Soda water is a type of carbonated water also called seltzer or sparkling water. Some people also use club soda to refer to seltzer, but club soda is typically made with dissolved minerals for an added taste.
NYU Langone Health explains that drinking enough water is helpful for preventing kidney stones. There's no known link between carbonated water and kidney stones, but you can always speak to your doctor if you are concerned about how your diet can affect kidney stone development.
The pros and cons of carbonated water versus flat water for kidney stones are not totally clear. However, soda water with no calories, sugar and artificial flavorings is a better nutritional choice than sugary sodas or diet sodas. Staying hydrated can help you maintain healthy kidneys.
Read more: Sparkling Water Versus Regular Water
Carbonated Water and Kidney Stones
As the Mayo Clinic explains, kidney stones are hard deposits made from minerals and salts that can form inside your kidneys, like calcium, struvite, uric acid and cystine. A variety of factors can contribute to kidney stone development, but the stones occur when your urine contains more crystal-forming substances and not enough fluid to dilute it.
Common kidney stone symptoms include severe pain in your back and sides, pain while urinating, urine that is red, brown, pink, cloudy or foul-smelling and pain that comes in waves and/or fluctuates in intensity. You either "pass" kidney stones through urinating, or have larger stones treated with sound waves to break them up into smaller pieces.
You might be at a higher risk for developing kidney stones if you have a family history of kidney stones, are dehydrated, are obese, live with certain digestive disease or eat a diet that is high in fat, sodium or sugar.
Sodium in particular plays a role in kidney stones, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says. Adults should aim to consume less than 2,300 milligrams of salt per day, but the average person has a much higher sodium intake of more than 3,400 milligrams per day.
Pros and Cons of Carbonated Water
Generally speaking, Harvard Health Publishing says that soda water or seltzer is a much better nutritional choice than sugary sodas. High soda intake is linked to chronic health problems like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and diet soda is associated with health risks, as well.
Read more: Is Carbonated Water Bad for You?
Reviewing the pros and cons of carbonated water versus flat water can help you decide which beverage to go for. Like flat water, plain carbonated water contains zero calories. However, flavored versions may be higher in calories.
The carbonation of soda water is both a pro and a con. It can make you feel more full, which is helpful for satiety. However, the fullness may prevent you from drinking more, which is why flat water is a better option if you are dehydrated.
One potential link between carbonated water and kidney stones is the sodium content of drinks like club soda. The USDA estimates that a 12 fluid ounce can or bottle of club soda contains almost 75 milligrams of sodium, as well as 17 milligrams of calcium. In comparison, a 12 fluid ounce bottle of flat water provides just over 7 milligrams of sodium, 36 milligrams of calcium and 7 milligrams of magnesium.
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Is Seltzer a Better Option Than Soda?"
- NYU Langone Health: "Preventing Kidney Stones"
- Mayo Clinic: "Kidney Stones – Symptoms and Causes"
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Kidney Stones"
- Health.gov: "Appendix 7. Nutritional Goals for Age-Sex Groups Based on Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines Recommendations"
- USDA: "Beverages, Carbonated, Club Soda"
- American Heart Association: "How Much Sodium Should I Eat per Day?"
- USDA: "Water, Bottled, Unsweetened"