Club Soda & Sodium

Club soda is higher in sodium than most beverages.
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Whether you’re trying to cut back on high-calorie beverages or just want a more exciting alternative to plain water, club soda can be a relatively healthy choice. Like seltzer water, club soda is an inexpensive imitation of sparkling mineral water. Whereas bubbles are a natural part of sparkling mineral water, seltzer and club soda have been artificially carbonated. Club soda contains additional ingredients – including sodium – that are used to enhance its flavor.

Sodium Content

Because plain carbonated water – or seltzer – can have a slightly acidic undertone, manufacturers developed club soda. This “enhanced” seltzer water generally contains a combination of potassium sulfate, sodium chloride and potassium or sodium bicarbonate to make it taste better. Although none of these ingredients contribute calories, they do provide trace amounts of potassium as well as moderate amounts of sodium. Depending on how it’s made, club soda typically delivers somewhere in the range of 50 to 65 milligrams of sodium per 8-ounce serving. Any food or beverage that contains less than 120 milligrams of sodium per serving is considered low in sodium, according to the American Dietetic Association.

Select Comparison

Unless water is distilled, it probably contains trace amounts of minerals, including sodium. It’s normal to find very small amounts of sodium in tap water – soft water has higher levels than hard water. The sodium levels in tap and bottled water are insignificant compared to those found in club soda, however, which is actually higher in sodium than most common fizzy drinks. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, carbonated beverages such as ginger ale, root beer, cola and grape- or orange-flavored soda usually contain anywhere from about 10 to 40 milligrams of sodium per 8-ounce serving. The average 8-ounce glass of seltzer water has about 30 milligrams of sodium.

Sodium Guidelines

To meet nutritional needs and replace sodium lost through normal perspiration, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends that most adults get about 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day. Through the age of 50, healthy adults who aren’t otherwise sensitive to sodium can generally get up to 2,300 milligrams a day without experiencing high blood pressure or other adverse health effects, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Because the average American consumes closer to 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, however, the American Heart Association advises all adults to keep their daily intake below 1,500 milligrams.


High-sodium foods such as pizza, pasta dishes, sandwiches and ready-to-eat meals are major sources of sodium in the American diet. Some of the most insidious sources, however, are those that contain relatively small amounts per serving but are consumed frequently. Bread is a prime example – eating it throughout the day can easily increase your sodium intake by 1,000 milligrams or more. One major brand of club soda delivers nearly 100 milligrams of sodium per 12-ounce can. If you generally prefer club soda to plain water – that is, if you tend to drink three to fives cans a day – your beverage of choice may be a substantial source of sodium. Read nutrition labels, choose the product with the least amount of sodium and limit your daily servings.

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