The three benefits and side effects of tonic water

by Redazione Fine Taste

Are you like us at Fine Taste? Is the 'Gin and Tonic' one of your favorite cocktails at the bar? If yes, then you have definitely heard of tonic water. The "bitter tonic" is one of the most advertised drinks, especially in this scorching summer, so much so that people often drink it as a stand-alone drink. For what reason? What exactly is tonic water and the quinine in it? What are the benefits and side effects of this drink?

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Let's start with the definition. What is tonic water?

Tonic water is a carbonated drink that has a bitter aftertaste. It is one of the most used drinks for mixing cocktails and is essentially made up of a variable combination of carbonated water, quinine and sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Well, we're all familiar with sugar and carbonated water, but what about quinine? What is it about?

Quinine is actually the bitter compound that gives the drink its characteristic bitter finish.

It is a compound synthesized from the bark of cinchona trees and has been used as a medicine to combat malaria in countries where these trees are grown.

Without wanting to give a geography lesson let's say that these trees usually grow in tropical and subtropical regions such as South America, the Caribbean, Central America, parts of Africa…

Quinine's bitter flavor makes it an excellent ingredient for tonic water, and it also pairs well with drinks.

You don't have to be an expert to see how the tonic water industry has recovered recently. Just look at the shelves of supermarkets or the windows of specialized shops.

There are an infinite number of tonic water brands and many small companies have emerged in recent years alongside traditional brands. It is a very lively and dynamic sector, without a doubt.

Alongside traditional regular tonic waters, which occupy around 75% of the market, there are also low-calorie, dietary ones which cover the remaining 25%.

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But how was this drink born? Let's find out together!

The history of tonic water

Do you like fairy tales? Well, what we are about to tell you is certainly something for your taste buds.

Legend has it that, in an unidentified distant time, an Indian with a very high fever got lost in the Andean jungle. When he found a pond, he drank the water and found it bitter. He immediately panicked, thinking he had poisoned himself after noticing the Cinchona trees surrounding the pond. He spent the night praying in a sort of delirious dream and, miraculously, when he woke up the fever stopped. It was then that he realized the medicinal value of the bark of the Cinchona tree. This discovery led him to introduce Cinchona bark extracts as a cure for fever and later for diseases such as malaria. The bark was mixed with water, and this is how the first modern "quinine infused water" or tonic water was born.

Now that we have told you its story, let's look at the benefits of tonic water.

For a truly special Gin&Tonic click here

Benefits of tonic water

  1. Quinine is a cure for malaria

For a long time, quinine diluted in tonic water was an effective remedy against malaria and, in some countries, it is still used in the fight against this terrible disease.

Malaria is usually caused by parasites called Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium malaria. These are carried by the Anopheles mosquito. Quinine is known to kill the reproduction ability of these parasites!

Don't worry! The tonic water we find on the market does not contain a high dose of quinine. The amount of quinine present in tonic water is obviously not enough to fight malaria!

  1. Tonic water can also act as an antipyretic and against night cramps

As legend has it, tonic water with a rich quinine content reduces fever, acting as an anti-inflammatory substance and also has a beneficial and soothing effect on night-time leg cramps.

Do-it-yourself is strongly discouraged, do not do anything without first consulting a doctor!

  1. It can also help in weight loss diet

Also in this case, not before consulting a dietician, tonic water helps control the diet thanks to the sense of satiety it can generate. Furthermore, since it is always water, it keeps the body hydrated.

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Side effects of tonic water

Well, we have talked about the three benefits of tonic water. To level the playing field, now is the time to highlight three of its side effects.

  1. It may cause nausea

Tonic water generally has low amounts of quinine. But if quinine is consumed in excess through excessive use of tonic water, it is very likely that cases of nausea may occur. These symptoms can also become severe and lead to stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea.

  1. It can lead to anxiety and restlessness

Again following abuse of tonic water, quinine could lead to anxiety and restlessness, with states of nervousness and confusion.

  1. It can lead to weight gain

It seems at odds with what we said earlier but we shouldn't forget that tonic water is a carbonated drink with added sugar. Drinking a moderate amount can help with the diet as we have seen, but if you overdo it you end up accumulating a lot of sugar and therefore gaining weight.

We hope this article has intrigued you.

It's summer, the heat is fierce, a frozen Gin and Tonic is hard to resist.

Drinked in moderation it is one of life's small pleasures that should not be given up.

Make it with our nomadic gin and specialty sodas . You'll see what a difference!

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