Club Soda vs. Sparkling Water: What’s the Difference?

Club Soda vs. Sparkling Water: What’s the Difference?

Sparkling water is a type of water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas. This process gives the water a bubbly, carbonated effect, which is why it is often referred to as carbonated water, seltzer water, or soda water.

Sparkling water has several health benefits due to its hydrating effects. It is low in calories and sugar, making it a great alternative to sugary drinks like soda. In addition, carbonation is thought to help improve digestion and can help reduce bloating.

People often use the words “club soda” and “seltzer” interchangeably, but they are not actually the same thing.

And where does tonic water fit in?

Sparkling water contains carbon dioxide, while tonic water contains quinine. Because of this difference in chemical composition, sparkling water makes a better cocktail mixer than tonic does—unless you call yourself a gin and tonic kind of person.

It’s tricky to understand exactly what makes a carbonated beverage different from another and what those differences mean when you’re in the store trying to make your selection. In this post, we’ll explore the subtle differences between club soda and seltzer water, including how they’re made and what kinds of drinks each works best in.

What's the difference between club soda and sparkling water?

3 glasses of club soda

Club soda, seltzer, and sparkling water all refer to drinks that contain bubbles formed by carbon dioxide. While both Club soda and sparkling water are carbonated water, club soda typically has added sodium and other minerals. This results in the main difference being perceived in the taste; club soda will usually have more of a sodium-based flavor than sparkling water.

To understand this difference, it helps to compare them with tonic water and sparkling water. Here’s how they stack up:

Sparkling Water

Seltzer water, soda water, and sparkling water are names for carbonated mineral water to which no extraneous substances have been added. Carbonation is added by injecting compressed carbon dioxide gas into the liquid.

Sparkling mineral water typically comes from a natural spring. It can be either still or carbonated and in some countries, sparkling water is known as “sparkling mineral water” to distinguish it from carbonated soft drinks.

Club Soda

Club soda is carbonated mineral water with a salty or slightly sweet flavor that comes from added minerals.

Club soda typically contains the following additives:

  • potassium sulfate
  • sodium chloride
  • disodium phosphate
  • sodium bicarbonate

Tonic Water

Tonic water contains carbon dioxide, quinine, and sugar and was initially developed as a palatable way for people to take medicine. In the mid-19th century, quinine was prescribed to treat malaria. Its bitterness led to its being mixed with tonic water. Tonic water has a unique sweet and bitter flavor, and many people enjoy it in cocktails or with gin.

Club soda vs. sparkling water: flavor differences

woman at the beach drinking Centr Sparkling Water

Club soda and soda water are very similar, but there are a few differences that set them apart.

The main difference between the two is that club soda has slightly more sodium and a few added minerals. This gives club soda a more salty taste, making sparkling water a better option for all-day drinking. When to use club soda and sparkling water:

  • Club soda is a great option if you're looking for a fizzy drink with some added flavor.
  • It's also good in cocktails, as it adds carbonation and effervescence without diluting other ingredients.
  • You can also mix club soda into lemonade or limeade for an extra-salty, bubbly treat.
  • Sparkling water, on the other hand, is a good choice for making drinks like Tom Collinses or martinis.
  • Club soda is also best for use in mixed drinks like Bloody Marys and Screwdrivers.
  • In contrast to club soda’s sodium-rich taste, sparkling water offers a more refreshing, crisp flavor.

What is CENTR Enhanced Sparkling Water?

Drink Centr Sparkling Water

CENTR sparkling water with added ingredients for enhanced benefits:

CENTR Enhanced sparkling water is infused with nootropics and adaptogens for enhanced cognitive and physical performance. The added ingredients help to reduce stress, improve mental clarity, and support gut health. CENTR Enhanced+ is the a caffeine-infused version, perfect for those looking for an added boost of energy.


Seltzer has a crisp flavor, whereas club soda’s sodium-rich taste makes it less suitable for all-day hydration. Club soda might be the better option when mixing a cocktail, but sparkling water could be an easy replacement. Sparkling water is the purest form of carbonated water, as long as there is no added sugar.

CENTR Enhanced sparkling water is made with natural, sparkling spring water and is infused with nootropics and adaptogens for a range of functional benefits, including improved focus, alertness, and mental clarity. CENTR Enhanced+ also contains caffeine for an extra boost of energy.