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What You Need to Know About The Sparkling Water Craze

Water is more popular than ever now and will continue to be in 2018, but let’s be honest… drinking JUST water can be boring. Don’t get me wrong, carbonated water is a refreshing beverage and a good alternative to sugary soft drinks but concerns have been raised that it may be bad for your health.

Carbonated water is water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure. This produces a bubbly drink that’s AKA as sparkling water, club soda, soda water, seltzer water and fizzy water. With the exception of seltzer water, usually they have salt added to improve the taste and sometimes small amounts of other minerals are included.

Natural sparkling mineral waters, such as Perrier and San Pellegrino, are different. These waters are captured naturally from a mineral spring, and tend to contain minerals and sulfur compounds. These waters are often carbonated as well.

Tonic water is a form of carbonated water that contains a bitter compound called quinine, along with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.

What you need to know about pH

Now is the part of this article where the nerd in me is going to come out. 🤓 So… carbonated water is in fact acidic.  Carbon dioxide and water react chemically to produce carbonic acid, a weak acid that’s been shown to stimulate the same nerve receptors in your mouth as mustard.

You have probably noticed new marketing lately on water bottles that refer to the pH levels of water and will most commonly have a pH of 9(ish) and will also be slightly more costly. The pH level of your drinking water reflects how acidic it is. pH stands for “potential of hydrogen,” referring to the amount of hydrogen found in a substance (in this case, water). pH is measured on a scale that runs from 0 to 14. Seven is neutral, meaning there is a balance between acid and alkalinity.

The pH of carbonated water is 3–4, which means it’s slightly acidic. However, drinking an acidic beverage like carbonated water does not make your body more acidic. Your kidneys and lungs remove excess carbon dioxide. This keeps your blood at a slightly alkaline pH of 7.35–7.45, regardless of what you eat or drink. Ultimately, carbonated water is acidic, but your body maintains a stable, slightly alkaline pH no matter what you consume.

Carbonated water and dental health

One of the biggest concerns about sparkling water is its effect on teeth, since the enamel is directly exposed to acid.

Unfortunately, there’s little research on this, but one study found that sparkling mineral water damaged enamel only slightly more than still water. Furthermore, it was 100 times less damaging than a sugary soft drink. In one study, carbonated beverages showed strong potential to destroy enamel, but only if they contained sugar. In fact, a non-carbonated sweet beverage (Gatorade/Powerade) was more harmful than a carbonated sugar-free drink (Diet Coke).

In another study, samples of tooth enamel were placed in various beverages for up to 24 hours. The sugar-sweetened carbonated and non-carbonated beverages resulted in significantly greater enamel loss than diet drinks.

However, plain sparkling water appears to pose little risk to dental health. It’s only the sugary types that are harmful.

If you’re concerned about dental health, try drinking sparkling water with a meal or rinsing your mouth with plain water after drinking it.

Carbonated water and digestion

Again, this is a topic that there’s little research on but it’s undeniable that carbonated water helps most feel full longer than plain water does. Sparkling water may help food remain in the first part of the stomach for longer, which can trigger a sensation of fullness.

In a controlled study of 19 healthy young women, fullness scores were higher after the participants drank 8 oz. of soda water, compared to still water.

Where it gets interesting [New Research]

Earlier this year, scientists revealed that fizzy water could actually make gain weight, even though it has no calories.

Research suggests that the carbon dioxide in the drink can make you feel more empty than you actually are and trigger a “hunger hormone.” This means you end up eating more than you would have done if you had swigged some still water instead.

Scientists from Birzeit University in the Palestinian West noting that the hunger hormone (ghrelin) spikes in people after drinking sparkling water.

People who had sparkling water for breakfast were found to have six times the ghrelin level of those who had still water.

Last year, studies revealed that this zero calorie diet drink can also make you pile on the pounds, by messing with the bacteria in your gut.

Ok, stay with me here. TRILLIONS of bacteria live in the gut and the delicate balance of microbes in the stomach control metabolism and digestion and some types of gut bacteria produce an enzyme which keeps us slim but things like preservatives and artificial sweeteners – along with emulsifiers in processed food – mess with the balance and actually lead to weight gain or sometimes weight loss resistance (more to come on this subject in another blog article).

Research is continuing to evolve on this topic and you have my promise that the next blog article, that I’m already working on, will specifically go in to detail on gut health, which I referenced above.

In conclusion, the best type of water to consume is real h2o. To keep it interesting, try flavoring your water naturally with things like fruit or lemons and limes. One of my favorite ways to increase my daily h2o consumption while keeping it flavorful is adding the juice from a lemon, a cube of ginger and a dash of cayenne pepper. 👌

Next up on my blog, gut health! Stay tuned for more. If you like this kinda stuff, be sure to tune in to my podcast for more info! To check it out, visit or search the Podcast App for The Get More Show.

I’d love to know if you found this helpful! Leave me a comment below to let me know!

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @chiphoffa. See you there!

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