Carbonated water, with its bubbly effervescence, has gained popularity as a refreshing beverage choice. But have you ever wondered why you feel better when you drink carbonated water compared to regular water?
In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating connection between carbon dioxide (CO2) and the positive effects it can have on hydration, digestion, relaxation, and even wound healing.
So, grab a glass of your favorite fizzy drink as we unravel the mysteries of carbonated water!
The Science Behind Carbonated Water
Carbonated water owes its characteristic fizz to the infusion of carbon dioxide gas (CO2). When CO2 dissolves in water, it undergoes a chemical reaction that forms carbonic acid.
This process creates a slightly acidic environment, giving carbonated water its tangy taste. The carbonic acid is responsible for the bubbly sensation and refreshing effervescence that tickles your taste buds.
However, it’s worth noting that not all carbonated waters follow the same composition. Some variations may utilize bicarbonates, which can modify the overall composition of the water.
Bicarbonates are compounds that contain both carbon and oxygen, and they have the ability to act as buffering agents, helping to regulate acidity levels.
These bicarbonate-based carbonated waters offer a milder acidity compared to those made solely with carbon dioxide. They are often marketed as a more gentle alternative, catering to individuals who prefer a less pronounced acidic taste.
The addition of bicarbonates not only alters the flavor but can also influence the perceived level of carbonation.
Enhanced Hydration and Digestion
One of the most noticeable benefits of drinking carbonated water is improved hydration. Many individuals report feeling more hydrated when consuming carbonated water compared to still water.
This effect might be attributed to carbonation, which enhances the overall sensation and encourages increased water intake. While scientific research on this specific aspect is limited, anecdotal evidence suggests that the bubbles and refreshing nature of carbonated water can make it more enjoyable and thus lead to increased consumption.
Furthermore, carbonated water may offer digestive benefits to some individuals. The effervescence and bubbles can contribute to alleviating certain digestive discomforts such as bloating and indigestion.
However, it’s important to note that carbonated beverages may not affect everyone equally, and individual responses to carbonation can vary.
Relaxation and the Boar Effect
For those seeking a sense of relaxation, carbonated water might offer a surprising remedy. Some research suggests a connection between CO2 and the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes relaxation. This effect is sometimes referred to as the Boar Effect.
A study conducted on human participants explored the impact of immersion in CO2-rich water. The results indicated increased parasympathetic nerve activity, as reflected in heart rate variability.
While further research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind this phenomenon fully, it provides intriguing insights into the potential relaxing properties of carbonated water.
CO2 and Wound Healing
Beyond its impact on hydration and relaxation, CO2 has also been investigated for its therapeutic properties in wound healing, particularly in chronic wounds among individuals with diabetes.
Various methods of CO2 application, such as subcutaneous injections, bathing in CO2-enriched water, and transcutaneous application, have been explored.
A randomized double-blind clinical study examined the effect of transcutaneous application of gaseous CO2 on chronic diabetic wounds. The results revealed significantly faster wound healing in the group receiving CO2 treatment compared to the control group.
This promising finding suggests that CO2 could serve as an effective adjuvant therapy for diabetic chronic wound treatment.
In summary, carbonated water offers more than just a refreshing sip. The infusion of CO2 provides a range of potential benefits, including enhanced hydration, improved digestion for some individuals, a potential for relaxation, and even accelerated wound healing.
While scientific research on some aspects is still limited, the anecdotal evidence and initial studies indicate the intriguing potential of carbonated water beyond its thirst-quenching properties.
So, the next time you reach for that fizzy beverage, know that there might be more to it than meets the eye. Embrace the effervescence and enjoy the potential advantages that carbonated water can bring to your overall well-being!
1. The effect of transcutaneous application of gaseous CO2 on diabetic chronic wound healing-A double-blind randomized clinical trial. Link to the source.
2. Effects of immersion in water containing high concentrations of CO2 (CO2-water) at thermoneutral on thermoregulation and heart rate variability in humans. Link to the source.
3. Dr. Eric Berg. Why You Should Drink Carbonated Water. YouTube Video.