November 4th, 2013

Is Drinking Carbonated Water Safe?

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Groovy Green Livin Carbonated Water

Carbonated water is water in which carbon dioxide gas has been dissolved and little bubbles form. We recently started making our own carbonated water at home with a Sodastream. We generally add a squeeze of lemon or lime to create a low calorie alternative to still water. The kids all love it and our Sodastream is working on overtime.

Personally I’m not a fan of carbonated water, but the rest of my family can’t get enough. Since this love of sparkling water has turned into a bit of an addiction I decided to do a little homework to make sure that consuming a lot of the bubbly stuff wasn’t impacting our health.

Is carbonated water bad for your bones?

The rumors about carbonated water being bad for your health likely began in the early 1990’s when poorly reported studies were published which suggested that drinking soda, specifically cola, raises the risk of bone fractures among adolescent girls and older women who were former college athletes.  No association between non-cola soft drinks and bone fractures was found.  According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) “there is no connection between the carbonation in soft drinks and bone loss. In fact, certain carbonated mineral waters have been shown to improve bone health.”

ANSWER: NO. There is no connection between the carbonation in soft drinks and bone loss.

Does carbonation cause tooth decay?

Usually tooth erosion comes from drinking soda and other soft drinks that are filled with sugar. The sugar combined with the carbonation can cause tooth decay-not the carbonation alone. Be wary of any added flavoring and take the time to read the label even if you think there is no added sugar.

According to a 2001 study published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, “sparkling mineral waters showed slightly greater dissolution than still waters, but levels remained low and were of the order of one hundred times less than the comparator soft drinks.”

The flavor packets that come with most home carbinators should be avoided. That’s where the sneaky sugar is generally hiding.

ANSWER: NO. Carbonation doesn’t seem to have a significant effect on tooth enamel erosion. 

Does carbonated water create stomach issues?

When I was a child I remember the first thing my mother gave me to soothe an upset stomach was a glass of ginger ale. The combination of ginger (known to ease a stomachache or to relieve motion sickness) and carbonation worked wonders.

Carbonated water eases the symptoms of indigestion (dyspepsia) and constipation, according to a study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

ANSWER: NO. There are no known negative effects of sparkling water on your stomach. 

Bottom Line: Carbonated water is basically harmless. It’s just water and bubbles. An added bonus: by using a home carbonator you’re creating a positive impact on the environment by not using all the plastic bottles and cans generated from the store bought version. You’re also saving money in the long run. Enjoy!

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photo credit: notashamed via photopin cc

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12 Responses to “Is Drinking Carbonated Water Safe?”

  1. I LOVE my soda stream, good to know the bubbly water isn’t harming my health!
    Lindsay recently posted..Emotional health: A foundation for healthy kidsMy Profile

  2. I love my SodaStream – for $15 (with a recycled CO2 trade in) its good for months of bubbly.
    Mary Hunt recently posted..B Corp or F Corp – Which would you back?My Profile

  3. If drinking carbonated water keeps someone from drinking pop then it is an even bigger win.
    Jen @ Go Green recently posted..Greenpeace Activism – Can It Really Be Considered Piracy?My Profile

  4. I love my Sodastream too Mary! My family uses it all the time.

  5. Sodastream is a big hit over here too Lindsay! Do you flavor your bubbly water?

  6. I’m so glad to read that carbonated water is safe to drink. I have been tryng to wean my husband off of sodas by encouraging him to drink carbonated water mixed with juices. Thanks for sharing this helpful information.
    Deborah Davis recently posted..FREE Giveaway: Enter to WIN a Crock-Pot Cook & Carry Programmable Slow CookerMy Profile

  7. Great post! We traded in all pop for sparkling water years ago and never looked back. Good to know that the rumours aren’t true.

  8. Seeing as I always have to ask for non-carbonated when my family visits Europe, they must know what’s up! I find that it’s a bit strange on my stomach, but now I’m used to it!

  9. Ha! I always have to ask for non-bubbly when I travel too. That’s what’s generally on the tables in the restaurants. I guess we’re the strange ones James!

  10. I love that you call it ‘pop’! I grew up in Wisconsin and ‘pop’ was the word we used too. Are you from the Midwest?

  11. You’re so welcome Deborah. It’s hard to make the switch from soda to water-but the carbonated version is a great option. Good luck!

  12. Good quick post! Love our soda stream and we only use it for water!

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

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