Lose the La Croix

Benji Wilton, features writer

It’s summertime. The sun is blazing, the grass is a sea of green and the pool feels perfect. There’s only one problem: you’re thirsty. As you examine the cooler hoping for a soda or a tea, you find that the only drink left is a berry flavored La Croix. As you reach for the can you think to yourself, “That doesn’t sound half bad.” Just like you, I once fell for this devious trap.

Sparkling water is quite the deceptive drink. With brands such as La Croix and Perrier appearing in a variety of fruit flavors, one may wonder what could possibly be so bad about the bubbly beverage. However, this seemingly sweet flavor is a mask that misleads the unsuspecting person. When they feel the burning sensation in their throat, the sharp taste of chemicals and start burping nonstop is when they realize that they have been duped.

I suppose the lack of a refreshing taste is a result of the short list of ingredients.  After all, in brands such as La Croix and Ice Mountain Sparkling, the only ingredients are water, carbon dioxide and other natural flavors. Regardless, it’s a bad sign when it’s hard to tell whether you’re drinking a sparkling water or you misplaced that bottle of hydrochloric acid from chemistry class.

Many Americans still drink the beverage regardless of the taste. According to Fortune, National Beverage Corp., the company that manufactures La Croix, had net sales rise from $646 million in 2015 to $827 million in only one year.

The decline in soda consumption plays a major role in why more people are drinking sparkling water. These days, Americans are seeking out healthier options to fulfill their need for carbonated drinks rather than drinking sugary sodas. According to Reuters, an international news agency, soda consumption in the United States has decreased by approximately 1.2 percent in 2016, the 12th consecutive year of decline.

It’s disappointing to say that my house is always stocked with sparkling water. It seems like we never run out of Ice Mountain sparkling water from Costco. While my siblings and I are more enlightened about good tasting drinks, my parents can’t seem to get enough sparkling water.

Even with the health benefits, I still have trouble understanding why Americans  drink nearly 170 million gallons of sparkling water every year, according to NPR. There are plenty of other low calorie options that don’t taste like cleaning supplies. But if drinking acidic bubble juice truly floats your boat, then go right ahead. As for me, I think I’ll stick with the still zero-calorie, way more refreshing, pure H2O.