Which sparkling waters are gluten free?

With the rising popularity of sparkling water as a healthy alternative to soda, many people wonder: are these bubbly beverages gluten-free? For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it’s important to understand which brands contain gluten and which are safe to drink.

The short answer is: most mainstream sparkling waters are gluten-free. However, there are some exceptions, primarily flavored varieties that contain added ingredients. Plain carbonated waters are generally devoid of gluten-containing grains.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity cannot tolerate gluten and experience digestive issues or other health problems when they consume it.

For a product to be considered gluten-free, it must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This very low threshold helps protect the health of those sensitive to gluten.

Are plain sparkling waters gluten-free?

Yes, unflavored sparkling waters that contain just carbonated water and no added ingredients are gluten-free. Brands like La Croix, Perrier, San Pellegrino, and Polar Seltzer are naturally devoid of gluten.

Carbonation occurs when carbon dioxide gas is dissolved in water under pressure. This produces the characteristic bubbles and fizz in these drinks. Since plain sparkling water does not contain grain-based ingredients, it is inherently gluten-free.

Major sparkling water companies indicate their plain varieties are gluten-free on product packaging or on their websites. When in doubt, check with the manufacturer to confirm.

Why would sparkling water have gluten?

While plain carbonated waters are gluten-free, some flavored varieties do contain gluten-based ingredients.

Here are some potential sources of gluten in flavored sparkling waters:

  • Grain-based flavor extracts, like barley or wheat extracts.
  • Maltodextrin, a food additive derived from corn, rice, potato starch, or wheat.
  • Natural flavors that use gluten-containing grains in production.
  • Cookie crumble, cereal, or cookie dough flavored fizzy waters that contain glutenous ingredients.
  • Colored varieties that use caramel color produced from barley.

Always check the ingredient list for any questionable grain-based additives. Also look for advisory statements like “Contains: Wheat” or “Manufactured on equipment that also processes wheat.”

What brands of flavored sparkling water contain gluten?

While most popular sparkling water brands are gluten-free, some flavored varieties do contain gluten. Here are a few to be aware of:


Most LaCroix flavors are gluten-free, but their Coconut, Melon Pamplemousse, and Pastèque (Watermelon) flavors contain wheat-derived natural flavors.


Perrier’s plain sparkling mineral water is gluten-free. However, flavors like Grapefruit and L’Orange contain barley-derived natural flavors.

Canada Dry

Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Lemon-Lime, and Orange flavored sparkling waters likely contain gluten due to natural flavors and caramel color derived from barley.

Polar Seltzer

All of Polar Seltzer’s flavored varieties are labeled gluten-free except for their Vanilla flavored seltzer. It contains wheat-derived natural flavors.

Sparkling Ice

Sparkling Ice beverages are labeled gluten-free except for their Vanilla Cream product. It contains wheat-based ingredients.


The Dasani website states their plain sparkling water is gluten-free. However, flavored options may contain gluten from natural flavors or other ingredients. Contact them to confirm.


Pepsi’s Bubly brand of flavored sparkling waters does not make any gluten-free claims. Contact them for clarification on whether their flavors contain gluten.

What about store brands and generics?

With generic and grocery store sparkling water brands, it’s harder to find information online about possible gluten content. Your best source is to carefully read ingredient labels looking for any gluten-containing additions.

Also reach out to the store or manufacturer directly if ingredient transparency is limited. Never assume generics are gluten-free without confirming first.

Should you trust “gluten-free” labels?

In many countries, foods labeled “gluten-free” must legally contain less than 20ppm of gluten. However, regulations can vary regionally.

In the United States, FDA gluten-free labeling rules help strengthen standards and accountability. But some brands using gluten-free claims have still been found to contain gluten through independent testing.

If you have celiac disease or are highly sensitive, take any product labels with a grain of salt. Consider reaching out to brands directly to verify their gluten testing protocols and standards meet your needs.

How to enjoy gluten-free flavored sparkling water

While many flavored fizzy waters contain gluten, there are still plenty of refreshing gluten-free varieties to safely enjoy. Here are some tips:

  • Stick to trusted brands and flavors that are labeled gluten-free.
  • Research companies online to find gluten standards and information.
  • Call or email manufacturers with any questions or concerns.
  • Look for advisory statements on packaging about gluten sources.
  • Avoid maltodextrin in the ingredients.
  • Watch for natural flavors that may hide gluten.
  • If in doubt, plain carbonated water is always gluten-free.

Adding your own fresh fruit, herbs, bitters, or juice lets you control the ingredients while still enjoying fun bubbles.

Are there risks with trace amounts of gluten?

For people with celiac disease, even trace amounts of gluten can trigger intestinal damage. The only proven treatment for celiac is strictly adhering to a gluten-free diet.

For those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, occasional small exposures to gluten may potentially be tolerated. But this can vary greatly between individuals based on the degree of their sensitivity.

People with wheat allergy must also avoid all exposure to gluten. Even tiny amounts can provoke potentially serious immune reactions.

If you have celiac disease or a wheat allergy, sticking to products guaranteed to be gluten-free is strongly advised for health and safety. If you have NCGS, discuss any potential for cross-contact exposure to gluten with your healthcare provider.

Should you rinse bottles before drinking?

Some people advocate rinsing or washing sparkling water bottles before drinking to remove residual gluten. However, this is unlikely to have a significant effect.

Any traces of gluten left behind from manufacturing lines are likely to be deep within the metal or plastic container walls. Simple rinsing won’t adequately remove gluten protein embedded in bottles.

A much more reliable approach is to choose verified gluten-free products from trusted brands. Thoroughly cleaning bottles is unlikely to make flavored waters with gluten safe for those who are highly sensitive.

Bottom line

Plain sparkling waters without added flavors or ingredients are gluten-free and generally considered safe for people avoiding gluten.

However, flavored varieties may contain gluten, especially from natural flavors, maltodextrin, or caramel color. Carefully read labels and contact manufacturers to identify the gluten-free options.

While an occasional exposure to traces of gluten may be tolerated by some, those with celiac disease or wheat allergy need to strictly avoid it. Check labels diligently and stick to flavored fizzy waters guaranteed to be gluten-free for peace of mind.

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