Have you ever asked yourself or your friend if flavored sparkling water bad for you is? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.
If you crave the fizz of a carbonated drink but are trying to cut back on soda, you may be wondering if flavored sparkling water is any better for you.
So, is flavored sparkling water bad for you? Although they have no calories and are certainly not as bad for you as soda, this does not automatically mean that they are healthy. Flavored sparkling waters can cause some gastrointestinal issues such as gas and bloating, and in some cases, sparkling water can even make you hungrier and cause you to overeat.
The rest of this article will go into detail about why sparkling water is not necessarily good for you, what types of issues they can cause, and what you should look out for if you are trying to cut back.
Table of Contents
Is flavored sparkling water bad for you?
Although flavored sparkling waters are certainly better for you than most sugary sodas, they are not necessarily healthy.
Many brands of fruit-flavored water still include added flavorings and sweeteners which can be just as bad for you as soda can.
Even if there is not as much sugar in flavored sparkling water, the ingredients can interact with your stomach and cause gastrointestinal issues.
Can sparkling water cause diarrhea?
Yes, flavored sparkling water can sometimes cause diarrhea. This is most likely to occur the more other added ingredients there are in the sparkling water.
If there are lots of artificial sweeteners or flavorings included, these ingredients can react negatively with your stomach acid and create an upset stomach—sometimes including diarrhea.
Many people who suffer from IBS (known as irritable bowel syndrome) also experience sparkling water as a trigger for episodes including diarrhea.
Can sparkling water cause gas and bloating?
Yes. In fact, sparkling water is much more likely to cause gas and bloating than it will diarrhea, even though it still can cause diarrhea. There are a few different ways that sparkling water can lead to gas and bloating.
Firstly, carbonated waters include carbon dioxide gas in order to create the fizziness. When you drink these sparkling waters, that carbon dioxide then makes its way into your stomach, where it can create a buildup of gas.
This gas must then come out one way or another, resulting in belching or flatulence!
Secondly, drinking sparkling waters may result in you swallowing an excess of air while drinking. This is especially likely to occur if you drink very quickly.
When you swallow excess air, like gas, it becomes trapped in your stomach or gastrointestinal tract, and it must come back out again. This can lead to gas and bloating.
Are added sugars and flavorings bad?
Added sugars and flavorings are more likely to interact with your stomach acid and create a negative gastrointestinal reaction. Doctors also warn that these ingredients may alter your gut’s microbiome.
Are naturally flavored sparkling waters better?
You should always be skeptical when you read “natural flavorings” on the ingredients label of a sparkling water. Just because something is natural does not mean that it is healthy—or that it really occurs in nature.
Scientists can create “natural flavors” in a lab, making specific tastes out of other ingredients extracted from plants or animals.
So, these flavors may still be called “natural,” but it is a lot different from squeezing a slice of lemon into your water!
No matter whether an ingredient label says that it includes sugars or only “natural” flavors, you should still be wary and careful about what you are consuming.
These waters are not necessarily good for you, and can still cause the same negative reactions as other carbonated beverages.
Can sparkling water make me overeat?
Yes, some studies have shown that carbonation in drinks causes a hormone called ghrelin to vastly increase. This hormone is what is responsible for making you feel hungry.
So, when your ghrelin level shoots up, it makes you want to eat more, leading to overeating since you are not experiencing normal, healthy hunger cues.
Should I cut back on sparkling water?
Generally, you can drink about 300ml of sparking water before gastrointestinal symptoms begin to appear.
If you are regularly drinking more than this per day, it may be worth it to either cut back, or to take a long look at the ingredients lists that comprise the brands you prefer to drink.
If you experience a lot of negative symptoms that you believe may be tied to your consumption of bubly sparkling water, but you do not necessarily want to stop drinking it, you can conduct a process of elimination using the ingredients lists.
Slowly remove one ingredient at a time from what you consume in order to figure out which ingredients cause you to react negatively.
Can I make flavored sparkling water myself?
Yes, you can! There are machines which can add carbonation to water for you, and you can add flavoring to any water.
In fact, creating flavored sparkling water yourself can be a much healthier option than purchased flavored sparkling water. This is because you are able to control exactly what goes into the water you create.
You can add clean, regular fruit to water to create a delicious fruit flavored infused water. Although this will surely not be as sweet as purchased sparkling water, it will still taste good, and your taste buds will adapt to the less sweet flavor before you know it.
Then, you will be consuming less sugar—and real, actual natural flavors!
So, are flavored sparkling waters bad for you? The answer is, well, kind of. While they are certainly not as unhealthy as sodas or other sugary carbonated drinks, the truth is that many sparkling water brands contain just as many added sugars and flavorings as some sodas.
Even if it does not contain lots of added ingredients, flavored sparkling waters can still cause some symptoms of upset stomachs, such as gas, bloating, and even diarrhea.
It can also make you hungrier, leading to overeating. It is best to cut back on sparkling waters and keep your intake to less than 300ml per day.
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