Sparkling water is the perfect solution for breaking a soda addiction. But you might be wondering, “(In addition to its ability to combat addictions to sugary drinks) Are there any benefits to drinking sparkling water?”
This article will answer your question and explain how carbonated, or sparkling water, can improve your health.
Club soda vs sparkling water (and the many other types of water)
Carbonated water can be confusing. We started with plain old drinking water and then we began filtering it. But now we have sparkling water, club soda, seltzer water, soda water, mineral water, alkaline water, raw water, and tonic water. You’re probably curious about the difference between these various waters.
Before we get into the benefits of sparkling water, let’s clarify the confusion between club soda vs sparkling water. Are they the same thing? The short answer is “kind of.” Club soda, sparkling water, and carbonated water are all names for water that has gone through an artificial process involving carbon dioxide.
There are four common forms of “fizzy” water that often get confused.
Four types of fizzy water
This is water in which carbon dioxide has been dissolved. It includes all different forms of fizzy waters such as sparkling water, seltzer water, or soda water. Other than carbon dioxide, no other compounds are added.
This is similar to carbonated water (water in which carbon dioxide has been dissolved). However, club soda contains additives such as table salt, sodium bicarbonate, or potassium bicarbonate to add a salty flavor.
Mineral water contains naturally occurring minerals and is bottled directly from a natural source. It often contains carbonation as well. Examples include Perrier or San Pellegrino.
Can sparkling water hurt you?
When carbon dioxide is added to water it creates a chemical reaction: carbonic acid. It’s a weak acidic reaction, not harmful to consume. “The pH of carbonated water is 3–4, which means it's slightly acidic,” according to Joe Leech of Heathline.com. The reaction triggers nerve receptors in your mouth similar to mustard.
Can sparkling water hurt your teeth?
Since sparkling water exposes the enamel of your teeth to acid, a common concern of sparkling water is its impact on your dental health. There’s been very little research into the topic, but one study noted that sparkling mineral water damaged enamel only slightly more than still water.
The greatest negative impact on dental health came from sugary soft drinks. Carbonated water was 100 times less damaging than sugary soft drinks.
Carbonated water and health: the six benefits of sparkling water
Now that we’ve clarified what it is, let’s discuss six different benefits of drinking sparkling water.
1. Helps you consume more water
The most obvious way that sparkling water can benefit your health is that it promotes water consumption. If you struggle to drink plain water throughout the day, try drinking carbonated water to ensure you consume enough water throughout the day.
2. It can help you swallow
It may sound strange, but carbonated water has been shown to aid in digestion. One of the ways that it helps with digestion is improving your ability to swallow.
A study published in 2016 showed that carbonated water improved the subjects’ ability to swallow.
3. Can increase feelings of fullness
We’ve all been told to drink lots of water before the meal arrives to prevent overeating. But carbonated water helps you feel full longer than plain water. A study showed that sparkling water can help food stay in the stomach’s first compartment longer triggering the fullness sensation faster.
4. May help relieve constipation and indigestion
Research has shown that sparkling water can help relieve constipation and indigestion. In a study of 21 participants suffering from functional dyspepsia and constipation, those who drank carbonated water experienced improved digestive and constipation relief.
5. Can improve bone health
One study has shown a connection between carbonated water and improved bone health.
Research conducted on egg-laying hens found that exchanging tap water for carbonated water led to increased leg bone strength.
6. May improve heart health
A study of postmenopausal women showed that drinking sodium-rich carbonated water has a positive impact on heart health. The women who drank sodium-rich carbonated water had a decrease in LDL (the "bad") cholesterol, inflammatory markers, and blood sugar. They also experienced an increase in HDL (the "good") cholesterol.
Sparkling water goes by many names, but you can sip that next can of carbonated water with a clear conscience. Not only is it helping you stay hydrated, but it’s also improving your health in a handful of other ways as well.