Is sparkling water bad for you?
While some (wrongly) believe sparkling water is a luxury beverage available always reserved as a fancier option, many people turn it down because they believe it is the unhealthy alternative, with allegations of tooth decay and dehydration circulating. But are there any truths to the rumours? Is sparkling water harmful to one’s health?
Let us take a look at the science behind debunking rumours and lifting the lid on the health advantages of carbonated water.
What is sparkling water made of?
First things first, carbonated water is produced by passing pressurised carbon dioxide through still drinking water at a low temperature to form carbonic acid. Once the pressure is reduced or the temperature is raised, carbon dioxide escapes from the water as bubbles.
In simpler terms, carbonated water is water that has been infused with carbon dioxide under pressure.
They are formed by drawing water from a mineral spring and typically include minerals and sulfur compounds. They are commonly carbonated, too.
Does sparkling water make your body more acidic?
Carbon dioxide and water chemically combine to form carbonic acid, a weak acid that has been shown to activate the same nerve receptors in your mouth as mustard. This generates a burning, stinging sensation that may be both unpleasant and pleasurable.
Carbonated water has a pH of 3–4, which implies it is somewhat acidic.
Carbonated water, on the other hand, does not make your body more acidic. Your kidneys and lungs help to eliminate extra carbon dioxide. Regardless of what you eat or drink, your blood is kept at a slightly alkaline pH of 7.35–7.45 by your kidneys and lungs removing excess carbon dioxide.
Is sparkling water bad for your teeth?
The main fear about sparkling water is that it will harm teeth, as the enamel in your mouth is directly exposed to acid.
There isn’t much study on it, but one research found that sparkling mineral water enamel damage was somewhat more than still water. Mineral water was also 100 times less harmful than a sugary soft drink in terms of harming enamel.
However, carbonated beverages with added sugar had a high potential to damage enamel, according to one research.
In fact, a non-carbonated sweet drink (Gatorade) was more harmful than a carbonated sugar-free beverage. (Owens, 2007).
Thus, the evidence tends to suggest that sparkling water is not detrimental to your teeth, especially if it does not contain any form of sugar.
Does sparkling water hydrate you as well as normal water?
Carbonated water hydrates just as effectively as still water, according to numerous research. After all, it’s just regular water that has carbon bubbles in it; it’s simply called carbonated instead of still!
In terms of hydration levels, a research has shown that carbonated water and ordinary water were equally good (Am J Clin Nutr, 2016).
It can actually improve swallowing ability in certain individuals
One added benefit of sparkling water is that, research has found that it enhances swallowing function in both young and older individuals (Dysphagia, 2014).
In one experiment, 16 healthy individuals were asked to take various liquids repeatedly while maintaining their normal breathing pattern. Carbonated water had the strongest capacity to stimulate the nerves that control swallowing.(J Appl Physiol, 2016).
In conclusion, is sparkling water bad or good for you?
Carbonated water has been linked to several health benefits, including improved heart health (decreased bad cholesterol, inflammatory biomarkers, and blood sugar), although the evidence is limited.
Plain carbonated water is as healthy as still, filtered water gets at the end of the day. The drawbacks only come into effect if you don’t check to see whether your beverage has any additives. If you’re aware of this, sparkling water’s benefits are both enticing and extensive!