What is Sparkling Water & Is it Really Healthy?
In this article, I would like to answer some of the most common questions pertaining to Sparkling Water.
And hopefully, leave you a bit more informed on this healthy bubbly beverage.
What Is Carbonated Water or Sparkling Water
Carbonated or Sparkling Water is water that has pressurized Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Gas dissolved in it.
The CO2 Gas used is the very same CO2 that you are hopefully breathing out right now, it is what causes sparkling water to have bubbles. Citation.
Sparkling water is also known as Carbonated Water, Seltzer water, Fizzy Water and Soda Water.
Sparkling Water can also contain minerals such as salt and other elements that are usually added for taste.
Once minerals are added its usually considered as Sparkling Mineral Water.
Carbonated Water Formula
For all the Chemists out there the Formula for Carbonated Water is;
Water+Carbon Dioxide= Carbonic Acid
H2O(l) + CO2(g) ⇌ H2CO3(aq)
What is the difference between Still and Sparkling water?
The main difference is that Sparkling Water has Carbon Dioxide (CO2) dissolved in it.
And when CO2 dissolves in water it makes Carbonic Acid which increases the acidity of the water.
Sparkling Water has a PH of around 3-4 means it has the same or slightly less acidity as orange juice, which is higher than normal Still water.
Also still water is supposed to be tasteless whilst sparkling water has a very distinct taste.
The extra acidity that sparkling water has is what gives it it’s unique taste.
You can read more about why Sparkling Water taste the way it does in my article Why Does Sparkling Taste So bad for Some People?
Is Sparkling Water Good For You?
Almost all the research I have found in the course of researching this question has overwhelmingly been in the favor of sparkling water, as a healthy beverage with almost no negatives attached.
I think most of the bad press that sparkling water gets is that people mix up Sparkling Water with Store bought Soda like Coke and Pepsi.
Store Bought Soda truly deserve their bad reputation, which is earned from their high sugar content and tons of chemicals such as phosphoric acid, that can lead to diabetes and a wide range of diseases. Citation
There are a few disadvantages to sparkling water;
Disadvantages of Sparkling Water
- If you suffer from Heartburn or Acid reflux, the excess Carbon Dioxide Gas can cause burping or hiccups which can aggravate your stomach even more by bringing up more of the Stomach acid which is the main culprit of heartburn.
- Sparkling Water can lead to a feeling of being bloated this is due to the CO2 Gas. This doesn’t really affect your health, for some individuals this a positive since it sends a signal that your brain that you are full.
- Sparkling Mineral Water the Sparkling Water with minerals such as salts and other minerals such as sulfur compounds can probably affect you, based on the amount the water has. This doesn’t apply to plain Sparkling Water since it should have no added minerals.
- One added mineral is Sodium more commonly known as salt, now if you suffer from high blood pressure it is probably best not to drink too much of Sparkling Mineral Water since added Salt increases blood pressure.
Benefits of Sparkling Water
- Helps with Motion Sickness
- Makes you Feel Full and Fights Hunger
- Increases you Water Intake
- Fights against Diabetes by replacing sugary sodas
- Helps with Weight loss
You can read more about these benefits in my article 7 Amazing Benefits of Sparkling Water
Benefits to Sparkling Mineral Water
- Sparkling Mineral water is rich in three main minerals; Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium
These Minerals have been known to have a wide variety of health benefits such as;
- fighting against osteoporosis which is a loss in bone mass
- Helps with the teeth formation
- Improves Heart Health
- Prevents Migraines
- Relieving anxiety
Common Health Questions about Carbonated Water
Does Sparkling Water affect Your Bones?
All the evidence I found from my research found no evidence to back up this idea that carbonated water affects bone health.
This myth was started when a study on Colas found that drinking large quantities of Colas decreased bone density in women.
I need to highlight that the researchers pointed out that the main culprit causing the loss of calcium in bones was due to Phosphoric Acid found in Colas, and not from the carbonation. Citations.
On the Contrary to this idea, if you drink Sparkling Mineral water which is rich in Magnesium and Calcium, it can actually help build stronger bones.
Is Sparkling Water Bad For Your Teeth
This might have some truth to it, you see since carbonated water is slightly acidic, and highly acidic foods can cause tooth decay.
The thing is Sparkling Water is less acidic than orange juice, so even on this point if you are really worried about tooth decay you might want to keep away from orange juice rather than Sparkling water.
Store bought Sodas like Cokes and Pepsi have been known to cause tooth decay due to the high sugar content. Citations.
Does Sparkling water Make You Gain Weight
Another big misconception about carbonated water is that it makes you gain weight.
Sparkling Water doesn’t have any calories to make you fat
The Centre for Disease Control has even started to recommend that you drink Sparkling Water instead of Sodas. Citations.
You can check out my article on Does Sparkling Water Make you Fat where I explain more in depth.
I found a short and easy to understand video on the science of Carbonation see below.
History Of Sparkling Water
The Process of Carbonation has been around a long time, being used to make many alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine and champagne, most of these beverages were carbonated through the same fermentation process used to make them.
The major breakthrough in carbonating water was when Joseph Priestley in the mid-1700s placed a bowl of water above a beer vat, the carbon dioxide made during the fermentation of the beer in the container carbonated the water held above it.
Priestley who like the taste of the carbonated water so much that he had all his friends try it. He then went on to write a paper named Impregnating Water with Fixed Air.
Since then they have countless innovations in making sparkling water cheaper and more efficient making available for almost everyone today. Citation.
Types of Sparkling or Carbonated Water
Sparkling Water can be classified based on how they are made;
Natural Sparkling Water
this is where CO2 is infused into water under natural conditions at specific aquifers, springs, and wells to make the water carbonated.
The naturally carbonated water is then captured, purified and bottled to be sold.
Naturally occurring Sparkling Water usually contain minerals such as salt and sulfur compounds, thus they usually have the name Sparkling Mineral Water.
San Pellegrino and Perrier are two brands that are ideal examples of naturally occurring sparkling mineral water.
San Pellegrino mineral water is made primarily at San Pellegrino Terme.
Perrier bottles there Sparkling Water mainly at Vergèze spring.
Man-Made Carbonated or Sparkling Water
This is where water usually filtered water has pressurized CO2 dissolved in it, thus making it carbonated.
Man Made Carbonated Water can be done at either a Commercial Scale or thanks to carbonation appliances such as SodaStream be made at home.
Difference Between Sparkling Mineral Water and Sparkling Water
Sparkling Mineral Water is water that bottled and purified at specific springs, they usually are treated in a way so as to preserve the natural carbonation and mineral content.
Thanks to their mineral content they tend to be less acidic and have a slightly different taste.
They are mostly found in a few special areas in the world, making them more expensive.
Sparkling Water by itself is just plain, purified still water that has CO2 infused with it.
Brands Of Sparkling Water
Is one of the oldest and probably the biggest brand of Sparkling Mineral Water in the world today, they have been around for almost 150 years.
Most of their Sparkling Mineral Water is bottled and purified at Vergeze Springs in France.
Their Sparkling water tends to be a bit more pricey than their competitors, but they are well known for their high levels of Carbonation, meaning their water is very carbonated and has lots of CO2.
So if you love your Sparkling Water extra carbonated and don’t mind a few extra bucks they are definitely the way to go. Citations.
Just like Perrier, S.Pellegrino is a Sparkling Mineral Water, its sparkling water contains a rich source of different minerals from Calcium to Magnesium.
It is bottled and Purified from the San Pellegrino Terme. Citations.
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly carbonated water, LaCroix is probably your best bet.
LaCroix is very different from Perrier and S.Pellegrino in that their Sparkling Water does not contain minerals and other compounds, it is made from normal purified water and which is then carbonated.
Schweppes offer a wide variety flavored sparkling water, from Lemon Lime to Black Cherry.
Schweppes is one of the oldest Soda Companies in the world.
Other great makers of Sparkling waters are Spindrift, Poland Spring Sparkling Water, Canada Dry Sparkling Water.