The Great Sparkling Water Debate

Is the flavor of these healthy drinks really worth the hype?


Maya Sagett

Rating: 8.5/10 This one has a significantly better flavor and quality than all the rest, but has only a few bubbles and induces some questionable opinions about erythritol and some of the other ingredients.

Maya Sagett, Staff Reporter

Rating: 1/10 As the saying goes, it is so bad, I want to give it a zero. But that’s not possible. So I give it a one. (Maya Sagett)

Coming in dead last would have to be Voss Sparkling Water. With similar ingredients to the other poorly-rated brands, I was expecting this one to have the same effect, but no. This proved to be much worse the second it hit my tongue. But even before that could happen, the good old smell test was what made this experience very misleading. While still inside the can, the water smelled deceivingly promising, with a very prominent raspberry/general berry scent. But, even by pouring the drink into a cup, the new smell gives a preview of just how bad the drink would be. Not one moment of this drink was enjoyable, contrary to the others. It has a very in-your-face, menacingly raspberry flavor, but makes you want to be done drinking it as quickly as possible. The drink tastes like how you would imagine a fruit-scented kid’s shampoo to taste. When it was time for the aftertaste, though, I barely detected one at all, which was a very good thing, for I did not want the flavor of that to linger around for a second longer than it had to. As for the bubbles, they don’t distract enough from how bad the flavor is to have anything negative or positive to say about them. The Voss water company’s slogan is “It’s what’s on the inside.” Frankly, I couldn’t agree more; I would really like for the water to stay inside the can, and not make its way into my mouth.


Rating: 3/10 Tasting alright for about half a second, the drink goes south very quickly. Definitely not my favorite, but it could always be worse. (Maya Sagett)

Hiiiii. In third place comes Bubly. Slightly better than Voss, this drink actually goes in just fine. After that split second, though, the flavor completely disappears and starts tasting like plain San Pellegrino water. No flavor, just bubbles. If there’s any flavor at all to be detected, it’s one of a strawberry that’s sat in water for a day and been deprived of the fruit flavor it once deserved. After it’s swallowed, the aftertaste is nearly as bad as the drink itself. The drink with no calories, no sweeteners, no nothing left a very subtle taste of strawberry in my mouth for way too long after I drank it, tasting like the equivalent of strawberry-flavored cough medicine. Something actually notably not horrible is the amount of bubbles in the water. It’s not an insane amount, not taking away from the flavor of the drink (although there’s not much to take away from in the first place), but it definitely lives up to the name. You’d think that a brand with the slogan, “Crack a smile” would be a more joy-inducing drink. However, I definitely didn’t have anything short of a glower spread across my face while drinking it. 


Rating: 6/10 Although I really didn’t enjoy the taste after the first few seconds, it gets extra points for not leaving a mind-alteringly bad aftertaste in my mouth for an hour, and for the near-perfect ratio of bubbles to water. (Maya Sagett)

In second place, Aha Sparkling Water is similar to Bubly in that it tastes fine when it first hits your tongue, but the flavor leaves your mouth just as you’re beginning to realize what it tastes like. Well, “leave” may not be the right term, so much as “worsen” and get more and more like a container of raspberries that you washed, forgot about, and now taste like they’ve spent a little too long mixing with the air. This drink has the most authentic flavor out of all of them; it actually tastes like a raspberry at first, though I’m not getting much acai. Wondering if the numerous medicine-related analogies that can be made with these drinks could be a cause for concern, this one sparked a core memory of bubble gum-flavored antibiotics from when I was little. Surprisingly, this drink has very little aftertaste. During the time that there is one, though, it made me really want another sip, even though I knew I would dislike it just as much as the last. In the case of the bubbles, I can say that there is the perfect amount. It doesn’t mess with the flavor (though I’m not sure it would be such a bad thing if it did), but it still feels like I’m drinking a sparkling beverage. In a 2021 Christmas commercial, the Coca Cola company created their clever “Fa-aha-la-la-la-la” jingle. It doesn’t exactly get me in the holiday spirit, but it certainly makes me excited for whatever other beverages I get to enjoy over the winter season.


Rating: 8.5/10 This one has a significantly better flavor and quality than all the rest, but has only a few bubbles and induces some questionable opinions about erythritol and some of the other ingredients. (Maya Sagett)

Winning by a mile, Bubbl’r really takes the cake in this competition. With the flavor entitled “Twisted Elix’r,” I have mixed emotions. The definition of “elixir” is a magical or medicinal potion. I’m not sure it’s magical, but it definitely is a good change of pace from the other brands that do taste like a Harry Potter potion, eyes of newt and all. Advertised by having only five calories, and sporting vitamins A, B6, and B12, this drink doesn’t give seltzer water vibes (which I find to be a very good thing). The flavor stays consistent throughout the entire sip. This one doesn’t taste watered-down or like any variation of medicine, which is a very nice contrast from all the other brands. Although it’s not very true to the name of the flavor, it does taste like a mix of many fruits, in a good way. There are some debates about the use of erythritol in this drink and its reliability as a natural, “healthy” sugar. This brand of sparkling water contains more sodium and sugars (although technically natural) than the other ones. Does this add to the flavor, or is it just a better quality drink? On a different note, the aftertaste of this drink actually has a relatively good flavor. It stays consistent and tastes like real fruit all the way through the drinking experience. But, it almost feels sticky in my mouth, like I need to drink some plain water to clear my throat. The bubbles in this drink are a little lacking, though it’s not necessarily detrimental to the drink’s flavor itself. It almost doesn’t feel like I’m drinking sparkling water, but it still has enough zing that i’s not quite like tap water. Overall, this drink is one for the books. If you’re looking for a sparkling water that is free of juices, boosts your immune system, and might give you a boost in the morning with 69mg of caffeine per can, Bubbl’r is most definitely the way to go.