Sparkling or Still Water?

I’ve recently started back in the 9-5 world, working at a desk. While this is having all sorts of impacts on me physically (sitting for SO many hours of the day), there is one definite upside. I’m drinking more water.

For some reason, I tend to drink more water when sitting at a desk. I just sip sip sip away on a water bottle or a glass. I’m averaging 2.5 litres a day at the moment – hurrah!

My office not only has lovely filtered water plumbed in – but also a tap with sparkling water. After the first few days of still…I decided to try the sparkling, and now I am hooked. I seem to drink it even faster now that the water has a bit of zap to it. BUT it did get me thinking – does drinking carbonated water have any negative health effects? Google came to the rescue…

It appears the main concerns around drinking carbonated or sparkling water are:

–          The water will leech calcium from your bones

–          The water can harm the enamel on your teeth

–          The water can irritate your stomach

YIKES! Luckily, a great website called Nutrition Diva had already done all the hard work in sorting out the truth on carbonated water.

While soda consumption has been linked to lower bone mineral density, it looks like this has nothing to do with carbonation.  According to recent research, it seems that soda drinkers have weaker bones simply because they have a lower calcium intake overall (drinking too much coke!), rather than the soda actually leeching the calcium from your bones.

In terms of your pearly whites, again – research found that the carbon dioxide that is dissolved in water isn’t harmful to teeth. In fact, most water (including regular tap water) will contain minerals like calcium and these actually buffer any effects of the water and protect the tooth enamel. To be honest – I figure it can’t be any worse than the limescale that’s in the water in the UK!

Stomach irritation is a bit of a personal one – obviously if it upsets you, then don’t drink it. I haven’t felt any upset tummy problems – but occasionally I need to burp a wee bit (discreetly of course!). Apparently burping can relieve indigestion and sometimes carbonated water is suggested to settle a tummy anyway.

The end verdict is that drinking carbonated or sparkling water offers up the same benefits as drinking plain old water (win!). So I’m going to keep up with my fizzy water  – whatever makes me guzzle the stuff faster!

Do you drink sparkling water? Or do you prefer it still? 

22 Comments

  1. Krystle September 12, 2012 / 11:28 am

    I have recently become addicted to Sparkling as well- it makes water a little more interesting! Good to know there arent really negative effects, I wish we had sparkling water in our office too!

    • Leah September 12, 2012 / 2:01 pm

      It’s a refreshing change to soda I think, and if the bubbles mean I drink more of it – then I’ll go for it!

  2. Angela September 12, 2012 / 12:49 pm

    That’s so cool that your office has not only filtered water pumped in but also sparkling water. We’ve got filtered water stations around the office but is often not cold but I guess it’s better than nothing! I still can’t used to the taste of UK tap water.

    • Leah September 12, 2012 / 1:55 pm

      Yeah I will drink anything to get away from tap water here! I think I have spent the last 6 months in a serious state of dehydration!

  3. Alison September 12, 2012 / 9:23 pm

    I’m a sparkling water convert and have been for the past 12 months. I have one of those fridges that dispenses chilled water on demand at home, but unless I’ve worked up a huge sweat, I just cannot face the stuff. I started buying bottles of sparkling water since trying the really premium Waimea Sparking Water at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards. I’m now buying 1.25L bottles of Kiwi Blue Lightly Sparkling and I drink two of those a day while at work! I’ve noticed that since I started drinking that much sparkling water per day, I’ve been able to lose weight a lot easier and I’ve also cut back on Soda – DOUBLE BENEFIT!

    • Leah September 14, 2012 / 9:50 am

      Definitely a double benefit there – I am absolutely I am choosing to drink more water over diet coke etc, so long as it is sparkling. I might have to start buying it for home, because I notice I get dehydrated over the weekend with no drinking so much!

      • Alison September 14, 2012 / 10:15 am

        I’ve even noticed friends giving sparkling water to their children instead of giving them soda! I’ve started buying it for home too. Addict much!
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  4. Gwynn September 13, 2012 / 8:38 am

    I’m not a fan of sparkling water, the bubbles just irritate me and I personally think they taste funny. Which is impossible, because it shouldn’t actually taste any different, so it’s likely just a mental thing.

    Like you said, I can’t imagine there would be any negative health impacts, aside from possibly feeling a little bloated if you drink too much at a time – but a few well timed burps would solve that in short order. Incidently, I never thought about the whole settling an upset stomach approach… as I always drink Ginger Ale to do that. However that’s because Mum always gave it to us when we had stomach bugs as kids… old habits die hard.
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    • Leah September 14, 2012 / 10:05 am

      Yeah, I agree – the taste is a bit odd. So funny that you grew up on Ginger Ale for upset stomachs…my mum gave me lemonade or L&P (doesn’t help when I am sick overseas and all I want is L&P!). I think it’s just the bubbles that is meant to help our tummies. Cute!

  5. Amanda September 14, 2012 / 1:18 am

    I can’t stand sparkling water, I kept getting caught out in Argentina grabbing a bottle of water taking a swig then spitting it out. I soon learned the word for sparkling and steered clear. It’s good to know it’s not bad for you though! And I agree anything that helps get the water down is an added bonus!
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    • Leah September 14, 2012 / 10:06 am

      Haha I can see how it would be weird to drink when you aren’t expecting it! The taste is certainly something that you need to get used to. I’m not too bothered by it – but then again, It’s still a novelty for me, so I might get sick of it in a few weeks!

  6. Dan February 20, 2014 / 12:24 pm

    I don’t understand why you are trying to drink so much water. The concept that you should drink a certain amount of water in a day has been debunked. All you need to do is drink when you are thirsty. There are no benefits to cramming down more water than that. There is no “win” (unless it’s just that it has replaced your coke drinking).

    • Leah February 25, 2014 / 7:00 pm

      Water makes me feel better. So there’s a reason for you!

  7. Reinis June 13, 2014 / 10:12 pm

    thanks for researching and letting us know. I usually drink no water at all, but like to take 1,5l of carbonated for snowboarding and it’s kinda easier to swallow this one. should think about buying a water fizzer for home 🙂

    • Leah June 15, 2014 / 7:01 pm

      I drink so much fizzy water – I really think I should have my own home carbonator too!

  8. Kat September 3, 2014 / 5:00 am

    I’ve always had trouble drinking the recommended 2L of water per day but since falling pregnant I’ve been trying to up my water intake. I have found that with sparkling water I can easily drink 2L+ a day and it helps with the indigestion and reflux associated with pregnancy! It’s an added bonus that there are no known negative effects!

  9. Melanie September 6, 2014 / 4:27 pm

    I don’t like sparkling either for the same reason…the weird taste it seems to “have”. I simply can’t do it. Lol

  10. Melanie September 6, 2014 / 4:29 pm

    Are you kidding us Dan? 😉

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  12. Angie February 1, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    I love fizzy water and now the rest of the family is hooked too.

  13. Lynn Hunter May 14, 2016 / 2:37 am

    I am just writing an article on water coolers, and as I drink quite a lot of sparkling water, I did wonder about still v sparkling. Really pleased I came across your blog, I can now happily continue to buy my pack of 24 each week and enjoy my bubbles. I used to drink diet coke, and diet bitter lemon but you will now only find sparkling water in my shopping trolley, considering all the health benefits of water, that’s got to be a good thing! The power of water is completely underestimated – don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water, you are already dehydrated by the time thirst strikes!

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