First things first: Anybody who tells you soda is good for you doesn’t know their soft drinks from a hole in the ground. Doesn’t matter if we’re talking sugar-free soda or decaffeinated. So what about carbonated water? Certainly that has to have less of an impact. How valid are these claims that carbonation increases calcium loss in bones, causes tooth decay, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and weight gain. Let’s pour ourselves a glass of the bubbly stuff and separate the fact from the fiction.
Carbonation and Your Teeth
Let’s put it this way: According to a study reported by the National Institute of Health, as long as it’s plain carbonated water — that means citric acid or sugar added — you won’t have too many issues so long as you brush at least twice a day like you dentist always told you. On the other hand, soda and other carbonated beverages will wreak havoc on your teeth. The NIH research determined that the acid and sugar in the soda has “carcinogenic potential” and can break down the tooth enamel. The process of carbonation is simply “the addition of pressurized carbon dioxide gas to plain water.” It’s the addition of acids, sugars and salt that causes tooth decay.
Increased Calcium Loss in Bones?
The risk here is for older women. A 2006 study involving 2,500 people set out to determine what effects consumption of colas and other carbonated beverages had on bone mineral density. While researchers found that “cola beverages were associated with low bone mineral density in women (due to the fact that cola beverages have phosphorus, which can increase the loss of calcium from the body through the kidneys), other carbonated drinks did not appear to have the same effect.” Looks like we’re two-for-two in favor of carbonated water.
Carbonated Water and Weight Gain
An article on Healthline.com says plain carbonated water isn’t going to make you gain weight. The key word here is “Plain.” Healthline adds that additives, including sodium, natural and artificial acids, flavors, and sweeteners can cause weight gain over a period of time when added to bottled seltzers and flavor enhancers. Plus, all that carbonation can bloat your tummy. I’m thinking we lost this one.
The Bottom Line
Certainly, you can never go wrong with plain ol’ water. In moderation there are worse things to drink that carbonated water. Barring that, remember to always read the ingredient list and keep a lookout for sodium, sugar and artificial flavors, which take no prisoners in terms of damage to your teeth and body.
Polar Seltzer Water Ruby Red Grapefruit Flavor. 7/2014 Pics by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube. #PolarSeltzerWater #RubyRedGrapefruit #PolarSeltzer #Polar #SeltzerWater #Seltzer by Mike Mozart is licensed under CC BY 4.0
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