Is carbonated water just as healthy as regular water? Carbonated water, sparkling water, seltzer water, club soda, fizzy water- just as carbonated water has many names, carbonated water has as many myths. A simple Google search may scare consumers with the many claims that has put a bad taste on carbonated water’s reputation. Let’s investigate some of these myths!
Carbonated water does not hydrate as well as water
Carbonated water is basically just regular, plain water that contained added carbonation. Therefore, it absorbed by your body just as well as plain water (1). Carbonated water may make you feel more satiated versus drinking regular water due to the gas bubbles expanding in the water. Regular water may be the best option for those who are physically active.
Carbonated water leeches calcium from bones
This claim originated from the connection between cola drinks and lower bone density. However, the lowered bone density from the cola drinks have nothing to do with the drink’s carbonation. While researchers found that carbonated cola beverages are associated with a slight decrease in bone density, non-cola carbonated beverages were not (2).
Carbonated water erodes tooth enamel
This claim isn’t completely false. Tooth erosion usually occurs through the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks alongside its carbonation, which causes the drink to be highly acidic (3). Carbonated water isn’t nearly as acidic, simply because the beverage only has added carbon dioxide. However, you should be cautious when consuming flavored carbonated waters because they may contain added sugars. Still, the levels of erosion from carbonated water beverages are very low (1).
Carbonated water irritates the stomach
Those who have consumed any type of carbonated beverage should already know how all those bubbles cause some slight belching and bloating. Therefore, carbonated water is probably not best for those with a sensitive stomach, digestive system, or have irritable bowel syndrome. On the bright side, for those who don’t fall under those categories, studies show that carbonated water doesn’t cause an upset stomach (3)!
Take away message? Carbonated water is a safe beverage to consume! It is especially a perfect alternative if you are trying to cut soda out of your diet. Make sure to double check the nutrition label for added sugars and sodium when you are picking up flavored carbonated water. Drinking plain water is still the better choice. If it’s the boring taste you’re worried about, try infusing your water with natural flavors by adding fresh fruit, lemons or limes, or mint leaves!