In 2018, Americans drank more than 13 billion gallons of soda. Soda, cola, pop, whatever you call it, normally means you’re consuming a lot of carbonation, sugar, fructose, citric acid, phosphoric acid, sodium and other long-worded ingredients. The healthiest thing we can drink is clean, fresh water. Drinking too much soda can lead to high sugar intake, dehydration, weight gain and calcium depletion. There are sugar-free drinks, other carbonated drinks, including seltzer water, sparkling water and soda water. Is all carbonated water bad for you?
Can Carbonated Water Make You Gain Weight?
While plain carbonated water is a much better selection than sugary drinks like soda, a 2017 study revealed plain carbonated water raised an appetite hormonal agent in the body called ghrelin. Even beverages such as LaCroix may not be the best. Typically, when the ghrelin level is high, you’ll feel hungrier and are most likely to eat more, which can lead to weight gain. More study is required to confirm this result on a larger scale and know more about this effect.
It’s good to know not all carbonated water is created equal. While carbonated water is just water plus air, some bottled seltzers and flavor enhancers have sodium, natural and artificial acids, flavorings, sugar and other additives. Every one of these can mean you’re consuming more calories and salt. Also, these ingredients can cause dental problems and weight gain over time, so it’s smart to check out labels and nutrition info carefully.
Does Carbonating Cause Calcium Loss?
In short, no, carbonated beverages overall do not impact calcium levels. A 2006 study of 2,500 individuals found the intake of sodas and carbonated beverages had no harm on bone calcium thickness.
While researchers discovered that soda drinks were associated with reduced bone thickness in females, other carbonated drinks didn’t show the same impact. This results from soda having phosphorus, which can cause the loss of calcium from the body through the kidneys.
Does Carbonated Water Cause Dental Decay?
With plain carbonated water with no sugar or citric acid, then no, there’s no risk of decay or dental problems.
With soda or sugary carbonated drinks, then yes, the risk of dental issues increases. Drinks with high amount of sugar and acids can cause tooth enamel erosion and damage.
Carbonation by itself, which is just adding carbon dioxide gas to water, isn’t doing anything bad to your dental health. It’s the extra additives of sugars or acids that will do damage.
There is a misconception that the carbon dioxide gas, dissolved in carbonated water as carbonic acid, is very acidic and can damage teeth. But more than one study has shown this isn’t true. Carbon dioxide does not harm enamel or have any other negative impact.
What’s IBS? Does Carbonated Water Cause IBS?
IBS is irritable bowel syndrome. Carbonated beverages do not cause IBS. However, drinking carbonated water may lead to more gas or bloating, which then can make IBS more frequent. People with IBS may be more sensitive to carbonated drinks.
The main idea here is on an individual basis. If you have IBS or other stomach problems, drinking more carbonated beverages could cause more occurrences or symptoms. You may wish to stop, test or limit the carbonated beverages that are ok for you.
High Sugar Consumption
Many soft drinks have high levels of sugar. A 12-ounce can of soda often has about 39 grams of sugar. This is 3.3 tablespoons of sugar. Consuming high levels of sugar frequently elevates blood sugar levels. This increases the risk of many health problems including cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. Additionally, numerous soft drinks contain high fructose corn syrup as the main sugar component. High fructose corn syrup may harm the pancreas and cause high blood sugar levels. Sugar in soda or any other food or drink may increase the bacteria in your mouth, this can cause dental problems such as enamel erosion and tooth decay.
Healthy Beverage Tips
It’s a good idea to read the ingredient list and nutritional information on everything you eat and drink. Keep an eye out for sugar, salt and acids. These ingredients and additives in drinks, even water drinks, can have consequences to your body and overall health. It’s helpful to know a few more tidbits about carbonated water.
- Seltzer water doesn’t have sodium. Club soda has sodium in it.
- Tonic water typically has added sugar or sweetener additives.
- Sparkling water typically has flavoring, sugar, acids, sodium and/or caffeine added.
Alternatives to Soft Drinks
Try out adding mixes of fresh fruits, natural herbs, citrus, or cucumbers to plain carbonated water to change up the taste. You might experiment and find a mix that’s even better than soda.
Water is always top the healthiest choice for rehydrating and feeling good. If you wish to flavor up your water, add some fresh fruit, veggies, or natural herbs to it. Let it sit in the fridge to produce an infused beverage. You can try cucumber and mint, watermelon and basil, or blueberry and orange.
Other reduced sugar, healthy drink choices are natural tea, eco-friendly tea, coconut water or sparkling water. When selecting a sparkling water, read the ingredient and nutritional info and choose one with no artificial additives or sweeteners.
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