural or added minerals in seltzer water.

Is Seltzer Water The Same As Club Soda?

Seltzer water and club soda are similar, but they are not the same thing. Club soda and seltzer water both are waters that have carbon dioxide gas added to them for carbonation, but where they differ is club soda has also been infused with added minerals which enhances the flavor and seltzer water has not. Since seltzer water doesn’t contain any added minerals, it tastes more plain. Seltzer water and club soda have enough similarities that you can use seltzer water as a substitute for club soda and vice versa.

Sparkling Water

Sparkling mineral water is naturally carbonated and it contains some minerals from the source, such as a well or spring. The amounts of these minerals vary depending on the source. Some manufacturers may add more carbonation (CO2) to the water for more bubbles.

Seltzer Water

Seltzer water is water that has had carbonation added to it by the manufacturer, but typically the manufacturer does not infuse any minerals into the water.  

Club Soda

Club soda is water that has added CO2 for carbonation and it is infused with minerals for enhanced flavor. The types and amounts of minerals vary depending on the manufacturer. Some of the minerals added to club soda may give it a slightly salty taste.

A clear drinking glass filled with sparkling water. A green bottle of sparkling water sits next to the glass.

Is Carbonated Water Hydrating?

Provided carbonated water doesn’t contain added sugar and/or artificial flavoring and sweeteners, drinking carbonated water is as hydrating as still water. Carbonated water does not contain phosphorus so it’s a much healthier alternative to drinking sugary sodas. 

Flavored Sparkling Water

Flavored Sparkling is delicious and refreshing and makes a healthier choice over sodas and sports drinks.  Here’s how to make flavored water:

  1. Prepare fruit. Rinse fruit well (like lemons, limes, oranges and strawberries). Peel (if necessary) cut, chop or slice fruit.
  2. Muddle berries. If using berries, you can gently smash the berries in the glass to release juices for a richer flavored water or just add the fruit whole.
  3. Add fruit or fruit juice to glass. Add fruit, herbs and ice to a drinking glass. If using fresh fruit juice, pour in 1/4 of the glass with juice with ice.
  4. Pour in sparkling water. Fill the glass with sparkling water and gently stir.

I personally love to keep a large freezer bag filled with an assortment of flavored ice cubes in my freezer so I can toss them into my glass of water for a pop of flavor. I also like to keep a stash of frozen lemon slices in the freezer to add to water. And these Honey Lemon Ginger Slices add a nice slightly sweet pop of flavor to water (or tea) while adding nutritional benefits.  If you want to add a little sweetness  to your water, this Ginger Syrup adds delicious flavoring along with some added antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Sparkling Water Recipes

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