Have you ever asked yourself or your friend if carbonated water bloat you? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.
Carbonated beverages have been associated with a number of health concerns in recent years, with many online claiming it causes weight gain, tooth decay, excessive bloating, and gas, and many claims it causes IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
In reality, how many of these claims really stand up, or are they just hot air? Let’s take a look at one of the most likely health concerns.
So, does carbonated water bloat you? Yes, like any other carbonated beverage, all carbonated water drinks (e.g. LaCroix, San Pellegrino, Perrier) can cause gas and bloat. This is due to the release of carbon dioxide into the digestive system, which is either released as a belch or can move down the stomach and cause the intestine to bloat.
Americans are drinking more carbonated water than ever before. Customers are looking for healthier choices and manufacturers are lining up with their new carbonated offerings.
But can major soda manufacturers like Pepsico and Coca-Cola be trusted to make a healthy, zero-calorie, and unsweetened drink? Are carbonated water drinks even healthy, and do they cause any side effects?
Let’s take a look.
Table of Contents
What’s in carbonated water?
Carbonated water is known by many various names (soda water, sparkling water, fizzy water, club soda, seltzer water) but essentially, all use the same simple concept of infusing freshwater with gas, giving it the bubbles.
Carbonated water is simply water containing dissolved carbon dioxide gas that is infused with the water under high pressure. The water used to make carbonated water is typically mineral spring water.
Carbonated water products usually have small concentrations of chemicals such as sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, potassium citrate, potassium sulfate, or disodium phosphate.
Are the ingredients healthy?
While all of these chemicals may sound harmful, when consumed in the quantities found in carbonated water, they are actually harmless to the body.
Carbonated water by itself, has not proven to be damaging to your health.
The one notable side effect of consuming carbon dioxide gas in some people is it can cause bloating, indigestion, or gas.
A little bloating may not be a huge concern for most people, and in fact, studies have shown that carbonated water can improve digestion.
However, for people with intestinal issues, bloating is a painful experience and is best avoided.
Does carbonated water contain other additives?
Yes, some carbonated water manufacturers add certain ingredients to their products.
Be sure to check the label of any product as some use sugars, artificial sweeteners, and sodium in their carbonated water products.
Here are some examples:
- Club soda contains sodium
- Tonic water contains a high amount of sugars and is considered high in calories
- Flavored sparkling water will often contain natural or artificial sweeteners, flavoring such as citric acid, or caffeine and sodium
Does carbonated water cause IBS?
Currently, there are no conclusive studies to confirm that IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is directly caused by drinking carbonated water.
One symptom that will flare up and cause irritation of the digestive tract for people with IBS is bloating and gas and this is commonly associated with the excessive consumption of carbonated drinks, including carbonated water.
This is because the carbon dioxide bubbles found in carbonated drinks are usually dissolved as we drink them, but some will find their way to the intestine where they need to be expelled.
Excess gases that are not expelled sit in the stomach and make their way through the digestive tract, causing it to bloat, which may cause serious discomfort for those with IBS or other similar intestinal problems.
Can you drink too much carbonated water?
Excessive consumption of any carbonated beverage is likely to lead to bloating or excessive gas, which one way or another, will need to be released from the body.
The further down the gas travels into the gut and intestines, the more uncomfortable it can become.
Symptoms caused by excessive drinking?
People who consume large quantities of carbonated water (or other carbonated drinks) will typically have issues with excessive gas or bloating.
Studies have conclusively linked too much fizz with gas and bloating, however, many find it hard to reduce their intake of carbonated water as there are no other viable health concerns.
People who are affected by IBS or other intestinal issues should avoid any carbonated drinks, including carbonated water.
Is carbonated water more healthy than other drinks?
One thing is certain, carbonated water is a far healthier alternative to other sugary or sweetened fizzy drinks.
The high concentration of sugars, artificial flavoring, and sweeteners found in fizzy drinks such as Coca-Cola have been linked to many health issues including prolonged bloating, stomach cramps, inflammation, weight gain, and obesity.
Non-carbonated still water is one of the best sources for daily hydration (other than still water) and offers zero-calories.
Still, water is a high source of many minerals including magnesium, which draws water into the intestines and is shown to aid constipation symptoms.
Still, water and mineral water are also proven to lower blood pressure, and improve circulation, along with a long list of other health benefits.
America’s thirst for carbonated water is only increasing and is now a multi-billion dollar industry.
Consumers looking for a healthy alternative to sugary flavored fizzy drinks have found carbonated water a good substitute, but consumers should be warned that excessive consumption of carbonated water can cause bloating and gas.
Not all carbonated water products we find in our stores are made the same.
Always check the label as many manufacturers use additives such as sugars, sodium, artificial flavoring, or sweeteners to make their products tastier and appealing to customers.
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