You are probably familiar with the dangers of drinking too much soda or carbonated water. However, these beverages have some surprising benefits as well. Carbonated water contains carbon dioxide gas, which makes the liquid bubbly and fizzy. Carbonated water is generally as healthy as regular water. Soda, also known as pop, is a sugary, carbonated soft drink. Soda has more health dangers than pluses; however, it can provide some benefits.
Carbonated water and some types of soda can help to relieve stomach problems, such as indigestion or nausea. A 2002 study published in the “European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology” examined the effect of carbonated water on indigestion. Subjects drank either carbonated water or regular tap water. Researchers found that carbonated water significantly reduced indigestion. Although no research supports the claim, many people drink sodas, especially non-caffeinated beverages, to help reduce nausea.
Constipation is a condition characterized by having bowel movements fewer than three times a week. People with constipation may experience bloating, gas and painful bowel movements. Carbonated water may help to treat constipation in some people, according to the same 2002 study published in “European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.” Researchers had 21 subjects with symptoms of constipation drink carbonated water or regular tap water. The subjects who drank carbonated water had significantly less constipation than the subjects who drank tap water.
Both soda and carbonated water hydrate you as well as regular water. Although many people used to believe that caffeinated drinks, like some sodas, were diuretics and could actually dehydrate you, this is not true in normal amounts. The Mayo Clinic reports that soda can hydrate as well as water and other beverages. However, large doses of caffeine, more than 500 milligrams, can cause dehydration. Carbonated water is just as healthy as regular water as well. Aim to drink 64 ounces of fluids per day to meet your hydration needs.
Although carbonated water and soda may have some health benefits, you should drink these beverages, especially soda, in moderation. Soda is high in sugar, which can cause a number of health problems, including obesity and diabetes. A 12-ounce can of cola, for instance, contains 33 grams of sugar. Although there is no recommended daily value of sugar, the American Heart Institute recommends that women consume 6 teaspoons, or 30 grams, of sugar per day. Soda may also contribute to low mineral density and osteoporosis; however, carbonated water does not seem to affect your bone health, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology: Effects of Carbonated Water on Functional Dyspepsia and Constipation
- The New York Times: Drinking Flat Soda Can Ease an Upset Stomach
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Constipation
- MayoClinic.com: Caffeine -- Is it dehydrating or Not?
- Everyday Health: 10 Soda Alternatives
- USDA Nutrient Database: Nutrient Data for 14400, Carbonated Beverage, Cola, Contains Caffeine
- American Heart Association: Sugars and Carbohydrates
Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Arts in mental health counseling. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher.