Drinks can be unhealthy in so many ways. Some are full of sugar, others have artificial sweeteners. Even with sparkling water like Bubly, some people say it’s bad for your teeth, or they complain about the “natural” flavors. Today, let’s look closer… Is Bubly healthy?
Bubly is a sugar-free, zero-calorie sparkling water that is quite healthy. Unlike some sparkling water beverages, Bubly does not have artificial sweeteners, or any sweetener at all. It is also sodium-free.
Below, I’ll address whether Bubly is good for hydration, weight loss, dental health, and more. I’ll discuss the mysterious “natural flavors” in Bubly, and I’ll compare it side-by-side with diet soda and LaCroix to see which is best.
Is Bubly Good for You?
Here are the 13 questions we’re going to cover on Bubly nutrition. Click to skip ahead to any of them—or just scroll down to read it all:
- What Ingredients Are in Bubly?
- Is Bubly Good for Hydration?
- Is Bubly Good for Weight Loss?
- Is Bubly Healthier Than Diet Soda?
- What Is in the “Natural Flavor” in Bubly?
- Does Bubly Have Artificial Sweeteners?
- Does Bubly Have Sugar or Carbs?
- Is Bubly Bad for Your Teeth?
- Does Bubly Have Sodium?
- Does Bubly Have Caffeine?
- Is It Ok to Drink Bubly Every Day?
- Is Bubly Healthier Than La Croix?
- Is Bubly Vegan?
1. What Ingredients Are in Bubly?
Let’s start by looking at what Bubly is actually made of. Bubly has a few different product lines, but all the ingredients are very simple:
|Bubly Product Line||Ingredients|
|Bubly Sparkling Water||Carbonated Water, Natural Flavor.|
|Bubly Bounce (Caffeinated)||Carbonated Water, Natural Flavor, Caffeine.|
|Sodastream Bubly Drops||Natural flavor.|
Here’s what I notice about these ingredients:
- Bubly has very minimal ingredients. I consider this a good thing. Many beverages have long lists of chemical-sounding ingredients. Many of those ingredients may be harmless, but it’s easier to trust a product that is more simple and minimal.
- Bubly is free of sugar. This makes Bubly an interesting choice for dieters. Bubly doesn’t have all the calories and carbs usually found in sweetened drinks. Below, we’ll look more closely at Bubly for weight loss.
- Bubly is free of artificial sweeteners. Most artificial sweeteners (and even natural sweeteners like stevia) have some possible connections to health risks. With Bubly, you don’t have to worry about those.
- Bubly has no artificial colors. Many drinks have artificial colors. Since such dyes are controversial for safety, I consider it positive that Bubly doesn’t have any.
- Bubly has “Natural Flavor.” Now, what does that mean exactly? We’ll discuss the details below, but it’s generally not considered to be an unhealthy or unsafe ingredient.
- Bubly does not have added electrolytes. This is a neutral point, really. Unless you’re exercising or sweating hard, you usually don’t need extra electrolytes in your beverages. But if you’re looking for that, be aware: Bubly doesn’t have electrolytes.
Overall, Bubly’s ingredients are quite “clean.” It is rare today to find a packaged drink that actually avoids pretty much all sugars, artificial sweeteners, sodium, and other processed ingredients. So, nice work, Bubly.
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2. Is Bubly Good for Hydration?
Bubly is a fine choice for hydration. The only ingredients it has besides water are carbonation and natural flavors. This means Bubly avoids most of the unhealthy ingredients added to most other flavored water and carbonated drinks on the market.
However, Bubly may not be the optimal choice if you are acutely dehydrated or at risk of dehydration. In such a situation, you may want to use an oral rehydration solution like Pedialyte, or sports drinks like Gatorade (or Gatorade Zero).
Why? If you are really trying to re-hydrate yourself, you may want a beverage with added electrolytes. Bubly does not have added electrolytes.
Another thing to note: Just because Bubly helps with hydration, that doesn’t mean you should replace all your water with Bubly. Read the sections below on natural flavors and whether Bubly is bad for your teeth before considering that.
But yes, Bubly is hydrating. It is mostly water. Bubly can count as “water intake” for most practical purposes.
3. Is Bubly Good for Weight Loss?
One of the reasons people choose zero-calorie drinks like Bubly is to avoid extra calories. But this issue can sometimes get more complicated.
For example, evidence shows that consuming artificial sweeteners is surprisingly ineffective for weight loss. Some evidence even suggests they can even cause weight gain.
So, is there any reason why Bubly wouldn’t be good for weight loss?
Bubly is a great choice for weight loss. For every 12 ounces of sugary soda or juice you replace with Bubly, you will consume ~150 fewer calories. That change alone could cause weight loss over time, even without changing anything else.
Replacing high-calorie drinks with Bubly is essentially the same as replacing them with normal water. The only other added ingredients in Bubly are “natural flavor” and carbonation, which don’t have calories or any significant known effect on weight loss.
Bubly Bounce and Bubly Drops are also fine choices for weight-loss. The caffeine and the Sodastream format should not affect the suitability of the drink for weight loss.
But remember: The key to weight loss is your overall diet and calorie balance. One drink won’t make or break your diet. If you switch to Bubly but also eat extra snacks, you might cancel out the impact and stay stuck in a weight loss plateau.
If your goal is weight loss, you may want to consider tracking your calories as I describe in this post—or follow some of these 18 tips for weight loss without counting calories.
4. Is Bubly Healthier Than Diet Soda?
Bubly is generally healthier than diet soda. Diet sodas usually have artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium, several of which have been linked to possible increases in cancer risk, heart disease risk, obesity, and more.
I already covered some of the possible issues with artificial sweeteners above. But it’s worth digging into the details of diet soda nutrition a little bit more here.
There are some “diet sodas” that use natural zero-calorie sweeteners, like stevia. Stevia seems to have fewer problems, based on the research we have so far. But there still may be some downside, as I covered in my Zevia review.
There can be other sketchy ingredients in diet sodas, too. Diet Coke, for example, has caramel color and phosphoric acid. Both are controversial for their own reasons.
Of course, maybe some of the controversy is overblown for some of these diet soda ingredients. They may be safe in moderation. But Bubly avoids all those uncertainties by avoiding those extra ingredients all together. And personally, I love that.
Bubly is just carbonated water and natural flavor. It’s simple, and pretty easy to trust. But some people are still unsure about that “natural flavor”… So let’s cover that next.
5. What Is in the “Natural Flavor” in Bubly?
Bubly only has two ingredients: Carbonated water and natural flavor. But what is “natural flavor,” really? It’s not fruit juice, as that would add natural sugar and calories… So, what is it?
Unfortunately, it’s quite difficult to find out what is contained in Bubly’s “natural flavor.” And despite the word “natural,” many consumers have concerns about chemicals that it may contain—such as propylene glycol.
Propylene glycol is a food additive sometimes used as a solvent in “natural flavors.” Legally, it doesn’t need to be listed as an ingredient. But some people are freaked out by the fact that it’s also found in antifreeze and paint!
Bubly has stated on Twitter that none of its flavors contain propylene glycol. However, customers have replied by Tweeting pictures of their Bubly Drops, which clearly list “Propylene Glycol” as the first ingredient.
Some flavored water companies have actually faced class-action lawsuits based on the misleading use of “natural flavors” that include propylene glycol. (Propylene glycol is synthesized from fossil fuels.)
However, all the chemicals legally allowed in “natural flavors” are “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the FDA. So theoretically, there should be no cause for concern, safety-wise.
For example, propylene glycol seems to be quite harmless. There has only been one documented case of propylene glycol toxicity from food—and it resulted from someone consuming a much higher amount than usual. (source)
In the body, about half the propylene glycol we consume is just excreted by our kidneys. The rest is normally broken down into lactic acid. And this is not a concern at usual levels. (source)
If you eat other products with “natural flavors,” then you’re likely already consuming small amounts of propylene glycol or other processed solvents in those cases, too. So for most people, there’s no need to get concerned about Bubly.
But, having said that… you can make your own decisions!
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6. Does Bubly Have Artificial Sweeteners?
Bubly does not have aspartame, sucralose, or any other artificial sweeteners. Bubly doesn’t have sugar or stevia, either. The flavors in Bubly come solely from “Natural Flavor.”
This is one of the most appealing things about Bubly. Many zero-calorie flavored waters have artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose. Although those sweeteners are FDA approved, there is controversy about their long-term health impact.
Here are a few of the concerns with artificial sweeteners:
- Studies show consumption of diet drinks with artificial sweeteners was linked to three times higher risk of stroke and dementia.
- There’s evidence that rodents develop cancer when exposed to aspartame over their lifespan.
- Research has linked aspartame to weight gain and increased appetite.
- Sucralose seems to be a migraine trigger for some people. (source, source)
- Sucralose and other artificial sweeteners may increase insulin resistance through multiple mechanisms.
- A breakdown product of acesulfame K (acetoacetamide) may damage the thyroid. (source)
And there are many more. If you want to read more, you can start with this page from U.S. Right to Know.
Overall, the science around the long-term health impacts of artificial sweeteners is not fully known. But it’s awesome when a product like Bubly can help us just avoid all the uncertainty by not using them.
Side note: Erythritol, monk fruit, and stevia seem to be healthier zero-calorie sweeteners. But there are still uncertainties about how the body reacts to them long-term. It’s great if you can avoid them, too, with a simple drink like Bubly.
7. Does Bubly Have Sugar or Carbs?
Bubly does not have any sugar or carbs. The nutrition facts label for Bubly shows 0 grams of total carbohydrates and 0 grams of total sugars. This makes Bubly suitable for keto and other low-carb diets.
Instead of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners, Bubly simply has subtle “natural flavors,” which does not add any calories or carbs. This means Bubly is okay for even the strictest low-carb diets.
- Can Diabetics Drink Bubly? Bubly is generally suitable for diabetics, as it does not contain any carbs or sugars. It also avoids the potential problems with diet sodas that may worsen carb sensitivity by using zero-calorie sweeteners.
- Does Bubly Actually Have 0 Calories? Bubly has 0 calories per 12 ounce serving. If you looked at a much larger serving size, it’s possible the natural flavors would contribute a very small amount of calories. But Bubly is basically calorie-free.
- Does Bubly Break a Fast? Bubly does not break a fast, as it has no calories. Many people drink sparkling water during a fast because it gives a sensation in your throat that can help to satisfy hunger (without calories).
8. Is Bubly Bad for Your Teeth?
Research suggests unsweetened sparkling water like Bubly is only “minimally erosive” to tooth enamel. Comparatively, many other flavored drinks are strongly erosive. Although Bubly does have “carbonic acid” from the carbonation, it is not very bad for your teeth.
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. So, even though sparkling water is acidic, it is generally not powerful enough to damage tooth enamel.
However, many dentists acknowledge that regularly drinking sparkling water could still lead to some tooth erosion. Therefore, if you want to be extra careful, here are some tips for minimizing tooth damage from Bubly:
- Don’t drink Bubly all day—instead, limit it to meal times, or just once or twice per day.
- Don’t swish your Bubly around your mouth or hold it in your mouth for a long time.
- Consider drinking your Bubly through a straw.
- Rinse out your mouth with water after drinking Bubly.
9. Does Bubly Have Sodium?
Bubly does not have sodium. The nutrition facts label shows 0mg of sodium, and there is no added salt or “sodium” ingredients. This means Bubly may be a good choice for people on a low-sodium diet who like sparkling water.
Some sparkling water products may come with added “electrolytes,” and that can include added sodium. If you’re drinking a lot, that added sodium can add up. But Bubly does not have added electrolytes—so, no worries!
- Does Bubly Have Potassium? Bubly does not have added potassium. The Nutrition Facts label doesn’t specify the potassium content for Bubly, but based on the ingredients, we can assume there is 0mg of potassium per 12 fl oz serving of Bubly.
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10. Does Bubly Have Caffeine?
Normal Bubly is caffeine free, but Bubly Bounce has 35 mg of caffeine per serving (12 fl oz). That’s about the same caffeine as a can of Coca-Cola.
Here is a comparison table with more reference points for comparison:
|Bang Energy Drink (16 oz)||300 mg|
|5-Hour Energy Regular Strength (1.9 oz)||200 mg|
|Folger’s Classic Roast Coffee (12 oz)||120-160 mg|
|Red-Bull (8.4 oz)||80 mg|
|V8 Energy (8 oz)||80 mg|
|Hint Energy (16 oz)||60 mg|
|Lipton Black Tea (1 bag, brewed)||55 mg|
|Bubly Bounce (12 oz)||35 mg|
|Coca-Cola (12 oz)||34 mg|
|Barq’s Root Beer (12 oz)||22 mg|
As you can see, Buble has only has ~16% of the caffeine of Bang Energy Drink by volume. Therefore, if you want a lot of caffeine per sip, you may want to choose an energy drink, rather than Bubly Bounce.
However, if you’d like a more gradual or subtle caffeine kick, Bubly Bounce may be right for you.
- Does Bubly Give You Energy? Bubly is not an energy drink, and normal Bubly does not give you caffeine or calories. However, the Bubly Bounce product line does have some caffeine for energy.
11. Is It Ok to Drink Bubly Every Day?
There is no problem with drinking Bubly every day. Bubly doesn’t have any unhealthy ingredients or anything that would become toxic when consumed daily. It’s just carbonated water and natural flavor.
Personally, I have had sparkling water almost every day for years, including Bubly. It has had no negative effect that I’ve perceived, and I’m in great overall health.
If you’re drinking Bubly Bounce, you should be aware of your total caffeine intake and how that may affect your sleep, mood, and more.
12. Is Bubly Healthier Than LaCroix?
Bubly and LaCroix are basically the same, nutritionally. They both contain only carbonated water and natural flavors. They are both free of calories, sugar, carbs, artificial sweeteners, and artificial colors. They are both healthy drinks.
Personally, I prefer the taste of Bubly, especially when it comes to certain flavors. But really, the taste is personal preference. From a nutrition perspective, Bubly and LaCroix are both great choices.
13. Is Bubly Vegan?
Bubly is considered vegan. None of the Bubly product lines contain milk, eggs, honey, or any other animal byproducts.
In fact, Bubly may be even “more vegan” than competing products, as many competing drinks are sweetened—often with cane sugar that was filtered with animal bone char. With Bubly, there’s really no contentious ingredients at all.
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