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Sparkling water versus still water

Now that the heat is back on and at the request of SWMBO here’s something a little more fluid

You go to a restaurant… you sit down… the waiter comes and the first question he asks is ‘still or sparkling’. Confused? Have pre-conceptions? Let’s sort out fact from the fiction…

To clarify from the outset, not all types of water are the same. Different sources have different qualities and at the end of the day it’s pretty much down to personal choice. One word of warning, though, some brands have more sodium than others which can be a cause of consideration for people on low sodium intake (you know who you are!).

Depending on whom you ask, some ‘experts’ claim that sparkling water can cause some health problems (apart from the sodium issue mentioned above). More about this later.

There’s a difference between naturally sparkled mineral water and carbonated water (enriched with carbon dioxide). The sodium in naturally sparkled mineral water is naturally occurring sodium (which is an advantage). Still water does not contain sodium. Sodium, is an electrolyte which is lost through sweating and can help hasten hydration if you've lost a lot of fluids through exercise.

There are concerns that carbonated drinks (such as cola, Orangina and others) are connected with bone breakdown, but it's not because of the sparkle. Other ingredients in these drinks may seep calcium from the bones, but research is inconclusive. Sparkling water doesn't contain these ingredients, so it has the same effect on your bone density as regular water. Sparkling water is also slightly more acidic than still water, which might indicate a problem for your teeth.

Sparkling water offers a zero-calorie, no-sugar alternative to carbonated drinks which will hydrate just as well as still water. Fruit-flavoured sparkling water may sound healthier than soda, but keep in mind that some versions may have just as much sugar and therefore are just as bad for you.

People with a sensitive tummy may do better with still water because for some people drinking sparkling water causes bloating, burping, gas and stomach discomfort. If you find that sparkling water makes you feel ill, regular water is obviously a better choice.

So the only possible issue the makes still water a better option is that it poses no risk to your teeth….. Which can be avoided if you drink sparkling water with a straw.

Someone once asked me if a sparkling water bath is good for you…. Got me a bit confused… until I realised she meant a bubble bath :)

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