Where were you when you first heard about hard seltzer? 

The alcoholic beverage hit stores a few brands at a time – like White Claw and Truly –  and has continued to take over the beer aisle with every major beer brand jumping on board with their own flavored, boozy bubble water.  The cold crisp refreshing light alcoholic beverage has hit its stride,  but is it good for you?

Hard seltzer is flavored carbonated water that contains alcohol from fermented cane sugar. It comes in cans and a variety of fruit flavors ranging from your basic lime to a more sophisticated passion fruit guava. 

The first claim to fame seltzer promotes is the fact that it’s gluten-free – a huge bonus for those with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity. That’s a big plus because there’s a part of the population that can’t even drink seltzer’s canned nemesis, beer. 

Seltzers are lower in calories and carbohydrates and while that’s a bonus for your waistline, the fact that they’re so light and refreshing means they can go down a lot faster and before you know it you’ve drunk 300 or more empty calories. 

Certain seltzer’s advertise nutritional benefits like being infused with antioxidant Vitamin C or electrolytes. Vizzy brand states you get 20% of your daily recommended dose of Vitamin C – really?  

Snowmelt brand teamed up with a sports nutrition company to infuse their seltzer with a sports hydration drink mix and is geared at the “health-conscious drinkers living the active outdoor lifestyle.” The belief that electrolytes will hydrate while you are literally dehydrating is hard to even comprehend. Despite the vitamin C or the hydrating sports mix, alcohol offsets any of the nutritional benefits you might think you’re getting.

No matter what claims hard seltzer’s make about nutritional benefits it’s still alcohol and alcohol is a toxin that our bodies struggle to eliminate and interferes with the natural processes our bodies need to thrive. 

Not to say that you should stop drinking entirely, but keep in mind when you reach for the seltzer that – despite the claims – no amount of vitamin C or gluten-free-ness is going to help with the hangover if you overdo it. But if you choose to enjoy a cocktail – seltzers are on the lower end of the calorie pool compared to sugary cocktails or heavy beers and are almost always available. 

Have you tried a hard seltzer? What did you think?

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