Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Benefits of Owning a Soda Stream and The Best Water Enhancers

We all know that drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day is important, but guzzling that much fluid can seem impossible, especially when you’re busy, on-the-go or simply not in the mood. 

The human body is composed of 60% water which is essential for maintaining vital bodily functions. Dehydration causes fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, bloating, dry skin, poor concentration, irritability, constipation and improper kidney function...not fun. 

If plain water seems unappealing or boring, SodaStream can help reignite your passion for H2O and inspire you to create fun, delicious drinks the whole family will enjoy. 

If you already own a SodaStream scroll down to water enhancers, if not keep reading.

 ~ What is SodaStream and how does it work? 
SodaStream is an easy to use kitchen appliance that turns flat water into sparking water with the touch of a button. Simply fill the bottle with cold, fresh water (straight from the fridge is best), insert it into the machine and push the button (all the way down) to carbonate. Read the instructions carefully or watch a YouTube tutorial if you have any issues.
I use reverse osmosis water purchased from a local water store. It is completely filtered and pure. You can also use tap water depending on the quality in your area. 

According to the manufacturer, the appliance should not be used to carbonate other liquids (juice, wine etc) but you can add fizzy water to any drink you like (it tastes great with mango juice). 

My SodaStream has 3 levels of carbonation (mild, moderate and extra bubbly) as indicated by the water droplets on the front panel. To reach higher carbonation levels simply push and hold the button longer. 

~ Cost, refills and what’s included 
Here in Canada, a basic SodaStream unit cost about $100.00 - $120.00. There are a few designs and colors available. 

The machine comes with a CO2 cylinder and a reusable water bottle. It does not need to be plugged in or charged. 

The CO2 tank should be replaced when it runs out of gas. You will know it is time for a refill when your water tastes flat no matter how much carbonation you pump in (there is no gauge to indicate when it is running low). 

On average the cylinder is supposed to last 2-4 months (depending on how often and how much you use). I carbonate a lot so mine usually lasts 5 weeks. 

New tanks cost $34.99 but you can exchange the empty canister at participating retailers (Walmart, grocery stores and water stores) and get another one for $19.99. My local water store only charges $12.99.

Most SodaStream flavoring cost $2.97 - $12. 
 ~ Benefits of owning a SodaStream 
1. If you want to reduce or eliminate sugary soft drinks from your diet, SodaStream is the way to go. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a cold Canada Dry Gingerale or Diet Pepsi every now and then but for the most part I’ve cut out pop and aspartame.

Sugary beverages have been linked to an increase risk of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and tooth decay which is a good reason to kick the habit cold-turkey. Reducing your sugar intake can also help you shed a few extra pounds and SodaStream has a lower salt content than most carbonated water. 

SodaStream satisfies my craving for soft drinks by providing a blast of bubbles that mimic the carbonation in soda. If you don’t like sparkling water don’t be deterred. There are many great flavors and recipes to experiment with so you don’t have to drink it plain. 

2. You’ll probably drink more water! I can drink at least 8 glasses a day and create different beverages to keep things exciting. My family loves SodaStream and I actually crave water now. 

3. Reduce plastic waste and limit your exposure to toxins found in plastic water bottles. 

4. Save Money! Have you seen the price of sparkling water and healthy drinks at fancy restaurants and specialty markets? If you own a SodaStream you don’t have to purchase Perrier, Kombucha or other pricey beverages. 

~Water enhancers – which brands taste best? 
There are many water enhancers on the market but I decided to test a few brands that are available at local stores. 

SodaStream has their own line of flavoring which includes everything from cola to fruit drops. One of their most popular drinks is Gingerale ($6.99). It comes as a syrupy liquid and the cap doubles as a measuring cup.
The first time I made it, I wasn’t impressed. It reminded me of flat Schweeppes instead of bubbly Canada Dry. The second time it was a lot better. The key is adding the right amount of carbonation (about 3-4 pumps) and the right amount of syrup adjusted to your taste preference. 

The Gingerale is 45 calories per serving and contains 11 grams of sugar (Stevia and regular sugar). I also tried the Root Beer (which does not contain artificial sweetener) and the flavor is spot on.
SodaStream’s Passionfruit & Mandarine Kombucha Concentrate ($11.99) contains 4 calories, raw sugar, black tea, organic juice, natural flavors and 1 billion live probiotics which supports gastrointestinal health. It tastes great (if you like Kombucha) and you only need 3 tbsp per glass so it lasts a long time and is much cheaper than other brands.
Mio Liquid Water Enhancer is quite popular and usually cost $3 - $4 at Walmart. My favorite flavor is Peach Mango. 

Unfortunately Mio contains Sucralose which is an artificial sweetener found in Splenda. It is not broken down by the body therefore it is noncaloric. It also contains Acesulfame Potassium - another calorie-free sugar substitute. According to my research, both of these ingredients may have negative long-term effects so I drink it in moderation.
A healthier alternative (and my top pick in terms of taste and ingredients) is Stur. Although their social media coordinator was less than helpful, these enhancers are my favorite. They are made with natural extracts, real fruit juice, Vitamin C and Stevia (a natural plant sugar with zero calories).
I like all of their flavors but my favorites are Blue & Blackberry and Strawberry Watermelon. The only downside is that I tend to finish them quickly because the bottles are small. Stur is available at Walmart but is often sold-out here in the GTA. You can also buy the variety packs on Amazon. 

The SodaStream Drops ($5.49 ea or $11.99 for a 3 pack) are lightly flavored and do not contain artificial sweetener. They are not as tasty as the other enhancers but if you like citrus with a bitter aftertaste these will give you a boost of Vitamin C (I’m not a fan).
Last but not least we have President’s Choice Fruit Punch. I picked this up at Shoppers Drug Mart because it is naturally flavored and sweetened with Stevia. Unfortunately I did not like the taste and for some reason the scent bothered me.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a SodaStream I hope this article was helpful. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram - @DiaryofaTrendaholic 

This article was not sponsored by SodaStream

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