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"It's Like Our Mouth Becomes A Cup Of Acid": Here's What The Experts Have To Say About How Sparkling Water Affects Our Health

A woman holding a glass of sparkling water with lemon

Is sparkling water as hydrating as regular water?

To start with the good news, I interviewed Ronald Maughan. Maughan is a professor at the St. Andrews University School of Medicine in Scotland and one of the authors of a 2016 study that compared the hydrating effects of various beverages.

According to Maughan, the carbonation in sparkling water has negligible effects on its hydrating powers as compared with flat water. "Most sparkling water is only lightly carbonated, and much of the CO2 disappears on pouring drinks and on letting them stand."

Illustrated soda can labeled "H2O now with CO2!"
A sweaty man drinking bottled water

Is sparkling water as healthy as regular water?

There's good news about sparkling water on the nutrition front as well. I reached out to Jen Baum, a registered dietitian nutritionist and one of the hosts of the podcast Nutrition for Mortals. Baum says sparkling water can be a great, healthy bev of choice for anyone who's not really a fan of flat water.

"Sparkling water can also just be a nice change from regular water too," Baum says. "Most of us enjoy variety, and I think that applies to the beverages we drink." She says she's a fan of the bubbly stuff too, adding, "Grapefruit Spindrift all the way!"

If you've ever accidentally had nothing to drink but soda water all day long, Baum says it won't affect your nutrition. "I’d rather have people hydrating themselves with beverages they enjoy than potentially not drinking enough during the day."

Illustration of a glass of seltzer with fruit in it
Magnifying glass on a nutrition facts label

Does sparkling water damage your teeth?

Unfortunately, when it comes to your luxury bones (aka teeth), dentist Dr. Cerisa Moncayo had to burst my bubble. When you drink sparkling water, a chemical reaction in your mouth turns carbon dioxide into carbonic acid. And acid erodes tooth enamel.

"Enamel is our tooth's outermost, protective structure," says Moncayo. "When tooth enamel is compromised, it leads to a host of dental issues, like tooth decay (cavities), weakened teeth, or sensitivity."

A dentist looking at a patient's teeth
Illustration of a small glass of seltzer with lemon lime and a straw