A mixture of free LaCroix, a propensity for bougie liquids, and a nostalgia for sparkling water is a dangerous combination. I was caught in this intersection for three days at Deloitte University (DU), the premier training center of the Big 4 accounting firm.

I’m an audit and tax intern for this summer, so the firm flew us out to Westlake, Texas for a few days of training, networking, and intense food babies. “Around the world” snack rooms and a “Barn” featuring velvety mac & cheese was just the tip of the accounting iceberg. And who said debits and credits weren’t glamorous?

Each snack room and snack station throughout the complex was stocked with LaCroix water—free, of course. A 12-pack of LaCroix is around $5-$6, so I wasn’t about to let this free, pretentious water escape me.

coffee, ice, alcohol, tea, beer
Mackenzie Patel

The first day, I drank four waters, so I set a challenge for myself the second day: Drink 10 LaCroix cans in a day and see what the hell happens. Will I implode? Will I turn into a carbonation bubble? I was already obsessed with LaCroix beforehand, but I dove into the bubbly deep end at DU. Here is my journey into the sparkling, basic-girl abyss, complete with thrill, denial, and insanity.

Morning: Refreshed And Ready

beverage, tea, beer, milk, coffee
Mackenzie Patel

LaCroix One was cracked open at 6:05 am. I woke up at the disgusting hour of 5:30 am to do a workout class at DFitness. I was chunky from all the free accounting food of the week, so I threw on sneakers and exercised on a Bosu for 45 minutes.

In between sets, I would sip on LaCroix, although the carbonation didn’t sit well in my pre-7 am stomach. A weird feeling—like a stomach drop after a roller coaster—sat in my body, like the carbonated water didn’t agree with me. The feeling went away towards breakfast, when LaCroix Two was popped and sipped with a banana.

Deloitte University only had three LaCroix flavors: regular, lime, and peach pear. The regular was refreshing, the lime was divine, and the peach pear was unsettling but drinkable after a few sips.

I switched between the three throughout mid-morning, sipping all the audit/tax/advisory Kool-Aid along with the LaCroix. My stomach didn’t feel weird or bloated—I had to use the restroom four times before lunch, but the sparkling crunch was worth it.

Afternoon: Still Content And Addicted

liquor, alcohol, beer, tea
Mackenzie Patel

A lunch of chicken, watermelon, and snickerdoodles—and a tall boy of LaCroix #4. The waitress looked surprised when I said “LaCroix,” since most of my friends hated the glittering drink. On the whole, most Americans aren't partial to sparkling water. The taste is an acquired one, but after living in Europe for a month, still-water tastes lackluster and flat to me. 

I started my fifth LaCroix during the business etiquette presentation. Business casual and two-pumped handshakes and… clear French bubbles. During the afternoon, my group had to film a video about Deloitte’s Uncovering initiatives (related to inclusion and diversity). The outdoors was a bath of blazer sweat, humid hair, and sticky pants, so my cold LaCroix’s were stellar.

I thought I’d get tired of them by the sixth and seventh one—but no. I simply became more addicted. I didn’t think that was possible, but I found myself craving them when I wasn’t sipping. I drank my eight LaCroix as I raided the “around the world” snack rooms in the hotel part of DU.

Evening: Bursting With Water

water, grass, tea
Mackenzie Patel

Sometime around dinner, I could only find plain LaCroix in the coolers near the Market and Ballroom. I didn’t care, since it made chugging the remaining three easier. I might be adept at shots, but sucking down 36 carbonated ounces in a few hours is difficult. There’s also the burping, the peeing, and the acidizing of teeth to contend with as well.

LaCroix doesn’t weaken tooth enamel that much (due to carbonic acid), but ten a day is bound to damage those adult pearls. However, I STILL WASN’T SICK of LaCroix; its taste was barely there since it was room temperature and flat, but I kept drinking.

Our social event, “Casino Night,” was two hours of karaoke and playing with fake chips. My stomach was hard, and I was running to the bathroom every 30 minutes – but I had two more to go. The ninth was drunk over an hour of Jonas Brothers and John Legend, the lukewarm taste following me to the Barn for a midnight snack.

Midnight: The Bubble At The End Tunnel

tea, coffee
Mackenzie Patel

AND FINALLY. I chugged LaCroix #10 on the way to my hotel room, downing the plain flavor underneath chandeliers and speckled ceilings. My stomach was even harder, I was feeling constipated, and I thought I’d never fit into another form-fitting dress again.

A burp and an elevator ride later, I was splayed in my queen bed, looking over at the pile of LaCroix cans and thinking The things I do for Spoon University…

And the LaCroix fixation lingered until 10 a.m. the following morning, when I popped a tin top and was stupidly satisfied. Honestly, I wasn’t sick of LaCroix—not to the point where I couldn’t shotgun another. Something about its timeless, Caribbean clarity and bright packaging has me addicted and always reaching for another one.