Whether you’re trying to slim down or simply maintain your weight, you probably know that what you drink matters just as much as what you eat. Eliminating soda (even diet versions) is a no-brainer, and while you might assume that sparkling water is a safe and harmless substitute, that’s not always the case. In fact, some sparkling waters may indirectly cause you to gain weight.
To be clear, drinking plenty of water is key, whatever your goals – it helps maintain energy levels, assists with digestion, and keeps other parts of your body running smoothly. Sparkling water can help keep you hydrated, and as long as it’s plain and unsweetened, it won’t cause you to gain weight, Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian in New York City, told POPSUGAR.
“The carbonation in the water can cause you to feel bloated and gassydue to the air bubbles, which can make you feel uncomfortable and perhaps like you have gained weight, but it is not a true weight gain,” she said.
Here’s what could potentially shift the number on the scale: added sweeteners, even those that are artificial. Zeitlin explained that these sweeteners can cause your blood sugar levels to rise and then drop, leaving you unsatisfied and craving sweets, a similar effect of drinking diet soda.
“Unnecessary snacking does contribute to weight gain, and of course, what you choose to snack on can contribute even more so to extra pounds,” Zeitlin said. “So, stick to plain sparkling water or seltzer, and if you need some flavor, add a slice of lemon, lime, orange, or cucumber.”