Still or sparkling water? Bubbles make you digest but do they swell? What to choose –

Still or sparkling water?  Bubbles make you digest but do they swell?  What to choose –
Of Health editorial

Italians, great consumers of “minerals”, have a love-hate relationship with sparkling wine: does it give you stones, or gastritis? What are false beliefs and true answers to doubts

March 22 is World Water Day, World Water Daywhich has been celebrated since 1992. Water is not only a fundamental good for life and the planet, but also for our health, given that over half of the human body is made of water.

Sparkling water and digestion

Given that it is always important to drink it (WHO the article on how much water you really need to drink) and it would be the drink to be preferred to the detriment of the others, here are the differences between consuming still and sparkling water.
Italians are big consumers of mineral waters and have a love-hate relationship with their version fizzy, often accused of interfering with digestion. In reality there is no reason to make it disappear from the table not even for those suffering from gastric disorders: «Carbon dioxide is not an acid element but a basic one and it does not have effects in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract» explains Laura Rossi, specialist in food science and researcher at Crea (Centre for research on food and nutrition). «The choice depends only on the tastes because there are no contraindications for health in the use of carbonated water», confirms the specialist.


For some years there have been devices on the market that allow you to add tap water. But produce bubbles in the kitchen can it be harmful to health?

«On the contrary – recalls Rossi -. the carbonator can be a good solution». The important thing is to observe good storage rules: if you don’t expect to consume the water immediately, it’s better to use a glass container than plastic (and the latter would be a good rule to replace them often). «The problem is not so much the deadline, which is very long even for bottled waters – recalls the specialist – but conservation: they must not be kept close to heat sources because the plastic container could release potentially harmful substances».

There are three mineral waters

Still or effervescent, the water is distinguished in three large groupscharacterized by the fixed residue of minerals.
The lightest is the minimally mineralized, which has less than 50 milligrams of minerals per litre, and is a water almost sterile. If the residue is between 50 and 500 mmg per liter it is called water low mineral contentit’s water MINERAL instead the one with minerals between 500 and 1,500 mmg per litre. Over 1,500 mmg there are highly mineralized waters, the latter being distinguished from the others also by the more “strong” flavour. This information, by law, must be indicated on the label, as well as the composition of the minerals fixed residue which let you choose based on the percentage of sodium, magnesium or calciumfor example.

The bubbles swell

Water, naturally neutral, when it is added to carbon dioxide or soda it acquires a degree of alkalinity, which in theory lowers the acidity level. “In a small way, it is the effect of baking soda — remembers Rossi — which is taken precisely to counteract acidity and normalize gastric pH. But the percentage of carbon dioxide contained in a glass of water is much lower than that of bicarbonate, as is evident from the taste, so the effect on digestion of carbonated water is more psychological than anything else». The gas therefore does not worsen the conditions of those suffering from gastric reflux or gastritis, but has responsibilities towards an annoying symptom: the
. “In some people it can increase the feeling of swelling in the abdomen or generate small cramps,” admits Laura Rossi.

For some pathologies

In some diets, or for women in menopause, if there is a need to supplement the soccer you can choose waters with higher percentages of the mineral, while for the
hypertensive waters with minimal amounts of sodium may be useful
. «But these are always very low percentages – remembers Laura Rossi – even in the richest sodium waters we are around 5 milligrams per litre, even if you drink 2 liters of it a day it falls perfectly within the recommended quantities, which are 2 grams per litre. day. The quantities of minerals are so low that, excluding very special cases, they have no contraindications against pathologies or drugs taken. The case of the is different flavored waters or enriched, widespread in the United States and which are now beginning to be seen here too. They can contain sugarsand may therefore not be suitable for a diabetic”.

Does it cause stones and ruin your teeth?

No. The percentage of carbon dioxide, even in waters where it is very high, cannot attack tooth enamel. It is also false that it causes calculations: the percentage of calcium is minimal and in any case the calculations are formed by different metabolic pathways, not by accumulation.
Instead it is true that carbon dioxide, both natural and added, has a slight action antimicrobial, thus helping to conserve water a little longer. However, it is not true that carbonated water “expires” earlier: the date is shown on the labels, but there is not much difference with natural water. What is important is to keep it in the right way: at home it should not be kept near radiators, nor on the balcony if it is exposed to the sun.

March 22, 2023 (change March 22, 2023 | 09:50)


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