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    Club Soda Vs Tonic Water: What Is the Difference? 

    Are you caught in a situation where you have only tonic water when you’re making a cocktail mixer? Are you wondering whether tonic water will be used instead of club soda to make an effervescent pop drink? 

    No, it isn’t a good substitute for club soda because tonic water is a sweetener with a bitter taste that won’t make a robust mixer for you.

    On the other hand, club soda has a neutral, clean, and refreshing taste that enhances your taste buds and gives you a chilling experience in the scorching summer days.

    Now the question appears: what is the key difference between tonic water and club soda, and which one is better than the other?

    In this blog post, we’ll unveil the distinct attributes of tonic water and club soda, explore their nutritional benefits, and learn precautions to have a healthy and active lifestyle.

    What is Club Soda?

    What is Club Soda

    Club soda, aka soda water, is a carbonated drink that injected carbon dioxide along with infused minerals, including potassium sulfate, sodium chloride, disodium phosphate, and sodium bicarbonate. Moreover, these minerals enhance the taste buds and make it a bit salty.

    Club soda is made from purified water as compared to seltzer and sparkling water, where seltzer is plain water that has been carbonated artificially while sparkling is a naturally carbonated drink with rich mineral content. 

    However, club soda is made from plain water, which has a clean, neutral flavor that can be enjoyed with lime and lemonade.

    What is Tonic Water?

    What is Tonic Water

    Tonic water is also a carbonated beverage with a rich mineral content similar to club soda. However, one of the main ingredients in tonic water is quinine, a compound that is sourced from the bark of cinchona trees and was originally used as a treatment for malaria. 

    Tonic water not only cures malaria but it can also be used for leg cramps or leg restless syndrome for decades. It has a unique profile as well as a bitter taste, making it the perfect option for using cocktail mixers.

    What’s the Difference Between Club Soda and Tonic Water?

    We’ve gathered a clear difference between club soda and tonic water in terms of their taste, ingredients, carbonation level, and nutritional values. Have a keen look below.

    A Fight of Taste: Club Soda vs Tonic Water

    One of the key differences between club soda and tonic water is its flavor. Club soda tastes like plain water, with a clean and neutral flavor that provides a refreshing and bubbly sensation.

    In contrast, tonic water has a bitter taste with added sugar. The quinine compound in tonic water makes a zesty beverage and makes it unique among other carbonated drinks.

    Ingredient Comparison Between Club Soda and Tonic Water

    Club soda is simply made with water and carbon dioxide, without any extra additives, which gives it a neutral, clean, and refreshing taste.

    In comparison, tonic water contains quinine compounds, sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup or natural sugars, and slightly citric acid to balance the bitterness. 

    Tonic water is sweeter than club soda due to having sugar in it.

    The Science of Bubbles: Carbonation in Tonic Water vs Club Soda

    Even both beverages are carbonated water. However, they are distinct at the carbonation level. Club soda has 2.5 volumes of CO2, making it a bubbly and robustly effervescent carbonated beverage. 

    Club soda is artificially injected with carbon dioxide as compared to sparkling water, which is a naturally carbonated drink with a higher organic carbonation level.

    Whereas, tonic water contains 3.5 volumes of CO2, which gives the beverage a tingling sensation and enhances its unique taste buds.

    Nutritional Facts of Tonic Water and Club Soda

    We’ve researched the nutritional benefits of two beverages and found that both are different in calories, carbohydrates, and sodium.

    To make it more clear, have a look at the table summarized below.

    Analysis Tonic Water Per 355 mLAmount

    Analysis Club Soda Per 222 mLAmount

    Club soda and tonic water are low in calories and proteins. However, tonic water contains high calories, while club soda doesn’t. 

    If you are perplexed between the two, go with club soda over tonic because it has a high level of fructose sugar available that is a bit risky to your health if consumed daily. 

    When Should You Use Club Soda and Tonic Water?

    When Should You Use Club Soda and Tonic Water

    Club soda is commonly used in cocktail mixers that enhance the flavor without modifying the actual taste. Hence, it is a popular choice for bartenders. Some of the famous club sodas that make effervescent cocktail mixers are:

    • Tom Collins: Simply made with a few ingredients, including gin, lemon juice, plain syrup, and club soda. 
    • Vodka Soda: It is a mixture of vodka, lime juice, and club soda. And you’re ready to drink a low-calorie beverage.

    In contrast, tonic water has a unique as well as bitter taste. You can use tonic water in these cocktails:

    • Gin and Tonic: It is the most popular drink, made with gin, tonic water, and a squeeze of lime. That’s it.
    • Vodka Tonic: Likewise, vodka soda contains tonic water that gives a bitter and sweet taste.
    • Tequila Tonic: A classic blend of tequila and tonic, garnished with grapefruit.

    Precautions You Must Know Before Drinking Tonic Water

    Quinine in tonic water has numerous drawbacks. Therefore, we’ve compiled precautions for those who must avoid quinine consumption, which may include:

    • Pregnant or breastfeeding women must avoid quinine-tonic water.
    • People who suffer from abnormal heartbeats.
    • Consumers must avoid it if they have any liver or kidney disease.
    • It must be avoided by people who have low blood sugar levels.


    Q1: Is club soda or tonic water good for leg cramps?

    Ans: According to Harvard Medical School, tonic water has been used for decades to prevent leg cramps or restless leg syndrome. 

    However, there is no proven evidence available, but still, consumers use it as a rescuer for leg cramps and consume 2 to 3 ounces of tonic water before bedtime. Moreover, club soda doesn’t heal leg cramps.

    Q2: Does club soda or tonic water have sugar?

    Ans: Club soda doesn’t contain sugar, while tonic water does. Twelve ounces of tonic water contains 32 grams of sugar and 124 calories. While club soda is calorie-free and sugar-free.

    Q3: Are club soda and tonic water the same?

    Ans: No, they are different carbonated drinks. Club soda is a bubbly and frizzy refreshing drink whereas tonic water is slightly bitter and citrus flavor with a quinine compound.

    Q4: Are club soda and tonic water used for stains?

    Ans: Yes, club soda will remove all stains, while tonic water doesn’t. We’ve tried a method where we pour club soda on the stain and let it sit overnight. We’ve seen that there is no trace of stains visible the next morning.

    Q5: Can we use club soda or tonic water for the Aperol spritz?

    Ans: Yes, you can use tonic water instead of soda for an Aperol spritz that quenches your thirst with a nibbling hint of bitterness flavor. We’ve also put chunks of strawberries and orange slices with a handful of chilled ice.

    Final Verdict: Is Club Soda Healthier Than Tonic Water?

    We’ve researched deeper and found club soda is the best and healthier drink than tonic water. It is because club soda is more diet-friendly and calorie-free with rich potassium levels, where potassium is useful for maintaining high blood pressure in the body. It is also good for diabetics and fitness freaks.

    On the other hand, tonic water is high in calories, which leads to weight gain and high sugar levels in the body.

    In addition to that, it has a quinine compound that possesses numerous side effects on our health, such as diarrhea, nausea, kidney damage, increased bleeding problems, and stomach cramps. 

    Therefore, it is better to avoid excessive tonic water and quench your thirst with club soda.

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    Reem Hanif, the writer behind The Foodnom blog, inspires readers with healthy and delicious recipes. Join her for nutritious culinary inspiration.

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