Most people won’t dispute the fact that water is a necessity of life. However, there is some disagreement on what type of water is best. One of the ongoing controversies surrounding water is the question of sparkling water versus regular water. Does sparkling water hydrate as well? Are there any drawbacks to drinking sparkling versus tap? Is there anything to avoid when choosing a sparkling water? These are all questions that are generally involved in the debate. Whether you are team sparkling or regular, here is everything you need to know about sparkling versus regular water and how you can choose the best liquid hydration for you.

How Is Sparkling Water Different from Regular Water?

Downing a glass of the bubbly stuff in lieu of regular tap water can feel like a bit of a cheat; however, sparkling water is generally very similar to regular water. The primary difference in the two are those tantalizing bubbles that make sparkling water a little more fun and treat-like to drink.

Commonly called soda or seltzer water, sparkling water is actually just regular water with carbonation in it. In some cases, these bubbly drinks have some added minerals, like sodium, too. It is important to note that the carbonation that makes soda water fizz is the same component used in soda, but as long as you’re not choosing a heavily sweetened seltzer, the bubbly stuff should do about the same thing for your body as regular water.

Does Sparkling Water Hydrate as Well as Regular Water?

According to research, sparkling water hydrates your body just as well as regular water. Again, the big difference between soda water and regular water from the tap is the fizzy stuff. That can cause a problem for some people, as the carbonation may make you feel fuller faster than regular water. So, you’ll actually end up drinking less seltzer than straight water. But in terms of keeping your body hydrated, sparkling water is a great option if you find it hard to drink boring regular water or often find yourself reaching for sugar sodas and other drinks.

What Are the Benefits of Drinking Sparkling Versus Tap?

You may simply see sparkling water as a fun alternative to regular water, but the truth is that the bubbly stuff actually offers more benefits than just giving your taste buds a little excitement. In fact, some studies have found that choosing sparkling water over regular may actually contribute to a decreased risk of heart disease. This finding is likely because sparkling water typically has those added minerals and sodium than regular tap water.

Additionally, sparkling water may support your weight loss efforts. These benefits come from choosing seltzer instead of other sugary, high-calorie beverages, like soda. So, by choosing seltzer water you’ll successfully decrease your caloric intake and may even lose a few pounds. Be careful if you find yourself looking for a sweet, fruity seltzer, though, as some of these options actually contain just as much sugar as soda.

If you’re someone who deals with an upset stomach and often reach for a carbonated beverage to help settle it, sparkling water may also help you. Again, with this option you’re getting a carbonated option without all of the added sugar, phosphates, and caffeine of typical sodas. Try switching your typical stomach settling choice to seltzer if you want the benefits of the carbonation with the extra hydration of seltzer.

Are There Any Negative Side Effects of Sparkling Water?

There are lots of health myths surrounding sparkling water and the drawbacks it may have. Many of these fallacies arise from comparing seltzer to regular soda. For example, many people believe that sparkling water will destroy tooth enamel. Fortunately, this isn’t the case at all. The pH of soda water is 5 and not low enough to erode the enamel on your teeth. Just keep in mind that other fizzy drinks that are more acidic can cause excessive damage to your oral health.

Likewise, the question has been raised regarding sparkling water’s ability to contribute to osteoporosis. Studies have identified sodas contribution to decreased bone mineral density. However, there has been no such link found between carbonated water and decreasing bone mineral density. So, you’re good to drink up. As long as you’re choosing a low-calorie, no-sugar seltzer water, you should be at no additional risks when choosing sparkling versus tap water.

What Should I Avoid When Choosing Sparkling Water?

If you want the ultimate hydration benefits when choosing sparkling water, you do need to take a few factors into consideration. To select the best soda water, be sure to avoid:

  • Added sugar
  • High levels of sodium
  • Artificial flavors
  • Artificial sweeteners

Is There Ever a Time When Regular is Clearly Better?

Despite all of the evidence illustrating how similar sparkling water and regular water are, you may still be wondering, “Should I choose regular?” In most cases the answer is no; however, if you do find that you drink less seltzer because of the carbonation, then clearly regular water is a better choice for you. Likewise, if it’s a choice between a heavily sugared and/or artificially flavored sparkling water versus regular water, then again, regular would be your best choice. Otherwise, pick your preference – bubbly or flat.