Whether you call it sparkling water, club soda, seltzer, or fizzy water, there is no doubt that more Americans are opting for some bubbles in their water (and flavors too). According to an article in the New York Times, venture capitalists have put millions of dollars in investment into this beverage category and sparkling water is experiencing double-digit growth. Experts suggest that one reason for this is that sparkling water is viewed as healthier and more natural than other carbonated beverages like colas and other soft drinks. But is sparkling water – flavored or not – a reasonable option? Here’s what some researchers say:
It might be better for your waistline. Many sparkling water brands are flavored without added sugars and contain zero calories. However, there are some brands that may add artificial sweeteners, just like in diet soft drinks, so it is important to check the labels if you are trying to avoid those ingredients. A 12 ounce can of a cola-type soft drink can have an average of 125 and 180 calories, all of which come from sugar, according to WebMD.com.
It might help with indigestion. A study published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology sought out to determine how carbonated water affected people who had dyspepsia (also known as indigestion) and constipation. For almost 15 days, one group of 10 people drank carbonated water and the other group of 11 people drank tap water. The people in the study who drank carbonated water saw a significant improvement in their dyspepsia and constipation. Another study found that carbonated water could reduce constipation better than tap water in people who had strokes. However, there have been some reports of carbonated water causing flare ups of bloating and gas for people that may be living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
It might keep you hydrated. For those that struggle with drinking enough still water during the day, sparkling water may be an option to help keep hydrated. Several studies, such as one published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine reported no differences in hydration levels between people who drank still or carbonated water.
Those trying to reduce or eliminate added sugar or artificial sweeteners from their diet, but like the taste and feeling of carbonation, may want to consider swapping soda with flavored seltzer. It may be a refreshing way to sparkle.
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