Can I Get Addicted to Seltzer?
The sale of sparkling water has doubled in the last five years. It seems we all like a little dancing on our tongues to make drinking our 64 ounces a day a little more interesting.
Whether you are trying to stay hydrated, cut back on sugary drinks like soda or lattes or just like the pop-fizz sensations, seltzer water like LaCroix seems to be what people are grabbing.
Is it the latest trend, do people just like it, or is it addictive like so many other drinks?
Whenever I try to kick my Diet Coke habit (something I do a few times a year), the first thing I reach for is a bottle of flavored sparkling water. I crave the fizz swirling around in my mouth and going down my throat. It's so much more satisfying than boring tap water. Throw in some lemon or lime, and it's even better.
But is it a healthy alternative to other drinks? The carbonic acid has been proven to wear down enamel in our teeth. And if you reach for a flavored water instead of the plain, research has shown it does as much damage to your teeth as drinking orange juice would, but is still better than soda.
SheKnows talked to a few people who prefer their water with some bubbles. We asked how it manifested and why they thought they were addicted.
"I was addicted to Diet Coke for years. In a quest to get healthier, I switched to seltzer water. I would drink a 2-liter bottle daily. I was addicted to the bubbles. I eventually weaned myself to flavored water without bubbles, and now to plain water occasionally flavored with a slice of lime or lemon. My addiction to seltzer was in my late '40s." — Heather B.
"Definitely the fizz. Helped me break my diet soda addiction — I realized I didn't even like the taste of diet soda, I just liked the fizz. Now I have a LaCroix addiction." — Christine R.
"I'm definitely addicted to the carbonation! More bubbles the better!" — Christine M.
"Yep! It's all my 4-year-old will drink too. Definitely the fizz. I like the flavored ones. Polar is the best. My grandparents made their own seltzer back in the day." — Wendy W.
"Oh we are addicts — whole family. Kid too! Refreshing taste and lime!" — Melanie L.
"I'm totally addicted to seltzer water! I drink at least 32 ounces of it a day. For me, it is the fizz. I only drink the plain kind." — Brook F.
It seems everyone is in agreement that the fizz is what keeps us coming back for more. But is it actually addictive? And is throwing back a bubbly cold one bad for our health?
SheKnows asked Dr. Philip Goglia, co-founder of G-Plans, the first online nutrition platform based on a user's metabolic body type, some questions about the growing trend. While he said it is not addictive, there are definitely some pros and cons to the drink.
He explained people usually choose seltzer water while trying to quit soda or grab it instead of plain water because they are looking for something with a taste sensation, but there is another benefit. It easily bloats you, making you feel full.
This full feeling can also be a con, though. Fizzy water is more difficult to digest because of the bubbles and can lead to dehydration and put strain on the kidneys.
"Carbonated water is also considered acidic and can cause problems with weak digestive systems, which are prone to ulcers. It can also lead to an absorption of calcium, which can make your bones weak," Goglia said.
And for people who suffer from IBS or gastroparesis, carbonated water can make gas and digestion painful.
"According to a study in the Journal of Nutrition, when sparkling water was consumed by women over the course of one month straight, there were significant reductions in their levels of low-density lipoprotein and cholesterol, which leads to heart disease," Goglia explained. "There was also a significant increase in levels of high-density lipoprotein and cholesterol (generally taken to reduce heart disease risk). This is interesting because of the high levels of sodium in sparkling water, which should increase blood pressure. Researchers believe this didn't happen due to the fact that sparkling waters tend to be rich in bicarbonate, which balances out the negative effects of sodium within the body."
It seems like so many others, moderation is key when it comes to sparkling water. It is definitely healthier than juice, soda or alcohol, but too much can affect our digestive systems, and Goglia also cautions, "too much can leach calcium from bones and teeth."