Carbonated Water: Is it Good or Bad
Water (H2O) is an odourless, tasteless and transparent substance which is one of the main constituents of our planet Earth. It is vital for all known forms of life even though it does not provide any organic micronutrients and food energy. Water is widely used for multiple purposes, both in homes and in industries.
A good alternative to sugary soft drinks is carbonated water. It is a refreshing beverage and may even enhance digestion by reducing constipation and improving swallowing ability. It causes a pleasurable bubbly sensation and is a calorie-free beverage. Many people prefer carbonated water over still water.
It is often considered to be a healthy way to stay hydrated, however many people question if it may harm your bone, digestive and dental health. Let’s look at what studies or research have to say about carbonated water’s impact on your overall health as we answer some commonly asked questions.
Table of Contents
What is Carbonated Water?
When water is infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure, it is known as carbonated water. Some examples are fizzy water, soda water, club soda, seltzer and sparkling water.
To improve the taste of carbonated water, it normally has salt added to it. Small amounts of other minerals are also included sometimes. Tonic water is another form of carbonated water which contains quinine and sugar.
The pH of carbonated water is between 3 to 4, which means it is slightly acidic. This type of water triggers a prickly, burning sensation that can be both irritating and enjoyable. The acid levels of your body don’t increase by drinking an acidic beverage like carbonated water. The excess carbon dioxide is removed by your lungs and kidneys.
Does it affect Dental Health?
Most people have a major concern about sparkling water regarding its effect on teeth, as your enamel faces exposure to the acid. One study found that the damage to the enamel by sparkling mineral water was only slightly more than still water.
Additionally, mineral water was one hundred times less damaging than a sugary soft drink. Furthermore, the damage to the enamel by carbonated beverages is only if they contain sugar. Simply put, there is little risk to dental health from plain sparkling water and only the sugary types are harmful. If you are still concerned about your dental health, rinse your mouth with plain water after drinking carbonated water or consume it with a meal.
Also Read: Best Weight Loss Drinks
Does it affect Digestion?
Your digestive health may benefit in several ways by taking carbonated water. Some of these benefits are:
Improves Swallowing Ability
- As per studies, both older and young adults may witness improvement in their swallowing ability due to sparkling water.
- The combination of carbonation and cold temperature strengthens these beneficial effects of carbonated water.
Increases Feelings of Fullness
- The feelings of fullness after meals increase to a greater extent by the intake of carbonated water than by plain water.
- It may trigger a greater sensation of fullness by keeping food in your stomach longer.
Helps Relieve Constipation
- Drinking sparkling water may help relieve the symptoms of constipation.
- Evidence is there indicating that sparkling water may improve other symptoms like stomach pain and indigestion too.
Does Carbonated Water affect Bone Health?
- Most people believe that the high acid content in carbonated beverages is bad for bones.
- An observational study found that cola drinks significantly lower bone mineral density, however, carbonated water appeared to not affect bone health.
Does Carbonated Water affect Heart Health?
- Carbonated water may improve heart health as per one research. The study shows that drinking sodium-rich carbonated water decreased blood sugar, inflammatory markers and bad (LDL) cholesterol. On the contrary, it increases good (HDL) cholesterol.
- Moreover, the risk of developing heart disease within a decade was reduced by one-third in those drinking carbonated water than those drinking still water.
What are the Side Effects of Sparkling Water?
- As sparkling water contains carbon dioxide gas, the bubbles in this fizzy drink can cause bloating and burping symptoms.
- Brands which have artificial sweeteners may also cause diarrhoea and even change your gut microbiome.
- People who suffer from gastrointestinal issues like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), especially if they experience diarrhoea should avoid carbonated water as this will be dehydrating and will negate all your bubbly hydration effort.
Is Sparkling Water Better than Regular Water?
Plain carbonated water is as hydrating as regular water and is a great alternative to sugary sodas.
An important thing to note is that carbonated water should not contain any added ingredients like sodium, artificial sweeteners and sugar, all of which can potentially have harmful effects on the body.
Sparkling or carbonated water is a fantastic alternative to sugary drinks. If you are unable to decide whether you should replace still water with carbonated water in your diet, then it is advisable to seek medical help from an experienced dietitian. Timely care and help can ensure any myths are dispelled and the beverage prescribed by your healthcare provider becomes a part of your diet.
At the CK Birla Hospital, we ensure patients get holistic medical support which includes treatment in a compassionate environment. This patient-centric approach not only helps patients heal better but also ensures they are aware of the preventive measures as well. In case you need to consult a dietitian, reach out to us, or book a direct appointment with Ms. Prachi Jain at the CK Birla Hospital.
Is it OK to Drink Carbonated Water Every Day?
You can drink carbonated water daily, considering there are no added ingredients like sodium, artificial sweeteners and sugar in it as they can be harmful.
What is the pH of Carbonated Water?
Carbonated water is slightly acidic, having a pH between 3 to 4. The acid levels of your body don’t increase by drinking an acidic beverage like carbonated water. The excess carbon dioxide is removed by your lungs and kidneys.
Is carbonated water good for acidity?
People suffering from acidity are advised to avoid carbonated drinks to reduce gastroesophageal reflux disease and acid reflux.
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