It’s famously recommended that to stay hydrated you need to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. But because of this acidity, you may be wondering if sparkling water can help you hit that target.
Well, in our article we’ll be taking a look if sparkling water is hydrating, and if it can be beneficial to runners.
Regular Water Vs Sparkling Water: What’s The Difference?
The biggest ingredients in carbonated water (i.e. seltzer water or sparkling water) are carbon dioxide and water.
But some kinds of sparkling water have added flavorings and minerals like sodium chloride, potassium sulfate, and sodium bicarbonate.
Let’s take a look at the most popular types of carbonated water:
- Mineral Water: The gas in mineral water is naturally occurring, but it can be fortified with extra carbon dioxide, either artificially or from the same water source.
- Soda Water: As well as carbon dioxide, this water also has sodium bicarbonate and potentially additional compounds in order to regulate the acidity.
- Seltzer or Sparkling Water: This kind of water is tap water that’s been artificially carbonated and filtrated.
- Tonic Water: This is mineralized and carbonated water with quinine. This makes it taste bitter, but this tends to be subdued with flavorings and sweeteners.
When water dissolves in carbon dioxide, its pH decreases which leads to a beverage that is on the acidic side. This leaves it fizzy, and this may be more appealing to some people than regular water.
Is Sparkling Water Better Than Still Water?
When it comes to still water versus sparkling water, it’s best to pick the option that allows you to drink more water and keep you hydrated during the day.
If you like the fizz caused by carbon dioxide, then you should go for sparkling water if it means you will drink more water.
Still, some studies have found that the sparkling water’s effervescence has a powerful ability to suppress thirst, which may paradoxically lead to you drinking less water.
But still, you may find that carbonation has a positive effect on how much water you drink.
However, both still and sparkling water are hydrating, and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) even encourages drinking sparkling water if you don’t like drinking still water.
Is It Good To Drink Sparkling Water Before You Run?
No, we wouldn’t recommend drinking sparkling water before you run. Sparkling water is great for a drink after a run.
Most athletes taking part in a long-distance run – like a marathon – tend to go for carbonated water when they’re nearing the end of their challenge.
Minerals like magnesium and potassium give your body the electrolytes contained in soda drinks. Electrolytes are a great way to boost your hydration levels.
But carbonated water isn’t just a great way to stay hydrated while running. It’s also a great way to stay hydrated following a run.
Drinking sparkling water before a run can lead to gas and bloating. To avoid this, we recommend drinking still water.
Carbonated soda drinks are a great alternative to soda drinks full of sugar and it’s alright to enjoy these in moderation. However, regular tap water is still the best option.
If you want to run following a night of drinking, we would also recommend sparkling water for its hangover benefits.
It replaces nutrients, and bubbles can soothe an unsettled stomach and relieve nausea.
The Pros Of Runners Drinking Sparkling Water
Yes, you read that right! You can sip on sparkling water without worrying about calories.
Good to know if you’re trying to lose weight or want a healthier alternative to traditional fizzy soda.
Lots Of Variety Available
Because sparkling mineral water tends to taste pretty bitter if you’re unused to it, it’s nice to know that you can ease yourself in and experiment with different, more pleasantly flavored fizzy drinks.
You can add lemon or lime slices to make a refreshing summer drink, or strawberry or cucumber to add a touch of sweetness to your sparkling water.
The Cons Of Runners Drinking Sparkling Water
Can Lead To Bloating
Due to the risk of bloating, this is why we recommend you drink sparkling water following a run.
Although drinks with carbon dioxide tend not to be high in chemicals or sugars like other soft drinks, they still do contain carbohydrates. These bubbles can lead to bloating, which is uncomfortable when running.
This is particularly important to keep in mind if you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as it can lead to a flare up of symptoms and worsen them.
Can Damage Teeth
This is more of an issue when talking about flavored sodas.The CO2 used to carbonate these drinks is very acidic, which can lead to tooth decay.
But we want to emphasize the word ‘can’ as this isn’t necessarily guaranteed with sparkling water! Plus, you need to drink lots of this stuff before indications of decay become noticeable.
Carbonated soda and seltzer are usually considered better for your teeth than sodas and sports drinks.
It’s worth noting that some brands of sparkling soda contain added sugars, which takes them from carbonated sodas to being sweetened drinks.
So keep in mind that plain water is always the better option for your teeth.
We hope our article has answered the eternal question: does sparkling water hydrate you?
For athletes, sparkling water may be dwarfing drinks with nutrients such as milk or orange juice in popularity.
However, sparkling water can lead to you feeling uncomfortably bloated while running, and this is why still water is generally still considered king.
Some people are also concerned that soda or carbonated drinks will reduce bone density.
However, carbonation has been proven not to cause this problem. Rather, the caffeine content in cola is more responsible.
Ultimately, sparkling water is just as hydrating as regular water and so can contribute to your daily intake of water. Indeed, the fizziness can even boost the hydrating effects.
Still, the most hydrating types of sparkling water are the ones without sweeteners or added sugar.