Watching those tiny bubbles in your drink can be mesmerizing, and sipping these beverages is refreshing. But, is it really a healthy-for-you beverage?
Many of us have heard about the harmful side-effects of carbonated beverages, with excessive amounts of sugars and chemicals, but thankfully those drinks do not include seltzers and sparkling waters.
Today we’re going to debunk the common myths around sparkling water and its health benefits, including answering one of the biggest questions we get asked at SeltzaTap, “Does sparkling water hydrate?”
Myth #1: Regular water is better for you than sparkling water
The Actual Truth: Aside from the CO2 bubbles, there is no difference between tap water and carbonated water. This myth probably comes from the fact that many carbonated drinks are loaded with sugar, carbs, and extra ingredients. If you are comparing tap water to sparkling water with no added ingredients or flavouring, they are equally healthy for you.
Myth #2: If you want a healthy drink, you can’t add anything to sparkling water.
The Actual Truth: The answer depends on what you want to add to the water. Adding caffeine, citric acid, and additional sugars contribute to the “unhealthiness” of a beverage. These added ingredients can lead to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
However, if you add natural flavours (such as freshly squeezed fruit), flavoured sparkling water can be a healthy choice because you get the added health benefits of the natural fruit.
Myth #3: Sparkling water doesn’t hydrate you
The Actual Truth: Sparkling water is an excellent alternative to still water when you are trying to hydrate. One randomized controlled trial measured the urine output of participants four hours after consuming different beverages. They found that there was almost no difference in outputs after drinking sparkling water or still water.
The only consideration is that because of the added bubbles, it may take a bit longer to get the full benefits of still water, but you still get the same hydration benefits.
Myth #4: Sparkling water rots your teeth
The Actual Truth: You’ve probably seen the YouTube and TikTok videos of what cola beverages do to coins and metal. It strips them clean! Cola is high in citric acid and phosphoric acid, which contributes to the erosive decay of your tooth enamel. It’s not the carbonation that causes this decay, but the sugars and acids added to these beverages.
The good news is that you can continue to drink plain or naturally carbonated beverages. If you are worried about decay or have sensitive teeth, you can always brush after drinking or also drink a glass of still water after; but it’s not necessary for most of us casual sparkling water drinkers.
Myth #5: Sparkling water gives you a rumbly tummy
The Actual Truth: The exact opposite is actually the truth. Sparkling water can provide relief from an upset stomach or nausea. One study found that sparkling water helped to significantly reduce dyspepsia (pain in the upper or middle stomach area) compared to the control group who drank only still water.
If your upset stomach is accompanied by nausea, try adding some ginger to the water. Ginger is also a well-known anti-nausea ingredient.
Myth #6: Sparkling water leaches calcium from your bones
The Actual Truth: This is another case of people grouping all sparkling beverages in the same category. While the acidity of soda beverages can cause osteoporosis, it’s only the phosphoric acid that hinders the calcium absorption in your bones. This is not found in sparkling water.
Plain water without additives does not have phosphoric acid, so it’s not a problem in this case. If you buy bottled sparkling water, be sure to check the ingredients to see if they snuck anything in the bottle that isn’t natural or healthy.
Myth #7: Athletes should never drink sparkling water
The Actual Truth: Athletes are generally advised to avoid carbonated beverages during their race or sporting event, but that’s not always the case. For example, when doing endurance events like a 15- or 30-hour ultra-run, drinking carbonated water can actually boost the energy you need to finish strong.
Don’t forget that drinking too many carbonated beverages, sparkling water included, can leave you feeling bloated. This will likely negatively impact your athletic performance. If in doubt, stick to regular still water right before exercising or participating in any physical activity.
Myth #8: Drinking sparkling water is not environmentally friendly
The Actual Truth: This would be true if you buy bottles or cans of sparkling water. If you plan to drink carbonated beverages more often, consider getting a carbonation machine for your home. Then you can get on-demand sparkling water, add your own healthy ingredients, and store it in your own reusable glass containers and water bottles to save the environment. Considering what type of carbonated machine you should get? Consider a SeltzaTap.
How to ensure sparkling water is healthy and hydrating
Not all carbonated beverages are treated equally. To ensure you’re drinking a healthier beverage:
- Drink carbonated beverages, even healthier ones, in moderation
- Read drink labels to check for unhealthy ingredients
- Follow by brushing your teeth or drinking still water
- Be mindful of carbonation before doing certain activities like exercise or sports
- Make carbonated beverages at home with a CO2 machine, as opposed to purchasing sparkling water in store
Sparkling water helps you stay hydrated when you tire of drinking still water. It’s definitely a healthier alternative to higher calorie carbonated drinks.
With SeltzaTap, you get easy access to cool, filtered sparkling water from your kitchen sink! The carbonation unit hides neatly under your sink and dispenses freshly carbonated water on demand when you need it. Dispense it directly into your cup or reusable water bottle for convenience and to prevent cans and bottles from ending in landfills.
Don’t forget to add your own natural flavourings to the water. This can make it the perfect addition to your healthy lifestyle and can help boost your hydration levels. Plus, it tastes so refreshing!