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How Sparkling Water Compares to Bottled Water

sparkling water

With the rise in popularity of sparkling water, there are a lot of rumors being passed around—it’s often presented as a familiar alternative to sugar sodas, but is it really just as healthy as regular still water?

The Rumors

Because of its carbonation, sparkling water has been said to erode tooth enamel, leach calcium from your bones as well as lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). So the question is really about the carbonation—is too much carbonation bad?

We’re pretty accustomed to thinking bubbly drinks are bad for us, but nutritionists have confirmed that sparkling water is basically harmless. Regular sparkling water is sugar-free and calorie-free, and it hydrates you just as well as still water does. When it comes to tooth erosion, this only occurs with acidic beverages like soda, but isn’t linked directly to carbonation. If you don’t like the taste of regular water, sparkling water is a great alternative. Concerns about calcium depletions and tooth erosion simply don’t hold any weight.

Although there are no studies to document this yet, it’s possible that drinking a ton of sparkling water could cause some unpleasant stomach symptoms. Consuming extra carbonation, which is essentially extra air, should keep you on the lookout for excessive burping, flatulence and abdominal distention, all of which could cause a lot of discomfort. If you aren’t particularly sensitive to changes in your diet, you might not experience any of these. If you do experience these symptoms, it’s probably the worst side effect you’ll have, and your body should adjust.

The Part to Watch For

The tricky thing about sparkling water is that not all clear, sparkling drinks are automatically healthy. Tonic water, for example, contains added sodium and sugar. Bottled club soda may also contain added sodium, so make sure you’re checking the labels of the sparkling water you’re drinking. Additionally, if you have an at-home water carbonator that comes with little flavor packets, those packets could contain extra sugar and calories not found in natural water. If you’re drinking more water, but you’re adding soda mix each time, you’re basically just drinking soda.

Americans have bad habits when it comes to drinking their calories, so don’t let your choice of water make things worse! Try flavoring your sparkling water with natural things like mint leaves, lemon and lime slices, cucumber or fresh fruit.
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