After my girlfriend came back from the grocery store with seltzer water in place of club soda, we ended up in a discussion trying to figure out the differences between them – they taste quite different.

A quick search pulled an article on SodaStream. What we found was so hard to read it was almost laughable. While grammatically correct and free of punctuation and spelling errors, it was so poorly written it bordered on something a middle school English teacher would see come across their desk. 

We were in shock!

While it showed in search results (the benefit of being a large brand – a small one would never have ranked), the lack of ‘readability’ does little for their reputation (or quite a bit negatively). 

In this case, the article was re-written to be optimized not only for the content, but for Google and SEO as well, with headings thought out, keywords considered (carbonated water), the title thought out based on search terms likely used, and external linking. (I excluded internal linking, as this article is being published on my site, not theirs.) It’s cleaner and ‘tighter’, using fewer words to get the message across while providing more information to the reader.

To fully appreciate the changes made and to see what a professional content writer can do for your brand, start by reading the original article as it appears on the SodaStream website, then my revision. 

After reading both versions, I’d love to hear your feedback and if you decide you could use help with your writing, let’s chat.

The re-write:

What Are the Differences in Carbonated Waters

Walk through the beverage aisle at any supermarket and you’ll find a variety of carbonated waters. All are fizzy and a nice change from tap or bottled water, but is there an actual difference between sparkling water, club soda, tonic water, and seltzer (water)? Is one better for you? 

Sparkling Mineral Water 

Sparkling mineral water is naturally sourced from a non-polluted, (usually) underground source. It contains small amounts of naturally occurring minerals (none may be added) – typically calcium, magnesium, and sodium. The mineral content can range, though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies mineral water as water containing at least 250 parts per million total dissolved solids (TDS)” (Source: Wikipedia).

With the source, and therefore the mineral content (both mineral type and amount varying between brands, the taste of each is unique. 

Sparkling mineral water gets its fizz naturally (though some manufacturers will add more).

Club Soda

Club soda differs from sparkling mineral water in the way it gets its minerals, the minerals added, and carbonation source. 

Rather than naturally occurring, carbonation is the result of carbon dioxide gas being added under pressure rather than naturally occurring. 

Its flavor is enhanced by artificially adding minerals –  including sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate or sodium chloride, and disodium phosphate or potassium sulfate. As with sparkling water, the mineral content can vary between manufacturers, meaning taste will differ as well. 

Club soda can be enjoyed in place of water or as a mixer in your favorite drink. 

A major point to note is the high sodium content of club soda. Depending on your health and dietary restrictions, you may want to limit your daily intake of club soda.

Seltzer Water

Seltzer water is essentially sparkling water. It is simply filtered, carbonated water. It contains no minerals and derives its fizz from infused carbon dioxide. As the water is filtered and free of additives, it generally has the cleanest taste.

Tonic Water

Tonic water originated in London in 1858, first making its way to the United States thanks to Schweppes Bottling in 1953. 

The flavor profile of tonic water is very different due to quinine – a bitter-tasting, naturally occurring chemical compound first derived from the bark of a cinchona tree, which is native to Peru. (source: Wikipedia).

Manufacturers often add high-fructose corn syrup or natural sugars to improve the taste of tonic water and it is generally used as a mixer rather than as a standalone drink.

The addition of sugars makes it the least healthy of the carbonated waters. Furthermore, the possible interaction of quinine with certain medications can pose a potential risk for some.  

Fun-fact: tonic water glows under UV light! – source: Mehr Mixology

Which One Is Best?

Each of the four carbonated water options are calorie and sugar-free (unless you opt for flavored varieties). — those with natural essences are flavored, yet still calorie/sugar free.

From a health perspective, seltzer water is your best bet as it contains no minerals or chemicals, followed by sparkling mineral water.

Club soda is best consumed in smaller quantities with tonic water the least healthy option (and best left for the occasional gin or vodka and tonic).

For a twist, add fresh berries or citrus fruits to any carbonated water.

Regardless of your choice, each provides a good alternative to tap water or bottled water. With each available in cans or glass bottles, they provide a healthier option for the environment as well.

Can you see the difference?

Which version would you prefer represent your brand?

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Carbonated Water - a case for hiring a professional content writerCopyright: Robert Nissenbaum, 2020;