Sunday, December 9, 2018

Is Drinking Too Much Sparkling Water Bad for You?

In the fridge of our rented house 
One of the houses we rented during our recent trip had some fizzy (or sparkling) drinking water in the fridge. My younger boy tried it and seemed to like it. It was just a novelty to him. At home in Singapore, we drink filtered water and my wife doesn't allow our boys any sodas or fizzy drinks.

On the topic of sodas, some of you may remember I used to drink lots of Coca Cola while I was still competing. Actually until just before my accident. Sometimes I still get an urge to drink them, especially after a long bike ride.

Very few things beat the refreshing taste of an ice cold Coke or 100 Plus after a tough workout. One of my patients tells me he drinks sparkling Perrier water with lime to get the refreshing sensation without the sugar. He was also concerned about whether the bubbles (or carbonation) was bad for his teeth.
What my patient drinks after exercise
Yes, remember I wrote previously about how endurance athletes had significantly higher rates of tooth erosion.

So I decided to do a little search. Here's what I found regarding sparkling water. Unlike sports drinks, the carbonation in the sparking water will probably not erode your enamel and wear out your teeth (Reddy et al, 2016). Since sparkling water has no phosphoric acid, it won't affect your calcium absorption and leech the calcium from your bones.

Unlike here in Singapore, sparkling water is very popular in the United States of America and Europe. In America, sales of sparkling water from La Croix went from $10 million in 2010 to $667 million in 2016.

So the evidence seems to suggest that plain carbonated (or sparkling) water is just as hydrating and healthy as regular (flat) water. Just be wary of the flavored varieties as some may have added sugar. That's when your dental health may be affected if your consume too much of it.

 If your crave some flavor, I'll recommend adding some fruit. I often add lemons (yes, you read correctly) in my drinking bottle while cycling.
Lemons in my cycling bottle
Other than lemons, at home I like mint and watermelons. But that's just me.


Avanija R, Norris DF et al (2016). The PH Of Beverages In The United States. J Am Dental Assoc. 147(4): 255-263. DOI: 10.1016/j.adaj.2015.10.019.

Plain sparking water is best

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