What is tonic water?

Tonic water is a carbonated soft drink that contains a small amount of quinine. Once it was used as a malaria prophylactic.

Tonic water is a carbonated soft drink that contains a small amount of quinine. Today, its popularity is driven by its distinctive bitter and refreshing flavor. 

The first known extraction of quinine was most likely based on a formula developed by French pharmacists. In 1858, Erasmus Bond received the first patent for tonic water. In 1870, Johann Jacob Schweppe's company, the royal purveyor to the British court, introduced the drink, which Coca-Cola later replaced. In 1767, scientists developed the technology for carbonated beverages, and tonic water was born.

What does quinine do to the body?

The main ingredient in tonic water is quinine, a naturally occurring alkaloid derived from the cinchona tree bark. While this substance is generally safe in small doses, it is harmful if taken in large amounts. In the 17th century, Europeans began to use quinine to treat malaria, and soon it became a breakthrough in the treatment of the disease. It was also used in colonial plantations in southern India and Indonesia. By the end of the nineteenth century, quinine had become the preferred treatment for malaria. A study found that it kills 97 percent of malaria parasites in people with the disease. However, drinking tonic water can't heal you from malaria, nor can it prevent it.

Quinine is often prescribed for nighttime leg cramps and to prevent babesiosis. Quinine is highly toxic to children and should not be used without a doctor's approval. 

What is tonic water made of?

Modern tonic water is made of carbonated water and flavored syrup. The syrup is typically made with natural quinine, citrus peels, and oils. Its sweetness is also a key component. Some manufacturers create diet versions of tonic water by using artificial sweeteners. Tonic water is still a popular beverage in many countries, and the flavored versions are tastier than traditional tonic waters.

What is tonic water used for?

Although it was once used as malaria prophylactic, tonic water is now more commonly consumed for its characteristic bitter flavor. In addition, tonic water is often used as a pre-meal drink to balance bitterness and sweetness in cocktails and other beverages. It is safe to mix with other products such as household cleaners or other cleaning solutions as a natural cleaner.

Is drinking tonic water good for health?

Tonic water is a popular mixer, but is it perfect for you? While the resulting drink may have a high calorie and sugar content, the quinine used in tonic water is considered safe for human consumption if the concentration is less than 83 parts per million. However, it is still not recommended to drink more than a couple of glasses of tonic water each day.

Despite its widespread popularity, tonic water does have a small risk of causing severe health problems. A large amount of quinine can cause thrombocytopenia. In some people, quinine in tonic water may cause sensitivities or allergies that lead to a full-blown reaction years later when they drink medicinal doses of it.