Embrace the bubbles: Is seltzer water good for you?

Seltzer water, or sparkling water, or carbonated water … whatever you want to call it, it seems to be all the craze these days. But following closely on the heels of seltzer’s rise to popularity is a rise in concern about its health risks.

According to Ashley Simper, manager of dietetic services and food and nutrition dietetic internship director for OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center, seltzer lovers don’t need to worry. She said people should be getting at least 64 ounces of no-calorie fluid every day, and seltzer is a healthy way to achieve that.

So if you’re bonkers for bubbles, you can rest easy. There are no known health risks.

“If people like seltzer better than plain water, they can use it as an alternative,” Simper said. “It hydrates you just the same.”

Seltzer water doesn’t erode your tooth enamel, increasing your risk of cavities or decay. It doesn’t cause calcium to leach from your bones, making them more brittle. And like plain water, seltzer water often contains no calories or sugar.

A healthy alternative

“Bottom line, it can be a healthy alternative to beverages with added sugars or calories, like soda, fruit juice and fruit punch,” Simper said.

Beverage Sugar Calories
12-ounce can of popular cola brand 39 grams 140
12-ounce can of popular peach tea 34 grams 150
8 ounces of popular all-natural apple juice 28 grams 120

There are seltzer waters with sugar added for flavoring, so check the label for sugar content and calorie count before you buy. Diet sodas often have no calories or sugar, and in moderation can be a better choice than regular soda. However, sodas of any kind – diet or regular – do not hydrate your body as well as plain or seltzer water.

Also, people with digestive issues should probably avoid seltzer water because it can cause an increase in gas and bloating.

Hard seltzer, like all alcoholic beverages, should be consumed in moderation. But hard seltzer, or mixed drinks made with seltzer, tend to be lower in carbs when compared to other alcoholic beverages.

Last Updated: June 21, 2021

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About Author: Ken Harris

Ken Harris is the proudest father and was a writing coordinator for the Marketing & Communications division of OSF HealthCare.

He has a bachelor's in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked as a daily newspaper reporter for four years before leaving the field and eventually finding his way to OSF HealthCare.

In his free time, Ken likes reading, fly fishing, hanging out with his dog and generally pestering his lovely, patient wife.

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Categories: Diet & Exercise