Flavored Waters That Are Actually Good For You

How do you like your water? Ice-cold? Drunk with a straw? How about with a little pizzazz to it? If you're like us, you'll veer towards the latter — and with sparkling, flavored water, you get a veritable party in a glass. Sparkling water has been around for generations, and the reasons why we love it so much go way beyond the clever marketing of drinks companies. A sparkling water like seltzer's unique combination of taste, smell, and the physical sensation it produces when we drink it creates an appealing effect, as discussed via Whyy. And when we throw sparkling water's potential health benefits into the mix — from keeping us hydrated to helping us steer clear of sugary sodas and potentially increasing our satiety (per UChicagoMedicine) — we can see why it's a drink we keep coming back to.

So when sparkling water is flavored? As far as we're concerned, that makes it even better. Flavored waters are everywhere you look these days, but it can sometimes be tricky to distinguish which ones are the healthy ones and which are crammed full of sugar and additives. After all, if we wanted a soda, we'd buy one, right? So that's why here at Health Digest, we decided to collect the healthiest flavored waters out there for you to add to your shopping list. Grab a glass and let's go!

What should I look for in flavored water?

With the abundance of choices in the flavored water market, things can get a little overwhelming, and you might be tempted to just grab the first flavored water you see. But if you're looking for a healthy option, it's important to know exactly what you're searching for when you make your decision. 

The first thing to remember is to scrutinize your product, looking for the presence of any artificial preservatives, additives, or flavorings — and don't just trust what they tell you on the front of the label. You always have to look at the back of the package and look at the ingredients to see what's in there," advises registered dietitian Kristen Ziesmer to TrueSport. "For example, even though Stevia comes from a plant, it's usually cut with something else to make it mix better, but that isn't mentioned on the front of the package."

It's also vital to consider the source of your flavored water's sweetness, says Ziesmer. While artificial sweeteners like sucralose might boost the taste of your drink with no significant boost in calories, they may also harm your gut bacteria, as well as make you more hungry for sweet treats.

San Pellegrino Essenza Sparkling Water

San Pellegrino is a heavy hitter in the sparkling water game, and when it comes to flavored waters, they don't do things by halves, either. Luckily, their Essenza Sparkling Water range is about as healthy as they come. The Essenza flavored water products are composed of a few key natural ingredients, with natural mineral water being mixed with carbon dioxide for its signature sparkle, and then simple natural flavorings added into the mix, according to San Pellegrino. This all makes for flavored water that has almost the same nutritional impact as drinking regular water, with just a single calorie per 100 milliliters.

For us, though, where the Essenza range really sparkles (sorry, we couldn't resist, it was right there) is in its incredible array of unique flavors. Pick up a can of refreshing Lemon & Lemon Zest, Blood Orange & Black Raspberry, or Dark Morello Cherry & Pomegranate. After something a little different? San Pellegrino has you covered, with other flavored waters centered around the taste of caramel, vanilla, and coffee, in lightly caffeinated versions. We're very much here for this flavored water extravaganza!

Spindrift Sparkling Water

Few people are making flavored waters like Spindrift, and the secret to their success seems to lie in simplicity. Their flavored sparkling waters are made by combining carbonated water and real fruit juices, for a taste that they describe as "light, bright, slightly sweet, and a little pulpy" (via the Spindrift website). This bare-bones recipe also contains no added sugar, meaning that the sweetness comes from the fruit and fruit alone. It also creates a drink that contains just a few grams of carbohydrates and sugar per serving, no fat, and low calories.

Spindrift's healthy nature means that it's pretty beloved by those in the know. "I always like recommending Spindrift because it's made with real fruit juice and puree. Every flavor has less than 3 grams of sugar, and it's from the fruit," says registered dietitian nutritionist May Zhu to Livestrong. And if that's not enough, Spindrift's range of flavors is extensive, meaning that there's something for everyone. Choose from Pineapple, Lime, Strawberry, Blackberry, Cucumber, or Blood Orange Tangerine, amongst other selections. They even have suggestions for cocktails made with Spindrift on their website, if that's your thing!

Good & Gather Sparkling Water

Good & Gather have more going for them than a pleasing-to-say name. This flavored sparkling water range, available via Target, scores high in the healthy stakes. One of the main attractions of the Good & Gather selection is its ability to offer a wholesome flavored water drink at a reasonable price point, states registered dietitian Alex Aldeborgh (per Verywell Fit). With an 8-pack of cans setting you back just over $3, this is a great option for people who want to drink healthy, without a massive cost.

But what about the drink itself? Nutritionally, it's pretty clean, with the Yuzu Mandarin option containing just two ingredients: carbonated water and natural flavors (per Target). While these natural flavors may of course be split up into further smaller ingredients, Good & Gather boasts that their drink is unsweetened, containing "quality ingredients." And you won't want for options on the flavor front, with Good & Gather coming in a huge variety of options, including Strawberry Mango, Tropical Cherry, Watermelon Lime, Coconut Pineapple, and, pretty excitingly, Pomegranate Dragon Fruit. Who says you have to compromise on choice when you're spending less?

JUST Water

With a name like JUST Water, you can expect things to be kept pretty simple. And kept simple they are, with JUST's range of sparkling flavored waters focusing on quality, cleanliness, and avoiding any unnecessary additions. This extends to their packaging, too: Their Bubbles sparkling water products are bottled using sustainable containers, chosen due to their ability to be recycled and reused (per JUST Water). The source water for their flavored products comes directly from Big Sky Montana, too, meaning that you're getting all-natural spring water with every sip.

To flavor their water, JUST prioritizes using all-natural ingredients, with real fruit components going into their flavored range, as well as steering clear of added sugars, preservatives, or artificial additives. The mountain-spring water that the drink is made from also means that you're getting an impressive dose of natural mineral content with each sip, with magnesium, calcium, silica, and other minerals present in the water organically instead of being added in a factory. On the flavors front, JUST Water keeps things natural, too: Watermelon, Lime, and Lemon are a few of the tastes they offer, as well as infusions of Blackberry and Mint.

Sound Sparkling Waters

Sound has carved out a place for itself in the drinks industry, which is no small achievement given how crowded the market is. And part of the reason why they've managed to do so is down to their unique offering of sparkling water flavored with botanicals and tea, as well as classic tastes (per Sound). Stemming from their "desire for a better tasting, more exciting unsweetened beverage," some of Sound's flavors include Tangerine with Lemongrass and Green Tea, Blueberry with Cinnamon and Hibiscus Tea, and Blood Orange with Vanilla and Black Tea. Now, just try and tell us that you don't want to try those.

True to their emphasis on using natural flavors, their drinks contain no sugar or artificial flavors, and use organic ingredients, with the taste of the drinks primarily coming from extracts (as seen in their Blood Orange, Vanilla and Black Tea product). One interesting and important thing to note about Sound's options is the caffeine present in some of them, with the Blood Orange drink containing roughly 45 milligrams per serving. In that respect, some of their flavored waters may double as an energy drink — but if you'd rather keep it caffeine-free, Sound has you covered with other options, like their Grapefruit, Lavender, and Ginger Tea drink.

Waterloo Sparkling Fruit Flavored Waters

We've gotta say, we love Waterloo water for two reasons: The wholesomeness of their drink, and their marketing. "We break through the sea of sameness in sparkling waters. Water is our canvas," the company states on their website. Using what they call "full-flavor artistry" to craft their drinks, the result is a confident offering of flavored water that comes in Grapefruit, Lime, Blueberry, Strawberry, and Lime, amongst others.

Inside the drink, things remain as confident. The flavors that Waterloo offers are punchy and full-bodied, while not compromising by using artificial flavors, states registered dietitian Alex Alderborgh to Verywell Fit. Instead, Waterloo crafts their drinks by using a combo of fruit flavors and oils, which give their flavored options a seriously moreish quality. Despite this, their drinks amazingly contain no calories and no added sugar, giving you all flavor while maintaining a clean nutritional offering. That's a drink that we'd like to sip.

Polar Seltzer

Honestly, we're pretty sure we'd buy Polar Seltzer on the look of their cans alone, so it's a nice bonus that they're also pretty good for you. These adorably-designed cans contain a combination of a carbonated seltzer and natural flavors, in an almost mind-boggling range of flavors, as Polar Seltzer's website shows. Made with no sweeteners, the drink remains calorie-free, with no sodium or carbohydrates present, and is also kosher, vegan, and gluten-free (as most water is, but hey, it's nice to get confirmation on that fact!).

The fact that Polar Seltzer is, well, a seltzer may also contribute to its ability to deliver the intended flavors of the drink and nothing more. Unlike club soda, seltzer contains no added minerals, meaning that it may have slightly less of an altered taste than other sparkling water choices out there (per Healthline). This means that you can sit back and enjoy whichever Polar Seltzer flavor you opt for, be that Orange Vanilla, Mandarin, Toasted Coconut, Ginger Lime Mule, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Pineapple Pomelo, or good old Lemon. Hey, we told you they had a lot of choices.

Aura Bora Sparkling Water

There are flavored waters, and then there's Aura Bora. Aside from their adorable packaging (honestly, your kids are gonna love these), Aura Bora sets itself apart by offering sparkling flavored waters that don't just stick to the flavors you expect, imbuing their drinks with the tastes of herbs, flowers, and fruits, as seen on the Aura Bora website. Sitting in their range of drinks include Peppermint Watermelon, Lavender Cucumber, Basil Berry, and the incredibly intriguing Cactus Rose flavor, infused with real rose extract. They even have a limited-edition Ginger Meyer Lemon flavor. Honestly, we're sold.

Inside the non-GMO drinks, Aura Bora keeps it wholesome and natural. Their drinks achieve their taste through natural flavors and extracts, and there are no added sugars, meaning that this drink is calorie-free and has no carbohydrates. It's clear that this company is interested in giving back to the world, too, with Aura Bora partnering with 1% For The Planet, a network that focuses on maintaining meaningful corporate action towards the environment.

Topo Chico Mineral Water

Topo Chico Mineral Water is a brand with a difference. Where most flavored water companies focus on providing a broad picture, Topo Chico keeps it super-personal and community-focused, with various partnerships and individuals associated with the company proudly displayed on their website (per Topo Chico). This Monterrey, Mexico-based business bottles their water at the source, and while their flavored offerings are kept pretty minimal (with three choices, Twist of Lime, Twist of Grapefruit, or Twist of Tangerine), it's a product that is clearly made by people who know what they're doing.

Luckily, the drink's contents reflect that, too. The sparkling mineral water contains natural amounts of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and sodium, says Livestrong, giving it a slight salinity (as well as a little more fizz) when you drink it. Inside their drinks, in addition to the minerals, there are just natural flavors, citric acid, and carbon dioxide, making for a calorie-free choice that people seem to swear by. And if nothing else, their website has some pretty rockin' music on it.

Perrier Flavored Carbonated Mineral Water, Lime

Perrier is one of the best-known sparkling water brands worldwide, so it's little surprise that they've expanded their offering to add a little flavor to their drinks. Unlike a lot of other flavored water companies, though, Perrier keeps it small. The sparkling water pros offer just six flavors in addition to their regular sparkling water, with their Lime flavor standing out to us as a refreshing and healthy choice. Available in a can and a bottle, this drink has just two ingredients: Carbonated mineral water, and natural lime flavor (per Perrier). The result is a light and easygoing beverage which has no sugar and no calories, and will keep you hydrated.

And, if you're interested in something that'll leave you a little more invigorated, Perrier has you covered, too. Their Energize range offers sparkling flavored water options which are designed to, well, energize you. The Grapefruit flavor derives its stimulating qualities from both caffeine and yerba mate extracts, and contains several other natural components (per Perrier). If you want to keep it super-minimal, though, the Lime flavor should do the trick.

LaCroix Sparkling Water

Mention sparkling flavored water to anyone, and the word "LaCroix" will likely tumble out of their lips pretty quickly. There's a good reason, too: LaCroix is a highly reliable, and healthy, choice for quality sparkling water, and with its incredible range of options, there's something for everyone (per LaCroix). Feeling summery? Try the Beach Plum. In the mood for something more floral? The Cherry Blossom flavor's got your back. With no artificial flavorings or additives, sugar, sodium, or calories in their flavored waters, LaCroix is pretty much interchangeable for regular water, but with a tasty kick.

That doesn't mean, though, that you should swap out table water for LaCroix entirely. While drinking flavored waters like LaCroix is far healthier than drinking sugar-filled sodas, the fact remains that it's hard to entirely discern the origins and production methods of their flavorings, states Shape. Furthermore, citrus flavors may be slightly higher in acid, and could potentially have an impact on your teeth and dental health. Drinking sparkling water (flavored or otherwise) consistently may also result in feeling more gassy or bloated, says WebMD.

Hint Sparkling Water

If you're looking for healthy flavored water, Hint is another great choice. Featuring eight different flavors, Hint has a range that leans towards classic fruit tastes, with Peach, Grapefruit, Cherry, and Watermelon all making an appearance in its roster (there's also a Ginger flavor, which we're already sure hits the spot when you need a bit of a kick), according to the Hint website.

This sparkling flavored water is pretty much as wholesome as they come, too. Hint's flavored water products contain no calories, no sugar, and no diet sweeteners like stevia or aspartame. The drink is made purely with non-GMO products, and like many other flavored waters, is also vegan, gluten-free, and kosher. What we're particularly excited about with Hint, though, is that the company doesn't forget about the younger population, too: Hint Kids is a product designed exclusively for your young ones, with sparkling waters coming in Blueberry, Apple, Cherry, and Watermelon flavor. Ideal choices for placing in their lunchbox instead of a soda, we'd say.

Bubly Sparkling Water

Bubly is a brand that knows what its audience wants. This sparkling water brand, which is owned by Pepsi, aims its products at a younger audience. The drink's fun, in-the-know marketing and exciting flavors reflect this, as does the brand's emphasis on creating healthy and refreshing water. Among the flavors available are blueberry pomegranate, coconut pineapple, mango, and our personal favorite, a limited edition "bellini bliss." (per Bubly) They even have a "love you a brunch" variety pack, which you can pick up online to sip with your friends over avocado toast. It's a refreshing alternative to a mimosa. (Or maybe a refreshing choice with a mimosa. Hey, we don't judge.)

And even though it's made by Pepsi, it shares few of the soda's ingredients. Instead, Bubly is a drink that's about as nourishing as it can get, with each can containing nothing more than carbonated water and natural flavorings (per Eat This, Not That!). This means no sugars, fats, or calories, no sodium, and crucially, no artificial sweeteners, the likes of which you might find in Diet Pepsi.