Is Sparkling Water a Bladder Irritant?

  • By: Jan Helge
  • Date: July 18, 2023
  • Time to read: 5 min.

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We live in a day and age where we are constantly bombarded with advertisements for products that claim to make us healthier. One such product is sparkling water, which many people drink as if it were some sort of miracle elixir.

But what do we know about the safety of this popular beverage? Is sparkling water safe to drink, or does it have adverse effects on our bodies? We will explore these questions and more in this blog post.

Is Sparkling Water a Bladder Irritant?

Yes, sparkling water, just like most carbonated beverages, is a bladder irritant. This means that it can make you want to go to the bathroom more often, which can be especially inconvenient if you’re at work or otherwise unable to leave your seat.

Carbonated beverages are notorious for their diuretic effects, which means that they cause the body to excrete more urine than normal. This is because the carbonation in these drinks causes the stomach to produce excess gas, which in turn puts pressure on the bladder.

This excess gas can also cause stomach cramps, bloating, and other digestive problems. So if you’re looking for a healthy beverage to drink, sparkling water is not the best choice. Stick to plain water or tea instead.

Why is Sparkling Water a Bladder Irritant?

There are a few reasons why sparkling water may irritate your bladder. They include the following, among others:

It is diuretic

What this means is that it makes you want to go to the bathroom more often than normal. This is because of the carbonation in the drink, which puts pressure on your bladder and forces out urine. This excess gas can also cause stomach cramps, bloating, and other digestive problems.

The carbon dioxide

As mentioned above, sparkling water has a lot of carbon dioxide in it. This can cause bloating and stomach cramps, which may be especially problematic if you’re in pain while trying to work or study.

The carbon dioxide irritates the lining of your bladder, which is why you feel the need to go potty more often when drinking sparkling water.

If used on a regular basis, carbonated beverages can also cause bladder cancer and chronic kidney disease (CKD). This was shown in research published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Why You Should Be Careful with Sparkling Water

It can exacerbate underlying kidney problems

If you, for instance, have a mild case of CKD or have recently undergone a kidney stone procedure, then drinking sparkling water is not the best idea.

As mentioned above, carbonated beverages are well known for their diuretic properties and can exacerbate existing health problems. In fact, they’ve even been linked to chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Again, if you have OAB (overactive bladder), drinking sparkling water may only aggravate the symptoms.

It makes you pee more

Of course, since it is a diuretic, sparkling water can make you go potty more often. This is especially true if you drink it excessively, which forces your bladder to work harder and become irritated in the process.

What’s more, sparkling water has been linked to having a laxative effect. So if you have IBS and are taking medication for it (such as Miralax), drinking too much of this beverage may cause unpleasant side effects. The carbonation in the drink can also lead to heartburn or indigestion-related symptoms like nausea or burping.

It can cause bloating and burping

This is a common side effect of drinking sparkling water since it contains carbon dioxide. When this gas gets into your stomach, it can cause you to bloat and burp excessively.

This is definitely not ideal if you’re in a meeting or trying to focus on a task. And it can be downright embarrassing if it happens in public.

Some brands have artificial sweeteners

Some sparkling water brands contain artificial sweeteners such as sucralose. These sweeteners can cause problems like diarrhea, cramps, and gas. They may also be linked to cancer and other health problems.

If you’re trying to avoid these types of sweeteners, be sure to read the ingredient list before buying sparkling water.

The carbonic acid concern

The more carbonation there is in your sparkling water, the more likely it is to have higher amounts of carbonic acid. This acid has been known to erode teeth enamel and cause other dental problems. It also can cause stomach problems and indigestion.

Another problem with carbonic acid is that it can encourage bad breath, which isn’t ideal if you’re at a business meeting or on a date. It’s also problematic for people who suffer from dry mouth since they may have more odor-causing bacteria in their mouths as well (like the bacteria that cause gum disease).

Bone health

The carbonic acid in sparkling water can also have an impact on your bone health. It might make it more difficult for you to absorb calcium, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth.

That’s why people with kidney disease or osteoporosis should avoid drinking too much of this beverage (and other carbonated beverages). This includes people who take medication that inhibits calcium absorption, like bisphosphonates.

So Is Sparkling Water Safe?

According to experts, drinking a can or two of sparkling water per day is generally safe. However, if you have any underlying health issues, it’s best to avoid drinking this beverage.

It’s also a good idea to pay attention to how much sparkling water you’re drinking in one day, especially if you’re experiencing symptoms like bladder irritation or excessive urination. If you’re struggling with OAB, then it might be helpful to steer clear of this beverage since it’s known to make symptoms worse.

In general, sparkling water isn’t too much of a concern unless you’re drinking excessive amounts.

Final Thoughts

Sparkling water can irritate your bladder especially if you have an underlying condition like OAB. While it is safe two drink a few cans per day, it’s best to steer clear if you’re experiencing OAB symptoms.

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