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June 4, 2017

Seltzer, I Love You and I Don’t Care Who Knows It

You know how some things change so gradually over time that you can’t pinpoint an exact moment when the transition actually happened and the flip was switched?

Well that’s how it was with me and seltz.

For a long time, around my college and immediate post-grad years, I just didn’t like seltzer. I was in the same boat as people who thought the hype was unwarranted. It tasted weirdly salty to me, which given my affinity for sprinkling anything I put into my mouth with about ten hearty shakes of the Seinfeld-themed salt shaker before ingesting, you’d think that would have been a plus.

I also really didn’t enjoy the way it bubbled, which is pretty much the only component that makes seltzer truly seltzer. It made my nose feel like it was about to sneeze with every sip I took and made my eyes water. It had all the downsides of soda without the upsides of a sugar rush or caffeine high.

I don’t know when specifically it happened–if I had to guess, I’d credit the six months I spent living a block away from the classic Jewish deli Shelsky’s in the seltzer capital of the world–Brooklyn–but those days of seltzer disinterest are long gone.

The script has flipped so entirely that I’m starting to worry some people. I’m not ashamed (okay, a little ashamed because I know how outrageously Paris Hilton-esque it sounds) to say that I barely remember the last time I had flat water. The prospect of putting a glass of liquid up to my mouth that doesn’t fizz and pop against my lips is objectionable.

This absurd level of fancy-dogging is okay in my own home, where I’m fully equipped with a more eco-friendly way of consuming my drink of choice with the Soda Stream (this is not an #ad), and sometimes an ancillary box of La Croix on hand as a back-up, just in case. But, when I visit friends, or god forbid, travel, I start to get into a pickle. If it’s somewhere reachable by car, we’re golden. I can bring my own personal seltz supply then I’m good. If there’s a flight involved, well, that’s where the road to dehydration begins. I’ll hold out for as long as possible, which for me, can be a long time. I trained myself back in elementary school to go the entire day without using the school’s restroom because I was a predictably neurotic child.

I definitely don’t condone the terrible, horrendous health practice of abstaining from hydrating yourself. I’m sure I’ll die from associated complications well before middle age. I’m just trying to illustrate that my love for seltzer is so strong, it’s become problematic. I’d rather forgo hydration in general than forgo seltzer.

“Jeanne! What about your bones?” some of you pseudoscience-prone individuals out there might be dying to ask right about now as your tightly clench your face with both hands.

Well, Citwits, I’m here to make it clear that there is no actual correlation between seltzer, or carbonated water and poor bone health. According to a Harvard Medical School Newsletter, yes–“carbonated beverages have long been associated with low bone density and fractures in adolescent girls.” But, these carbonated beverages were “cola” carbonated drinks and studies have proven that non-cola carbonated drinks are not associated with low BMD at all.

And also–these myths flying around about how drinking seltzer could be bad for your teeth? Please completely ignore them. Unflavored seltzer, especially, is not harmful to teeth enamel in the least. In fact, it’s my personal hypothesis that the effervescence of seltzer works with the same mechanism that Scrubbing Bubbles Disinfectant Bathroom Cleaner does, leaving your mouth and teeth shiny and antibacterial.

No matter what any expert says, I will continue to believe seltzer is good for me. It makes drinking water tolerable, even fun! And as a wise selzter scholar once noted, “If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad.”

Not that it’s a competition, but I do boldly claim that I happen to be the biggest seltzer fanatic on the staff of Citius Mag. That is at least until my fellow-blogger, housemate, and boyfriend Paul Snyder goes through with his plan for a new tattoo this summer, which will depict a bubbling can of seltzer somewhere on his arm.

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