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Can you drink too much sparkling water?

Sparkling water has never been more popular. But could it lead to belly bloat? A nutritionist discusses what to know.
Carbonated water being poured into glass, elevated view
When it comes to sparkling water, how much is too much?Craig Brewer / Getty Images

All you bubble lovers (including me!) will be happy to read this: Carbonated water is a healthy option for hydration. Let’s be clear here, carbonated water without added sugar is a healthy option for hydration. So, no, sugar-laden carbonated beverages do not count. The connection between carbonated beverages and reduced bone health as well as dental issues are linked to sweetened carbonated beverages. You clean bubble-loving peeps can feel free to throw them back and have no fear.

But what about bloat?

Let’s start with what bloat actually is. Bloating is a build up of trapped gas. It arises when your gastrointestinal tract is filled with air or gas. This leads to an uncomfortable pressure in the belly and may be related to smoking, stress, eating too many fatty foods or conditions such as lactose intolerance, celiac disease, GI blockage or irritable bowel syndrome. Also? You guessed it: carbonated beverages.

Carbonated water is infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure. This creates those drinks with bubbles you know and love such as club soda, seltzer water and sparkling water. When you drink carbonated water that gas can get stuck in your belly. This does cause bloat in some people. It also may make you feel fuller.

So if bloating has got you down, then you may want to forego the carbonated drinks and up your intake of flat water. Also, one of the best remedies for bloating is exercise.

Don’t let this burst your bubble: Symptoms related to gastric distress seem to appear only when drinking more than 300 ml (a little bit less than a 12-ounce can) of a carbonated beverage. If you have no issues with carbonated water and rarely experience bloating, sip away.