We asked Brooklyn-based dietitian Maddie Pasquariello, MS, RDN, to share the top pros and cons of these ubiquitous fizzy drinks.
Is sparkling water good for you?
To start, Pasquariello notes that sparkling water is just as hydrating as plain water. If you don’t love the taste of plain water and/or struggle to meet your daily hydration needs, sparkling water may very well be a worthy part of your everyday beverage lineup. Water is essential to daily life and functioning, so anything that can help you boost your hydration levels is a win in my book, says Pasquariello.
However, Pasquariello says research on the health benefits of sparkling wine is mixed and often contradictory, particularly when it comes to digestion. Some studies have shown minor improvement in digestion, while others have suggested that consuming sparkling water in large quantities could promote some symptoms associated with gastrointestinal conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), mainly due to drinking large quantities. of carbon dioxide, he explains. However, according to a 2009 review, the available epidemiological studies do not support a causal relationship between regular consumption of carbonated drinks and gastroesophageal reflux disease. The jury still seems to be out on that front, and how beneficial (or harmful) sparkling water is to digestive health will likely vary from person to person.
Additionally, a small study of postmenopausal women investigated the intake of a low-mineral water versus a carbonated mineral water high in sodium, bicarbonate, and chloride. Participants consumed one liter of control water per day for two months, followed by one liter of carbonated water per day for two months. At the end of the study, the researchers found that carbonated water intake led to a 6.8% decrease in total cholesterol, a 14.8% decrease in LDL cholesterol levels, and an 8.7% increase in total cholesterol. % HDL cholesterol concentration from 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 could be due specifically to the additional sodium intake, as the women initially had relatively low sodium in their diets, says Pasquariello. While excess salt intake is known to raise blood pressure and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, he says significant dietary salt restriction can also cause adverse effects to cardiovascular health.
As always, it’s about finding the right balance, says Pasquariello.
Is it safe to drink sparkling water every day?
If you don’t experience digestive upset from drinking sparkling water and since it boosts hydration and shows promise for promoting cardiovascular health, is it okay to drink it every day or even several times a day?
The primary concern that Id flags have is the possibility of erosion of tooth enamel, which is something that has been studied quite significantly in vitro, Pasquariello says. Mostly bubbles (err bubbles?) to the acidity of your favorite sparkling water. Bottled or canned sparkling water has a pH between 4.9 and 5.5, while bottled still water is typically between 6.9 and 7.5. You need a pH level of 5.5 to demineralize tooth enamel, and it’s thought that if you drink sparkling water multiple times a day, every single day, over the years, you may be at greater risk.
The primary concern that Id flags have is the possibility of erosion of tooth enamel, which is something that has been studied quite significantly in vitro, Pasquariello says.
Pasquariello says this risk increases if you sip sparkling water slowly and/or regularly throughout the day, for example by exposing your teeth to an acidic environment too often, as well as if your diet is low in calcium and if your fizzy drinks contain sugars. added. .
If you choose to continue your sparkling water habit, Pasquariello suggests paying attention to your calcium intake and prioritizing sparkling water with no or minimal added sugar, both of which will support oral (and overall) health. .
The bottom line
In summary, sparkling water has some interesting advantages and potential disadvantages. Based on the research to date, drinking it is unlikely to cause the needle to swing too far in any direction, however people with digestive issues and those who consume high amounts of it every day may want to take extra care to make sure their sips are working to favor and not against them. .
Overall, my guide would be to look for brands that offer less acidic options, advises Pasquariello, as well as ditch the sugar-laden varieties in favor of those with natural fruit. He also suggests sipping it for shorter periods of time, alternating between still and bubbly, and reducing your intake if you (and your dentist) are concerned about enamel erosion.
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