You Ask:


Is seltzer as good for you (and as hydrating) as water? Jen Verrano via Facebook

Our Answer:

Seltzer is just carbonated water, so it's just as nutritious — although certain kinds do contain small amounts of minerals (like sodium, calcium and magnesium), artificial sweeteners or calories so always read nutrition labels. Pure carbonated water is probably the best option, but some individuals can benefit from added nutrients. Be sure to find a sodium-free version if you have high blood pressure or any other condition where sodium should be limited.

The carbonation may cause you to feel more full than with plain drinking water and may cause gas and bloating, but this is not harmful. It has been questioned whether or not carbonation contributes to decreasing bone density, but there is no evidence that this is the case.

Seltzer can also be just as hydrating as water. However, you be may be more inclined to drink less seltzer than water since the carbonation makes it more filling. A person or athlete with high fluid needs may not be able to drink seltzer as quickly as water due to gas and bloating/fullness.

Bottom line: Seltzer can be a great alternative to pure water as long as you check your labels carefully.

— Shana Maleeff, MA, RD, CDN

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Photography by Toby McFarlan Pond/