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When it comes to water, one of the most common questions asked is, ‘Still or sparkling?’ and following that, ‘Is sparkling water a healthy choice?’ With the warmer weather upon us, along with the need to drink more water to keep well hydrated when the temperature is soaring, knowing which the best fluid options are is crucial. And the good news is research suggests any type of the clear stuff will make an excellent choice.
Sparkling water is made via a process in which adds carbon dioxide to water under pressure giving it its ‘fizziness’. Contrary to popular opinion this process does not add salt, rather the process of adding gas to the water creates a small amount of carbonic acid. sparkling water, like filtered water contains no calories and although the addition of carbonic acid does reduce the pH slightly to 5 or 6 (filtered water has a pH of 7), it is not significant especially when compared to soft drinks and juices which can have pH levels as low as 2 or 3.
Read more about how to stay hydrated through the party season here.
One of the common misconceptions about sparkling water is that it is damaging to the digestive tract. While research specifically examining the impact of sparkling water is scarce, of the evidence that is available, if anything points to potential benefits associated with consuming your water with bubbles. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology examined the effects of sparkling versus still water on digestive symptoms. The study found that in female subjects just 250ml of sparkling water released significantly amounts of gas which related to the women’s perception of fullness minus any gastrointestinal discomfort. As such drinking sparkling water is suggested as a method to aid the feeling of fullness with and in between meals.
Most importantly, there is no significant evidence to show that the slightly lower pH of sparkling water is related to further erosion of tooth enamel or damage to the bones unlike juices and flavoured carbonated drinks known to both negatively impact the health of the bones and the teeth. As such, a simple swap from flavoured bubbly drinks and juices to zero calorie sparkling makes complete sense both from a sugar and pH perspective.
For any sufferers of digestive discomfort, sparkling water has also been linked to a reduction in both indigestion and constipation, especially when compared to regular water. It is hypothesised that the gas found in sparkling water helps to move food through the digestive system helping to alleviate abdominal discomfort.
Perhaps most importantly the ultimate benefits associated with drinking bubbly water is that if you like it, you are likely to drink more of it and for most of us this only means good things in terms of our hydration. The average adult will need at least 8 glasses of water each day to maintain optimal hydration – have you had yours today? Still or sparkling?
Read how a Zip Hydrotap changed Susie’s life, here.
Susie is currently a brand ambassador for Zip. Read more about her partnership with Zip here.