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My Sparkling Water Obsession Is Out Of Control

I can't even drink tap water anymore.

My husband loves water. Every night when he comes home from work, the first thing he does after kissing the kiddos and me is fill up a big mug (always with loads of ice) and guzzle it, sometimes actually saying out loud, “I love water,” or “Water is just so good.” Then he goes back for more.

I, on the other hand, have for years boasted a daily water intake that’s hovered somewhere between camel and succulent plant. Life-sustaining as it may be, plain water simply doesn’t appeal to me. My workouts are the only times I gulp with abandon; otherwise, I attempt to compensate for my woeful hydration status by consuming water-rich foods (tons of fruits and veggies; oatmeal; soups), and enjoy the fact that I can sit and write in a cafe all day long without needing to get up to use the washroom.

Then sparkling water entered my life. The exact moment I tried my first LaCroix escapes me, but my credit card receipts prove it was a magical one, since I now purchase it in Costco-sized cases and literally have zero interest in ever drinking tap water again. It’s gotten to the point where, if I don’t have access to the fizzy stuff, it requires a herculean effort to psych myself up to sip the tiniest bit of plain H20. My face harkens back to when I had to drink this Chinese fertility tea my acupuncturist made out of powdered twigs or, more recently, when I started doing straight apple cider vinegar shots in a desperate attempt to not catch a puke virus from my littlest one.

I’m hardly alone in my fondness for the fizzy stuff: Americans drink nearly 170 million gallons of sparkling water a year, with sales projected to reach $13 billion to $15 billion by 2021.

For a while, it was a funny ha-ha sort of thing among my friends and myself. We’d bust out the LaCroix during playdates, debating the merits of pamplemousse versus cran-raspberry.

Then I found myself craving it around 6 p.m., when I’d come home from work and hot yoga and crack open an icy cold muré pepino.

Soon, our kids (both under 6 years old) started requesting sparkling water to accompany their dinners of cheese-and-bean quesadillas and corn niblets.

Now I find myself chasing my morning café au lait with a Pellegrino and kicking myself for not knowing that Polar Seltzer released a line of limited-edition fizz last year in flavors like Yeti Mischief, Dragon Whispers and Unicorn Kisses. Sure, I had a momentary panic attack in 2015, when headlines suggested sparkling water might erode tooth enamel, but that has since been debunked, and I’m back to mainlining Topo Gigio.

Look, I get it: My sparkling water addiction is about as First World Problem as it gets. True, I secretly judge people who mispronounce LaCroix (it’s “la-KROY,” not “la-KWAH”), and my Brita is dying a slow, lonely death. But my bladder is no longer panting; it’s a cheaper habit than most; it’s better than soda; and for the first time in my life, I can confidently claim #hydrationgamestrong.