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Sparkling Water vs. Soda Water — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 14, 2024
Sparkling water is natural water with added carbonation, often containing minerals. Soda water, also known as club soda, is artificially carbonated water with added minerals and, sometimes, a small amount of sodium bicarbonate for a slightly salty taste.
Sparkling Water vs. Soda Water — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Sparkling Water and Soda Water


Key Differences

Sparkling water originates from natural springs or wells, inherently containing various minerals. It is carbonated either naturally from the source or artificially. Soda water, on the other hand, is specifically created for consumption by carbonating plain water and adding minerals for taste.
The carbonation in sparkling water can be either natural or added, giving it a refreshing effervescence. Soda water is always artificially carbonated and often has a more consistent bubble size due to controlled carbonation processes.
Sparkling water often retains the mineral profile of its source, contributing to its distinct taste. Soda water typically contains added compounds like sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, or potassium sulfate to enhance flavor, often making it slightly more saline than sparkling water.
Sparkling water is commonly consumed for its natural origin and subtle flavor, enjoyed on its own or as a base for beverages. Soda water is a popular mixer in cocktails and other drinks, chosen for its neutral flavor and added effervescence.
In terms of health considerations, sparkling water usually has no added sodium, making it a healthier choice for those monitoring sodium intake. Soda water, due to added compounds, may contain minimal amounts of sodium.

Comparison Chart


Natural springs or wells.
Artificially carbonated plain water.


Natural or added.
Always artificially added.

Mineral Content

Natural minerals from the source.
Added minerals and compounds like sodium bicarbonate.


Varies with source, often subtle.
Slightly salty, more consistent flavor.


Enjoyed alone or in beverages.
Commonly used as a mixer in cocktails.

Compare with Definitions

Sparkling Water

Sparkling water can be naturally effervescent from springs.
This sparkling water is bottled directly from a natural spring.

Soda Water

Soda water is artificially carbonated water with added minerals.
Soda water was used as the base for the cocktail.

Sparkling Water

Sparkling water is popular for hydration and in mocktails.
She made a mocktail using sparkling water and fresh fruit.

Soda Water

Soda water has consistent carbonation and flavor.
The soda water provided a steady stream of bubbles in her glass.

Sparkling Water

It often contains minerals from its natural source.
The sparkling water had a unique taste due to its mineral content.

Soda Water

Often contains sodium bicarbonate for a slightly salty taste.
The soda water's slight saltiness enhanced the drink's flavor.

Sparkling Water

Sparkling water is water with natural or added carbonation.
She prefers sparkling water for its refreshing bubbles.

Soda Water

Common in the beverage industry for its versatility.
The bar stocked soda water for a variety of mixed drinks.

Sparkling Water

Used as a healthy alternative to sugary sodas.
He switched to sparkling water to reduce sugar intake.

Soda Water

Used as a mixer in alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
He added soda water to his whiskey for a fizzy twist.

Common Curiosities

Can sparkling water help with digestion?

Yes, the carbonation in sparkling water can aid digestion.

Does soda water have more sodium than sparkling water?

Generally, yes, due to added sodium bicarbonate.

Is sparkling water naturally carbonated?

It can be either naturally carbonated or artificially carbonated.

Is soda water good for making cocktails?

Yes, its neutral flavor and carbonation make it ideal for cocktails.

Is sparkling water calorie-free?

Yes, pure sparkling water without added flavors or sugar is calorie-free.

Does soda water have any health benefits?

It can be a healthier alternative to sugary sodas but offers no specific health benefits.

Can I make soda water at home?

Yes, with a carbonation machine or seltzer bottle.

Does sparkling water hydrate as well as regular water?

Yes, sparkling water is equally hydrating as still water.

Can I use soda water in baking?

Yes, it can be used in certain recipes for leavening.

Can sparkling water cause bloating?

For some people, the carbonation in sparkling water can cause bloating.

Is soda water the same as tonic water?

No, tonic water contains quinine and is usually sweetened.

Can both sparkling and soda water be flavored?

Yes, both can have added flavors.

Is soda water harmful to bone health?

No, there is no evidence to suggest soda water is harmful to bones.

Are there environmental concerns with bottled sparkling water?

Yes, plastic bottle waste is an environmental concern.

Is sparkling water acidic?

Yes, but its acidity is relatively low and not harmful to teeth.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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