We asked Brooklyn-based registered dietitian Maddie Pasquarello, MS, RDN, to share the key pros and cons of this ubiquitous bubbly sweetheart.
Is sparkling water good for you?
To start, Pascarello notes that sparkling water is just as hydrating as still water. If you don’t like the taste of regular H2O and/or struggle to meet your daily hydration needs, sparkling water can be a valid part of your daily beverage collection. “Water is essential to life and daily functioning, so anything that can help you increase your hydration levels is a plus in my book,” Pascarello says.
However, Pascarello says research on the health benefits of sparkling is mixed and often contradictory, particularly when it comes to digestion. Some studies have shown slight improvements in digestion, while others have suggested that consuming sparkling water in large quantities can enhance certain symptoms associated with gastrointestinal conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), mainly due to high carbon dioxide intake, she explained. However, according to a 2009 review, “Available epidemiological studies do not support a causal relationship between regular drinking of soft drinks and gastroesophageal reflux disease.” The jury still appears to be out on this one, and the benefit (or harmfulness) of sparkling water to digestive health will likely vary from person to person.
In addition, one small study in postmenopausal women investigated water intake low in minerals versus carbonated mineral water high in sodium, bicarbonate, and chloride. Participants consumed 1 liter of control water per day for 2 months, followed by 1 liter of carbonated water per day for 2 months. By the end of the study, the researchers found that drinking soda resulted in a 6.8 percent decrease in total cholesterol, a 14.8 percent decrease in LDL cholesterol levels, and an 8.7 percent increase in HDL cholesterol concentration compared to the control period. Based on these findings, carbonated water may be beneficial for preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic syndrome.
“The researchers acknowledged that the improvement they saw may have been due specifically to the extra sodium intake, as the women initially provided relatively low sodium in their diets,” Pascariello says. While excess salt intake is known to raise blood pressure and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, she states that limiting dietary salt can also cause adverse effects on cardiovascular health.
“As always, it’s all about getting the balance right,” says Pascarello.
Is it safe to drink sparkling water daily?
If you don’t experience GI distress from drinking sparkling water — and given that it promotes hydration and has been shown to boost cardiovascular health — is it OK to drink it every day…or even multiple times a day?
“The main concern I’m aware of is the potential for erosion of tooth enamel, which is something that’s been studied fairly extensively in the lab,” says Pasquarello. It primarily boils (err…bubbles?) down to the pH of your sparkling water of choice. “Bottled or canned sparkling water has a pH between 4.9 and 5.5, while bottled water usually has a pH between 6.9 and 7.5. A pH level of 5.5 is needed to remove minerals from tooth enamel, and it is believed that if you drink sparkling water several times a day, every day, over the course of years, you may be at greater risk.”
“The main concern I’m aware of is the potential for erosion of tooth enamel, which is something that’s been studied fairly extensively in the lab,” says Pasquarello.
Pascarello says this risk increases if you drink sparkling water slowly and/or regularly throughout the day — for example, by exposing your teeth to a very acidic environment — as well as if your diet is low in calcium and if your soft drinks contain it. sugar additive.
If you choose to continue using sparkling water, Pascarello suggests being mindful of your calcium intake and prioritizing sparkling water with no or little added sugar—both of which support oral (and general) health.
In short, sparkling water has some potential pros and cons. Based on the research done so far, it’s unlikely that taking it will stick the needle much in any direction – however, people with digestive issues who consume large amounts daily may want to take extra care to ensure that Their sips will work for her, not against them.
“In general, my guidelines would be to look for brands that offer less acidic options,” Pascarello advises, as well as forgoing sugar-containing varieties in favor of those with natural fruit. She also suggests sipping it for shorter periods of time, alternating between still and sparkling, and reducing your intake if you (and your dentist) are concerned about enamel erosion.