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Is Carbonated Water Bad for You?

Internet rumors claim that drinking soda water can harm your teeth, weaken your bones, and irritate your throat and stomach. What’s the truth? Nutrition DIva weighs in.

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
December 28, 2010
Episode #120

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Is Carbonated Water Bad for You?

Although I don’t drink much soda (or, as they call it where I grew up, “pop”), I do enjoy drinking sparkling, or carbonated, water and often recommend it as a healthful alternative to soda.  But several of you have written with concerns that drinking carbonated water might be bad for you.

The podcast version of this tip is sponsored by Audible. Visit Audiblepodcast.com/diva to get a free audiobook of your choosing.

Is Carbonated Water Bad for You?

Sure enough, I did a quick Internet search and found several websites warning that drinking carbonated water will leech calcium from your bones, causing osteoporosis. Others claimed that carbonated beverages can harm the enamel on your teeth, irritate your stomach, or even cause cancer. Let’s sort fact from the fiction.

Does Carbonated Water Leech Calcium from Your Bones?

Soda consumption—particularly cola consumption—has been linked to lower bone mineral density. However, it’s pretty clear that it has nothing to do with the carbonation itself.  Researchers had one group of women drink one liter of still water every day while another group drank a liter of carbonated water. After eight weeks, the researchers could detect no difference between the groups when it came to markers for bone turnover.

In fact, the most recent research suggests that the reason people who drink a lot of cola have weaker bones is not because something in the soda is robbing calcium from their bones, but because they tend to have lower calcium intake.

See also: Diet for Healthy Bones

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