Drinking enough water is something a lot of us struggle with. Sure, we know that our bodies need water, but for many people plain water is just boring. So if you’re bored of regular tap water, incorporating sparkling water into your routine can change things up and help you hit your daily water quota. Perhaps that’s why sparkling water brands like Bubly, Osun and LaCroix have become a popular option when consumers want a low calorie beverage that livens things up and adds more flavour than plain water.
With this in mind, there are a few points we would like to cover on the health effects of carbonated water...
Avoid The Dentist
The process of making fizzy water involves adding carbonic acid. Acids are very damaging to the teeth, as they weaken the enamel surfaces, making the teeth vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. That “feel good” mouth sensation you get after sipping a carbonated drink is in fact the chemical activation of pain receptors on your tongue responding to this acid, giving a moreish taste. And here’s part of the problem, this demineralisation creates tiny pores in the tooth mineral and the enamel can start to dissolve.
Initially, the pores are microscopic and can still be plugged by putting calcium or phosphate back in, or by replacing calcium with fluoride – this is how fluoride in toothpaste works to protect teeth. But once the amount of lost tooth mineral reaches a certain level, the pores can no longer be plugged and the tooth tissue is lost for good.
Will I Feel Fuller?
Although some studies have shown that participants who drank sparkling water on an empty stomach shared that they felt fuller than when they drank still water, it’s also worth pointing out that sparkling water is not necessarily an appetite suppressant.
Despite what you might read online, there is no strong scientific evidence to suggest that drinking sparkling water will make you feel fuller or curb your appetite. Yes, drinking carbonated water will fill up your stomach (probably making you belch too,) but it won’t stay in your stomach any longer than still water.
On the other hand, carbonated water has been known to improve digestion by helping constipation, emptying the stomach, therefore there is an argument to say this could possibly make someone feel even more hungry.
Beware Of The Bloat
So while the carbon dioxide in sparkling water may allow the fizzy bubbles to fill your stomach and trick your brain into feeling full, which means you will probably eat less, the fizz can also increase gastric activity leading to bloating and gas, which can lead to IBS flare-ups if you’re sensitive to carbonated beverages.
You should always be mindful of any added ingredients in sparkling waters, especially sugar, artificial sweeteners and sodium, (be extra mindful of sodium if you are watching your salt intake.) Different brands will vary in the amount of added ingredients too, so it's always best to check the nutrition label.
While keeping hydrated with still or sparkling water is essential for body functions such as temperature regulation, transporting nutrients and removing waste, along with acting as a lubricant and shock absorber for joints, choose your h2o tipple wisely, and remember that even though plain sparkling water is better for your teeth than flavoured pop (diet or regular,) which have a lower pH, still water remains to best.