Hi Everyone:

I would love to get your feedback on sparkling water.  Any experts out there who can chime in and give some insight on the pros and cons of non-caloric/no sugar sparking water.  In the limited research I have done, I have found conflicting opinions.  What do you know?  Would love to hear all of your opinions and knowledge on this stuff.


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Pretty sure that they inject some CO2 into this stuff hence the bubbles. Used to drink Perrier until they laced with I believe Cyannide back in the 80's. Someone can correct me on this. Some of my friends find it refreshing, but not myself. Lost my appetite for the stuff. Like regular H2O.

I don't like sparking water -- it just makes you burp.  I prefer "still" water - the non-carbonated H2O.

If you like sparkling water on a run or at an aid station then go ahead!  Intuitively, the CO2 should have no bad effect.  But just for grins, let's do some math . . .

CO2 is soluble in water at 1.5 gm per liter at STP (standard temp and pressure)

Let's say you drink half a liter at an aid station and worst case your stomach absorbs 10% (no doubt most is sloshed around and belched away as the higher temp liquid is degassed).

That would mean that you might absorb 0.075 grams of CO2 from a half liter of bubbly water.

Now, a pretty good VO2 would be 50 cc O2 per kg per minute at 70 kg and if you were doing 50% VO2 for a long race then you would be burning about 1.75 liters of O2 per minute.  And for simplicity, assume a respiratory quotient of 1 gm CO2 produced per 1 gm O2 burned which means that you would be making and eliminating 1.75 liters of CO2 per minute.

1.75 liters of CO2 is about 3 grams of CO2 at body temperature.

So . . .  putting things in perspective . . . You are exhaling 3 gms of CO2 per minute at a VO2 of 25.  That half liter of Perrier with absorption of 10% of the CO2 load gives you 1/40 of what your are eliminating each minute.  That would be equal one breath of the CO2 you normally eliminate on that run.  And I presume you aren't drinking more than a liter on a 5 mile jog between aid stations.  And suppose you absorbed the CO2 over ten minutes.  Then your extra CO2 load would be about an extra 0.25% for ten minutes.

As Adam and Jamie would say . . . that myth is busted!

That's good to hear because I love the stuff!

You must have held onto your P Chem book after you graduated!  It's good to have another chemist around =)

My doctor says its the same as water for you nutritionally speaking, but I also remember reading something about the CO2 disolving into your fat cells and making it harder to shed the fat. I have no source on that one though.

CO2 is also found in beer. In order to dissipate the CO2, you should pour a good head on the beer, preferably 1.5 to 2.0 inches. This enhances the flavor or bouquet for you wine drinkers and also keeps you from getting a slamming headache in the morning. Some is mineral water and some is that sparkling crap from your favorite blue store.

I personally never drink it during runs but find it great afterwards - perhaps it is just about the ritual but for some reason it work for me.

I find San Pellegrino the best and I believe they bottle it at the source as it is.

It is also alkaline which I would assume would be better for the body.

Same for me. Badoit is also good (not sure if found in the US though!)
From the label one can see the difference between brands in terms of bicabonates and magnesium, the important minerals tonrebalance electrolyte after a run (sodium is less of an issue, just add salt on whatever you eat post run).

Great stuff here everyone.  Keep it coming.  I do not use this during my runs, just enjoy it as a refreshing beverage.  Especially in the summer.

Sanja - are you positive it is alkaline?  I know that is intuitive that it would be but I have read and heard it to be very acidic and one of my big questions and concern of mine. pH paper labels it very very acidic.

My mistake on alkalinity (got my brands mixed up). They also own Aqua Panna (which is non carbonated) and that water is alkaline; claimed pH around 8.4 (I usually drink Aqua Panna while running). Environmental disaster but water in Singapore is not great. The sparkling product would in fact be acidic (I think claimed pH is around 5.4).

Also the product in your picture contains natural flavours - just bear in mind that unless squeezed directly out of the fruit they will be mixed in a lab by someone in my company. We could debate the topic of flavourings but I prefer to steer clear of them. There would be no issue with safety but there is just a lot more to flavour classification, production and labelling.

Glass is also better than plastic or canned packaging.

I doubt mineral water would be acidic or alkaline, it has to be close to neutral so we can drink it. Anyway, water with a lot of bicarbonates will act as a strong butter solutio and bring everything it is pourred onto to neutral.


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