Bored of still water? You’d like to add some sparkle to your water, but you’re worried that it might be unhealthy? Research shows that as long as you stick to normal carbonated water and stay clear of the kind that contains sugar, artificial flavours, aroma or sweeteners, you’ll be fine. While carbonated water is indeed more acidic than regular still water, it’s nowhere near as acidic as fizzy sugary drinks. Which are the health concerns associated with carbonated water, and should you be drinking it?

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In terms of health worries, carbonated water is often put on the same list with cola-flavoured fizzy drinks, even though most of these concerns are unfounded. Tooth enamel erosion, low bone mineral density, stomach problems are some examples of health concerns that are raised in connection to sparkling water consumption.

Research conducted on women showed that carbonated water consumption did not lead to low bone mineral density, unlike soft drinks, which were indeed found to cause calcium loss in the body. Moreover, urine sample analysis of people consuming carbonated water did not show increased levels of calcium.

Although the peculiar taste of carbonated water is given to it by carbonic acid, which is a weak acid that is formed in the process of creating carbonated water, this acid is not strong enough to cause damage to your stomach or teeth. People suffering from irritable bowel syndrome may have to take precautions, however. Bloating and gas caused by sparkling water can trigger IBS flare-ups, so for those struggling with this disease, it’s best to avoid drinking sparkling water. Other people, however, can enjoy the bubbly goodness without worrying about destroying their teeth or having stomach problems. If anything, carbonated water has been found to help with digestion.

As mentioned above, sparkling water can cause gas, bloating and a feeling of fullness. This is why nutritionists often recommend avoiding drinking sparkling water during workouts as the sensation of fullness may falsely give you the idea that you’ve had plenty of water. For workouts or strenuous physical activities, it’s best that you drink still water.

If drinking carbonated water helps you transition from soft drinks to water, or you plain and simple like the taste of bubbly water much better than the still variety, you can consume it without having to worry that it may be detrimental to your health.

As with still water, sparkling water also comes in a bottled format, however, modern water cooler units like the Borg and Overström DC798HS Elite Floor-standing Water Cooler or water machines like the Zerica Refresh Bar 20 Counter Top Chilled & Sparkling Water Machine can dispense carbonated water as well.