Starting college (and adulting in general) is overwhelming for many reasons, but grocery shopping takes the cake as the most intimidating part of my week. Grocery shopping for yourself can be pretty confusing because there are so many varieties of everything from olive oil to bread, and even water. 

Water, believe it or not, is complicated. For H2O amateurs (like myself), there are several kinds of water. Two types of water in particular, soda and tonic, prove confusing, and I don't blame you. To ease confusion, I'm addressing the confusion between soda water vs tonic water. You're welcome.

What Is Soda Water?

First things first: Let's talk about soda water. Soda water (aka carbonated water) is where carbon dioxide gas under pressure is dissolved. Sounds fancy, I know. La Croix, for instance, is a flavored soda water and a college girl's best friend.

So, What Is Tonic Water?

Like soda water, tonic water is a carbonated soft drink. However, quinine is dissolved in tonic water. What's quinine? To put it simply, it's a bitter alkaloid that's used to enhance flavor. With quinine added to tonic water, a distinct bitter taste is developed. This bitter taste of tonic water pairs well with gin. Thus, a dynamic duo was born. 

Soda Water vs Tonic Water: What's the Difference?

So, what's the difference? Tonic water is pretty bitter, and it's known for it's distinct taste. On the other hand, soda water utilizes pressurized carbon dioxide gas. 

Tonic water is pretty different compared to most bubbly, carbonated waters. In addition to its distinct taste, tonic water contains calories (unlike the other types of waters). In terms of health benefits, tonic water is a healthy alternative to soda. However, the added sugar starts to add up when you find yourself on your second or third gin and tonic. Be wary. 

While tonic water has calories, soda water is shown to increase a hunger hormone, ghrelin. With increased ghrelin levels, a person feels hungrier and will munch on more food. This can lead to a weight gain. La Croix, we're on to you. 

Final Thoughts

wine, beer
Mackenzie Patel

If you're trying to cut back on sugary drinks, be wary of these two carbonated drinks. With added sugars, both soda water and tonic water can potentially lead to tooth decay, weight gain, and an upset stomach. 

When considering soda water vs tonic water, the main takeaway is that soda water uses carbon dioxide that's under pressure, while tonic water contains quinine. My suggestion? Keep it simple and pair tonic water with gin, and substitute a sugary Coke with a flavored soda water.