Consuming sparkling water as an alternative to either still water drinks or flavored soda is a trendy choice. There are an increasing number of sparkling water brands on the market, including a variety of flavors offered, but is sparkling water vegan? In this article, we will take you through the ingredients and processes used to make speaking water.
- Sparkling Water Ingredients: Are They Vegan?
- Natural Flavors: They’re on the Ingredients’ List, But What Are They?
- What Sparkling Water Brands Are Vegan?
Sparkling Water Ingredients: Are They Vegan?
In its essence, sparkling water is water that has carbon dioxide added to it. However, the fun doesn’t stop there. Oh no…
The water itself can be from a regular water supply from a state that’s been run through one or more filtration systems.
This would remove any contaminants picked up along the way.
More commonly though, mineral water sourced from natural springs or occasionally, water wells, are the sources too.
Seen as nature’s natural filtration system, this mineral water is perceived as a healthier option.
Indeed, premium waters from France and elsewhere are promoted as being from the natural springs up in the mountains and sold at a higher price.
Is Water Filtration a Problem for Vegans?
Filtration systems for water can be natural or use one kind of water filtration system or another.
Different types of charcoal may be used to filter water before it is used in a retailed sparkling water or mineral water product. Reverse osmosis or another filtering process may be utilized too.
Sometimes, vegans are alarmed to learn that bone char is used as a filter. This is an animal-derived byproduct.
Therefore, vegans should try to discover how the filtration of the sparkling water was achieved, not only that it’s filtered water.
Is Flavored Sparkling Water Vegan?
An increasing number of flavored sparkling waters are marketed now. These are distinctly different from flavored, carbonated sodas that contain sugars (or artificial sugars), and other unwanted extras.
The details matter here. What has been added to the flavored sparkling water to give it that extra zing to the taste buds or added sweetness?
For example, there are plenty of Aha sparking waters available. These include the expected filtered water, the bubbles courtesy of carbon dioxide, and a substantial touch of natural flavors. No artificial flavors, sweeteners, or sodium are present.
Natural Flavors: They’re on the Ingredients’ List, But What Are They?
Sparkling water will often have ‘natural flavors’ on the label as one of the ingredients. What does this mean and is it vegan friendly?
Natural flavors mean that the flavors were derived from plants or animals.
They weren’t chemically or artificially produced. Therefore, a lime-based seltzer might have lime natural flavoring, but not contain any lime, specifically. As such, lime won’t appear on the ingredients list.
With sparkling waters, the natural flavors in question should be from plants, rather than animals.
However, it’s necessary to make sure.
Doing a little mini sleuthing about the product is best. Of course, if the water is marketed as vegan, that makes life easier. But many are not.
Also, a word on GMOs here.
Natural flavors aren’t presently defined by the FDA.
Therefore, it’s light on the specifics. Certainly, it does not certify that the product is organic.
The plants or vegetables that formed the source of the natural flavors could have been grown from GMO seeds or non-GMO seeds.
So, again, vegans need to look at the marketing, the ingredient list, and even the naming of the product (and the product line) to be sure what they’re buying.
Sparkling water that has natural flavors and is organic, means non-GMO sources for the fruit and vegetables (assuming there are no ‘naturally flavored’ meat sources included for some reason).
Vegan sparkling water with organic labeling means it’s organic, non-GMO, and the natural flavors (and other ingredients) are only from plant-based sources. That’s the safest bet.
What Sparkling Water Brands Are Vegan?
Aha Sparkling Water, from Coca-Cola, is replacing their Dasani water brand around the world. It is extremely fruity with a punchy aroma after opening that’s sure to grab attention.
It has zero sugar, sodium, or calories.
It uses natural flavors, and you’ll need to base what they might be on their current 7 flavor product line.
They also now have a fruit and tea-based caffeinated range too.
Spindrift Sparkling Water
Spindrift Sparkling Water promotes based on using real fruit, rather than natural fruit-based flavors in their sparkling water range. Their ten flavors including one flavored tea version, come in a standard 12-ounce serving size and are usually just 5 calories.
Highly rated. Seems to be vegan.
LaCroix is a top brand of sparkling water. It’s a market leader and beats out most of the others. It’s gluten-free, Kosher, and vegetarian. Also, non-GMO, with no sodium or sugars added, or anything artificial.
Their water that’s then carbonated is sourced from various locations. It is then filtered using a process of deionization and some reverse osmosis for good measure.
Natural flavors are not stated as vegan, but they likely tick the right boxes.
Good & Gather Sparkling Water
Good & Gather Sparkling water is from the Target retail chain. It uses fruity natural flavors, not real fruit. They have some interesting flavor combos that you don’t find duplicated elsewhere, like watermelon and lime, or ginger peach. Zero calories. It’s on the lower end of the price range. The fruity flavors hopefully indicate it’ll satisfy a vegan’s palette too.
San Pellegrino is the top sparkling mineral water. The FDA has different requirements for water to be marketed in the US as mineral water, not just sparkling water. It comes with naturally created calcium, sodium, and magnesium components. Flavoring is more a case of slicing up an orange or a lemon and adding it to a water pitcher with some San Pellegrino and ice in it. Pricey though.
Vegan for sure as it’s mineral water combined with carbonation, with no natural flavors added.