A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

What’s all the fizz? 5 things to know about carbonated water

As most know, water is good for your overall health. Plain drinking water has zero calories, can help manage body weight and reduce calorie intake as well as prevent dehydration. However, H2O has a competitor on the market that is a cross between soda and water – carbonated water. The question remains, is it good for you?

Photo of carbonated water in a glass with lemon and lime

If you want to wean off soda, try carbonated water for the fizz and hydration benefits.

Carbonated water is a growing trend to help people move away from sugary drinks. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sugary drinks are the leading source of added sugar in the American diet. An alternative to these drinks includes carbonated water.

Not all carbonated water is created equal

Types of carbonated water include sparkling and seltzer water, club soda and tonic water. Each have the added carbonation and most are calorie-free with the exception of tonic water, which contains high fructose corn syrup and sugar.

Make sure to check the nutrition label before trying out a new drink.

Benefits of carbonated water

If you are trying to transition from soda or other sugary drinks, carbonated water is worth a try.

“It is a great substitution for soda, especially for people who really enjoy the carbonation,” said Kari Mizgalski, registered dietician at Marshfield Clinic Health System. “Some people may not enjoy the taste as it is not sweet, but you can purchase plain carbonated water and flavor it yourself with fresh or frozen fruit.”

In addition, retailers offer a variety of flavored carbonated or sparkling water for purchase.

Hydration without calories is the main benefit of carbonated water. Mizgalski said it provides the same hydration as plain water.

She also added that sparkling water does not contain phosphoric acid, like some regular and diet sodas. Phosphoric acid can cause problems with tooth enamel and leach calcium from bones, leading to osteoporosis. Therefore, teeth and bones are safe with sparkling water.

Downsides to carbonated water

One negative side effect of carbonated water would be gas. Mizgalski said carbonation can cause belching, cramping or bloating to individuals who are sensitive to this.

“If you have gas after drinking carbonated beverages, I would recommend to avoid it,” she said.

Try it for yourself

Overall, carbonated water is a positive alternative to sugary beverages. CDC recommends switching to healthy, low calorie beverages to live a more healthful life.

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