When it comes to seltzer water, you either love it or hate it. There’s not much room for anything in-between. In my case, I love pouring a glass of seltzer water anytime I’m craving a soda. It gives me the same carbonated fulness I get from soda, but without the harmful flavorings or colorings.
I’ve also believed over the years that seltzer water is good for me and can help me stay hydrated. Well, I finally decided to see if my belief is based in fact or fiction. So I did a little research into the matter over the weekend. Here’s what I learned about seltzer water and its benefits.
What Seltzer Water Is and Isn’t
Seltzer water is sometimes confused with other types of carbonated waters. But it’s not the same thing as tonic water, club soda or sparkling mineral water. Each of these types of carbonated beverages look exactly the same, but they are created using different methods.
Seltzer water is the simplest of these four different types of carbonated water. It is created using only plain water carbonated with carbon dioxide.
Seltzer water is not sparkling mineral water, which is full of dissolved solids such as magnesium, potassium and sodium. It’s also not tonic water, which has a bitter flavor and contains sugar. Seltzer water most closely resembles club soda, but it doesn’t contain sodium citrate, disodium phosphate or sodium bicarbonate. It’s just plain water.
Seltzer Water Benefits
The main benefit of seltzer water is that it gives you that nice, tingly feeling when you drink it. For people who don’t enjoy plain water (such as Yours Truly), seltzer water a great alternative to sugary soda.
If you’re at the movie theater and you have to choose between soda and seltzer water, go for the seltzer water! It’s much better for your body. It hydrates you just as much as regular water. In fact, it may help you stay even more hydrated, since you’re more likely to drink it throughout the day than you are to drink regular water.
Some research also shows that a carbonated drink of water may also improve your digestion and reduce constipation. When you get to be my age, any drink that can do those things is somewhat of a miracle!
Seltzer Water Drawbacks
Although it has a lot of benefits, seltzer water isn’t without its drawbacks. I know, I know. If you don’t want to hear about them, just stop reading at this point. But if you’re aware of the potential drawbacks of seltzer water, you can make a more informed decision about how much of it you want to consume on a daily basis.
Research suggests that seltzer water may increase ghrelin (a hunger hormone). The good news is that it seems to do so in men more than in women. So ladies, you may still be able to enjoy your carbonated water without adding inches to your waist.
Another drawback is that seltzer water is slightly acidic. It turns out that the reaction of water and carbon dioxide produces carbonic acid, which is a relatively weak acid. Still, seltzer water is much less acidic than sugary or sugar-free sodas. It is more acidic than plain water, though. For this reason, it may be wise to cut back a little on your seltzer water intake and try to drink more plain water when you can.
If you don’t like the flavor of plain water, try infusing natural flavors into it. You can buy a fancy infuser pitcher to do this, or you can simply chop up some berries and throw them in your glass. You’ll get a nice, subtle flavor that just might turn water into your new beverage of choice.