Is Carbonated Water as Hydrating as Regular Water?
The nation’s thirst for sparkling water is reflected in the skyrocketing sales as more Americans turn away from soda and other sugary drinks. The upsides to the effervescent, calorie-free, sugar-free drink are crystal clear, if you ask Dr. Lucinda DeMarco, Chief Medical Officer for UnitedHealthcare of South Carolina.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted a study comparing hydrating effects of different beverage options, including sparkling water. The research found no lesser effect of hydration with sparkling water in comparison to regular still water.
Both have the same base ingredient, however, sparkling water includes carbon dioxide — which is what gives it its effervescence. Those extra bubbles don’t necessarily play a role in its hydration abilities but may make a difference in the amount some people can consume without feeling too full.
The bubbles may cause a build-up of gas and lead to bloating and discomfort but Dr. Britton said in some cases, it may also aid in digestion.
Whether you’re reaching for regular still or sparkling water, Dr. Britton outlines below how to gauge how much water you need to keep your body healthy each day, recommending people adjust their water intake based on several factors.
Exercise: Mayo Clinic says if an activity makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss, especially before, during or after a work-out.
Environment: Consider hot or humid weather. Sweating it out in high temperatures requires additional fluid intake. Dehydration also can occur at high altitudes.
Overall health: If you are sick, your body loses fluids when you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Drink more water or follow a doctor’s recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Bladder infections and urinary tract stones are also conditions that require more water intake.
Pregnancy or breastfeeding: Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding need additional fluids. Recommendations for pregnant women increase to 10 cups of fluids daily, and women who breastfeed even more, with 13 cups of fluids each day.