It’s fun to play with the bubbles, and many people think it’s also quite delicious to have bubbles in their water. While the carbonated version of water has grown in popularity, people aren’t quite sure where sparkling water stands; also commonly referred to as carbonated water, seltzer water, sparkling water, or mineral water when it comes to health.
Is it water similar to alkaline water or totally different water?
With products that make it easy to make carbonated water at home, many people are even replacing their normal water intake with plenty of the carbonated version. But wait, is sparkling water healthy? Is carbonation bad for your health? The short answer to both questions: It depends. Let’s dive into this fizzy drink and find out how healthy (or not) it is!
What is sparkling water? Types of sparkling water
What is sparkling water?
Sparkling water is a variation of water, which is a clear, colorless, odorless, and tasteless liquid. Sparkling water is infused with carbon dioxide, which makes it fizzy. The “fizz” of sparkling water can be natural or artificial. If you are wondering what carbonated water is, it is another name used to refer to carbonated water or sparkling water.
The most natural form of sparkling water is carbonated mineral water, which not only naturally contains minerals, but can also be naturally carbonated. This refreshing and effervescent liquid comes straight from the source: a natural mineral spring. The effervescence may be due to gases naturally present in the water. However, not all sparkling mineral water is naturally sparkling, and many mineral water companies also add carbon dioxide to the water to make it sparkling.
An example of man-made sparkling water or seltzer water is what comes out of newly popular soda makers that inject carbon dioxide into the water. If you own a sparkling water maker, you already know how to make sparkling water at home at the push of a button. There are also flavored sparkling waters, which contain additional ingredients (sometimes natural, but sometimes artificial and unhealthy.
What is soda water?
Seltzer water is basically the artificial version of sparkling water. Seltzer water is simply water with added carbon dioxide. Seltzer water is said to have emerged as a cheaper alternative to sparkling mineral water.
Is sparkling water good for health? The benefits of sparkling water
Is sparkling water healthy? It’s a good question. As with many foods and beverages, sparkling water can be healthy if you choose the right type. The best variety of sparkling water is one that is rich in minerals, called carbonated mineral water. Many experts claim that sparkling water can be just as hydrating as regular water, but the bubbles can make it harder to drink the sparkling variety.
Opt for sparkling mineral water instead, because you will not only get water, but also valuable minerals. The type of sparkling water you should definitely steer clear of is one that contains artificial flavors, colors, and/or additives.
In some cases, carbonated water has been shown to have certain human health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the ways sparkling water can be helpful.
1. Rich in health-promoting minerals
If you choose sparkling mineral water, you can add a variety of minerals to your diet while quenching your thirst. Natural mineral waters can be defined as those “which come from an aquifer or an underground reservoir, which flow from one or more natural or drilled springs and which have specific hygienic characteristics and, possibly, healthy properties. »
In summary, sparkling mineral water must come from a natural source and naturally contain minerals. Depending on the source, the type and amount of minerals may vary. What’s great about mineral waters is that their minerals are said to be more easily absorbable than minerals found in food because food minerals are attached to complex molecules whereas minerals exist in form. of free ions in mineral water. Magnesium, calcium and potassium are examples of vital minerals found in sparkling mineral water.
2. Blood Sugar Management
Mineral waters also commonly contain bicarbonate. Bicarbonate is actually present in the human body and helps maintain a healthy pH of the blood so that it does not become too acidic or too basic.
A 2015 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine linked drinking high-bicarbonate mineral water to better blood sugar control. The 19 healthy subjects in the study drank either 500 milliliters of commercially available tap water or bicarbonate-rich mineral water daily. The researchers observed that, compared to tap water drinkers, mineral water drinkers experienced a significant drop in serum glycoalbumin levels, which is significant since glycoalbumin levels are used as a marker of glycemic control.
3. A healthier alternative to sodas
If you’re sipping a diet soda, go for sparkling water now. As long as sparkling water does not contain harmful additives to your health, it still wins if you compare sparkling water to soda. Sodas are either loaded with insulin-increasing sugars or filled with extremely health-hazardous fake sugars like aspartame.
4. Helps with dyspepsia and constipation
A scientific journal from the United Kingdom published in 2014 analyzed 20 different trials involving 902 subjects with a central neurological disease such as Parkinson’s disease or a brain injury, such as a stroke. People with these types of health conditions are much more likely to suffer from constipation than the general population. This study found that sparkling water may be helpful for stroke victims with constipation.
Another study published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology examined the effects of carbonated drinks on 21 patients with functional dyspepsia and found that carbonated water improved symptoms of dyspepsia as well as constipation and bladder emptying. biliary.
5. Calms motion sickness
This is one of those sparkling water benefits that can really come in handy, especially when you’re on a long trip by car, bus, plane, or boat. Motion sickness can be really annoying, but caffeine-free soft drinks are known for their ability to calm this nausea. Sipping on cool, sparkling mineral water can be the perfect drink to help you feel better fast.
The dangers of carbonated water
Is sparkling water bad for your health?
Some people think so. For example, carbonated water has been linked to dental problems. What makes sparkling waters so hostile to our mouths? According to some experts, it is carbonation that over time can wear down tooth enamel and potentially contribute to tooth decay.
Researchers have found that the feeling we get when we drink a carbonated drink like sparkling water is due to a reaction that takes place in our mouths that turns bubbles of carbon dioxide into irritating carbonic acid. So this heady “bite” of carbonation is actually chemical rather than physical.
However, these doctors agree that sparkling water is still a much better choice than club soda, which is much more acidic. They also note that sparkling mineral water contains minerals “that may actually offset some of the potential damage caused by low pH.” They generally recommend still water over sparkling, but sparkling water definitely wins out over sodas and high-sugar juices.
Another issue with sparkling water is the companies adding unhealthy additives and sweeteners. Some sparkling water brands have made sparkling water even more popular these days. Flavored sparkling waters give soda drinkers the fizz they love and are available in a range of fruit flavors. On the bright side, naturally flavored, sweetener-free sparkling waters can help break an unhealthy soda addiction. However, the bad news is that these flavorings, including citric and other fruit acids, have been linked to possible tooth enamel erosion.
Again, the pH of flavored sparkling waters is of concern. While the pH of tap water is usually between 6 and 8, the carbonation of the water lowers its pH to around 5. With aromatic essences and other additions to carbonated water, the pH can drop even further. low, and the lower the pH, the more likely it is to be destructive to our teeth.
What does the research say about carbonated water and tooth erosion?
Well, a study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry shows that flavored sparkling waters seem to be of most concern. The researchers found that the pH levels of the flavored carbonated waters tested were in the same range as cola and orange juice. Additionally, the flavored waters also contained citric acid (commonly added to flavored sparkling waters to give them flavor), and as the study points out, citric acid has “particularly high erosive potential.” In general, researchers found that flavored sparkling waters had a significantly lower pH than unflavored sparkling mineral waters.
Another study published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation found that unflavored carbonated mineral water was 100 times less harsh on tooth enamel than the carbonated drinks tested. Overall, the researchers conclude that the minerals in sparkling mineral water have a positive effect on the erosion that occurs on the surface of the teeth, and that “mineral waters seem to offer a safe alternative to more acidic drinks. erosive. »
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