Is Sparkling Water Good Or Bad For You?
Water is life, especially for runners. Runners know how important it is to stay hydrated before, during and after our workouts. But sometimes you just need a little more sizzle to switch things up. Which is why many of us love reaching for sparkling water. But is sparkling water bad for you?
Many just assume that sparkling water is fine to drink because it’s just carbonated water, which is a whole lot better than drinking a soda. But then there were reports that our LaCroix addiction isn’t the healthiest thing when compared to regular water.
So should we ditch soda water or is it fine to drink?
The Pros: A Healthier Alternative
Sparkling water is not bad for you when compared to drinking other sugary soft drinks.
The appeal to sparkling water and seltzers is that they are calorie- and sugar-free, yet come in different flavors.
This combines the bubbles of a soda with a little sweetness to trick the mind and stomach that they are drinking something similar to a Coke or Sprite without all the poor health effects like the risk of diabetes and obesity.
There is research that suggests that drinking soda water can help you feel full longer. This is because adding the volume of the beverage with a meal tricks the mind to feel that their stomachs.
Is sparkling water bad for digestion? Yes and no. Some studies suggest that drinking it strengthens the ability to swallow.
Another very small study found that women who drank sparkling water that contained sodium decreased their LDL cholesterol levels and increased their HDL, or the “good” cholesterol levels. This then could be linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
One study conducted among the elderly found that sparkling water helped with constipation. This could be linked to drinking more fluids in general, nonetheless.
The Cons: Tooth Decay or Nay?
Sparkling water is better than soda but by how much?
Sparkling water might be bad for you in some cases. This is mainly when it comes to dental health.
A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association in 2016 found that there are high levels of acidity in soda water. Combined with citric acid, which is commonly found in citrus-flavored options, could break down the enamel of the teeth.
But this concern goes further back to a 2007 study that also came to the same conclusions. Researchers from the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Dental Hospital found that acidic sparkling waters are bad for teeth enamel.
But keep in mind that the acidic pH levels of sparking waters vary based on the flavor. Plus it still is a whole lot better for the teeth compared to sugary soda or juice. And plain sparkling water has no limit to dental health, it’s the ones with flavors that are in question.
But this isn’t enough to say that sparkling water is plain out bad. It just means to try to avoid citrus flavors and limit to one and not a whole six-pack.
However, those who have dry mouth should stay away since the lack of saliva won’t prevent tooth decay as much as in those who don’t suffer from dry mouth.
But is sparkling water bad for your GI tract? It does cause burping, bloating and some gas. So those with irritable bowel syndrome should limit the number of carbonated drinks.
It also isn’t the best for those with acid reflux or with gastroesophageal reflux disease since it can promote heartburn.
But What About The Bones
There is this notion that drinking sparkling bad is bad for your bones. But that is just a myth.
The concern is that drinking too much soda water could weaken the bones and increase the risk of osteoporosis because of the same risk when oncoming soda.
However, the link between soda and poor bone health is most likely related to the fact that people are drinking less milk. Those who continue to consume dairy or take calcium and vitamin D supplements are not at risk.
This means drinking sparkling water does not affect bone health.
Is Soda Water Just As “Good” As Regular Water?
Does it count to drink sparkling water when trying to stay hydrated?
The short answer, yes.
This is because at the end of the day it’s still water—carbonation or not. Most of the gas is released when the can or bottle is opened (that fizzling sound).
At the heart of it, its water and water is hydrating. So logically it is still hydrating the body.
However, sparkling water is not the smartest option to drink when running. This can cause GI stress or at the very least burping and bloating.
Athletes tend to drink less regular water too when drinking lots of sparkling water mid-run. The bubbles can be too much to get down. It’s best to stick to regular water or an electrolyte drink to replenish those lost from sweat.