Does Sparkling Water Actually Hydrate You?

You've heard it time and time again: A healthy body is a hydrated body, and that comes by drinking plenty of water. Although it is possible to drink too much water, sometimes just getting your recommended daily water intake can seem like a daunting task. What's the fun of downing cup after cup of a flavorless liquid? Don't fret because we're about to turn that frown upside down by delivering some news that will turn up the dial on your water consumption: Sparkling water is actually just as hydrating as regular water.

Yes, that's right. Your beloved sparkling water, like the often mispronounced LaCroix, can actually help you reach your recommended water intake on a daily basis. How can a carbonated beverage help you stay hydrated, though? After all, carbonation can be found in beers, which is why you keep the glass tilted while pouring, and also comes in high-sugar sodas. Neither of those seem like they should be in the same category as sparkling water. Alas, they aren't. Sparkling water, though at times may contain added sugar, is just water and carbon dioxide gas (via Refinery 29).

Ron Maughan, a professor at the School of Medicine at St. Andrews University performed a study in 2016 and determined that on a hydration scale, both regular and sparkling water are created equal. When it comes to carbonation, he says, "There is very little gas in sparkling water. Most is dissipated when the bottle is opened, as it sits in the glass, or in the mouth as it is being consumed." By the time sparkling water reaches the small intestine your body can't tell the difference between that and regular water. Simply put, Maughan says it's important to drink water and if you can down a six-pack of sparkling water easier than one bottle of regular water, you're doing your body justice. "If they like what they're drinking and drink more, that will clearly affect the response," he says.

Even though you can now scientifically explain how your sparkling water obsession does in fact keep you hydrated and isn't just a result of a genius marketing gimmick, it is important to note that sparkling water is not always the best choice. Registered dietitian Melissa Majumdar says athletes should steer clear of carbonated beverage during workouts. "During exercise, flat or still water is best," she says. Carbonation can cause bloating and a sensation of being full, which may not allow for the right amount of hydration needed during a hard workout (via CNN).

There you have it. If you're not a fan of the plain stuff and would like to steer clear of lemons in your water for obvious reasons, sparkling water can serve as a great alternative. Heck, sparkling water may even help kick your soda habit while keeping you hydrated at the same time — a change that will shock your body for the better. Raise your can of sparkling water and cheers to a life-altering and hydrating revelation.