Is tonic water bad for you?

In this article, we are going to discuss and answer the question “Is tonic water bad for you?”. I will include the ingredients in the water tonic, and what they are. I will include a way to make a water tonic at home, and some healthy drinks you can enjoy.

Is tonic water bad for you?

No, because it is rich in sugar and additives. Tonic water is a carbonated beverage that contains quinine which gives the bitter taste of tonic water. Tonic water has been used for night cramps or restless leg syndrome.

Quinine has been used to treat malaria related to mosquito bites in regions where malaria was spread. Yet the treatment is not supported scientifically. 

Ingredients in tonic water

Tonic water includes: spring water, natural quinine, sugar, citric acid, flavors, sodium citrate, carbonated water, natural flavor, sodium benzoate, and saccharine.


Tonic water contains 29.57 grams of sugar per an 11 fl oz bottle, which is almost 2 tablespoons. Sugary drinks are filled with sugar, it is crucial to limit them to prevent weight gain. It also contains no nutritional value, no vitamins, or minerals. This makes it empty food without any added value.

Citric acid

Citric acid is a chemical added to some food ingredients,it can cause several stomach disturbances though. Drinks containing citric acid increases the likelihood of getting sore mouth and wearing off enamel from teeth.

Sodium Citrate

Sodium citrate is used to enhance the flavor and preserve food, it might have some side effects from vomiting to nausea, and diarrhea.


Saccharine is an artificial sweetener added to food to increase its sweetness. It is 500 times sweeter than sugar, it is approved by the FDA as a non-nutritive sweetener.


Quinine is safe in smaller doses, meaning not more than 83 parts per million of quinine. It is used to treat malaria, not for the prevention of malaria. Some people might have severe reactions to it, from upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, confusion, and nervousness. 

Some people should not consume tonic water especially those with heart issues, low blood pressure, with kidney diseases, with liver diseases, pregnant or take some special drugs that could interact with it.

How can I make tonic water at home?

You can alternatively make tonic water at home to control the ingredients you put in it. All you need is water, lemongrass, powdered cinchona bark (a source of quinine), orange, lemon, lime, whole allspice berries, citric, and kosher salt. 

The ingredients are combined and brought to boiling point, then waiting to cool down. It can be later strained using any filter or coffee filter.

What are some healthy drinks I can enjoy?

Water tonic can be replaced by other healthier alternatives that hydrates and provide refreshments with added antioxidants.

Water is an essential drink that should be consumed daily. The drink hydrates the body, and balances the electrolytes. 

Green tea is one of the drinks you can enjoy, it provides antioxidants that fights off free radicals. It helps reduce skin and cell aging.

Milk is another drink that is nutrient rich in vitamins and minerals. A nutrient that is rich in milk is calcium, calcium supports healthy bones. It helps preserve bone density, and lowers the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.

You can enjoy fruit drinks in moderation, it is rich in vitamins and minerals. Yet juicing causes a lot of the fiber content to be lost. So it is better to limit your fruit juices in that sense.

What about diet water tonic?

Diet water tonic replaces the sugar in water tonic with a sweetener. The sweetener that is used can be either aspartame or saccharin. Both of which are approved by the FDA and considered safe. 

However, using sweeteners for a long term might change the way your taste buds react to the sweetness. When you are exposed to high levels of sweetness over time, you will need to meet this certain level of sweetness of food.


In this article, we discussed and answered the question “Is tonic water bad for you?”. I included the ingredients in the water tonic, and what they are. I included a way to make a water tonic at home, and some healthy drinks you can enjoy.


Calories in 1 bottle of Tonic Water and Nutrition Facts (

What is Tonic Water & How Is It Bad For You? – The Water Filter (

Is Tonic Water Bad for You? | New Health Advisor

Quinine in Tonic Water: Is It Safe and What Are the Side Effects? (

Quinine in tonic water: Safety, side effects, and possible benefits (

Additional Information about High-Intensity Sweeteners Permitted for Use in Food in the United States | FDA

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