I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that sparkling water we all love so much might not be as healthy as we think. That’s right, that bubbly water we thought was the perfect alternative to soda contains some sneaky chemicals known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). While sparkling water might be free of sugar, artificial flavors, coloring, and other processed junk, it turns out PFAS are not so great for our health. I know this is probably not what you want to hear. Who doesn’t love some sparkling water with lime on a hot day? I, myself was pretty disappointed to find out this “healthy” beverage is wreaking havoc on our health, so here’s everything you need to know about these pesky chemicals.
PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that have been used since the ’40s in things like food packaging, and don’t break down easily in the body or the environment. This means they can accumulate easily, causing more severe side effects if consumed regularly or more often. A recent study found that some of our favorite sparkling water products contain unsafe amounts of PFAS. Brands like Bubly, LaCroix, Perrier, Canada Dry, and Topo Chico were found to have higher amounts of these chemicals. Since PFAS are more common among sparkling waters, another theory somehow ties to the carbonation process to higher levels of them, but the exact cause is unknown.
So what’s the big deal? Well, unfortunately PFAS can have been linked to adverse effects on the immune, endocrine, metabolic, and reproductive systems (including fertility and pregnancy), and have even been shown to increase one’s risk for certain cancers. I know, gross right?
Well, for all my sparkling water lovers out there, all hope may not be lost. The silver lining is that other sparkling water brands like Spindrift and San Pellegrino contain safe levels of PFAS. So, the next time you reach for your favorite bubbly water, think about what could be lurking in them. You could always swap it out for some kombucha or lemon water to be safe. After all, we have enough on our plates to have to worry about what’s in our water!