It’s a well-established fact that sweet carbonated beverages aren’t the best for your health. They usually have no nutritional value and contain high amounts of sugar. But what about sparkling water? Many people can’t do without a glass of a carbonated beverage at every meal.
It is now available in many cafes for free and people are even making their own at home with SodaStream machines. So are the properties of sparkling water the same as regular water or does the carbonation process make it less healthy?
Does Sparkling Water Have Health Benefits?
Many people drink more sparkling water than regular tap water since it’s also calorie-free and can be just as hydrating. But, the growth in the popularity of this drink has led to some questions about its health benefits. Doubts have been raised about whether sparkling water causes digestive issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). There have also been some rumors that it wears down tooth enamel and could even lead to bone damage in the long run.
Fortunately, there’s no scientific evidence to conclusively prove that sparkling water has adverse effects on your health. While these rumors cannot be discounted entirely, there’s some level of exaggeration to them.
By keeping a few things in mind, you can still drink your sparkling water responsibly.
Possible Health Risks of Sparkling Water
If you suffer from digestive issues or irritable bowel syndrome, it is best to avoid sparkling water. As with other fizzy drinks, the carbonation may exacerbate your symptoms and lead to uncomfortable bloating and pain.
Some brands of sparkling water may have or artificial sweeteners or added sugar. Avoid these as well as flavored options since they contain calories and extra hidden ingredients. Certain varieties also have high amounts of citric acid added for flavoring.
These citrus flavored drinks tend to be very acidic and can irritate sensitive stomachs.
It’s important to note that many sparkling water brands claim to have no calories, but it’s important to keep your eyes peeled and check the nutrition label when trying a new brand. Usually what replaces the calories are the added sweeteners, which are far worse than ingesting real sucrose or fructose.
While sparkling water is a better option than sodas and sugary drinks, at the end of the day, plain ol’ tap water may be your best bet, depending on how clean the water is in your community.
However, if you can’t do without it, a good way to achieve balance is by saving your sparkling water for mealtimes and special occasions. Drink regular water in between, whenever you’re thirsty. When in doubt always choose the risk-free option especially when it comes to your health. Regular clean drinking water is a guaranteed safe bet.