Is Sparkling Water Good For You or Bad For You?

Is Sparkling Water Bad For You? Hayati Kayhan/Shutterstock

For many people, the start of a year is a time for new health resolutions – be it eat more vegetables, consume less sugar or drink more water.

Keeping hydrated is essential for body functions such as temperature regulation, transporting nutrients and removing waste. Water even acts as a lubricant and shock absorber for joints.

But while most people know they should drink more water, it can be a bit boring. So what about sparkling water as an option to liven things up a bit? After all, sparkling water is just as good as normal water, right? Not quite.

Fizzy fluids

Sparkling water is made by infusing water with carbon dioxide. This produces carbonic acid with a weak acidic pH of between three and four. That “feel good” mouth sensation you get after sipping a carbonated drink is in fact the chemical activation of pain receptors on your tongue responding to this acid, giving a moreish taste. And here’s part of the problem, as acid in drinks can harm our teeth.

Is Sparkling Water Good For You or Bad For You? Tasty to drink but not so great for your teeth. Bignai/Shutterstock

The outer layer of our teeth, dental enamel, is the hardest tissue in the body. It is made of a mineral called hydroxyapatite that contains calcium and phosphate. Saliva is mainly water but also contains calcium and phosphate.

There is normally a balance between tooth minerals and the minerals in saliva. The mouth and saliva normally have (a pH of six to seven), but when this drops below five and a half, calcium and phosphate molecules move out of the teeth and into saliva. This can happen because of the carbonic acid in fizzy drinks.

 Get The Latest From InnerSelf

Bad for teeth?

This demineralisation creates tiny pores in the tooth mineral and the enamel starts to dissolve. Initially, the pores are microscopic and can still be plugged by putting calcium or phosphate back in, or by replacing calcium with fluoride – this is how fluoride in toothpaste works to protect teeth. But once the amount of lost tooth mineral reaches a certain level, the pores can no longer be plugged and the tooth tissue is lost for good.

If teeth are bathed in acid from carbonated drinks frequently, more minerals can be dissolved out than get put back in, and there is more risk of tooth wear or erosion

So although plain sparkling water is better for your teeth than flavoured sodas (diet or regular) which have a lower pH, still water is best – it has a pH of around seven. Incidentally, club soda is not only carbonated but has some “minerals” added for flavour. These may include sodium, so if you are watching your salt intake you also need to be mindful of this.

Pure water

It’s also worth pointing out that sparkling water is not an appetite suppressant. Despite what you might read online , there is no strong scientific evidence to suggest that drinking sparkling water will make you feel fuller or curb your appetite. Yes, drinking carbonated water will fill up your stomach (probably making you belch too) but it won’t stay in your stomach any longer than still water.

Even when sparkling water is drunk alongside food or meals, there is no difference in how quickly the stomach will empty compared to still water. Scientifically, it is difficult to measure hunger and fullness, which means that studies investigating these are based on, or influenced by, people’s personal feelings – and naturally us humans are all very different. In fact, the European Food Safety Authority, which provides independent scientific advice on food safety, doesn’t endorse any health claims related to foods or drinks said to increase satiety.

Is Sparkling Water Good For You or Bad For You? Bottled water is big business. Toshio Chan/Shutterstock

The NHS advises drinking between six to eight glasses of fluid per day. As well as water, this can also include lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks, along with tea and coffee. Water is a healthy and cheap choice for quenching your thirst at any time. It has no calories, is free and contains no sugars that can damage teeth – unlike the myriad of sports, energy and carbonated drinks that flood supermarket shelves.

Of course, if you are swapping sugary soft drinks with sparkling water then this is a step in the right direction. Indeed, soft drinks are estimated to contribute to approximately 25% of sugar intake in adults and increase oral acidity. Most sparkling waters do not have added sugars, though some do, so always read the label.

So when it comes to trying to increase your fluid intake, still water is still the preferred option. But if a glass of water is not really your thing, sparkling water can help you stay hydrated and can be a tasty alternative to plain water – but just be mindful of how frequently you drink it for your dental health.The Conversation

About the Authors

Nicola Innes, Professor of Paediatric Dentistry, University of Dundee and Suzanne Zaremba, Lecturer in Nutrition, Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research, University of Dundee

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Recommended Books: Health

Fresh Fruit CleanseFresh Fruit Cleanse: Detox, Lose Weight and Restore Your Health with Nature's Most Delicious Foods [Paperback] by Leanne Hall.
Lose weight and feel vibrantly healthy while clearing your body of toxins. Fresh Fruit Cleanse offers everything you need for an easy and powerful detox, including day-by-day programs, mouth-watering recipes, and advice for transitioning off the cleanse.
Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.

Thrive FoodsThrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health [Paperback] by Brendan Brazier.
Building upon the stress-reducing, health-boosting nutritional philosophy introduced in his acclaimed vegan nutrition guide Thrive, professional Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier now turns his attention to your dinner plate (breakfast bowl and lunch tray too).
Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.

Death by Medicine by Gary NullDeath by Medicine by Gary Null, Martin Feldman, Debora Rasio and Carolyn Dean
The medical environment has become a labyrinth of interlocking corporate, hospital, and governmental boards of directors, infiltrated by the drug companies. The most toxic substances are often approved first, while milder and more natural alternatives are ignored for financial reasons. It's death by medicine.
Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.


follow InnerSelf on


 Get The Latest By Email



Why Donald Trump Could Be History's Biggest Loser
by Robert Jennings,
Updated July 2, 20020 - This whole coronavirus pandemic is costing a fortune, maybe 2 or 3 or 4 fortunes, all of unknown size. Oh yeah, and, hundreds of thousands, maybe a million, of people will die…
Blue-Eyes vs Brown Eyes: How Racism is Taught
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
In this 1992 Oprah Show episode, award-winning anti-racism activist and educator Jane Elliott taught the audience a tough lesson about racism by demonstrating just how easy it is to learn prejudice.
A Change Is Gonna Come...
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
(May 30, 2020) As I watch the news on the events in Philadephia and other cities in the country, my heart aches for what is transpiring. I know that this is part of the greater change that is taking…
A Song Can Uplift the Heart and Soul
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
I have several ways that I use to clear the darkness from my mind when I find it has crept in. One is gardening, or spending time in nature. The other is silence. Another way is reading. And one that…
Mascot for the Pandemic and Theme Song for Social Distancing and Isolation
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
I came across a song recently and as I listened to the lyrics, I thought it would be a perfect song as a "theme song" for these times of social isolation. (Lyrics below the video.)