Is Flavored Seltzer Water Bad For You? – The Shocking Truth

You love the refreshing fizz and hint of flavor that flavored seltzer water provides, but have you ever wondered if it’s good for you? It isn’t bad for you, but there are a few things to remember while making a seltzer water habit.

Flavored seltzer water has become incredibly popular recently, with numerous brands offering a wide range of delicious flavors. But as with any trend, it’s important to separate fact from fiction and determine if there are any potential downsides to indulging in this bubbly beverage.

This article will examine the ingredients commonly found in flavored seltzer water and discuss any potential health concerns associated with consuming it regularly. By the end, you’ll understand whether flavored seltzer water is right for you.

What is Seltzer Water?

Seltzer, carbonated, sparkling, or soda water, is simply water infused with carbon dioxide gas to create a bubbly beverage. It generally contains no added sugar, artificial sweeteners, or other additives and can be flavored by adding natural fruit extracts.

Seltzer water is naturally calorie-free and contains no sodium or carbohydrates. As such, it is often an appealing choice for people looking to reduce their sugar and calorie intake.

Potential Health Concerns

While flavored seltzer water may be a better alternative to sugary sodas or artificially sweetened drinks, some potential health concerns are still associated with drinking it in large quantities. The carbonation found in seltzer water can cause bloating and gas; over time, it can lead to enamel erosion on your teeth.

Additionally, some flavored seltzer waters may contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners, so it is important to check the label for any potential ingredients that could be unhealthy.

Are sparkling waters healthy to drink?

While carbonated waters like sparkling water and flavored versions may be appealing for their zero-calorie content, it’s important to note that they may not necessarily be considered healthy choices. The carbonation process involves adding pressurized carbon dioxide to water, which can have certain effects on our bodies.

Research suggests that carbonated drinks can cause the hunger hormone ghrelin to increase, potentially leading to overeating and weight gain. A study involving rats found that carbon dioxide in drinks caused a rise in ghrelin levels. Similarly, the study observed increased ghrelin levels in humans after consuming carbonated drinks.

Furthermore, flavored sparkling waters often rely on artificial sweeteners such as stevia, aspartame, and sucralose to enhance their taste. Despite having zero calories or being derived from plants, these sweeteners can be problematic.

They are significantly sweeter than sugar, ranging from 200 to 20,000 times sweeter. Consuming such intense sweetness can lead to cravings for unhealthy sweets and even alter the perception of naturally sweet foods like fruits.

This, in turn, may make it more challenging to enjoy the natural sweetness of fruits and lead to a preference for artificially sweetened options.

Moreover, long-term consumption of artificial sweeteners has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, weight gain, and other health issues. Some studies suggest that individuals who regularly consume higher amounts of artificial sweeteners over several decades have a significantly higher risk of stroke and dementia.

Considering these factors, it’s important to be mindful of the potential effects of carbonated waters, especially those with added flavors and artificial sweeteners.

Opting for water or unsweetened beverages as alternatives can be healthier for overall well-being. Consulting with a healthcare professional or nutritionist can provide personalized guidance on the best choices for your specific dietary needs.

Can sparkling water affect bone density?

The common question of whether carbonated or sparkling water can affect bone density has recently been addressed. It’s natural for people to assume that the phosphoric acid in cola-based drinks could weaken bones, but thankfully, researchers have found that this is not the case with sparkling water.

The acidic content would only affect bones if it were accompanied by phosphorus, which isn’t present in most major brands of carbonated waters. Studies have shown that these bubbly beverages may even benefit bone health.

Drinking sparkling water can supplement calcium intake due to its alkaline pH level. If too much acidic content is detected in the body, calcium will be broken down to balance the pH level and eliminated through urine.

Since carbonated waters don’t contain phosphorus, they won’t interrupt calcium absorption and help facilitate it. Replacing sugary sodas with sparkling water can also lessen the risk of developing other medical conditions, such as diabetes and obesity – all linked to low bone density.

Does Carbonated Water Lead to Tooth Decay?

The research is somewhat mixed when discussing carbonated water and its relationship to tooth decay. On the one hand, a study conducted on flavored sparkling waters found that the presence of citric acid in the fruit flavoring could weaken the enamel of teeth.

However, according to dental hygienist Kasey Linge, this doesn’t apply to sparkling water without added sugar. A separate study found that any potential erosion from carbonated water was still very low compared to other beverages like soft drinks or orange juice, which can be up to 100 times more corrosive.

While drinking sparking water may not be ideal for dental health, it is much safer than sugary alternatives. It may even offer hydration benefits as plain sparkling water contains fewer additives and chemicals than standard beverages.

While more research is needed in this area, current findings suggest that if consumed in moderation and without added sugar flavorings, individuals should be able to enjoy carbonated water without experiencing negative impacts on their dental health.

Should I Stop Consuming Sparkling Water?

When it comes to the question of whether or not you should stop consuming sparkling water, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Sparkling water can be a great beverage choice but should be consumed in moderation.

The main ingredient in most flavored sparkling waters is carbonated water, which contains no calories or sugar. While this makes them an excellent choice for people looking to reduce their sugar intake, it is important to remember that sparkling water can still contain added flavors and preservatives.

Additionally, some brands of carbonated water may contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame or sucralose, which can have negative health implications when consumed in large quantities.

Ultimately, the decision to stop consuming sparkling water should be based on an individual’s health needs and personal preferences. If you’re unsure, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional for further advice.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1: Is Flavored Seltzer Water Bad For You?

Flavored seltzer water is generally not bad for you, but choosing options with no added sugars or artificial sweeteners is essential. Opting for natural flavors and no-calorie or low-calorie options can make flavored seltzer water healthier than sugary sodas and carbonated beverages.

It is important to note that excessive consumption of any acidic drinks, including flavored seltzer water, may slightly impact tooth enamel. Moderation is key to maintaining dental health.

2: What Is The Difference Between Sparkling Water And Seltzer Water?

Sparkling water is typically sourced from natural mineral springs, while seltzer water is artificially carbonated plain water. Both carbonated waters are considered healthy alternatives to sugary sodas as they have no sugar or calories.

However, flavored sparkling water and seltzer water may contain natural flavors and citric acid, so you must check labels for additives if you have specific dietary concerns.

3: Can Flavored Seltzer Water Cause Digestive Issues?

Flavored seltzer water itself is unlikely to cause digestive issues. However, if you have a sensitive stomach or suffer from conditions such as acid reflux or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the carbonation in any carbonated beverage might trigger discomfort. It’s best to monitor any personal reactions and consult with a dietitian or nutritionist, especially if you have pre-existing gastrointestinal issues.

4: Does Flavored Seltzer Water Affect Calcium Absorption?

Flavored seltzer water is not expected to impact calcium absorption significantly. Carbonated water, including flavored varieties, generally does not contain enough carbonic acid to affect calcium levels in the body.

However, if you’re concerned about calcium intake, obtaining enough calcium-rich foods is always wise or consulting a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

5: Are There Any Alternatives To Flavored Seltzer Water?

Yes, there are several alternatives to flavored seltzer water. Plain water is always the healthiest option and the best choice for hydration. Additionally, fresh fruit-infused water can provide a naturally flavored and refreshing alternative.

Unsweetened herbal teas or diluted fruit juice can offer variety without compromising health. Experiment with different options to find what suits your taste and satisfies your thirst while maintaining a well-balanced diet.


Flavored seltzer water can be a healthier alternative to sugary sodas and carbonated beverages. However, it is important to note that some brands may contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners, so checking labels is essential. Additionally, excessive consumption of any acidic drinks may slightly impact tooth enamel, and certain individuals may experience gastrointestinal discomfort from the carbonation. Ultimately, moderating your intake according to your needs and preferences is the best way to maintain your health.


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