Sparkling water (water that has been infused with carbon dioxide to make it bubbly) has become a popular beverage option, with many flavors and varieties available. If you are trying to give up soda, but just can't give up the fizz, sparkling water can also be a nice substitute beverage. How does it compare to plain water? Are there any drawbacks to sparkling water?
Sparkling water typically has no calories and no sugar, although some may contain artificial sweeteners. It's just as hydrating as plain water. It’s lower in acid than traditional sodas, which makes it a better choice for dental health. A 2016 study from the American Dental Association found that sparkling water does not have enough acid to cause erosion of tooth enamel (1). However, the ADA also states that plain tap water contains needed fluoride If you drink sparkling water exclusively, you may miss out on the dental benefits. Studies have also shown that colas can reduce bone mineral density, but that negative effect was not found with other carbonated beverages, including sparkling water.
Some sparkling waters, such as Club soda, contain sodium. While it may not be of much concern if you only drink 1 or 2 a day, sodium can add up if you consume many of these sparkling beverages each day. Check the Nutrition Facts label of the water you choose to see if it contains sodium.
Reddy A, Norris DF, Momeni SS, Waldo B, Ruby JD. The pH of beverages in the United States. The Journal of the American Dental Association. 2016;147(4):255–263. doi:10.1016/j.adaj.2015.10.019.