The sparkling water industry is seeing a boom in sales with the popularity of products such as SodaStream, Bubly, Perrier, and La Croix. With the health push to cut back on sugary soda and alcohol to drink more water, many wonder if these sparkling drink choices are as good as plain still water. There are claims that carbonated water makes you feel full longer, while others claim it helps with constipation. Do these claims hold true? Let us look.
You make sparkling water by dissolving carbon in water using high-pressure gas and low temperatures. This process creates carbonic acid, which makes the bubbles (effervescence). However, there are places where sparking waters occur naturally such as Soda Spring, Idaho. In Soda Spring, a geyser in the middle of town sprays sparking water thanks to an underground pocket of CO2 gas.
Is it good for you? Sparking water, mineral water, or seltzer, is water. As long as there is not any sugar or sweetener in the water, it will hydrate you the same a still water. As for the claim of helping with constipation, a 2011 study found that it helped ease constipation in stroke survivors who were unable to get out of bed. On the down side, sparking water can make you feel bloated which can lead to belching, gas, and stomach pain. Sparkling water is slightly more acidic than flat water and depending on the brand; there could be minerals in the water that could be harmful to teeth. The problem from your teeth perspective comes from sparkling water that has added sugar and acid (citrus flavoured water) which will both damage teeth.
If you do not like drinking still water, sparkling water may be a good alternative just try to avoid the products with sugar and acids.