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Sparkling Water vs. Soda Water: What's the Difference?

By Janet White || Published on February 23, 2024
Sparkling water is naturally carbonated or infused with CO2, with no added ingredients; soda water is carbonated and often contains added minerals and sodium.

Key Differences

Sparkling water is water that is naturally carbonated or infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure. Soda water, also known as club soda, is artificially carbonated water to which minerals and often sodium are added.
Sparkling water can be naturally effervescent, like some spring waters, or it can be artificially carbonated. Soda water is specifically designed for mixing with drinks and typically contains additives like sodium bicarbonate.
Sparkling water often has a milder fizz and is used as a beverage on its own. Soda water has a more pronounced fizz and is used primarily as a mixer in cocktails and other drinks.
The taste of sparkling water is closer to that of still water, while soda water has a slightly salty or mineral taste due to added compounds.
Sparkling water is generally considered healthier due to the absence of added sodium and minerals. Soda water, while also low in calories, may contain added sodium.

Comparison Chart

Carbonation Source

Naturally occurring or added CO2
Artificially carbonated


No added ingredients
Minerals and sodium added

Primary Use

Consumed as a standalone beverage
Used as a mixer in cocktails


Similar to still water, with mild fizz
Slightly salty or mineral taste

Health Aspect

Generally healthier, no added sodium
May contain added sodium

Sparkling Water and Soda Water Definitions

Sparkling Water

Often consumed as a healthier alternative to sugary sodas.
For a healthier choice, he switched to sparkling water.

Soda Water

Available in bottles or can be made using home carbonation systems.
She used her home carbonation system to make fresh soda water.

Sparkling Water

Popular in many countries as a non-alcoholic beverage option.
Sparkling water is often served at social gatherings as a non-alcoholic drink.

Soda Water

Soda water is carbonated water with added minerals and often sodium.
He mixed soda water with juice for a refreshing drink.

Sparkling Water

Can be naturally carbonated from a spring or artificially.
The restaurant offered a choice of naturally sparkling water.

Soda Water

Commonly used as a mixer for cocktails and other beverages.
Soda water is a key ingredient in many cocktail recipes.

Sparkling Water

Has a subtle fizz and a taste similar to still water.
Sparkling water quenched her thirst without added flavors.

Soda Water

Offers a more pronounced fizz than sparkling water.
Soda water's fizziness is perfect for adding a zing to drinks.

Sparkling Water

Sparkling water is water with dissolved carbon dioxide, either natural or added.
She prefers sparkling water for its refreshing fizz.

Soda Water

Contains additives like sodium bicarbonate for a distinct taste.
The slight saltiness of soda water enhances the flavor of mixed drinks.


What is sparkling water?

Carbonated water, either naturally or artificially, with no added ingredients.

Is sparkling water the same as mineral water?

Not always; mineral water has natural minerals, whereas sparkling water may not.

Can sparkling water be naturally carbonated?

Yes, some sparkling waters are naturally carbonated from springs.

What is soda water?

Artificially carbonated water with added minerals and often sodium.

What are the additives in soda water?

Commonly sodium bicarbonate and other minerals.

Can sparkling water be flavored?

Yes, but it can also be enjoyed plain without any flavors.

Does soda water contain calories?

Typically, it's low in calories but may have minimal amounts due to additives.

Is sparkling water good for digestion?

Some people find the carbonation in sparkling water aids in digestion.

Are there different types of soda water?

Yes, some may have varying levels of carbonation and mineral content.

Is soda water the same as tonic water?

No, tonic water contains quinine and sweeteners, unlike soda water.

What is soda water used for?

Primarily as a mixer in cocktails and other beverages.

Can soda water be made at home?

Yes, with home carbonation systems or DIY methods.

What does sparkling water taste like?

It tastes similar to still water, with a mild fizz.

Does soda water taste salty?

It can have a slightly salty or mineral taste.

Can soda water be drunk on its own?

Yes, though it's more commonly used as a mixer.

Does sparkling water have health benefits?

It's a healthier alternative to sugary drinks and can aid in hydration.

Is sparkling water hydrating?

Yes, it's as hydrating as still water.

Can soda water replace regular water?

While hydrating, it's not a direct replacement due to added minerals and sodium.

How is sparkling water carbonated?

Through natural processes or by adding CO2.

Is sparkling water suitable for everyone?

Generally, yes, though some may be sensitive to carbonation.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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