Cool and refreshing, with a little lime or berries, or mixed with a natural cordial, it is always our eau of choice at dinner, especially when trying to be good – who doesn’t love sparkling water?
Scientists, that’s who! It turns out sparkling water is not necessarily a healthy option because carbon dioxide in all fizzy drinks can cause obesity.
According to a research undertaken at Birzeit University, lab rats were found to have gained more weight drinking fizzy water than those who only drank still water.
The sparkling alternative may be a healthier option than the typical soda pops of Coca Cola or Club Orange, but you may be better off drinking still water altogether. The carbon dioxide that gives water and sodas their fizziness actually encourages eating and therefore can lead to obesity.
Furthermore, the rats showed an increase of fat build up in their organs, similar to those of humans that is one of the first symptoms of chronic obesity.
The levels of ghrelin, which the stomach secretes when it is empty to signal hunger, had also increased which led to the rats eating 20% more than the others. Dubbed the ‘hunger hormone’, in the same study undertaken by human volunteers, after drinking sparkling water they showed ghrelin levels that were then six times higher than still water drinkers.
Following these results, researchers and the spokesperson for the UK’s National Obesity Forum urges people to opt for non-carbonated drinks instead to help with the increasing obesity issues faced by countries all over the globe.
So there you go – that makes the still or sparkling question that bit easier to answer!