Fizzy drinks have long been associated with negative health effects including tooth decay, obesity and calcium depletion. However, certain types of carbonated beverages actually promote health benefits including hydration and weight loss. Carbonated water is simply fizzy water, to which flavorings may be added to make a seltzer. Sodas, also referred to as "pop" or "fizzy drinks," are flavored and sweetened carbonated drinks which do not contain alcohol.
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Carbonated water is almost as beneficial to health as plain water. When compared to regular water, sparkling water has the ability to cause dental erosion, but the negative dental effects of carbonated water are negligible. However, adding sugar or acid substances to carbonated beverages greatly increase these negative effects. Carbonated water is good for hydration, although fizzy water has less of a hydrating effect than the same volume of regular water. The taste and texture of carbonated water may lead you to drink a greater volume of sparkling water than you would have consumed had only regular water been available. Carbonation is one way to increase consumer interest in drinking water.
One health benefit of soda consumption is that, because it is a carbonated beverage, soda will make you feel full and therefore decrease overall food consumption. Obviously, drinking sugared sodas is likely to sabotage weight--loss efforts due to the high caloric content of the soda itself. Diet sodas are typically low in calories, however, and work well to curb appetite when consumed before eating or between meals. The caffeine present in many soda beverages may also work to temporarily increase your metabolic rate and aid weight loss efforts.
When considering the potential health benefits of drinking soda and carbonated water, it is also important to consider the negative effects of these drinks upon your general health. Consumption of soft drinks has been linked to a greater risk of developing osteoporosis, as many soft drinks contain high levels of phosphates. When phosphorous is excreted, it pulls calcium out of the bones. Sugared sodas contribute to tooth decay, in addition to increasing the risk of developing diabetes. Sugar-free sodas sweetened with artificial sweeteners carry additional health risks relating to the artificial sweetener -- the sweetener Aspartame, for example, has been linked to brain tumors, toxicity and skin reactions. The overall acidic profile of sodas is also a contributory factor in dental erosion or tooth decay.
- Jounrnal of Oral Rehabilitation: Investigation of Mineral Waters and Soft Drinks in Relation to Dental Erosion
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration: Evidence File #4: Reported Aspartame Toxicity Effects
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Effect of Drinking Soda Sweetened with Aspartame or High-Fructose Corn Syrup on Food Intake and Body Weight