Sparkling Water Resurgence! But Is It Good for Your Health?

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November 30, 2015

Sparkling Water Resurgence! But Is It Good for Your Health?

There is a lot of confusion and many misconceptions regarding what’s healthy and what’s not in the sparking water department, so here is your 101.

Sparkling water is gaining popularity! Especially as many of us decrease our sugar intake but still want something bubbly to drink. According to data from Beverage Marketing Corp, Americans’ consumption of seltzer jumped 29% over the five years ended in 2013. That compares with a drop of more than seven percent for carbonated soft drinks overall during the same five-year period.

There is a lot of confusion and many misconceptions regarding what’s healthy and what’s not in the sparking water department, so here is your 101. 

First off what’s the difference? Club soda contains sodium, but seltzer water (also know as sparkling water or soda water outside the Northeast) does not. Tonic water contains added sweeteners and flavors. Sparkling mineral waters from springs, like Perrier and San Pellegrino, have other minerals (some naturally occurring, some added). Flavored sparkling water may have added citric acid or natural sweeteners, along with caffeine and sodium. Always read labels!

Will sparkling water ruin your bones? In a word: No. A study found that in women, cola beverages were associated with low bone mineral density, but other carbonated drinks did not have the same effect. Why does this happen? It’s due to the phosphorus in cola, which can increase the body’s loss of calcium.

What about your teeth? As long as it’s plain carbonated water (no added citric acid or sugars), your teeth will be fine!  According to this study that tested sparkling water, levels of erosion were very low.

Is it hydrating? Sparkling water will keep you hydrated and counts toward your daily water intake. And it might even help you drink more water, so if you enjoy it, grab your self an extra glass today! 

Why do we like the bubbles? According to Bruce Bryant, senior research associate at Monell Chemical Senses Center, carbonation triggers a chemical reaction that creates both irritation, commonly referred to as “bite,” and a cooling effect in the mouth.

Barry Joseph, an associate director at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, began researching seltzer more than a decade ago. He says soda water was invented by Joseph Priestley, an 18th century theologian and chemist credited with discovering oxygen, who found a way to infuse water with fixed air. Several years later, Johann Jacob Schweppe, for whom the Schweppes brand is named, founded the technique to mass-produce fizzy water. 

Now that you know the different types of sparkling waters and their healthfulness grab your self a glass – but don’t forget to read labels for added ingredients!