Looking for additional ways to stay on top of your daily hydration goals? While drinking water is the obvious choice for keeping your fluid balance in check, sometimes we need just a little more excitement than the plain old stand-by. Enter carbonated water — an effervescent beverage that is made by infusing water with carbon dioxide under pressure. And while you will find water as a carbonated choice, certain juices, teas, and many other beverages can be carbonated as well.
How carbonated water is created is quite straightforward. But whether carbonated water is good or bad for you is a question that isn’t so simple to answer.
In this article, you will learn all of the ins and outs of carbonated water and whether carbonated water is bad for you.
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What is Carbonated Water?
No matter whether you call it carbonated water, sparkling water, club soda, fizzy water, or something else, this effervescent water is made from mostly water with added bubbles.
Certain varieties may have additional ingredients like flavors, colors, sugars, or caffeine. But rest assured that all varieties of carbonated water at the very least contain water and carbon dioxide.
Is Carbonated Water Good For You?
Many people lean on carbonated water as an alternative to ho-hum water if they are trying to limit their liquid calorie intake but want something a little more exciting.
But is carbonated water actually good for you?
The question varies depending on the person. But generally speaking, if you have healthy kidneys and no major health concerns, carbonated water can absolutely be a positive addition to an overall healthy diet.
Is Carbonated Water Good For Hydration?
One of the most important things to focus on when supporting overall health is proper hydration, as being dehydrated is linked to a slew of negative outcomes, including sluggishness, headache, and fatigue.
Fortunately, the carbonation added to water in order to make carbonated water does not affect the ability of the beverage to hydrate a person. So, rest assured that drinking carbonated water is just as hydrating as regular water. And if the carbonated water you are choosing has additional electrolytes added to it, your drink may be even better for hydration than water from the tap.
Of course, there are some caveats to that statement. Choosing a carbonated water that has added caffeine, for example, may result in dehydrating effects due to the additional ingredient.
Pros & Cons of Carbonated Water
Like most things in the world, carbonated water has its pros and cons.
Yes, it is a hydrating drink that can help people get in their ounces, especially if they are not a fan of still and unflavored water. But there are some downsides to drinking too much carbonated water, and the effects should be taken into account when you decide to crack open that can of fizz.
Here are some pros and cons of drinking carbonated water that you may experience.
Let’s think about how water is made into fizzy water. Carbon dioxide is added under pressure, which results in bubbles. But another thing that is created when these items are combined is carbonic acid, which is, as the name implies, acidic.
Acidic items can erode teeth enamel over time, which can weaken teeth.
So, just like if you drank a load of lemon juice or other acidic drinks frequently, drinking carbonated water in excessive amounts could cause your teeth to feel the effects. It does not appear that a once-in-a-while can is a concern.
Maintaining hydration is always a good idea, and doing so can help with weight management goals. For some, the feeling of thirst can be mistaken for hunger, so staying ahead of it is key.
And although intuitively, it would make sense to believe that drinking all zero-calorie drinks can support weight loss, data is now showing that the use of artificial sweeteners may negatively affect our gut microbiota, and including it in drinks is linked to weight gain!
So, when choosing your carbonated drinks, be sure to check the nutrition label and avoid those with added sugars, including artificial sweeteners.
Gas needs to go somewhere. And when you are drinking carbonated water, you are essentially introducing gas to your body, and bloat can ensue.
To reduce your risk of having a bloated tummy, try drinking slowly, as drinking quickly may result in swallowing even more air, resulting in that gassy feeling that nobody wants to experience.
Ingredients to Avoid
Naturally, your carbonated water is made from water and carbon dioxide. But many brands of carbonated water include additional ingredients to add some zing to your drink.
Some ingredients to avoid when choosing your “best” carbonated water include sugar, high fructose corn syrup, salt, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors and flavors, caffeine, and alcohol.
Also, be wary of the term “natural flavors,” as natural doesn’t always mean good-for-you. The safest bet is to choose waters that actually list the flavors included in your beverage.
The Healthiest Kinds of Carbonated Water
The grocery shelves are now overflowing with carbonated water choices. And while some of the trendy and fancy choices may be tempting to include, your best choice when shopping for your sparkling water is the unflavored variety. And if you need a little bit of flavor, choosing a carbonated water that contains a natural flavor that is specified on the label is a good choice too.
Carbonated Water — A Great Alternative To Plain Water
When plain water simply isn’t cutting it, and you need a little “extra” in your drink, carbonated water can be a great plan B to keep things fun and exciting in the beverage department. As long as you are sticking with carbonated water that does not contain questionable ingredients, there is no reason why you need to avoid these trendy drinks altogether. Of course, like everything, in moderation. So, along with drinking plain water, carbonated water can be a healthy addition that can help you stay on top of your hydration goals.