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Is sparkling water as healthy as still water?

I drink a lot of carbonated water without sugar. Does it have the same health benefits as regular water?

There’s still water, and then there’s what my 4-year-old calls “spicy water,” better known as seltzer, sparkling or carbonated water. Invigorating, bubbly and effervescent, sparkling water has become a daily ritual for many and a growing segment of the beverage industry, with annual sales already exceeding $ 4 billion in the United States.

For those who die for it, sparkling water offers a sensory experience that still water cannot – the delicious snap of the can when you open it. The bubbling of effervescence when unscrewing the bottle cap to pour yourself a glass. The tingling sensation when the drink hits the tongue, sometimes with a hint of “natural” flavor.

Still water is great for hydration, “but you’d be surprised how many people don’t like the taste and aren’t willing to drink it,” says Anne Linge, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at the University of Washington Medical Center. in Seattle. “Adding carbonation can make it more palatable.”

More acceptable, perhaps, but is it just as healthy?

Nutritionists agree that carbonated water (a category that includes artificially carbonated sparkling water and natural sparkling water) is just as hydrating as regular water, yet tap water has the added benefit of fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay.

“If you use fluoridated water for brushing your teeth, cooking, and part of your hydration, you can also include sparkling water in your diet,” says Linge.

But keep in mind that sparkling water is more acidic in your mouth than still water.

Sparkling water contains carbon dioxide, which is converted to carbonic acid when it mixes with saliva, lowering the pH level in your mouth. The pH scale indicates whether a solution is more acidic (lower pH) or alkaline (higher pH). Drinks with a lower pH can be erosive to teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities; However, unsweetened carbonated water is nowhere near as erosive as soft drinks or fruit juices, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

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