Here's What Happens to Your Body If You Drink Sparkling Water Every Day

Since it isn’t exactly healthy to pop open a can of soda to have with your meal, sparkling water has become the better-for-you alternative when it comes to enjoying a fizzy beverage. Every sparkling water connoisseur has their favorite brand—whether it’s La Croix (in the pamplemousse flavor, of course), Spindrift or the classic Perrier.

But have you ever stopped to wonder how drinking sparkling water actually affects the body? Hey, it's water, which is vital for health and longevity, but does the fact that it's not the plain variety matter? Everything we eat and drink has some sort of impact—especially what we consume every day. If you drink sparkling water regularly, here’s what you need to know about how it’s affecting your body.

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Is Sparkling Water Healthy?

Before getting into how sparkling water affects the body, it’s important to consider its nutritional content. Amanda Sauceda, RDN, a registered dietitian who focuses on gut health, says that, in general, sparkling water is a healthy beverage choice. “It can be a tasty way to meet your hydration goals,” she says. “Having sparkling water can be refreshing and add a little flavor without adding sugar.”

Kirsten Jackson, RDN, a registered dietitian specializing in irritable bowel syndrome, agrees, saying that sparkling water is a better drink choice than soda, which is loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners.

That said, as with most products, not all sparkling waters are created equal. If you drink sparkling water regularly and you want to ensure your drink choice supports your health goals instead of distracting from them, both dietitians say to check out the ingredients list. If the sparkling water you’re eying contains sugar or artificial ingredients, you’re better off trading it for another one that isn’t. If you’re someone who has a sensitive stomach, Jackson says to avoid sparkling waters with sweeteners such as maltitol or sorbitol, which can cause bloating or diarrhea for some.

If the sparkling water you’re drinking is simply made with carbonated water and either natural flavors or fruit, you have yourself a healthy beverage option. Now comes the big question: what happens to your body when you drink it every day?

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What Happens If You Drink Sparkling Water Every Day: How It Affects Your Body

As Sauceda has explained, sparkling water can be a helpful beverage to stock up on if you don’t like the taste of plain water. “This is a great use of sparkling water as it counts towards hydration,” Jackson agrees. She says that being better hydrated will make someone feel more energized, less constipated, experience fewer headaches, and help prevent dry skin. But she emphasizes that this would be true if someone is hydrating with plain H2O too—not just sparkling.

In fact, even though sparkling water can help with meeting hydration goals, Sauceda doesn’t recommend relying on it as your main form of hydration. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding fruit, vegetables or herbs to it, like a slice of lemon, orange or cucumber.

If you’re used to drinking plain water but decide to start incorporating sparkling water into your day, both dietitians say you can expect a few side effects. One is burping. “The bubbles in the sparkling water can make you burp,” Sauceda explains simply. However, the burps don’t have a negative impact on the body.

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Both dietitians say that drinking sparkling water every day also ups the chances of feeling bloated or gassy—another side effect of the carbonation. Sauceda says that, for most people, this doesn’t tend to happen if their sparkling water intake is capped at 12 ounces a day, but if you’re drinking more than that, you’re likely to experience some bloat. Both dietitians also reiterate that if the sparkling water you’re drinking has sugar alcohol, this ups the chances of burping and feeling gassy even more. Sauceda adds that some people may experience diarrhea if they are particularly sensitive to sugar alcohols.

While carbonated water doesn't cause irritable bowel syndrome, it can trigger flare-ups, according to 2017 research.

According to Sauceda, what you pair with your sparkling water matters too. If you’re pairing it with foods like beans, lentils, peas, cabbage, onions, broccoli, cauliflower or whole grains, you’re more likely to burp more or feel gassy. While these side effects are unpleasant, they don’t have a harmful effect on the body.

Both dietitians say that there’s a major tell-tale sign that you’re drinking too much sparkling water: it’s destroying your teeth. Jackson points out that since sparkling water is slightly acidic, it can cause tooth enamel to break down if consumed in excess. So if you’re noticing any changes in your teeth, consider it your sign to cut back on your favorite fizzy water. A 2018 study found carbonated water could negatively effect tooth enamel.

In general, both dietitians say that drinking sparkling water every day is not going to negatively affect the body—as long as you keep it in moderation. But you may experience more burping and gassiness than you do otherwise. It also bears repeating that nothing replaces plain water when it comes to hydration. Sometimes, keeping it simple really is best.

Next up, learn precisely how water effects weight loss