One of my favorite beverages is carbonated water, it is refreshing, zero calories and it is a great alternative to soda. Soda used to be my vice and it really put a damper on things, switching to carbonated water has been a game changer. I used carbonated water for almost all the fasting techniques I use, and I have maintained a pretty decent weight.
There has been some noise circling the carbonated (sparkling) water world in relation to dieting, fitness and fasting. Carbonated water or better known as sparkling water has been around for quite some time. There are several types of sparkling water, quite a bit more with the new era.
There may be some misconceptions of what is good for you and bad for you…as far as fasting or dieting is concerned. In this article we are going to either debunk or confirm some of these topics…a good ole’ pro and con if you will. Let’s dive in – is carbonated water good or bad?
What is Carbonated (sparkling) Water
So what is it, all I knew before starting down a health road was it was cheap, tasted like stale water and had zero nutritional value. Well…most of that is still true believe it or not. But what actually is the stuff?
Carbonated water is water that has been mixed with carbon dioxide under pressure. This is why when you open a can or twist open a top you get the fuzzy sensation of a soda, just love it when it tickles the lips (OK a little weird, but true). There are several types of sparkling water on the market. With that will come different ingredients.
Before we get deep into if carbonated water is good or bad. I want to let you all in on why it is my beverage of choice. Just to give you a little background of my relationship with the bubbly masterpiece. I know that seems extreme, but it has helped me reduce my sugar intake, cut out certain elements of my diet completely and all around made me lose weight. For that I owe fizzy water some gratitude.
Sparkling Water and Fasting
I came across sparkling water as a food suppressant when I was researching fasting. I really never did like the taste much of any sparkling water before this. I started with some intermittent fasting and a pretty “loose diet” plan. I soon introduced sparkling water into my diet, and it helped me 10 fold.
I started drinking sparkling water on a regular basis and haven’t looked back. I know enjoy the taste. Maybe it is acquired, maybe it’s because of the zero everything in it or maybe it is just the satiation.
If you aren’t familiar with the term satiate, it means to satisfy. In the essence of fasting it helps replace meals. It tricks the body into thinking you ate something. It is truly unbelievable how well this tackles the hunger pains. Sparkling water is great on long flight or any type of long travel.
Being hungry is terrible in any situation. If you are someone that is always on the go sparkling water is easy to throw in a bag and go. Some will use coffee to satiate and that is fine, I also use it for that reason. Sparkling water has a refreshing quality that coffee just doesn’t have for me.
When I started fasting, sparkling water was my counterpart and has stuck with me.
I really didn’t want to dive into anything scientific with the ingredients but I would be doing the sparkling water community a disservice if I just had my biased opinion. I am not going to bore you with too many details, but I feel if you have read this far, might as well stay tuned for some fizzy facts.
Sparkling water does have a small list of ingredients. This is where the controversy comes in, this is the panties getting bunched up stage of the game.
Like anything amazing – controversy is everywhere. The Fasting Place is here to go to battle for the carbonated crusader.
Like stated previously there are many types of sparkling water. There are generic brands almost in any grocery store along with name brands like La Croix, Perrier and San Pellegrino to name a few. If you have any questions about what sparkling water may be here is a short list to clear it up:
- Carbonated Water
- Sparkling Water
- Club Soda
- Soda Water
Tonic water is a sparkling water however it doesn’t make the cut in my opinion. The ingredients in tonic water include some sugar and a corn syrup mix.
If you have ever sipped on a Los Pellegrino or Perrier sparkling water you may note the bland and almost over bearing mineral taste (which I enjoy from time to time, actually). This is because it is spring fed water and has an array of minerals and sulfur that are toned down a bit in the production phase.
Some simple facts of sparkling water is that it is carbonated water which is under pressure from mixing it with carbon dioxide gas and there are a few ingredients. If you are on the fence of the carbonated water, I am sure you are just dying to know what these ingredients are? Well there is nothing to hide here, lets reveal this nasty concoction.
The Carbonated Cocktail
There aren’t many ingredients when it comes to carbonated water. There are actually a few variances depending on brand and type of sparkling water. Below I have listed the common ingredients:
- Citric Acid
- Natural Flavors
- Potassium Benzoate
- Potassium Citrate
- Acesulfame Potassium (Ace K)
That is the basic ingredients among all carbonated drinks in one form or another. These ingredients act in conjunction with each other to make this beverage a tasty and satiating one.
This is a soluble organic compound. This is added to sparkling water for flavor. I know the “acid” word seems scary and in fact this may be my biggest con about sparkling water. There have been studies that show over time the acid can eat away at the enamel of your teeth.
On the flip side of this, let’s note that soda – any soda is minimum 100x worse for your teeth. So you can be the judge on that.
These two words may very well be the most controversial words in the health market right now, and there could be an entire thesis written on. In short what “natural flavors” constitutes is that the flavor was derived from a plant or animal, extremely vague.
This is a big problem for some people and if it is for you there are plenty of carbonate water without natural flavors. But here is the thing about it. The FDA doesn’t require any company to include ingredients if they can in fact use the “natural flavor” label.
This doesn’t bother me at all, being a bit of a conspiracy theorist myself. I have bigger fish to fry in this realm.
This is just a salt preservative. There are plenty of forms of preservatives out there. Manufacturers use these to keep perishable goods from “going bad”. That was a simple one.
This is a remedy in most foods or drinks that are acidic. This makes your urine less acidic. See – you get the greatness of an acidic diet and don’t have to feel the pain.
Sucralose is a strongly debated word, it has been debated since it became popular in 1988. You might know this term better if I were to say “Splenda”. That is what this is, an artificial sweetener. Sucralose is strongly debated in the medical world. Because in some studies is has shown insulin and blood sugar levels to go up.
Not all sparkling water has sucralose. And there is such a small level of it in sparkling water a normal human that is used to a little sugar will not notice a difference. I am sure you know some people who have had some sugar or Splenda before?
There will always be a con to a pro when you want to get the medical world involved. Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad.
I would really like to eat “grass fed” steaks all the time, but sometimes the grass has been tainted with the family dog “fertilizing” the pasture, in which he was eating processed dog food. The grass growing isn’t so organic anymore is it? Yes this was a bit of a stretch, but I am sure you see my point…maybe?
My opinion on sucralose is that a little doesn’t matter. I am big fan of almost anything in moderation isn’t going to kill ya’. Sucralose has been approved by the FDA since 1988 and has never been taken off the shelves.
Acesulfame Potassium (Ace K)
Better knows as Ace K Acesulfame Potassium is similar to that of Sucralose. Ace K like Splenda is a calorie free sugar substitute. Ace K is 200x sweeter than sugar which means you don’t need much of it to notice a difference in taste.
Again this is something that isn’t required if you want sparkling water. I enjoy the artificial sweetness. I was a big diet soda drinker and this was my substitute, it has work out quite nicely.
The Fasting Place Favorite Sparkling Water Selection
We have compiled what is in our opinion the best sparkling water out there. We aren’t biased they are all pretty good. We have a good range of price also. The Smartwater is new, and pretty good if you ask me. Enjoy
Summary on the Carbonated Compadre’s Ingredients
I have laid out the ingredients to show you that it really isn’t that bad. These ingredients may have a little controversy, like anything. Besides water there isn’t much that can compare to carbonated water.
There are two sides to every tale and carbonated or sparkling water is not different. So…is carbonated water good or bad?
Like stated before I think anything in moderation is just fine. However I think it is just fine to blow this one out of the water. Drinking sparkling water all day I feel would have no adverse effects on the human body. I know some may disagree with this but I just don’t.
I know plenty of humans that rely on soda all day every day and are somehow just fine. This is the human body at work, always adapting. If a human body can adapt to thousands of grams of sugar, and carbs daily. I do believe the human body can adapt to a few ingredients that don’t even show up on a nutrition label.
I wanted to be detailed with what these ingredients do and how they can effect you and your system. The truth is, that after doing a little research – I feel even better about my choice to stick with sparkling water. If we were to dive in to a diet soda the same we just did with sparkling water….o boy. I might get in trouble for trying to murder someone via blog post.
I want to hear what you have to say. Do you agree? Disagree? Do you have an experience with a certain drink that you just love or have diet benefits from. All questions welcome.
Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day