Carbonated (Sparkling) Water Good or Bad?

Reviewed on 7/14/2022
Carbonated (Sparkling) Water Good or Bad?
It is okay to have occasional sugar-free seltzers and mineral waters to quench your thirst but limit tonic water.

Carbonated or sparkling water is the new talk of the town. People have switched from plain water to sparkling water considering its benefit. Carbonated water can stave off dehydration and it is healthy, considering it does not have any added sugars or preservatives.

4 myths and their facts associated with carbonated water

  1. They may cause increased calcium loss in bones
    • Carbonated water does not lead to calcium loss from bones. Cola drinks were associated with a low bone mineral density because they have phosphorous. Phosphorous can lead to the leaching of calcium from the body through the kidneys. Sparkling water does not have phosphorous, hence it is completely safe.
  2. They may cause tooth decay
    • If sparkling water is free from citric acid or sugar, it may not cause tooth decay. The carbonic acid generated by dissolving carbon dioxide in water is not highly acidic and does not lead to tooth decay.
  3. They may cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
    • Sparkling water may not directly cause irritable bowel syndrome. However, it may lead to bloating and gas, exacerbating the symptoms of IBS. If you experience flare-ups after drinking sparkling water, you should avoid them.
  4. They can cause weight gain
    • Sparkling water has zero calories and does not lead to weight gain. In an animal study, it was revealed that carbonated water increased the production of the hunger hormone ghrelin, which can lead to weight gain. However, these results were not substantiated in human studies. Hence, these claims have been negated due to insufficient evidence.
    • Sparkling water refers to water infused with carbon dioxide gas under high pressure. The carbonation process may make it similar to soft drinks but with lesser calories.

4 health benefits associated with sparkling water

  1. Helps you hydrate
    • Drinking water in any form will always prevent dehydration. Sparkling water is hydrating similar to plain water. If you are struggling to drink eight glasses of water, you can swap plain water with fizzy fruity sparkling water to achieve your target. Beware of added sugars and preservatives because they may lead to unnecessary calories. 
  2. Makes you feel full
    • Expert claims that drinking sparkling water can keep you full and satiated for long period. Some studies have reported that drinking carbonated water may keep the food in your stomach for a longer time compared to regular water. You may have fewer cravings for snacks or other unhealthy options.
  3. May relieve constipation
    • In a study carried out on people with constipation after a stroke, it was revealed that drinking sparkling water for two weeks provides significant relief with constipation. Another study supporting this claim stated that sparkling water brought significant relief to people experiencing indigestion and other digestive issues.
  4. Eases the transition from sugary drinks
    • If you want to kick out your addiction to sugary drinks or limit your latte consumption, sparkling water is the ideal drink to trick your brain and get rid of these habits. Adding herbs, fruits, or cucumber to enhance the flavor of sparkling water is a great option.
    • For some, it could be a difficult task to switch from sugary drinks to water, but sparkling water can come to your rescue. Plain or carbonated water is always more acceptable than high-calorie, sugar-infused drinks.

QUESTION

How much of the water on Earth is available to drink? See Answer

4 different forms of sparkling water

  1. Seltzer: Water when infused with carbon dioxide at high-pressure forms Seltzer water. They are usually plain and simple although some types may have natural fruit flavors and sugar. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially differentiates between seltzer and sparkling water based on their carbonation processes. For consumers, they both are the same.
  2. Mineral water: Sourced from a spring or well and is naturally carbonated water that has minerals, such as magnesium and calcium.
  3. Club soda: Carbonated water is artificially similar to seltzer water but is fortified with added minerals, such as sodium bicarbonate, disodium phosphate, and potassium sulfate.
  4. Tonic water: Artificially carbonated and enhanced with added minerals, including quinine. Quinine provides that signature bitter taste to tonic water. It includes sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. High-fructose corn syrup could be responsible for all the extra calories. Limit the use of tonic water because it has a high amount of quinine. 

It is okay to have occasional sugar-free seltzers and mineral waters to quench your thirst but limit tonic water.

How can you make your sparkling water healthy?

It is best to keep your sparkling water simple. The following will help you enjoy the benefits of sparkling water:

  • Avoid sparkling water with added sugar, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and other additives
  • Club soda may have sodium, but seltzer water does not
  • Add fresh fruits, herbs, citrus, or cucumbers to sparkling water to enhance the flavor

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References
Image Source: iStock image

WebMD. Sparkling Water: Are There Benefits? https://www.webmd.com/diet/sparkling-water-health-benefits

Cleveland Clinic. Is Sparkling Water Good for You? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-sparkling-water-healthy/

Scripps Health. Are Carbonated Beverages Harming Your Health? https://www.scripps.org/news_items/5224-are-carbonated-beverages-harming-your-health

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