Health

Is Sparkling Water Good for You?

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There are two types of people in the world: those who adore sparkling water, and those who can’t stand it. There is no in-between! If you’re a lover of the bubbles, you’ll find there’s nothing more refreshing than settling down with a fresh glass of fizzy goodness to keep you hydrated.

All sparkling water, though, is not created equal, so we’ve researched the very best sparkling water to buy to help you find your all-time favorite. Want to know more about your favorite carbonated beverage? Keep reading.

To simply put it, carbonated water is water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas. This can occur naturally due to geological processes, or artificially. Some manufacturers may also add flavorings, although these aren’t always the best option for your health.

Every brand of sparkling mineral water contains a distinct dose of flavor-giving minerals, so they all taste slightly different. The water’s bubbles can also be natural or artificially added.

Sparkling water has grown in popularity in recent years, with fans of fizzy drinks reaching for it as a healthier alternative to one packed with sugar, like cola or lemonade. There are a number of benefits to drinking it.

If you like to drink sodas, carbonated water is much better for you than drinking sugar-filled fizzy drinks, but gives you the same sensation as having one. If you’re trying to cut down on your soft drink intake, give it a go!

We’ve all heard the advice, “if you’re feeling hungry, have a glass of water.” Many of us think we’re hungry when we’re actually dehydrated, leading to excess snacking and weight gain. Water makes you feel full, but sparkling water could make you feel fuller.

Some people don’t like the taste of standard water, and that’s okay. Rather than reaching for an unhealthy drink or filling up on tea and coffee, it can help many to stay hydrated as they enjoy the taste.

What’s the difference between sparkling water and other carbonated drinks?

Soda water and sparkling water, though similar, are not the same.

Soda water is water with carbon dioxide forced into the mix, and is usually used in cocktails and cordials. The big difference is that it contains sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate to give it that slightly salty taste and neutralize the acidity.

Sparkling water is water with bubbles in it — that’s it. This can be achieved artificially by adding carbon dioxide. It comes directly from the spring and it is carbonated with gasses that occur naturally. It’s generally free from additives, unless fruit flavors are added during the process.

Though each of these bubbly beverages appears identical and are at the crux of it simply carbonated water, each contains different flavor profiles and is made using a different processes. 

Seltzer is the simplest of these waters, made by carbonating plain water with carbon dioxide.

Club soda is similar to seltzer water, but in addition to CO2, various minerals — including sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, disodium phosphate, and occasionally sodium chloride — are added.

Sparkling mineral water is rich in dissolved solids like potassium, sodium, and magnesium, which occur naturally as the water filters through multiple layers of underground rock and sediment. 

Myths about sparkling water.

It’s long been touted that sparkling water can be detrimental to your teeth, but how much truth is there in this? We spoke to Dr. Reena Wadia, Gum Specialist and Founder of RW Perio, to find out more.

“Lots of people are switching to sparkling water. Although it doesn’t contain sugar, it is carbonated,” she says. “It’s definitely much less erosive than other beverages but can still cause some erosion of the teeth (especially if the water is cold). Watch out for flavored or sweetened varieties –- this is more damaging. Plain, still water or tap water is always the best choice.”

If you’re turning to sparkling water for a healthier soft drink option, look for those that are flavored with natural flavors and a lower proportion of added sugars.

Experts generally agree that sparkling water hydrates you just as well as still water, which makes sense, given that carbonated water is just water, infused with gas.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, First For Women.

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