Bubbly or flat?

As a nutritionist, I am asked at least once a week, “Is it bad to drink sparkling water?” Or, “If I don’t really like the taste of water, can I just drink seltzer?”. Carbonated drinks have a reputation for causing calcium loss in your bones, kidney irritation, and tooth decay, but that is only soda—not sparkling water. Diet soda is also loaded with chemicals, like aspertame or saccharin, but again, those chemicals are not used in flavored seltzers. Seltzer is just as hydrating as tap water, and has no added sugar, calories, or sodium. However, tap water does have fluoride which is good for your tooth enamel.

So what do you do? I am fine with people having 1 or 2 sparkling waters a day, but that is my limit. Too much carbonation can cause bloating, acid reflux, and heartburn. In fact, if you have reflux disease or IBS I recommend avoiding seltzers altogether. And continue to drink flat water, even if you do enjoy sparkling water — you should be drinking half your weight in ounces of water daily, and it is fine to include sparkling water to hit that number. Bottoms up! 

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