Bai Bubbles Sparkling Water: Peru Pineapple

I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of diet soda that I drink for a while in order to limit the amount of aspartame I consume. Some days, I excel at drinking water and do not crave the satisfying tingle of carbonation on my tongue and the way it feels as I swallow a large mouthful. Any soda lovers out there know exactly what I’m talking about. Other days, however, the draw of that flavor and feeling is powerful. Consequently, I’ve been seeking a good soda alternative and have turned to flavored sparkling waters to fill that void.

Bai Bubbles is an expansion product of the Bai brand, which aims to infuse beverages with antioxidants without using artificial sweeteners. Bubbles is a low-calorie, carbonated beverage that comes in a range of flavors including Peru pineapple, Guatemala Guava, Jamaica blood orange, and Bolivia black cherry. Expect to pay around $2 for a 340 mL/11.5 Fl. Oz. can in a store.

While out grocery shopping and exploring my sparkling water options, I saw a can of the Peru pineapple. I’ve tried some seltzers recently that just didn’t do it for me, so I was hesitant that the pineapple flavor would not taste authentic and would leave an artificial residue in my mouth. I am pleased to report it was a pleasant experience.

Why Did I Buy Bia Bubbles?

Unlike most of my purchases, this one was unplanned and unresearched. I saw it at the store and thought it looked interesting and bought it as something different to try. We are still in the throws of quarantining, and exercising is tough, so my dietary “treats” have been reduced to trying various beverages. Coming in at only five calories made this a no brainer. The pineapple flavor drew me in – it’s not as common as the orange, raspberry, or cherry flavors that most manufacturers offer. Yep, you guessed it. I like pineapple. I am indeed one of those people that put pineapple on their pizza. (gasp)

Nutritional Information:

Coming in at 5 calories per can, it is easy to incorporate into even the most stringent calorie controlled regimes.

I am one that would rather eat my calories than drink them. It’s this philosophy that got me hooked on diet sodas to begin with! Coming in at 5 calories per can, it is easy to incorporate into even the most stringent calorie controlled regimes. So, no issues there.

The lack of fat, trace amounts of sodium, and added sugars are all encouraging. My Coke Zero has 40 mg of sodium, so the Bai is already healthier in that respect.

A significant difference between this and my flavored diet soda is the 13.5 mg of vitamin C it packs into each can. In these days where boosting our immune system is at the forefront of our minds, we might as well say yes to vitamin c wherever we can get it.

It also has that energy boosting compound caffeine in there. I’ll admit, I consume so much caffeine in coffee format that it doesn’t tend to affect me much. However, 45 mg of caffeine isn’t insignificant – it’s actually more than you find in an average diet soda (typically 34 mg!). I’m usually reaching for a soda for a little pick me up, and for the caffeine addicts amongst us, this can do the trick! Unlike a lot of energy drinks, this amount of caffeine won’t give you the jitters or a hard crash.

What is Erythritol?

If you’re like me, you probably saw that ingredient and wondered what it was. Well, it’s a natural sweetener that is found in foods such as watermelon, grapes, and peaches. We’ve been synthesizing this sugar alcohol since 1990. It’s commonly used in low-calorie foods because your body processes erythritol so quickly that it doesn’t have a chance to be metabolized. The result is no energy, no fat, and therefore, no calories.

While other artificial sweeteners have been alleged to affect your health, erythritol doesn’t have that reputation. In fact, it is a good alternative to sugar for those with diabetes as it doesn’t affect blood sugar levels. It makes sense, then, that WHO approved the chemical in 1999 and the FDA followed suit in 2001.

What Did it Taste Like?

No matter how good a beverage may be for the body and mind, if it tastes like like dissolved gummy bears, I’m not going to drink it. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case here.

The pineapple flavor was strong enough to dominate, but not overpowering or sickening. I find with pineapple juice that I can only drink a small quantity before I am sick of the flavor. As this has only 1% fruit juice in it, you won’t have that problem. Thus, it is actually refreshing. The tingle of pineapple on your tongue also helps you feel like you’ve eaten something. I can imagine that may help some people suspend a craving and get the sweetness they need from this drink.

For me, the carbonation is important too. With sodas, I enjoy the bubbles. They way they pour out of a can and rest on my tongue. You get a lot of that with this beverage too.

No matter how good a beverage may be for the body and mind, if it tastes like like dissolved gummy bears, I’m not going to drink it. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case here.

I like to see the color of the drinks. I find it important that it is the color that it should be for the given flavor. Delightfully, I can report that this pineapple beverage looks like cloudy urine, just as pineapple should.

Overall, it’s a satisfying beverage that I’d recommend savoring rather than gulping down to quench your thirst.

CR Score and Final Thoughts
I’m happy to give this drink a CR score of 4/5. The flavor was good, the carbonation was solid, and the color was as pineapple should be. So, why not five stars? Well, it wasn’t the perfect soda alternative. I might be docking a whole point due to the expense alone. It frustrates me that healthier options are more expensive. I also find that it’s best consumed alone, i.e., it’s not something to drink with my food the way a soda is. It has too much flavor to be used that way. As a stand-alone beverage, though, can’t go far wrong. I will be checking out the other flavors to find my favorite.

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