We all know that drinking clean water for your health cannot be understated, but what you may not know is that sparkling water, still water’s adventurous twin, possesses a unique set of benefits all its own.
To understand these benefits, we first have to understand how sparkling or carbonated water is made. No matter what brand or type we’re talking about, the general process involves is quite simply adding carbon dioxide gas into water under pressure, also known as carbonation. There are various types of carbonated water, including sparkling mineral water, soda water, club soda, and seltzer water, but that’s for another article. For the sake of this topic, we’ll be talking specifically about the properties of carbonated water.
Assets For Days
There is no doubt sparkling water can be more fun to drink than still water. Its effervescent dance of bubbles is fun in itself. But there are other reasons to reach for that fizzy glass bottle than just its great taste.
Yes, some people actually believe that sparkling water is dehydrating. Even I believed that one, and not that long ago.
But don’t listen to the hype: the carbonic acid, or bond between the water and carbon dioxide molecule in sparkling water, is separated back into carbon dioxide and water in the digestive tract. This allows the water to be absorbed normally just like still or flat water. Carbon dioxide is not recognized as an essential nutrient, so it passes right through the gut and safely through to the other side.
So where does the dehydration come from? Caffeine in soda, and it’s been giving its fizzy friends a bad rap. Caffeine itself is a diuretic, which is added to sodas for a stimulating effect. But drink too much and it can cause dehydration, just like coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
If you’re drinking a sparkling or carbonated water without the caffeine or other diuretics, chances are you’re meeting your need for that healthy 64 ounces a day.
It May Help With Weight Loss
This one is still on for debate, but sparkling or carbonated water may also help you feel fuller for longer than regular flat water.
When consumed with a meal, the extra bubbles in the water help to keep food in the stomach for longer, as opposed to a meal with still water (1). The findings are still preliminary, but do suggest that the carbonation in sparkling water may have a notable effect for regulating the digestion period and prolonging our sense of fullness.
It Improves Digestion and Elimination
Continuing from above, the digestive benefits don’t end at the stomach.
A study from Italy shows the fizzy bubbles in sparkling water help to ease dyspepsia, or indigestion, and constipation, and improve emptying of the gallbladder (2). Researchers in a double-blind study of 21 people with symptoms of dyspepsia and constipation found that over a two-week period, the people drinking sparkling mineral water versus tap water had significantly reduced their symptoms of both dyspepsia and constipation. Possible explanations could be the presence of the bubbles or the varying trace minerals between waters. Either way, the results are clear, so to speak.
Another study observed 40 elderly people who had previously suffered strokes. In two weeks time, the frequency of bowel movements had almost doubled and constipation symptoms dropped in the group drinking sparkling water versus the control group drinking tap water (3).
One additional contributor to better digestion is the presence of bicarbonate in various mineral waters. Present in all bodily fluids, bicarbonate is produced in the stomach to maintain acid-base balances. Thus, drinking mineral water with high levels of bicarbonate can help reduce the acidity of certain foods during digestion. If you look around, you’ll notice that most quality restaurants have sparkling water on the menu. They know it’s good for digestion, too.
A Friend For Diabetics
Many are choosing to make the switch from traditional sodas to healthy alternatives, and sparkling water is among the top of the list.
Although many sugary carbonated drinks also exist, new options are emerging that feature the popular flavors of sodas without all the artificial chemicals and coloring. In addition, new varieties are starting to fill the shelves without the extra sugars that spike insulin levels and trigger the body to store fat.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that sparkling water is calorie-free.
Keep A Lookout!
When it comes to sparkling water, these benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. As science progresses and new studies emerge, we will uncover more advantages of drinking the bubbly. And as interest grows, new flavors will arise to whet our appetite for novelty as well as satiate our thirst.
For now, stay healthy and hydrated!