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Is Drinking Carbonated Water Bad for You?

carbonated-water-with-a-slice-of-lemon

Move over, cola. Carbonated water drinks including sparkling, seltzer and soda waters are all the rage right now - providing a healthier alternative to sweetened fizzy drinks. But is drinking carbonated water good or bad for you?

We’ve all heard many rumours about carbonated water; it’s bad for your teeth, it’s bad for bone density, it’s bad for your stomach. 

So are any of these rumours true? There isn’t a whole lot of research on the subject (unsurprisingly perhaps) but the short answer is no, or that little to no evidence has been found to prove any of these theories, and some research has proved quite the contrary.

Let’s get into the science behind carbonated water:

Carbonated water or soda water is made by infusing carbon dioxide with still water under high pressure. This process creates a "fizzy" drink that contains a weak acid called carbonic acid. Like any fizzy drink, if you drink it too fast it can cause hiccups and sometimes the uncomfortable feeling of indigestion. 

So is carbonated water bad for your stomach? 

Quite the contrary it appears; in a double-blinded randomised trial, patients with indigestion or constipation were assigned to drink either still or sparkling water for 15 days. Both conditions improved in the people assigned to drink sparkling water and showed no signs of improvement in both conditions in those assigned to drink tap water.

So what about carbonated water’s alleged effect on bone density? 

In a large observational study of over 2000 men and women, concluded that the only beverage associated with significantly lower bone density in older women was cola, and that non-sugar soda waters appeared to have no effect on bone density when consumed. 

So how about tooth health? Do carbonated drinks erode tooth enamel?

In a 2007 study performed by the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry compared the acidity of different fizzy drinks and the relationship between soft drink consumption and tooth decay. Non fruit-based drinks such as cola came out on top as the most harmful due to their acidity and high levels of sugar. 

Another study conducted by the University of Birmingham put extracted human teeth without signs of erosion into jars for 30 minutes with different kinds of flavoured sparkling water. Researchers found the effect of the drinks on the teeth was the same and sometimes greater than the effect of orange juice. Lemon, lime and grapefruit were among the most acidic flavours. 

Now obviously you aren’t going to hold flavoured sparkling water in your mouth for thirty minutes, but drinking carbonated flavoured sparkling water that has a higher PH level than regular water, over time, can have an acidic effect on your teeth. 

The consensus? 

Like everything else, flavoured carbonated water is fine in moderation and can actually slightly improve digestive health. If you are worried about the acidic effects on your teeth over longer periods of time, you can always drink it using a straw (paper, of course). And what is clear is that added ingredients (sugar, acids, etc) are more impactful than whether or not a drink is carbonated.

At Skinny Fizz, we like to be 100% transparent and we’re proud of the product we offer; namely, sparkling water with a splash of New Zealand grown fruit that is low in calories (5 calories per can), super low in sugar (0.2 grams of natural sugar per can - from the fruit) and is additive and preservative-free. 

Adding Skinny Fizz into your lifestyle is a great alternative to sugary beverages such as fizzy drinks and soft drinks. If you’d like to try Skinny Fizz, you can order it online via our Product page or purchase it at one of our stockists here