General,  Lifestyle

Is Bubbly Water Bad or Beneficial? 3 Myths Debunked

I don’t think I’m the only one who considers plain H20 to be just a little…boring. But now you can have just about any fizzy flavor you can imagine in a can.

Think Coconut or Pampelmousse (grapefruit) La Croix, Blueberry + Pomegranate AHA, or Blackberry Bubly.

Enter those magical little bubbles (plus some “natural” flavors) and voila! refreshing sparkles that make sipping water so much more interesting.

Not only is sparkling water pleasurable to drink, but it’s also:

Hydrating

You will likely benefit from the hydrating aspects of sparkling water if drinking bubbly water is more appealing to you than flat water. Water and carbonated water have the same base ingredient. Just stay away from added sodium, which is dehydrating.

“Sparkling water (including the flavored kind), which often helps with the taste fatigue some people experience with plain water, is just as hydrating as non-carbonated water,” CNN reported.

randomized trial in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition assessed the hydration status of men after drinking one liter of sparkling water as compared to water. Researchers found that both options hydrated the subjects equally.

Filling

The carbon dioxide in sparkling water suppresses appetite due to its satiating effect. This feeling of fullness may help reduce your daily food intake.

 Research published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology found that drinking carbonated water led to a short-term satiating effect, and a later study validated these results.

“If a bubbly drink helps you drink more fluid and keep your calories low for weight loss, then I believe it can be a part of a healthy eating plan,” says Amy Goodson, a registered dietitian.

Satisfying

Not only does fizzy water have a filling effect, it is also an excellent replacement for sugary drinks. The Center for Disease Control recommends swapping sparkling water for soda.

Since sparkling water is hydrating, that makes it a better option than drinking regular soda, diet soda, or alcoholic beverages, which don’t provide adequate hydration. If you’re dehydrated, you may feel hungry because it can be difficult to differentiate between hunger and thirst.

Anyone else find it challenging to drink enough fluid throughout the day? (By the way, “enough” water is generally half your bodyweight in ounces per day).

The pleasurable bubbly sensation of sparkling water makes it a satisfying beverage for sipping, especially when it’s calorie-free.

To recap, sparkling water is hydrating, filling, and satisfying. But is it healthy in other ways? Maybe you’ve received conflicting information about the nutritional value of carbonated beverages.

Here are three common myths about bubbly water.  

Myth: Sparkling water will make my BONES brittle.

“There is no negative effect on bone health,” says Lori Welstead, MS, RD, LDN on the UChicagoMedicine blog. “The only drinks that cause bone loss are dark colas, which have phosphoric acid that leads to losing calcium in your bones. Sparkling mineral water has calcium in it, which can improve bone health. And the carbonated mineral waters with magnesium and calcium may have bone-boosting benefits.”

Truth: Sparkling water does not have a detrimental effect on bones.

Myth: Carbonated water will cause my TEETH to decay.

The American Dental Association says sparkling water is “generally fine” for your teeth. However, they caution consumers to be mindful about any additives that may increase the acidity in the water, like lemon juice. Added sugar can also contribute to tooth decay.

While drinking carbonated cola drinks may harm bone health, sparkling water appears to have a neutral or positive effect, according to this Healthline article.

Truth: Consuming sparkling water in moderation does not appear to cause tooth decay.

Myth: Bubbly water always causes bloating in the GUT.

According to Go With Your Gut author and nutritional eating coach Robyn Youkilis, some fizzy drinks are less risky than others when it comes to bloat.

“Mineral water—so something like Perrier or Saratoga Springs—is going to be the mildest because it’s naturally carbonated,” she says. “Seltzer and club soda don’t have any minerals, and there’s also more carbonation in—which you can hear when you pop open a can. More carbonation means more potential for gas.”

Mineral water can actually help with digestion, as the minerals help fiber work better in the gut.

If you have a sensitive stomach and experience gas or bloating after drinking carbonated water, you may be better off eliminating it from your diet or limiting your use of the beverage. However, the bubbles do not cause IBS, according to MedicalNewsToday, and other sources.

Most people should avoid drinking sparkling water before or during strenuous exercise, as it may lead to discomfort. Stick to plain water during your workout and enjoy a sparkling water as a refreshing treat afterword.

Timing your sparkling beverage around eating is also important. “Drinking too much sparkling water—or even regular water—before, during, or after you eat can cause bloating because it dilutes the digestive juices in your gut,” Youkilis says.

Truth: Timing is key when sipping your sparkling drinks.

To further clear up any confusion, here’s the low-down on the variations of fizzy water.

  • Sparkling water (also known as seltzer water) is just water with carbon dioxide and may contain flavoring.
  • Sparkling mineral water contains natural minerals like magnesium and calcium. It also has naturally-occurring gases that cause carbonation, and it may have some carbon dioxide added for a bubblier effect.
  • Club soda (also called soda water) contains added minerals including sodium. It has more minerals than mineral water, like sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, potassium sulfate, and disodium phosphate.
  • Tonic water contains quinine, a bitter compound from the bark of a tree, plus added sugars.

Bottom line:

Read labels. It’s best to stay away from sugar and sodium in your drinks, and to limit artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. Plain clean filtered water is your healthiest and cheapest option, but go ahead and slowly sip sparkling water in moderation if you enjoy it. Bubbles up!

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