With so many reports about the link between dehydration and carbonated beverages, it's often difficult to know which drinks are considered unhealthy. Sparkling water seems like it would be a good beverage choice, but some people wonder about its' carbonation. Understanding a few basic concepts about water and dehydration, should clear up any confusion. Sparkling water does not dehydrate you.
Drinking water is the best way to quench your thirst and keep your body hydrated. It comes in many forms and is the most natural beverage that you can choose to drink. Water also has numerous health benefits.
Sparkling water is a "blanket term" for water in which carbon dioxide gas has been dissolved, creating carbonation. Some brands are artificially carbonated, similar to the way soft drinks are made. Other brands of sparkling water, like Perrier, are naturally carbonated by minerals. Sparkling water is also known as seltzer or soda water.
Miriam-Webster.com defines the word dehydrate as "to lose water or body fluids." Your body needs to take in more fluid than it loses. In general, the food and beverages you consume will keep you from dehydrating. However, be mindful of dehydration when you exercise or when you are in extreme heat, as you lose more fluids in these conditions. The simplest way to address dehydration concerns is to drink plenty of water, flat or sparkling, each day.
Many health stories center on dehydration and other negative effects that result from consuming large amounts of "carbonated beverages." It is important to note that caffeine (not carbonation) causes dehydration. Caffeine can cause your kidneys to produce more urine which may lead to dehydration. Many popular types of cola contain caffeine and are unhealthy in large quantities. However carbonated drinks without caffeine (like sparkling water) are usually safer to consume.
While drinking sparkling water will not dehydrate you, the carbonation in the water often makes you feel fuller because your body has to process the carbon acids. Most people tend to drink sparkling water slower than "flat" or "still" water and they consume less of it.
Many doctors and nutritionists agree that consuming eight glasses of water each day is a good way to keep your body properly hydrated under normal conditions. This daily intake might include "flat" or tap water, sparkling water, non-caffeinated teas and other water-based beverages.