Water comes in many kinds of styles, whether that’s flavored water, mineral water, still water, or sparkling water. These kinds of waters provide many different health benefits depending on your personal preference. But what really is the difference between still water vs sparkling water? Let’s find out!
Drinking water is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health. Staying hydrated is a simple, low-cost wellness habit, but it’s a bit boring for many people. It’s certainly not as fun as drinking soda or wine. Regular water isn’t enjoyable for everyone, especially for anyone cutting soda out of their diet for the first time.
However, club soda and seltzer water are excellent ways to make drinking water something you look forward to doing.
Is there a difference between the two?
The short answer is yes. It’s a relatively minor distinction but deserves some attention. After reading about these drinks, you might find that you prefer one to the other. Let’s look at the difference between club soda and seltzer.
Water is essential to any workplace. It can be used to hydrate, regulate body temperature, and prevent kidney damage. But, has your company considered the new trend in water — sparkling water? When compared to the negative health impacts of soda, or other fizzy drinks with sugar, it’s no surprise that sparkling water would win every time. But what will happen when sparkling water goes head to head with still water?
Read on to learn which drinking water source wins the battle of the breakroom.
Still water, simply put, is non-carbonated water. A few primary examples include ordinary tap water, spring water, natural mineral water, and most bottled water found in large containers. It’s essential to keep in mind that, while still water comes from nature, it’s only safe to drink from a trusted, tested, and filtered water source.
Sparkling or still? That question prefaces any meal in finer sit-down restaurants, and these days the answer seems to be, overwhelmingly, sparkling — and not just when dining out. Sparkling water, also called seltzer, carbonated water, and club soda, has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years that shows no signs of slowing. With an 18 percent annual growth rate between 2020 and 2021, the U.S. market for sparkling water is “one of the fastest growing nonalcoholic beverage categories,” according to Beverage Industry.
Fizzy water may be rising because more people are turning to it as a healthy alternative to soda or booze. Some people don’t love the flavor of tap water or find drinking nothing but plain H2O all day long boring. Carbonation feels a bit more exciting, and there are countless calorie-free flavors to choose from. But does sparkling water meet your hydration needs the same way still water does? And does it have any side effects other than pure refreshment? Read on to find out.
Does sparkling water hydrate you? The bubbly beverage has boomed in popularity, but does sparkling water count as water, or do you need to drink tap water, too? Dietitians explain the benefits of sparkling water.
Once upon a time, you’d go to a fancy restaurant and be asked if you wanted still or sparkling water—and, more times than not, you likely opted for the former. Nowadays, however, sparkling water has exploded into a massive category, nearly taking over the beverage market, and ultimately landing in every major restaurant, grocery store, and convenience shop across the world. According to Grand View Research, the global sparkling water market size was estimated at $29.71 billion, with an expected growth rate of 12.6 percent from 2021 to 2028.
Suffice it to say, if you’re wondering if sparkling water is just a trend, research says otherwise—seemingly, it’s here to stay. But why? While some people love the bubbly beverage for its carbonation sans sugar, others gulp it down under the assumption that, given it’s a type of water, it must be quite hydrating. But does sparkling water hydrate you? We spoke with two dietitians to find out.
Proper hydration is essential for individuals of any age — and your business’s employees, guests, and customers are no exception. Ensuring your workplace provides easy access to clean, great-tasting water will be vital to driving hydration and keeping performance and productivity high — which is ultimately beneficial to your bottom line.
However, offering tap water or relying on traditional water delivery systems might not be doing enough to encourage greater water intake at work. As a result, organizations are increasingly taking advantage of carbonated water options — also referred to as sparkling water, seltzer water, and soda water —to elevate their workplace water supply. In fact, the global sparkling water market size is expected to continue growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6% through 2028, per a report from Grand View Research.
As workplaces turn their attention to sparkling water options, we’re taking a closer look at whether carbonated water is as hydrating as regular water — so you can determine the best drinking water solution for your organization and support a hydrated workforce
What’s The Buzz On Carbonation?
With all the negative hype on sugary drinks, beverage producers have come up with more brands of water, both purified and carbonated. Their nutrition labels highlight PH, carbonation, minerals, and electrolytes. So does carbonated water hydrate you more or less effectively than basic water?
Carbonated water, sparkling water, bubbly water, and fizzy water are all general terms referring to water that has been pressurized with carbon dioxide.
Seltzer includes water and carbonation, so seltzer is just as effective as regular water at hydration.
Club soda has added sodium and/or potassium salts. Salts help to lock water into your cells and ensure that they stay hydrated. As long as you’re getting enough sodium in your diet, club soda won’t hydrate you any more than plain water. However, if you aren’t getting enough salt in your diet, club soda might hydrate you more than other alternatives.
Perrier and San Pellegrino are popular brands of sparkling water. Both types have a number of other mineral components and are slightly acidic. Neither of the two are acidic enough to cause dehydration, or any potentially negative impacts. They’re well within the range that science deems safe, and closer to neutral than some non-carbonated brands of bottled water. However, the mineral content of these two drinks might be cause for pause. They both include a number of minerals that are essential for hydration (calcium, magnesium, chloride). They also include sulfates, which are known to have a laxative effect in the presence of calcium and magnesium. But it’s unlikely that the trace amounts of minerals are concentrated enough to cause any harm.
If you are sick, or really, dangerously dehydrated, drinking Perrier or San Pellegrino is probably slightly less hydrating than drinking still water or seltzer. In everyday situations, the difference is likely marginal at most.
When it comes to Tonic water, you’ll find sugar as well as quinine in the mixTo substitute it for water would increase both sugar and quinine levels. While neither of these things would dehydrate you, they are not the healthiest of options.
The Bottom Line – Does Carbonated Water Hydrate You?
The best thing you can do for your body is to stay hydrated. If you enjoy the buzz of carbonation, there’s little harm, unless it’s sugary. Bottom line: make sure you’re drinking enough water every day, whether it’s natural or carbonated.
By Annette Pinder
We all know that sufficient hydration is essential for our health. This is especially important in warmer weather. Consuming water helps us eliminate waste, protects our body’s tissues, and helps maintain our energy levels. The USDA recommended daily fluid intake is nine eight-ounce cups of liquid a day for women and 13 eight-ounce cups a day for men. But is carbonated water as good for us as plain water?
According to the National Beverage Institute, carbonated water has increased significantly in popularity, as many view it as a healthier alternative to soda or alcoholic beverages. However, Kelly Kennedy RDN, in writing for EverydayHealth.com, notes that while hydration benefits are equal for both plain and fizzy water, some people can experience side effects from drinking too much carbonated water, such as bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort.
The good news is that sparking water, which is plain water plus carbonation (gas), is nearly identical to plain water, other than some sodium that may be added by some manufacturers for flavoring. According to the USDA, there are no calories, sugar, or any other harmful ingredients in sparkling water. While some brands do contain fruit juice, puree, sugar, or artificial sweeteners, they do not add a significant number of calories, and are equally hydrating.
While plain old water with carbonation in the form of added carbon dioxide is no different in terms of hydration than uncarbonated water, the USDA notes that club soda also contains bicarbonate and potassium sulfate. Additionally, both club soda and sparking water contain more trace minerals than seltzer. However, club soda contains 75 mg of sodium, which is a small amount, but can add up if you drink a lot of it. For those concerned about the effect of carbonation on their teeth, the USDA says that sparkling water is also not a major source of enamel erosion when consumed in normal quantities.
We all know that a cold glass of sparkling water on a hot day can be incredibly refreshing. It is also less boring than plain water. Adding fresh , citrus, or mint helps with additional flavor as well as nutrition. For example, the juice of one lemon is an excellent source of . Stirring in and then eating just 10 raspberries provides 1.2 g of fiber. More importantly, no matter how you enjoy your sparkling water, it will help you meet your hydration goals. According to the USDA, it is best to choose a brand that doesn’t contain any added sugars or sweeteners.
It is also important to know that neither sparkling water nor club soda are the same as tonic water. Tonic water is primarily used for alcoholic drink mixers. Although tonic water is both clear and carbonated, it is made with , which contains about 120 calories per 12-ounces, primarily from added sugars.
So, the bottom line is that sparkling water is a great addition to your diet and fluid intake. It is free from calories and sugar and as hydrating as still water. Thus, the USDA says choosing seltzer, sparkling water, club soda, and sparkling mineral water are all excellent choices for staying hydrated.
Is Sparkling Water As Hydrating For You As Regular Water?
Proper hydration is a crucial component of overall health. Whether you drink water at scheduled intervals or aim for a certain number of ounces each day, mental and physical wellness require hydration.
While high-sugar and high-calorie beverages such as sodas and sweetened juices are best avoided or sipped in moderation, there’s a wide world of waters out there with which to hydrate.
With so many types of water to choose from these days — sparkling waters, spring waters, mineral waters, flavored waters — it should be easier than ever to keep hydration in check. And, more and more often, consumers are turning to sparkling and seltzer waters to meet their hydration goals.
Sparkling water has seen tremendous growth in the U.S. in recent years, pulling in more than $4 billion in annual sales. The rise in sparkling-water consumption has coincided with soda’s decline. People want the bubbles but not the calories. They want the hydration but not the sugar.
This boom in sparkling and seltzer waters begs the question: Is sparkling water as hydrating as still water?
Is sparkling water as healthy as regular water?
The short answer: yes.
But first, let’s talk about what exactly sparkling water is. Also known as seltzer water or soda water, sparkling water is any water to which bubbly carbonation has been added. In most cases, these bubbles are added after the water is sourced.
The carbonation process is simple and relatively easy: carbon dioxide gas is forced into still water under pressure. To keep the bubbles intact, that pressure needs to remain, which is why sparkling waters are tightly bottled. When the pressure is released, with the satisfying twist of a cap, all those tiny, nose-tickling sparkles spring to life.
Sparkling water is easily made, but how does it compare to regular water?
And sparkling water has an added bonus: Many drinkers find it more palatable than still water. As the Times noted, “carbonated water offers a sensory experience that flat water cannot.”
More health benefits of sparkling water
According to researchers with the University of Chicago Medical Center, sparkling waters with no added sugars can help people lose weight and live a more healthy lifestyle in a variety of ways:
- Drinking sparkling water helps to curb people’s addictions to sugary colas and sodas.
- Sparkling water quenches thirst, which the body often confuses for hunger. By drinking zero-calorie sparkling water instead of needlessly snacking, people are better able to shed excess weight.
- Sparkling water has been shown to reduce indigestion and constipation, aiding with the body’s digestive process.
- The bubbles in sparkling water can have a filling effect, triggering one’s stomach to feel fuller faster.
Is sparkling water bad for your teeth or dental enamel?
While the carbonation process adds a slight acidity to sparkling and seltzer waters, experts agree it’s unlikely to damage one’s teeth or enamel.
Research on the effects of carbonated water on teeth is sparse, but as Dr. Brittany Seymour, an associate professor at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association, told The New York Times, “it would take quite a lot of consumption throughout the day to have damaging effects similar to what we’d see with fruit juice or soda.”
Seymour said those concerned about their dental enamel can drink sparkling waters with meals. The saliva produced by the mouth while eating helps to counteract the slight acidity found in seltzer and soda waters.
Does sparkling water negatively impact bone health?
As experts at the University of Chicago noted, “Sparkling water has no negative effect on bone health.”
While dark colas can contain calcium-leaching phosphoric acid, sparkling waters do not. In fact, sparkling mineral waters such as Mountain Valley Sparkling Spring Water are naturally infused with bone-building calcium. Sparkling mineral waters like Mountain Valley also contain magnesium, another element crucial to bone health.
How to choose a healthy sparkling water?
To choose the healthiest sparkling water, look for the zeros: zero calories, zero sweeteners, zero sodium.
Avoid sparkling waters that contain high-fructose corn syrup and natural sweeteners such as agave and cane sugar. The healthiest sparkling waters will be free of calories, sugar and even artificial sweeteners such as Splenda or aspartame.
It’s also important to choose sparkling waters that are free of sodium. Even a small amount of sodium can add up if a person is drinking multiple sparkling waters throughout a day. If sodium is a concern, be sure to avoid sparkling waters labeled as “club soda.” These beverages neutralize the acidity of carbonation by adding sodium and potassium salts.
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Hydration is critical to maintaining a healthy and functional body. A hydrated body means there is an even and balanced level of water and other particles in the blood and cells so that they can work well and fuel our active lives. Our bodies are mostly made of water, and even a small loss of that water can lead to health consequences that can impact our quality of life. Replacing the water we lose each day in our excretions, from sweat to urine, means making a choice between a myriad of beverages.
The most common dilemma is whether to choose water or soda to drink. To know whether or not water is better at hydrating than sodas, it is important to understand how each is composed, absorbed, and used in the body. It is also critical to understand that one is a natural substance we have evolved to require, and the other is a recent addition to our dietary table and entirely man-made.
How Different Is Water And Soda?
Water and soda are very different substances, and while both are beverages we enjoy, only water offers health benefits without serious downsides. Water occurs naturally and is necessary for life. It is a simple molecule made up of two hydrogen and one oxygen atom, connected by a hydrogen bond. Water has no calories and does not contain any electrolytes, sugars, or caffeine.
Soda is a manufactured product that contains simple carbohydrates, which are long chains of repeating sugar molecules that are easily broken down and used by the body for energy. Unfortunately, most people already get enough energy from the food they eat, and the added energy source from sodas only becomes excess calories that are stored as fat. On top of that, sodas often contain high amounts of salt (sodium) and caffeine. While water is the main component of sodas, the carbonation in the soda is highly acidic, which can lead to damage to the teeth, esophagus, and other organs as the body works to neutralize the acidity.
Is Water Better Than Soda for Hydration?
Hydration is the state of proper fluid status in the body and cells. Being able to drink water is only one part of hydration. Water has to get where you need it, which is inside of cells and blood vessels, to work. Osmosis is the movement of water across a membrane (think a thin layer of molecules or cells). Water goes from a place of high concentration of water molecules to a place of low concentration along what is called a concentration gradient. You can see osmosis when you put a dry sponge on a wet puddle on the counter, and the water moves to be soaked up by the sponge. The water is going from where there is more of it on the counter to where there is less of it on the sponge. The same action causes water to move inside of the body.
When it comes to hydration, the ability to move water into cells and blood vessels depends on the concentrations inside those compartments. Dehydration is when there isn’t enough water in the cells or blood, which causes the particles in those spaces to become concentrated. This concentration creates an imbalance that draws water into the cell or blood vessel using osmosis. Without the imbalance, osmosis can’t happen.
Upon drinking a glass of water, it enters the digestive system, where it is absorbed through the tiny blood vessels in the gut via osmosis. If the concentration isn’t higher on the inside, then the water can’t move into the bloodstream and be used by cells. Soda contains a lot of sugar, caffeine, and sodium, all of which can increase the concentration of particles on the wrong side of the membranes, keeping water from being easily absorbed.
All of this is a complicated way of saying that water itself is more easily absorbed by the body than soda. This lets water do its job of hydration quickly and efficiently, as our bodies are designed to do. Sodas simply don’t factor into the natural equation of hydration.
Does Soda Have Any Health Benefits?
While sugary sodas are undoubtedly bad for your health due to the calories, there is some small benefit to drinking them for people with nausea. In some instances, cola can be useful for women who are dealing with morning sickness, and ginger ale for those with stomach bugs that are causing vomiting. However, in both cases, the benefit comes from something in the specific sodas consumed, not from it being in a soda. The carbonation in sodas can calm an upset stomach, but it can also lead to long-term stomach damage when used frequently, so the benefit isn’t really worth the consequences.
Some people may feel like they are getting hydrated after they drink a soda, but it is often due to the perceived boost they get from caffeine and carbohydrates in the soda. Sodas are mostly water, and the body does use that water as best it can to hydrate. Unfortunately, it has to sort through the other stuff in sodas to make that happen. The sugars are an immediate energy source that can give a person a jolt of energy but often leads to a big letdown as the simple carbohydrates are broken down quickly and blood sugar drops. Caffeine in sodas can also make a person feel boosted and more energetic, but like the sugars, it doesn’t last long and often leads to a drop in energy later. These are called rebound effects and occur when you ingest something in a high amount that causes the body to respond to lower that response; only the amount wears off before the response does, leading to that effect being even worse than before. Think of it like a teeter-totter than overcorrects. Ideally, your body prefers to stay even and not go rapidly up and down, but sodas do just that, sending the system into a cycle of responses that are never balanced.
Why Should You Drink Water Instead of Soda?
The benefits of water over soda are vast and, honestly, pretty obvious. Water is a far superior option and provides a slew of advantages to your overall health and wellness, whereas soda provides no benefits aside from tasting good. Here are the top reasons to drink water instead of soda:
- Stay hydrated
- Lose or Maintain Body Weight
- Keep joints lubricated
- Have more moist and healthy skin
- Improve energy levels
- Maintain dental health
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What’s the difference between Sparkling and Still Water?
The main difference between sparkling and still water lies in their carbonation levels. Sparkling water has a much higher level of carbonation than its still counterpart, giving it that signature “fizzy” taste. Still water can also refer to tap water or filtered water depending on the filtration system installed in a home.
Now, let’s break down the benefits of still water vs sparkling water:
The Difference Between Club Soda and Seltzer
Club soda and seltzer are essentially the same products made in two slightly different ways. However, the two are often interchangeable, and you typically won’t notice a difference unless you’re a fan. Let’s look at how club soda and seltzer are different from each other.
What Is Seltzer?
Seltzer originated in Germany with the Niederselter spa, a naturally bubbling mineral spring that was used to heal all kinds of ailments.
The word has variations across the globe. In Turkey, it’s called and in France, eau de seltz. The beverage is carbonated water — just CO2, H20, and nothing else.
Because of its simplicity, seltzer is plain and flavorless. For this reason, seltzer is the preferred drink to use as a base for hard seltzer and flavored seltzers, which need a blank canvas on which to work.
What Is Club Soda?
Club soda originated in the U.S. and was known as soda water until it adopted the name “club soda.” The name refers to the sodium salts found in it and the fact that it’s a soda-like beverage. Club soda was sold in beverage fountains for two cents, making it the cheapest carbonated beverage. You could add syrup for another penny at some fountains to give it flavor.
Like seltzer, club soda is made by adding CO2 to water to give it fizz. But several minerals are also added to mimic the mineral content and flavor of the naturally bubbling springs. The most common minerals added to club soda are potassium sulfate, potassium citrate, potassium bicarbonate, and sodium bicarbonate.
These minerals give club soda a salty flavor and a little more body. This makes it an ideal choice for bartenders to mix with their spirits. A little salt rounds out the cocktail nicely, and this is why “gin and soda” is not “gin and seltzer,” although you could certainly try it.
Club soda is famous for being able to reverse wine stains. This is due to the dissolved gas acting as a surfactant, which pulls the pigment out of the fabric.
So, whether you’re hydrating, celebrating cocktail hour, or cleaning, club soda is great to have around.
The main difference between sparkling and still water not only comes down to its levels of carbonation but also its accessibility. Many grocery stores and pharmacies now carry a variety of sparkling water brands that you can easily purchase. However, regularly purchasing bottled or canned seltzer waters is likely, not sustainable for your wallet.
Still water is a great way to ensure our bodies remain hydrated. One of the main reasons our bodies need hydration is because it helps our cells absorb nutrients from the food we eat. If your body is not properly hydrated, it won’t be able to take full advantage of the nutrients in the food you consume.
Is water the only way our bodies can be hydrated? No. There are lots of fruits and vegetables that carry 100% weight in water, such as watermelon and spinach. Water is also found in most beverages like juices, coffee, and even energy drinks. Although, it’s not recommended to rely solely on sugary beverages for daily water intake as experts believe too much sugar can actually lead to dehydration. It’s believed that extra sugary drinks can speed up the cell’s transfer of water to urination leaving the body without a chance to properly absorb the needed nutrients.
If you’re looking for an alternative to sugary sodas, try adding some light flavors to your still water. Some great pairings are lime juice, lemon juice, or even low-calorie stevia!
Other Types of Carbonated Water
There are other kinds of carbonated water that you can try out. Some have unique flavors, and others are neutral. Keep in mind that some of these products contain added sugar, so always read the label when you’re shopping.
Mineral water is naturally carbonated.
The water is sourced from naturally bubbling springs, and they contain trace amounts of natural minerals like salt, magnesium, and calcium. Because the minerals are naturally occurring, the flavor of the water can vary depending on where the water comes from.
The carbonation can vary, and some producers will add a little extra to give their product a consistent bubble.
Tonic water, gin’s other best friend, is carbonated water with added minerals, including quinine. Quinine comes from the bark of cinchona trees, native to Central America but also found in Indonesia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Quinine is what gives tonic its signature bitter flavor and is more likely to contain added sugar to offset the bitter profile of the water.
Quinine was added to carbonated water in the 1870s to combat malaria. The cinchona tree is also called the fever tree (sound familiar?) because of its ability to reduce fevers.
Nutrition Facts for Sparkling Water
Again, because sparkling water is water plus carbonation (gas), it is pretty much identical nutritionally to still water. Apart from a very small amount of sodium some brands add for flavor, per the USDA, it’s zeros across the board: no calories, sugar, or bad stuff. Just keep an eye on the ingredients list, because some brands add fruit juice or puree, while others add sugar or artificial sweeteners. Calories will still be low in all these beverages, but you’ll want to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting in your glass.
Tips for Enjoying Sparkling Water to Maximize the Perks
There’s nothing quite like a cold glass of sparkling water on a hot day. It’s refreshing, hydrating, and with the wide variety of flavors to choose from, not boring. And you can always add variety to your routine by stirring in fresh berries, citrus, or mint to lend additional flavor and nutrition to your cup. Adding the juice of one lemon, for instance, will make your seltzer an excellent source of vitamin C, per data from the USDA. Similarly, stirring in (and eating) just 10 raspberries will get you 1.2 g of fiber, notes the USDA. No matter how you enjoy your sparkling water, it will help you meet your hydration goals. Nutritionally, it’s best to choose a brand that doesn’t contain any added sugars or sweeteners. There are many brands to choose from, but if you can’t find the exact flavor you’re hoping for, you could always create your own at home and add it to unflavored sparkling water. If you get really into DIY seltzer, a countertop home carbonation machine might save you money (and trips to the recycling bin or bottle return).
Should You Try Sparkling Water to Stay Hydrated?
Absolutely! Sparkling water is a great addition to any beverage lineup. Free from calories and sugar and as hydrating as still water, seltzer, sparkling water, club soda, and sparkling mineral water are all excellent choices for staying hydrated.
The Biggest Sparkling Water Myths
Before diving into the benefits a carbonated beverage can provide to team members across the corporate ladder, it’s important to dispel a few misconceptions concerning sparkling options.
Sparkling water doesn’t hydrate as effectively as regular water
Organizations that doubt the hydration power of sparkling water can rest assured that their fizzy water has the same hydration benefits as plain water, according to a report from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Moreover, introducing carbonated options is a great alternative to soft drinks and sugary soda — which quickly dehydrate team members.
Sparkling water can damage your stomach
The carbonic acid involved in sparkling water can give the wrong impression that this water has adverse effects on your stomach long term. This acid is too weak to have a considerable impact on your stomach, but carbonated beverages have actually been shown to have the opposite effect — relieving indigestions and constipation.
Sparkling water leaches nutrients from your body
Some individuals and organizations have come to believe that carbonation could leach calcium from bones and nutrients from the body. While there’s no clear reason for how this myth originated, there’s also no evidence to support these claims.
Drinking sparkling water is not environmentally responsible
Because sparkling water contains dissolved carbon dioxide gas, there’s a misbelief that this contributes significantly to global warming. However, not only is this a negligible amount of carbon emissions, but replacing traditional water bottle solutions at work with a carbonated water machine will be an effective way to reduce your company’s environmental footprint moving forward.
Carbonated water leads to dental decay
One of the most common misunderstandings associated with carbonated water is that it will have a considerable impact on your tooth enamel — fortunately, this isn’t the case. While carbonation does mean these options are slightly more acidic than tap water, carbonic acid is weak and less corrosive. It’s important to keep in mind the true enemy of tooth enamel and dental health is soda or any other beverage with a high amount of added sugar.
What is Sparkling Water, Exactly?
In short, sparkling water is plain water that’s infused with dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) gas, which is what gives it its bubbly effect. Scientifically speaking, the process of carbonation is quite simple. “Carbon dioxide is a nontoxic, inert gas that can exist in all three phases of matter: a solid, liquid, or gas,” explains NYC-based dietitian Jennifer Maeng, RD, LDN. “The manipulation of both temperature and pressure can create carbonation, and this environment can be created naturally or artificially.” For example, she says that Perrier sparkling water comes from the environment of a naturally carbonated spring, whereas other brands, like Polar Seltzer, rely on artificial carbonation. “To artificially create carbonated beverages, CO2 gas is pushed over what is called a critical point and becomes liquified by increasing pressure and decreasing the temperature. At this stage, the CO2 is infused into the water, and the vessel is sealed.”
In short, not all bubbly water is created equal. And not all carbonated water is innately the same thing. As Maeng points out, seltzer, club soda, and sparkling mineral water are all different but are often confused.
So what’s the difference between seltzer vs. sparkling water? “Seltzer is the same thing as sparkling water, and is simply water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas to become carbonated.” Some people may also call this carbonated water. Then there’s sparkling mineral water (think: Topo Chico), which Maeng says is naturally carbonated spring water. Certain brands, like San Pelligrino, contain naturally-occuring mineral water that is then infused with CO2 to carbonate it, so you’ll still see it labeled as sparkling mineral water. What sets sparkling mineral water apart, according to Maeng, is that it will have naturally occurring minerals like different salts and sulfur compounds depending on the original source of the water spring. “Minerals like sodium, calcium, and potassium are found in very small amounts in these waters,” she adds.
Club soda, however, is seltzer infused with potassium bicarbonate and potassium, which Maeng points out gives the drink a slightly saltier flavor and a more robust profile as a whole, hence why it’s so often preferred by bartenders. (As a former bartender myself, I can attest: I never mixed drinks with seltzer or sparkling mineral water, it was always club soda).
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How Much Hydration Do You Need?
You’re probably aware that staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health. Proper fluid balance is necessary to eliminate waste, protect body tissues, and maintain energy levels, according to Mayo Clinic. And while it may sound easy, a lot of people struggle to chug enough water in a day to keep their bodies functioning optimally.
The precise amount you need varies according to your gender, activity level, and even the climate you live in, so there is no official recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for fluids. The most widely accepted measure comes from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which recommends that women get about 2.7 liters (L) of fluid per day and men get about 3.7 L per day. After deducting the roughly 20 percent of that amount that comes from the food we eat, that leaves approximately nine 8-ounce (oz) cups of liquid a day for women and 13 8 oz cups a day for men.
Water should be your main source of fluids, but does it matter whether that water is bubbly or not? Here’s what researchers have determined when it comes to sparkling water and hydration.
There have been many debates on the health benefits of sparkling water. Thankfully, this myth has been debunked by many experts that have confirmed that if the bubbly beverage is at its core just carbonated water, there are absolutely no negative health effects. Sparkling water is a great alternative to still water if you are looking for a little extra fizz!
Although, if you enjoy consuming bubbly water from big named brands that add in either artificial or natural flavors, you may want to limit your consumption to ensure both your sugar intake and tooth enamel are not compromised. A good way to avoid this would be to purchase a soda machine where you can carbonate filtered, still water right from your home where you know the exact ingredients you are consuming daily. For fast and reliable CO2 canister refills, join the Soda Sense refill club!
At this point, we all know that sparkling water is similar to still water, but does the difference in carbonation have a negative effect on your health? Luckily, the answer is no. Research shows that sparkling water is not only just as hydrating as still water but also has no negative effect on your bone density — a myth that was once believed to be true. On the flip side, it does have a positive impact on your health. The carbonation in the water will make you feel fuller, which can help curb those 3 o’clock cravings!
It should come as no surprise to hear that water has incredible health benefits. Our bodies are primarily made up of water alone! In fact, according to the USGS, men are made up of about 60% of water, and women are made up of 55% of water. These statistics alone are enough to confidently say it is important for our overall health to be consuming enough daily water. For men, it’s recommended by Mayo Clinic to consume 3.7L a day, and for women, 2.7L a day. They also provided a few more benefits to consuming water:
- Keeps your body at a normal temperature
- Lubricates and cushions your joints
- Protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
- Gets rid of toxic wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements
The Surprising Health Benefits of Sparkling Water
While workplaces search for the right water supply, here are a few surprising health benefits of carbonated water to keep in mind:
Water vs. Sparkling Water
While many people find a little fizz and flavor appealing, past research has found that too carbonation can cause bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort because of the air it adds to your gut. So, while sparkling water is good for you, it is still possible to overdo it.
Does Sparkling Water Hydrate You?
Now, the question you’ve all been waiting for: Does carbonated water hydrate you in the same way regular water does? Despite what myths say, Maeng assures us that sparkling water is hydrating.
“However, it does not hydrate you any better than regular water, unless of course you drink more of it because you enjoy the taste,” she says. Still, she wouldn’t recommend completely swapping in carbonated water for your daily hydration needs. The reason? If you have IBS, acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), she says that drinking carbonated beverages (especially in excess) can make bloating, gas, and burping symptoms worse. What’s more, she says that “excessive consumption of carbonated beverages can lead to decreased tooth enamel because of lower pH from CO2 gas and any acidic flavoring.” With that in mind, Hanley reminds us that plain, unflavored carbonated water won’t damage enamel—no matter how much you consume. It’s the flavored varieties you have to worry about in excess.
A Quick History of Seltzer and Club Soda
Before we had modern medicine, we had carbonated water.
It was touted for its healing properties, and naturally, bubbling springs around the world were turned into healing spas. These springs were used to treat all kinds of ailments and were often used to heal wounded soldiers during World War I.
One of the most famous healing springs was Niederselters in Germany. In the 1700s, they even bottled their bubbling mineral water in clay jugs and shipped it worldwide. From the name of this spa, we got the word “seltzer.”
It was twenty years later when Johan Jacob Schweppe, an amateur scientist and jeweler, began to produce carbonated water commercially. Thus, seltzer and club soda were born.
Today, we don’t use these products for their supposed healing properties. However, we do use them to promote good health and wellness. As you’ll see, seltzer and club soda keep us hydrated, which helps speed up the body’s healing processes and prevents us from getting sick in the first place.
Aside from keeping our bodies hydrated, still water can provide valuable health benefits. Some of the other ways drinking still water can be beneficial to your health include:
- Carrying oxygen to all parts of the body.
- Protecting the brain, the spinal cord, and other extremely sensitive tissues.
- Boosting skin health.
- Regulating our internal body temperature.
- Flushing body waste.
- Helping maintain blood pressure.
- Helping the airways function.
- Preventing kidney damage.
Health Benefits of Sparkling Water Beyond Hydration
Some people wonder if sparkling water is bad for their teeth. Data from the American Dental Association indicates that sparkling water is no more damaging to your teeth than regular tap water and is a healthy addition to your hydration routine.
Still Water vs. Sparkling Water — And the Benefits They Can Provide
The benefits of still water:
Choosing Between Sparkling and Still Water For Your Workplace
As organizations continue to look for the best drinking water solutions for their workplace, they’re likely debating whether still water or bubbly water is the better way to go. Drinking carbonated water as opposed to tap water can feel almost like a cheat, but the good news is these 2 options are generally pretty similar.
Bubbly water is essentially regular water but with the addition of carbon dioxide under gas — giving it a fizzy taste. Despite this carbonation, sparkling water is just as hydrating and healthy as regular water. Both options provide several valuable health benefits including:
- Staving off dehydration
- Increasing energy levels
- Reducing fatigue and headaches
- Enhancing cognitive function
- Regulating body temperature
- Protecting organs and tissues
- Increasing feelings of happiness
Not only are these options ultimately remarkably similar, but sparkling water is associated with a few added benefits for organizations to consider as well.
Is Sparkling Water Good for You?
There are definitely benefits of sparkling water, but it all comes down to the ingredients, says Heather Hanley, RD, a registered dietitian with Everlywell. “Carbonated water is a healthier option than sodas, as it does not contain any sugar or sugar substitutes and is free of colorings and artificial flavorings,” she explains. It’s because of this that Hanley thinks sparkling water has risen to such fame. “One likely reason sparkling water has increased in popularity is the increased public awareness of the health disadvantages of drinking sodas,” she says.
What Ingredients Are in Sparkling Water?
Most often, fizzy water is made of water and carbon dioxide with natural flavors. Although many sparkling waters are formulated without sugar or coloring, that’s not to say that all offerings are. Depending on the type of sparkling water you choose, Maeng says that ingredients can include:
- Sweetening agents: dry or liquid sugar, non-nutritive sweeteners like aspartame
- Color: natural or artificial, primarily for a nice aesthetic “look”
- Acids: citric, gluconic, tartaric, or phosphoric, all of which to get flavor and are derived from fruit, vegetables, or are straight-up artificial
- Herbs, Vitamins, Adaptogens, or CBD
With that in mind, Maeng says to be a discerning consumer, and do not believe claims that a seltzer will “calm” or “energize” you. “Check the labels with these types of added ingredients, and check with your dietitian before drinking it, especially if you have specific health concerns,” she suggests.
What Makes a High-Quality Sparkling Water?
Although some people may prefer one type of sparkling water over another based on flavor notes, generally speaking, a high-quality sparkling water is dependent on its packaging. “More CO2 naturally diffuses (escapes) out from plastic, as opposed to a glass bottle, and even less so out of a sealed can,” Maeng says. “This is why sparkling water aficionados usually swear by their favorite brand, based on the slightly variable tastes in water minerals, and the type of container it comes in.”
Homemade vs. Store-Bought Sparkling Water
Like most things, homemade sparkling water tends to be more customizable, and can, in effect, taste better and be better for you.
“Depending on the quality and type of your tap water, the ultimate taste of your homemade seltzer will differ from any store-bought brand,” Maeng says. “The natural minerals and salts in your homemade seltzer will also vary.” That said, since most soda machines—like the SodaStream Terra ($129.99)—give you the power to adjust the level of carbonation in your homemade seltzer, she points outs that homemade sparkling water can be better tailored to your taste and carbonation preferences.
If you’re trying to drink more water in general to stay hydrated, making it at home may make it easier for you. Another perk of homemade sparkling water is that it’s generally less expensive and more sustainable (since there’s less packaging and waste).
Is it Healthy to Drink Sparkling Water Every Day?
It sure is! So long as you reach for seltzers made without sweeteners, Maeng says you have nothing to worry about. “There are no specific guidelines about specific quantities of seltzer you can drink daily, however, I would recommend listening to your body,” she adds. “If you experience lots of gas, burping, have any specific GI issues, or tooth enamel issues, limit your intake and check with your doctor or dietitian.”
The reason many people resort to still water for their health and hydration needs is mainly due to its accessibility. The majority, if not all, of homes, have access to tap water. It’s not always recommended to consume unfiltered tap water though as it can contain microorganisms, chemicals, and disinfection byproducts. Consuming any of these can lead to serious illnesses or even death. This of course depends primarily on where your home is located.
To avoid these risks, a lot of people invest in a filtration process to ensure they are consuming safe and healthy water daily. This can look like a refrigerator with filtered water, a filtration system installed on the home’s main water line, or even a simple Brita can do the trick!
Quench Hydration Solutions
Workplaces can quickly bring their drinking water supply to the next level by introducing sparkling water options. Not only is carbonated water just as hydrating as plain water, but it offers unique benefits that are worth keeping in mind.
If your organization is ready to implement improved water systems at work — can help. Quench offers water-as-a-service solutions by providing filtered water through a wide range of bottleless machines. With our depth of options, national reach, and consistently high level of service, our water services are designed to give your workplace the unique water solutions it needs.
Organizations can explore our broad range of sparkling and specialty products, including plain sparkling water machines and our , which offers flavored sparkling water on demand. Or, workplaces can optimize their hydration with a combined still and sparkling water machine — so your employees, guests, and customers have access to an endless supply of either option whenever they need it.
Help your employees ditch the sugary soda and take your regular water supply to the next level by making the switch to a sparkling water dispenser with Quench. Try our product finder to discover the machine that’s right for your workplace needs or get a free quote to get started.
Both still water and sparkling water deserve this win. While there is clear evidence supporting the benefits of both types of water, the bottom line is that the only differentiating factor between the 2 is carbonation. The decision inevitably comes down to which type of drinking water your workplace is more likely to consume and enjoy. But, for businesses that want the ability to mix it up and have both — we’ve got you covered.
Which Sparkling Water Is Right for You?
Everyone develops a preference: club soda or mineral water. Which one will be your favorite? Do you prefer a little salt or a blank canvas on which to create a flavorful, carbonated drink? You’ll have to see for yourself.
Either way, incorporating these fizzy drinks into your life is a great way to cut out sugary beverages that are bad for your health. But they’re also a great way to encourage yourself to drink more water, which is never a bad idea.
Add slices of citrus or stone fruit, sprigs of mint or thyme, or infuse ginger and cinnamon to make things even more interesting. The possibilities are endless!
Looking for a delicious sparkling cocktail? Try our Spritz Sampler, a sampler of our two most popular Spanish wine cocktails made with seltzer, wine and natural ingredients, in a can.
Drinking still water is the most beneficial fluid for staying hydrated. After exercising, sitting out on a hot day, or eating that last slice of pizza in the break room, our bodies crave rehydration. Drinking water is crucial to maintaining several functions of our bodies. Water helps carry nutrients to our cells, from our toes all the way up to our brains. Other fluids, such as soft drinks and sports drinks, contain sugar and sodium that can cause a reverse effect and actually dehydrate our cells! Because of this, still water is the safest and easiest way to hydrate our bodies.
Which Is More Hydrating?
Hands down, sparkling water is the clear winner here. Most soft drinks have a carbonated water base, but also sugar or artificial sweetener, phosphoric or citric acid to act as preservatives or flavoring agents, and chemicals for color, research shows. Because soda has more of those other ingredients, it has less water — only 89.4 percent water by weight, per USDA data. Sparkling water, on the other hand, is 99.9 percent water by weight, making it far more hydrating. It’s also a healthier choice. A single 12 oz can of soda contains nearly 37 grams (g), or almost 9 teaspoons, of sugar, per USDA data. If you are a soda lover, switching out even one can of soda for sparkling water per day can decrease your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, without sacrificing the bubbly feel that you love. One 12 oz can of cola, for instance, contains 155 calories, which means a seltzer instead would save you more than 56,000 calories a year. At the same time, you’ll be better hydrated — that’s a win-win.
Due to sparkling water being still water at its core, it should come as no surprise to hear that sparkling water is just as hydrating as regular water. You may actually be more hydrated more often simply because sparkling water can be very enjoyable to consume with its bubbly effervescence. As long as your sparkling water does not contain lots of added sugars, you can rest assured that your body is consuming the hydration it requires.
Are Seltzer and Club Soda Healthy Options?
There are some myths about the health benefits and consequences of carbonated water. Some say that club soda is healthy for you and aids digestion, while others say it rots your teeth over time. Let’s get to the truth of the matter, shall we?
According to the USDA, carbonated water—including mineral water—has minimal nutritional value. Even though some minerals like salt and potassium are present, the amounts are so small that they’re not a more nutritious option than still water.
However, carbonated water isn’t an unhealthy option, either.
Is Seltzer Water Bad for Your Teeth?
As far as your dental health, carbonated water is perfectly safe as long as it doesn’t contain added sugar. Club soda and seltzer are both slightly more acidic than still water — but not enough to have a detrimental effect.
Plus, if you’re choosing a club soda over a sugary soda, you’re making a choice that improve your health. Club soda and seltzer water are 100 times better for your teeth than regular soda.
Technically, we haven’t figured out if carbonated water aids digestion, but research points to yes. Many studies have shown that drinking club soda or seltzer improves swallowing ability and helps decrease symptoms of constipation, indigestion, and stomach pain.
The Benefits of Hydration
At the end of the day, both club soda and seltzer water are hydrating. The benefits of hydration are endless; water is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Here are just a few:
- Helps your body access nutrients and oxygen
- Improves cognitive function and prevents headaches
- Flushes bacteria from your bladder
- Protects your organs and tissues
- Keeps you from getting sick and helps you recover faster
- Helps you burn calories, even while you’re sitting
- Promotes healthy skin and prevents wrinkles
Some studies show that carbonated water, specifically, might improve heart health, decreasing the risk of heart disease and lowering cholesterol. But more research is needed to understand the relationship between club soda and heart health.
In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt, so why not have a little bubbly water from time to time?
Are All Kinds of Sparkling Water Equally Hydrating?
Fizzy drinks can go by a host of different names, but they’re not entirely the same. Here are the major differences, and how each kind compares with regular H2O.
Seltzer, sparkling water These two names are interchangeable and refer to the same product: plain old water with carbonation in the form of added carbon dioxide to give the drink its signature fizz. At 100 percent water, seltzer and sparkling water are just as hydrating as plain, flat water. They do come in flavored and unflavored varieties, but that doesn’t have any effect on how hydrating they are. Just keep an eye out for brands with added sugars and avoid those whenever possible.
Club soda Like seltzer, club soda has added carbon dioxide for bubbles, but club soda also has potassium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate added, notes the Cleveland Clinic. This gives club soda more trace minerals than seltzer, according to the USDA, although its taste and uses are exactly the same as seltzer’s. If you’re keeping a close eye on your blood pressure and sodium intake, it’s important to remember that a single 12-ounce can of club soda contains 75 milligrams (mg) of sodium. That’s not a ton, but if you’re sipping club soda all day long, it adds up.
Sparkling mineral water Like club soda, sparkling mineral water has several trace minerals, per the USDA. Because it is made from natural spring or well water, the type and amount of minerals will vary from brand to brand, as will the taste. Sometimes these minerals cause natural carbonation and other times carbon dioxide is added to create an extra fizzy kick.
Don’t confuse any of the above beverages with tonic water, which, although also clear and carbonated, is not a sparkling water. Tonic water is made with quinine, which gives it its characteristic bitter flavor, and it’s then sweetened with sugar to counteract the bitterness. As a result, tonic water contains about 120 calories per 12 oz can — all of them from added sugar, per the USDA. Tonic water is most often used as a mixer for alcoholic beverages. That’s why it’s best to skip tonic water and opt for any type of sparkling water instead.
When it comes down to the main difference between sparkling and still water the answer is quite simple: carbonation. However, there are a variety of differences you can find between their health benefits, hydration levels, and overall accessibility. With both having strong pros in each category, the choice is truly yours on whether you enjoy plain water, or the bubbly fizz of sparkling water more!