Drinking healthy

Is flavored carbonated water a healthy option to plain water?

Most people understand the importance of drinking water and its health benefits. But with so many options of sweet tasting, caffeine laden, fizzy options, it’s hard to reach for plain water. Water products have been evolving in the food industry as quickly as any of the new items in the grocery store. When the mouth becomes dry or there are bodily signals pointing to needing something refreshing, it can be confusing what the recommendations of choosing healthy water or drinks.

Drinking pop (as we call soda in Michigan) regularly can wear away tooth enamel and can cause people to gain weight rather quickly. Many people reach for carbonated water thinking this is a healthy option to drinking pop and are bored with plain water.

There are so many different flavors of carbonated waters and the enticing bubbles give the feeling of drinking a pop. So many of the flavored waters boast a healthy option to water without adding flavors or preservatives. Does this all seem too good to be true? It’s time to find some information about these bubbly options.

It seems as though there are products with added sweeteners and sugar substitutes in some of the carbonated waters on the store’s shelves. The added sweeteners seem to be to culprits to all the health problems associated with consuming high volumes of these types of drinks. These sweeteners cause a depletion of calcium absorption in the body.

In addition to causing problems with calcium uptake in the body, large consumption of pop and having it coat the teeth also increases the amount of tooth enamel decay. Tooth enamel cannot be replaced once it is gone so this artificial flavoring is extremely damaging to teeth.

There are some carbonated waters that do not have added artificial sweeteners and these are the better choice to grab when needing to rehydrate or get the recommended amount of water in for the day. These carbonated drinks do not have added fillers, sugars or sweeteners, so they’re safer to consume at a larger amount. The carbonation can also help in feeling full for longer and also can help some people make the transition from drinking pop (soda) to drinking water.

Michigan State University Extension’s Health and Nutrition Institute has many programs to help the public with their overall wellness goals. Experts from Michigan State University Extension make it possible to make lifestyles healthy for the long haul. 

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