It has created fanatical fans as well as controversy. What is the deal with this particular naturally sourced sparkling water? Claiming health benefits and gaining popularity as well as notoriety from the health sector, Topo Chico is at the top of this for the good and the bad. Let’s look at what it is and why it might need a second look before you go out and grab that variety pack.
Due to the presence of PFAS found in their water source, it could be concluded that toxins are harmful to your health, and therefore Topo Chico products may be considered bad for you. However, Topo Chico and their parent company Coca-Cola tout the mineral benefits of their products.
With knowledge of the PFAS in the water and the possible health problems that can come from ingesting these toxins, it would suffice to say that it will not make the top ten healthy drinks list anytime soon.
Topo Chico: A Magical Mineral Water or a Health Concern
The legend claims that the people were drinking and bathing in the magical waters and were experiencing miraculous health benefits. The claim that Topo Chico is healthy mineral water is based on the nutritional benefits of a few minerals that are available in the water.
But is that all that is in these sparkling water-based products?
Let’s take a look at Topo Chico Carbonation process, its products, and the possibility that there is something else bubbling around in these magical waters, something that has health professionals concerned about the consumption of Topo Chico and other sparkling waters.
What is the Topo Chico Carbonation Process
Topo Chicos’ carbonization process is mostly natural. The natural bubbly waters come from the source in Mexico. The carbonization process most companies use infuses the water under high pressure with carbon dioxide.
What differs from most producers of sparkling water is the amount of carbon dioxide added. They report using a low-pressure injection process when they add back the small number of bubbles after purification.
Is Topo Chico Naturally Carbonated
Topo Chico is naturally carbonated by default, although a bit of carbonation is added at the factory. The consensus among Topo Chico fans is that it has the perfect amount of fizz resulting in a mouthfeel, unlike all the other carbonated beverages.
The carbonization that is lost at the bottling plant is due to purification processes, so they add back a slight bit of bubbliness to compensate for that. The hypothesis is that because of the lower mineral content of Top Chico, the receptors in our mouths, specifically the protein receptors in our tongues, Top Chico “feels softer” in the mouth.
Is Topo Chico Gluten-free
Gluten-free is a label added to a product that contains no wheat, barley, or rye. None of the Topo Chico seltzers use any of these grains in their alcohol content. The hard seltzers get their alcohol content from premium vodka. The water is, of course, gluten-free as well.
Vodka can be made from many sources including grains, but in order to get the gluten-free stamp of approval, Topo Chico chose vodkas made from other sources. For a list of gluten-free vodkas, you can check out this link.
Topo Chico Products
Topo Chico products include flavored water and a line of hard seltzers.
|Flavored Waters Products||Line of Hard Seltzers|
|Mineral WaterMineral Water Twist of LimeMineral Water Twist of GrapefruitMineral Water Twist of Tangerine||Signature MargaritaMargarita Strawberry HibiscusMargarita Tropical PineappleMargarita Prickly PearRanch WaterStrawberry GuavaTangy Lemon-LimeExotic Pineapple Tropical Mango|
Alcohol contents range from 4.5 % – 4.7% ABV
The “Benefits” of Topo Chico
The benefits of any product are sometimes over-exaggerated, giving the buyer a false sense of making healthy choices. Reports coming from a magical source in Mexico, where legend has it, an ailing Aztec princess was carried to its source and, after bathing and drinking the water, had a miraculous recovery.
The original source came from Cerro del Topo Chico en Nuevo Leon, where years after the legendary miracle of healing occurred, people continued to make the pilgrimage to the healing water.
Whether or not the legend is true, the fact of what is in the water is a small number of minerals that is lowered even further by the purification process. So, the idea that there are benefits to drinking these types of water is minimal.
The benefits of Topo Chico are presented as such because of these trace elements in the water;
Helps regulate fluid balance in the body and plays a role in nerve and muscle function.
Contributes to muscle and nerve function, protein synthesis, and energy production, and helps support a healthy immune system.
An essential mineral for strong bones and teeth contributes to muscle and nerve function and helps regulate the heartbeat and blood clotting.
Helps to regulate the fluid balance in the body, it is important for muscle and nerve function, and it helps to support healthy blood pressure, which can help lower the risk of heart disease.
Valuable in energy production and the formation of connective tissue, it helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and cholesterol.
These are the benefits of the minerals themselves and the benefit received from drinking Topo Chico products.
According to MIC.com, “why Topo Chico tastes less earthy than other mineral waters, it may very well be because it contains fewer minerals.”
Topo Chico’s Not-So-Secret Ingredient PFAS
What do toxic chemicals and healthy spring water have to do with each other?
The answer should be nothing but, unfortunately, they are chemicals that are found in Topo Chico products, and strangely enough, it really doesn’t seem to matter.
According to the ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry), PFAS are;
“…man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1940s. They have been used to make nonstick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil.”
Out of all the carbonated sparkling water brands tested, Top Chico was the product with the highest levels. Although they have since cut the amount of “allowable” PFAS in their products in half, they still are higher than some scientists believe is acceptable.
So whatever small amount of trace minerals may be in these drinks, it is substantially diminished by the presence of toxic substances or, at the very least, irrelevant. So the answer to the question of good or bad for you is in the evidence of the potentially harmful toxins in the water.