Water does so much for our wellness—after all, the human body is 60% water. But are you drinking enough of this vital fluid?
One recent study revealed that more than 77% of those surveyed believed they don’t drink the amount of water they should.
If you’re someone who has to remember to take a sip of water every once in a while or just someone who aspires to drink more water for their health, sparkling water could be the answer you’re looking for to solve your water-drinking woes. Sparkling water also offers a bevy of wellness benefits that can help motivate you to hydrate.
What is Sparkling Water?
When you boil it down, sparkling water is pretty uncomplicated. It’s simply plain water that is carbonated with carbon dioxide to create the bubbliness you’ll find in sodas, champagnes, or other fizzy drinks.
Unlike soda and other carbonated beverages—tonic water and club soda included—unsweetened sparkling water has none of the harmful extras that you’ll find in the cans and bottles of syrupy soft drinks. Unflavored and unsweetened sparkling water is free of:
- Artificial flavors and dyes
Top Sparkling Water Benefits
Think of sparkling water as water that’s all dressed up. It presents all the same health and wellness benefits of regular water, but the carbonation and flavor infusions can be helpful motivators to keep you sipping throughout the day.
If you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake, avoid tooth decay, or hydrate more mindfully, consider these five sparkling water advantages as reasons to add this guilt-free beverage to your daily routine.
#1 It’s Sugar-Free
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with sugar. In processed and packaged foods it lurks everywhere, even where you don’t expect it. While sugar in moderation is acceptable, it can be a challenge to keep your sugar intake in check.
Unless you have the time and bandwidth to monitor every single food label and seek out nutritional info every time you eat or order out, limiting your sugar intake can feel like a constant uphill battle. Take one less item off your plate by choosing a drink that’s free of sugar and therefore free of (that) worry.
#2 Carbonation Without the Calories
Have you heard the saying “don’t drink your calories?” That covers everything from iced coffee drinks loaded with whipped cream to sweet and caffeinated sodas. These kinds of drinks taste great, but they’re jam-packed with sugar and calories that don’t add any extra health benefits.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting your sugar-sourced calories as follows:
- No more than 100 sugar-sourced calories for women
- No more than 150 sugar-sourced calories for men.
But the ugly truth is that one sugary soda or specialty coffee drink can easily account for—or exceed—that amount.
Sparkling water may help satisfy your craving for flavor and the mouthfeel of carbonation without adding any extra calories to your day. Even better? You can use your sugar allotment to consume natural sugars from fruits that are also loaded with vitamins and fiber.
Plus, certain studies have shown that drinking sparkling water can actually create a sense of fullness, which may help prevent overeating.
#3 More Hydrating than Soda
If you’ve ever reached for a soda on a hot day, after a workout, or even at mealtime, can you say you really felt quenched after emptying your glass? Chances are the answer is no.
Sure, a cold soda can feel refreshing, but drinks that are high in sugar and caffeine can have the exact opposite effect on hydration. In fact, caffeine has been linked to having a mild diuretic effect.
That’s not something you have to worry about with sparkling water, which works in the same ways as plain water to:
- Replenish lost fluids after exercise
- Quench your thirst
- Hydrate the body
So after a long hike, workout, or day in the sun, it may help to reach for a tall glass of naturally flavored sparkling water instead of a sugar sweetened beverage to refresh yourself and nourish your body.
#4 May Help to Curb Soda Cravings
One of the biggest obstacles for many Americans is reducing sugar intake—including in what we drink. On average, one can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar. To put that in perspective, one cup of fresh blueberries only has about 7 grams of sugar. And those 7 grams come with antioxidants, fiber, and other healthy benefits.
Can you say the same thing about that can of Coke?
A 2018 report by Healthy Food America revealed that most people have at least one sugary drink—such as a soda, juice, or an energy drink—a day. But does a soda a day really matter when it comes to your health? Absolutely. Certain studies show that having as few as three or four sodas a week could increase the risk of health conditions like heart disease.
Sparkling water may be a fantastic way to help curb your cravings for sugary drinks.
The carbonation and flavor combinations can scratch similar itches without adding any sugar or caloric content that could harm your blood sugar or cholesterol levels. You can also add your own natural flavor combinations by mixing sparkling water with your favorite fruits or herbs, such as:
- Citrus slices
- Sliced berries
- And more!
#5 Sparkling Water Can Be a Great Source of Other Nutrients
While drinking water is incredibly important to numerous functions in our body, it can also be a vessel for getting other valuable nutrients into our diets. Many sparkling waters contain nutrients like various minerals that we need to stay balanced.
Bio-K+® Sparkling Water with probiotics is a perfect example. While it’s low in calories and sugar, this carbonated beverage is packed with microbiota-enriching and immune-supporting probiotics. If you’re already a fan of daily probiotics or you’re interested in introducing this positive habit into your wellness routine, our sparkling water can offer the dual benefit of hydration and providing good bacteria that our bodies need.
Is Sparkling Water Better Than Flat Water?
One question you may be wrestling with is whether you should be bothering with sparkling water at all or just sticking with regular tap or filtered water.
When comparing the two, there isn’t really one clear-cut winner. Unsweetened sparkling water is just as hydrating as non-carbonated water. In that way, they’re equally beneficial.
However, there may be one way in which sparkling water could come out on top. For those who have trouble drinking water or want to give up sugary soft drinks, sparkling water may be the preferred choice over plain tap water. Sparkling water can come in various flavors with the added kick of carbonation. Both characteristics may help incentivize people to keep coming back for more and steer clear of the soda aisle.
Just make sure you double-check any sparkling water label to confirm that it contains no added sugar or calories to get the same benefit as regular water.
Is There a Downside to Drinking Sparkling Water?
Some people are concerned that drinking sparkling water could damage tooth enamel. While sparkling water infused with citrus flavors does contain citric acid—which, in high quantities, can wear enamel away—you can enjoy citrusy flavored sparkling water in moderation, without worrying about the long-term effects on your smile.
Bloating is another potential side effect when drinking sparkling water or really, anything carbonated. But overall, sugar and calorie-free sparkling water offers the same benefits as regular water.
Sparkling Water vs Soda
In a battle between sparkling water and soda, soda might take the edge when it comes to flavor, but sparkling water is the clear winner when it comes to health.
Sparkling water formulas that contain no sugar, added sweeteners, or calories are by far one of the more healthy alternatives to soda, especially for those trying to improve their overall health. If you’re interested in reducing sugar in your diet or curbing sugar cravings, sparkling water may be your best bet.
Sparkling Water vs Club Soda
What about club soda? Club soda is often confused with sparkling water, but there’s a fundamental difference.
While sparkling water is simply regular water infused with bubbles via carbon dioxide, club soda has minerals in it along with the carbonation. Common minerals you’ll see on club soda labels include:
- Potassium bicarbonate
- Potassium sulfate
- Sodium citrate
These ingredients are added to mimic natural spring water, which is mineral-rich and can be bubbly. Many people can’t taste this content or differentiate it from sparkling water, but mineral water can be slightly salty or bitter in flavor depending on its formulation.
If you’re watching your salt levels, opting for sparkling water over club soda (which contains sodium in varying amounts) may better serve your wellness goals.
Tonic Water vs Sparkling Water
Another point of confusion in the world of carbonated water is the difference between tonic water versus sparkling water.
While club soda differs from sparkling water because of the added mineral (salt) content, club soda contains added sugar. Despite the sugar content, tonic water also happens to taste bitter because it contains quinine.
In terms of nutritional value, tonic water contains super sugary high fructose corn syrup. This makes tonic water more similar to soda than plain sparkling water.
Fill Your Glass with Sparkling Water
Whether you’re looking for extra motivation to adopt a positive water drinking habit or you want to quit soda once and for all, sparkling water could be the fizzy drink and beneficial alternative you need in your life.
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