I drink a lot of unsweetened selzer. Does it have the same health benefits as drinking regular water?
There is still water, and then there is what my 4-year-old calls “spicy water”. This is commonly known as selzer or sparkling water. Refreshing, foaming, effervescent carbonated water has become a daily ritual for many. A growing segment of the beverage industry with annual sales of over $ 4 billion today In the United States.
For those who crave it, carbonated water provides a sensory experience not possible with flat water. Pull back on the can tab and you’ll have a satisfying snap. The sound of fizz when loosening the bottle cap and pouring a glass. There is a tingling sensation when the drink hits the tongue, sometimes with hints of “natural” flavor.
Water is still great for hydration, but “you’ll be amazed at how many people don’t like the taste and don’t want to drink it,” said Anne Ringe, a registered dietitian at the University of Washington Medical Center. Seattle. “Adding carbonation may make it more acceptable.”
It may be more acceptable, but is it just as healthy?
Nutritionists agree that carbonated water (a category that includes artificially carbonated Selzer water and naturally shining water) hydrates like regular water, but tap water prevents tooth decay. There are additional benefits of fluoride that can help.
“If you use carbonated water for brushing, cooking, and hydrating, you can also include carbonated water in your diet,” says Ringe.
However, keep in mind that carbonated water is more acidic in the mouth than flat water.
Foaming water contains carbon dioxide, which when mixed with saliva is converted to carbonic acid, which lowers the pH level of the mouth. The pH scale indicates whether the solution is more acidic (lower pH) or alkaline (higher pH). Drinks with low pH can erode teeth and are susceptible to tooth decay. However, unsweetened carbonated water is not as erosive as soda and fruit juice. 2016 survey Published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.
Some carbonated water brands contain ingredients such as citric acid for taste that can increase acidity levels. Adding your own slices of lemon or lime has a similar effect. And since the ingredient list often says “natural flavor”, Difficult to know Just added.
Still, “a significant amount of consumption is required throughout the day to have the same harmful effects found in fruit juices and sodas,” said Dr. Brittany Seymour, an associate professor at Harvard Dental School. increase. A spokeswoman for the American Dental Association.
Conclusion: Carbonated water can still be eroded, so think of it as a daily treat, not as your main source of water, Dr. Seymour said.
“If you want to drink two or three sodas a day, combine it with your diet,” she added.
When you eat, your mouth produces additional saliva that can help neutralize the acid on the surface of your teeth.
If you prefer to drink alone without food — Dr. Seymour usually drinks sugar-free selzer when cooking dinner — use a straw to help the water bypass your teeth. In general, do not drink for more than an hour. Drinking carbonated water for a long time will increase the amount of time your teeth are exposed to acidity.
If you like carbonated water and like to drink it multiple times a day without meals, consider brushing your teeth later with fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay. According to Dr. Seymour, wait at least 30 minutes after your last drink.
Why? The acidity of carbonated water softens the enamel of the teeth. Taking a break gives you the opportunity to remineralize the enamel and return it to its normal hardened state. This is an ideal surface for brushing due to its high resistance to abrasives.
If you have a kid who likes to indulge in bubbling water, “I generally think it’s okay,” said Dr. Seymour. But she added, “I wouldn’t do it every day with my daughter.” Ideally, she said parents should encourage their children to drink quiet fluoridated water to prevent tooth decay and book sparkling water for special occasions.
Carbonated drinks can also cause gas and bloating, but to varying degrees.
“When you swallow soda, you burp or go through the flatulence because it has to come out somewhere,” said Courtney Schukman, a registered dietitian at the University of Chicago, who specializes in gastrointestinal health. rice field. “If you already have gas and bloating problems, it can cause more symptoms for you.”
Carbonation can also exacerbate acid reflux, resulting in a “filling effect”, which may reduce your appetite by causing bloating in your abdomen, she added.
Regardless of the type of water he likes, he aims to drink about half his body weight in ounces daily, most of which is flat water, Schuchmann said. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink about 75 ounces of water to rehydrate.
Another thing to keep in mind: Many people think that club soda and Selzer water are interchangeable, but club soda usually contains sodium.
“For those who monitor blood pressure, that’s something to consider,” Schuchmann said. “It depends on what the rest of your diet looks like and how much sodium comes from other sources.”
Is Selzer water as healthy as flat water?
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