When you drink sparkling water every day, this is what happens to your body05/31/2020
Making the decision to drink sparkling water is becoming more popular. The beverage is having its moment, as noted by CBS News. Once left to collect dust on the backs of grocery store shelves, the beverage is now a hip choice for consumers, who have no shortage of brands from which to choose.
To clarify, what exactly is sparkling water? “Seltzer water is water that has been infused with carbon dioxide under high pressure, which creates the bubbles,” registered dietitian Toni Marinucci told NBC News. “In simpler terms, seltzer is carbonated water therefore the ingredients should just read carbonated water.” She added that if there’s a flavor essence added, the ingredients listed should just be carbonated water and natural flavor. That excludes sweetened fizzy waters (either with sugar or artificial sweeteners), club soda, sparkling water with juices added, and tonic water.
So if you’re constantly sipping on seltzer, you might wonder if guzzling all those bubbles is good for you. To that end, if you’re curious, read on to find out exactly what happens to your body when you drink sparkling water every day.
No, your teeth won't decay if you drink sparkling water every day
There’s an oft-circulated claim floating around out there that sparkling water is bad for your teeth because it erodes them and leaches out calcium. Certainly regular old soda has been proven to cause both tooth erosion and decay, according to Healthline. But is it true that plain seltzer water is bad for your pearly whites?
While there are some mixed opinions to be found, according to the American Dental Association, drinking sparkling water every day is “generally fine” even though it’s more acidic than still water. That’s thanks to a study that observed how donated teeth reacted to both kinds of H2O, which found the results to be similar. Bear in mind that seltzers with added citrus like lemon or lime may be more acidic, which could be less healthy for your chompers. Best to stick to the other options, then, such as plain or berry-flavored seltzers.
You will be hydrated if you drink sparkling water every day
Just as there are claims that say you could hurt your teeth if you drink sparkling water everyday, so too do some folks believe that it actually dehydrates you if you drink it daily. But fortunately for LaCroix lovers, that’s not the case at all, says Dr. Saima Lodhi, an internal medicine specialist. “Carbonated water is just as efficient at hydrating the body as plain spring or purified water,” she shared in a chat with Scripps. “Plus, it can be a nice break from tap water.” That’s especially the case if it’s chilled or if it has an especially pleasing fruit flavor.
In fact, Lodhi is actually a fan of sparkling water if it inspires people to up their fluid intakes. “Getting your daily dose of water is vital,” she continued, “so if sparkling water helps you drink enough, that is a positive step toward good health.” So there’s no need to jettison your case of Bubly in favor of the H20 that flows out of your Brita.
You may drink more fluids if you drink sparkling water every day
Not only will you be hydrated if you drink sparkling water every day, but you might drink more fluids than if you just drink plain water. The reason for that is twofold, according to registered dietitian Amanda A. Kostro Miller. “Some people crave carbonation, so choosing sparkling water may be very satisfying,” she revealed to The List. Those bubbles really can be quite addictive!
The second reason has to do with flavor, which is especially good for folks who just don’t like the way plain water tastes, says Kostro Miller. “Sparkling waters can have a different taste than regular water,” she continued. That’s largely due to the fruit essences that seltzer manufacturers add to the water and carbonation.
You can further spice up your seltzer with the addition of fresh herbs like mint or with a few frozen berries. That can also make your drink more colorful, which, in turn, can make it more appetizing as well.
If you drink sparkling water every day, you may lose weight
According to the CDC (via WebMD), approximately one half of all Americans are trying to lose weight. Whether they’re eating fewer unhealthy foods, exercising more, or upping their intake of fruits and vegetables, it’s clear that a lot of folks would like to shed unwanted pounds. And that can be particularly tough to do in times of stress, and when we’re “more sedentary than ever before,” as noted by registered dietitian Stephanie Schiff.
While long-term lifestyle changes such as eating more plant-based foods and getting regular exercise are the best ways to slim down, you could help yourself drop some pounds if you drink sparkling water every day. That’s because it can promote satiety, according to licensed nutritionist Anju Mobin. “Sparkling water stays in your stomach for a longer time making you feel fuller,” she told The List. “This leads to reduced intake of food helping you in weight loss.” Hey, it can’t hurt to give it a shot, right?
Drinking more plain old regular water can help you lose weight as well, as noted by Medical News Today.
What happens to your bones when you drink sparkling water every day?
Another rumor that’s been spread about choosing to drink sparkling water every day is that the carbonation in it could lower your bone density, putting you at risk for osteoporosis. But while soda consumption (especially cola) has been linked to those conditions, that doesn’t have anything to do with the fizz, says licensed nutritionist Monica Reinagel. “Researchers had one group of women drink one liter of still water every day while another group drank a liter of carbonated water,” she shared on the podcast The Nutrition Diva’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous. “After eight weeks, the researchers could detect no difference between the groups when it came to markers for bone turnover.”
Reinagel also said that the most current research points to another mechanism at work: Instead of cola being a bone breaker, it’s more likely that cola drinkers simply have a lower intake of calcium, and that’s what makes them more prone to having weaker bones.
So in order to protect your skeletal health, make sure you’re getting the recommended three to four servings of calcium per day, as noted by the Cleveland Clinic.
When you drink sparkling water every day, you may swallow better
One fascinating thing about the human body is the way in which it conducts various processes that we don’t even have to think about. For example, our hearts beat without us having to do anything, our digestive system works without command, and we blink our eyes and breathe without even noticing. That’s all thanks to your medulla oblongata, which regulates our unconscious processes, according to Healthline.
That part of your brain also helps you with another important bodily process, one that sparkling water can assist if you drink it every day, says licensed nutritionist Anju Mobin. “Sparkling water stimulates the nerves responsible for swallowing,” she explained to The List. “Drinking sparkling water at a cold temperature strengthens this effect.”
That might not seem like a really big deal, but just imagine how difficult life would be if you couldn’t swallow your food and water properly. When you put it in that perspective, it really is important!
You can help curb your soda cravings if you drink sparkling water every day
Let’s face it, people drink soda because it’s delicious. And nothing can quench the hankering for a cold, fizzy glass of cola or lemon-lime soda quite like the real thing. But unfortunately, the adverse health effects of soda are numerous and well-documented and include unwanted weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gout, and bone loss, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Yes, drinking too much soda can be bad for your body. Even diet soda isn’t safe from these effects, as noted by the Cleveland Clinic.
To that end, if you’re looking to kick your soda habit to the curb, making the choice to drink sparkling water every day might help, says Dr. Laureen Smith, an associate professor at the Ohio State University College of Nursing. “For those who choose carbonated sodas, it may provide the sought-after carbonation without the sugar,” she shared in a chat with Time.
Of course, it might not feel like much of a good replacement right away, but give it time and you’ll find that it does the trick. Your body will thank you, too, as there are plenty of positive effects that happen to your body when you stop drinking soda!
If you want to quit drinking alcohol, choosing to drink sparkling water every day may help
Have you found yourself drinking a bit more than usual? Do you find yourself wanting to take a month off of the sauce, just to reset your body? That’s going to require some mindfulness, says registered dietitian Kristin Koskinen. “When we are looking to change habits, including non-addictive alcohol consumption, we need to stand back and assess how the habit is serving us,” she told NBC News. “Are there components of the habit that we aren’t willing to abandon, like the social nature of having drinks? Are there ways to work around it?”
One possible workaround that might help you stay off the booze — without making you feel left out — is by making the choice to drink sparkling water when you’re at the bar, as opposed to alcohol. That way you can still have a glass in hand that contains a pleasing beverage, but without the substance you’re trying to avoid. Perhaps that’s why some folks in recovery enjoy club soda.
If you drink sparkling water every day, can you help your heart health?
According to the World Health Organization, the No. 1 cause of death around the world is cardiovascular disease, and by a significant margin. That’s why it’s so important to be mindful of your heart health and to do everything you can to make sure you’re not damaging your ticker.
While the evidence is limited, there’s still a chance that drinking some sparkling water every day might protect your heart, says registered dietitian Franziska Spritzler. “One study in 18 postmenopausal women showed that drinking sodium-rich carbonated water decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol, inflammatory markers, and blood sugar,” she wrote in an article for Healthline. “What’s more, they also experienced an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol.”
There’s more to it, too, says Spritzler. “Additionally, the estimated risk of developing heart disease within 10 years was 35 percent lower among those drinking carbonated water than those drinking the control water,” she continued. However, the study was quite small, so much more research is needed before a clear link can be made.
You may belch more if you drink sparkling water every day
Drinking sparkling water every day can be a very pleasing experience, especially when you’re super thirsty and are jonesing for the bubbles. However, be warned when you’re chugging it down that you may find yourself belching more often, says nutritionist Monica Reinagel. “Drinking fizzy stuff often makes people burp and — etiquette issues aside — this sometimes [relieves] feelings of pressure in the stomach and other symptoms of indigestion,” she shared on the podcast The Nutrition Diva’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous. It might not sound pleasant and can often be embarrassing, but it certainly can be relieving.
However, Reinagel cautions that some folks shouldn’t drink sparkling water every day, as belching can exacerbate some existing issues. “If you have trouble with acid reflux, however, things that make you burp can make those symptoms worse,” she continued. “This is why people with reflux are often advised to avoid carbonated beverages — including seltzer and mineral water.” Sounds like still water is the better option in that case.
So, if you’re looking to avoid the worst foods for acid reflux, you may want to add sparkling water to your list.
Can you harm your digestive tract if you drink sparkling water every day?
It’s probably not something that you think about every day, but that doesn’t stop your body from constantly operating a large and complex system of digestive organs. From the second that you smell food to the moment when you eliminate waste, sustenance is moving through your body and being converted into energy, according to the Mayo Clinic.
So if you drink sparkling water every day, can that have an adverse impact on your digestive tract and its supportive organs? “If you have IBS, carbonated water can irritate your guts,” Dr. Lina Velikova told The List. “But if you have a healthy stomach and intestines, it will do no harm.” She added that there have been studies that have demonstrated that there’s no link between sparkling water consumption and gastrointestinal diseases like GERD or esophageal cancer. Phew!
That said, if you guzzle the bubbles too fast you might find yourself expelling excessive gas, so you may want to sip slowly.
If you drink sparkling water every day, you could help calm your stomach
Remember when you would get sick growing up, and your parents would give you ginger ale to calm your stomach? While drinking ginger ale may actually do more harm than good for a stomach ache, you might find relief if you drink sparkling water every day, as noted by licensed nutritionist Monica Reinagel. “In fact, many people find that drinking a little carbonated water is a good way to settle an upset stomach,” she shared on the podcast The Nutrition Diva’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous. “And there are some studies to support this.”
In one study, researchers selected dozens of folks with chronic indigestion and split them into two groups; one drank a liter and a half of sparkling water every day, and the other drank still water. “After two weeks, almost all of the people who were drinking carbonated water reported less indigestion,” she noted, adding, “The other group saw little to no improvement.” That’s pretty promising!
Of course, ginger also helps to settle your stomach, according to Healthline. So if you want those healing properties in addition to the bubbles, feel free to add a few slices of ginger to your sparkling water.
If you drink sparkling water every day, it can relieve constipation
It’s not exactly polite conversation with your co-workers or acquaintances, but intestinal health is certainly something to discuss with your doctor. Chances are if you bring it up with her, she’ll be sure to ask if you’re drinking enough water, as that’s an important part of staying regular, as noted by Medical News Today.
So if you find yourself struggling with your regularity, which is never a pleasant experience, try to drink sparkling water every day as it might help you out. “Sparkling water may improve the symptoms of and reduce constipation,” licensed nutritionist Anju Mobin explained to The List. “According to studies, carbonated water has a laxative effect.”
In fact, carbonated water is actually more effective than still water at relieving symptoms of constipation, according to a study in the Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing. That’s good news for all of you Polar fans out there.
You might experience discomfort when exercising if you drink sparkling water every day
Regular exercise is an important part of getting and staying healthy, according to the CDC, as is staying hydrated while doing so. But you might want to stick to still water rather than sparkling water when you hit the gym, as noted by registered dietitian Toni Marinucci. “Having seltzer water can keep a person hydrated,” she shared in a chat with NBC News, “however if the carbonation causes gas or bloating it may also cause cramps and can disrupt the [person’s] ability/comfort to exercise.”
That’s not all, either, says Marinucci. “It is also more filling than plain water so a person may not drink as much as they need if they choose seltzer over plain water,” she continued. That could render you dehydrated if you’re not taking in enough fluids to make up for what you’re sweating out. You might also be more prone to belching, which could be embarrassing in a public setting.
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