Is Sparkling Water Just As Hydrating As Still? An Expert Weighs In

Written by Caroline Muggia

Image by Marc Tran / Stocksy

Staying hydrated can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Sure, we know proper hydration is associated with a stronger immune system, more energy, and overall better health, but guzzling plain tap water can get old. We understand a coffee refill can often divert your trip to the water cooler, so sometimes we have to make water a little more interesting. Enter: sparkling water.

It's crisp and refreshing, and some may say it's a fancier alternative to your average glass of H20. But does it have the same hydrating benefits? We decided to get to the bottom of this question and consulted mbg Collective member Jess Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN, on whether or not sparkling water does the trick for your health just like still.

Does sparkling water hydrate you?

If you're a sparkling water fan, we have good news: "Sparkling water is also hydrating and helps keep things moving from the digestive and urinary tracts," said Cording.

It's also a zero-calorie healthier alternative to sweetened drinks, she explained, so if you're hoping to find an alternative to your sugary drinks, this could be a great option.

There's a caveat, however, as the carbonation can make it difficult for some to drink the recommended water needed. That's because the bubbles can lead to gas and bloating, said Cording, which can make it less than an ideal hydration choice.

How much water should we be drinking a day (sparkling included)?

Cording explained that "sparkling water can count toward your fluid goal for the day, but the exact balance [between sparkling and flat] depends on what feels best in your body."

Experts suggest drinking about half our body weight in water for optimal hydration (if you're 140 pounds, you'll want to drink 70 ounces of water a day).

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What's the difference between sparkling, carbonated, mineral, and seltzer water?

These names often get lumped together when there are, in fact, some differences. Carbonated water (club soda, soda water) gets its name from the process of artificially infusing the water with carbon dioxide. You'll also find some salts added to the water. Sparkling water commonly comes in two forms. The first is sparkling mineral water (think Topo Chico), which comes from mineral springs and has naturally occurring gases or additional gas added. The second is straight sparkling water (also known as seltzer water or club soda) with no minerals, and this is essentially made from regular water and carbon dioxide, no minerals included.

Is flavored sparkling water healthy?

Many of us love grabbing a sparkling water with some flavors, and experts suggest this is equally hydrating, but you'll want to be on the lookout for added sugars and artificial sweeteners. If you're opting for a flavored sparkling water, search for ingredients that include real fruit and, of course, water. You'll spend less money and use one less can if you create your own flavoring; plus, it's tastier! Give it a try by squeezing some cucumber, lemon, or watermelon into your fizzy water.

So bottom line, if you're a die-hard sparkling water fan, and it works with your body then you can feel good knowing you're getting adequate hydration. If you have difficulty making all those bubbles your primary form of hydration, try switching it up. Happy hydrating!

Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE web class with nutrition expert Kelly LeVeque.

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