Is Carbonated (Sparkling) Water Good or Bad for You?

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Carbonated water, AKA sparkling water, has become increasingly more popular in the last few years as a refreshing alternative to plain water or a healthier alternative to sugar sweetened beverages. With its fizz and variety of flavors, it has become a go-to choice for many people.

However, the question of whether carbonated water is good or bad for your health is one you may not know the answer to. In this article, we will discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of consuming carbonated water in order to help you make an informed decision on consuming carbonated water.

📌 Key Takeaways

  • Carbonated water is water that has been infused with carbon dioxide bubbles.
  • It is a healthy option for people trying to achieve daily hydration goals and increase water intake.
  • Consume flavored carbonated water in moderation due to the artificial sweetener content.

🍾 What is Carbonated Water?

Carbonated water is water that has been infused with carbon dioxide bubbles. Carbonated water is created by dissolving carbon dioxide gas under pressure, creating its characteristic fizziness. Hence, the nickname “sparkling water”.

It is worth mentioning not all carbonated water is the same. Plain carbonated water is water infused with carbon dioxide, with no additional calories or additives. However, other types of carbonated water like seltzer or “sparkling water” may have additives like natural fruit flavors, added sugars, or artificial sweeteners.

Pouring carbonated water into a glass

Different Types of Sparkling Water

The various kinds of sparkling water include club soda, sparkling mineral water, tonic water, soda water and seltzer water. The main differences between the above are sugar content and mineral content.

Sparkling mineral water for example has natural bubbles in it as well as minerals from the spring water. However, club soda is artificially carbonated and has minerals added to it. Tonic water is also different because it’s essentially carbonated water with high fructose corn syrup.

Knowing the difference is important when identifying which ones are “healthier” for you.

🌟 Potential Benefits of Carbonated Water

Carbonated water has a variety of potential health benefits that make it appealing to many individuals. Several of the benefits are discussed in this section.

1. Contributes to Daily Hydration

For some people, it can be challenging to keep up with hydration simply because plain water is “boring”. To some people, one of the easiest ways to stay hydrated is by drinking carbonated waters. The fizzy texture of sparkling water is more enjoyable, leading to increased water intake.

If drinking carbonated water helps you stay better hydrated, then definitely go for it! The biggest thing is to make sure you’re not drinking any with added sugars or consuming ones with artificial sweeteners in excess.

2. Reduced Calories and Sugar Intake

Not only that, but carbonated water is a calorie-free or low calorie alternative to other carbonated beverages like soda. A regular Coke has 35g of sugar, which is well above the daily recommendations for consumption of added sugar.

This makes carbonated water an excellent choice for those who are looking to manage their weight or reduce their sugar intake, but still want that carbonated ‘fizz’.

Woman wondering "is carbonated water bad for you?"

3. Aids Digestion

Drinking carbonated water has also been shown to reduce symptoms of constipation and indigestion for some people. However, the data on this is limited and more research is needed to determine the benefits of sparkling water.

Anecdotally, it may help some since carbonated water does promote burping, which may provide relief and enhance comfort from bloating or indigestion.

These potential benefits make carbonated water an ideal option for those seeking hydration and a refreshing alternative to sugary or calorie-dense drinks.

⚠️ Potential Drawbacks of Carbonated Water

While carbonated water has its benefits, it’s important to also consider the potential drawbacks. Some of the potential drawbacks are listed below.

1. Artificial Sweeteners

When we think about the flavored carbonated waters like “Lemon-lime” and “Raspberry” these are likely flavored through the use of artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, or stevia.

While there is still a lot to learn about artificial sweeteners, there is some research to suggest that they may affect the composition of your gut microbiome.

More recently, the World Health Organization warned against the consumption of artificial sweeteners due to increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

2.Possible Stomach Discomfort

Some people may not like carbonated water because just like all carbonated beverages this can lead to burping or bloating.

However, it’s important to recognize that these effects vary from person to person. There are plenty of people that consume carbonated water without experiencing any negative side effects.

Woman with bloated stomach due to drinking sparkling water

3. Effects on Tooth Enamel

There is some concern that carbonated water may cause tooth enamel erosion. This is because it is considered to be acidic which can break your tooth enamel down. However, there is not much research to support this.

Enamel erosion is more likely to occur with the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages compared to carbonated water. So, basically just try to opt for the plain sparkling water.

🤔 So, is Carbonated Water Good for You?

As with any beverage, moderation is key when it comes to carbonated water consumption. Remember, keeping it plain and simple is usually the healthiest form.

However, if drinking flavored carbonated waters helps to increase your water intake then it could be a major benefit to you.

Individual responses to carbonation can vary greatly, so it is essential to listen to your body and adjust your intake accordingly. If you experience any adverse effects or discomfort after consuming carbonated water, it may be best to reduce or eliminate it from your diet.

🔚 Conclusion

Similar to most things related to nutrition, the verdict on whether carbonated water is good or bad for you is not black and white. Like many things in life, it depends on various factors, including your overall health, personal preferences, and consumption habits.

Sparkling water can be a hydrating and refreshing choice, particularly for those seeking a calorie-free alternative to sugar containing beverages. However, it is important to be mindful of artificial sweeteners in these products.

Ultimately, finding a balance and incorporating a variety of beverages is the key. If drinking carbonated water helps you stay better hydrated then add some to your daily routine in moderation.

❔ Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Safe to Drink Sparkling Water Everyday?

Plain sparkling water with no additives or flavors is perfectly safe to consume everyday. Flavored sparkling waters contain artificial sweeteners which are controversial. However, when consumed in moderation they are perfectly safe to consume.

Is There a Downside To Drinking Sparkling Water?

Some downsides of consuming sparkling water is it can potentially cause erosion of tooth enamel, it can cause stomach upset (bloating, burping) and it also can contain artificial sweeteners. There is a lot of controversial research on the consumption of artificial sweeteners, however in moderation are perfectly safe to consume.

Can carbonated water be healthy?

Plain carbonated water is the “healthiest” because it avoids all additives like artificial sweeteners. However, even flavored carbonated water can be a healthier choice in comparison to sugar sweetened beverages like soda.

  • Roxanne Trotter
    MS, RDN

    Registered Dietitian Roxy, fueled by her love for food and wellness, tackles misinformation head-on. Her Master's in Human Nutrition and diverse experience (weight management, hospitals) equip her to translate complex health topics, especially those related to water quality. Through her own practice (Nutremedies LLC) and writing for Water Filter Guru, Roxy empowers readers with accurate, evidence-based information, helping them make informed choices for a healthier life, one sip at a time.

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