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Is carbonated water as healthy as regular water?


Is carbonated water as good for you as regular water? - National |

IMG via Global News 

Some say that carbonation in water may limit hydration, reduce gastrointestinal symptoms, and increase satiety. But let’s think twice about those claims.   

Regarding hydration, a randomized trial found no difference in urine volume after consumption of still water compared to sparkling water (1).  

Regarding gastrointestinal health, a small (21 subjects) double-blind randomized trial found fewer symptoms of indigestion with carbonated water compared to tap water (2). Another double-blind study of 40 elderly people found fewer symptoms of constipation among people who consumed carbonated water compared to those who drank still water (3). One question about both of these studies is how blinding was accomplished, since subjects can sense carbonation. The small number of study subjects decreases confidence in each experiment.  

It is also speculated that carbonated water can improve satiety, or sense of fullness. Two very small uncontrolled studies reported that people felt satiated after drinking carbonated water (4,5). But that might be the case for still water as well. There is also no good evidence that sparkling water can cause gas and bloating (6) and no evidence that it erodes tooth enamel, even though these symptoms have been reported anecdotally (7).  

While experimental evidence from randomized controlled trials is required to determine the relative health benefits of still and sparkling water, it is a good option for hydration, particularly compared to sugary drinks.  


  1. Maughan RJ, Watson P, Cordery PA, et al. A randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;103(3):717-723. doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.114769 
  2. Cuomo R, Grasso R, Sarnelli G, et al. Effects of carbonated water on functional dyspepsia and constipation. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2002;14(9):991-999. doi:10.1097/00042737-200209000-00010 
  3. Mun JH, Jun SS. J Korean Acad Nurs. 2011;41(2):269-275. doi:10.4040/jkan.2011.41.2.269 
  4. Suzuki M, Mura E, Taniguchi A, Moritani T, Nagai N. Oral Carbonation Attenuates Feeling of Hunger and Gastric Myoelectrical Activity in Young Women. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2017;63(3):186-192. doi:10.3177/jnsv.63.186 
  5. Wakisaka S, Nagai H, Mura E, Matsumoto T, Moritani T, Nagai N. The effects of carbonated water upon gastric and cardiac activities and fullness in healthy young women. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2012;58(5):333-338. doi:10.3177/jnsv.58.333 
  6. Welstead L, Schuchmann C. Is sparkling water good for you? What about hard water? University of Chicago Medicine. 10 May 2023. 
  7. Parry J, Shaw L, Arnaud MJ, Smith AJ. Investigation of mineral waters and soft drinks in relation to dental erosion. J Oral Rehabil. 2001;28(8):766-772. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2842.2001.00795.x 


Does birth control cause infertility?

Birth Control

IMG via MedlinePlus

Women take birth control for a multitude of reasons, from preventing pregnancy to regulating the menstrual cycle and reducing acne. Taken correctly, the pill can prevent 99% of pregnancies. This has made birth control a staple for generations of women. However, some women may wonder, What happens if I stop taking the pill? One misconception about the pill is that taken for years, it can reduce the ability to have children. The possibility of future infertility would deter many women from considering birth control pills. So, let’s think twice about it.  

The combination pill works by supplying two hormones, estrogen and progesterone, that work together to stop the ovaries from releasing an egg each month during menstruation. Other pills provide only progesterone; progestin-only pills prevent pregnancy primarily by thickening the cervical mucus. When you stop taking the pill, the hormones it supplies leave your system in a matter of days, and your body reverts to its natural cycle. Additionally, your body begins to produce estrogen and progesterone again. Therefore, barring underlying health issues, women can become pregnant right away after stopping the pill. 

There are several reasons behind the misconception that birth control causes infertility. One is that taking birth control can conceal symptoms of conditions associated with infertility, such as endometriosis, PCOS, and uterine fibroids. Birth control is sometimes used to manage these conditions, so stopping birth control might mistakenly associated with infertility. Another reason for this misconception might be that historically, the side effects of the pill were not well-researched or disclosed to users, so it was not clear whether infertility was a risk. Women often felt dismissed by clinicians and pharmaceutical companies when they experienced side effects of the pill, even for conditions as serious as blood clots and strokes. In the 1960s, despite reports of deaths related to the pill, the FDA maintained that the pill was safe. Additionally, drug companies failed to inform healthcare providers of the pill’s more severe side effects. Since then, the dosage of hormones provided by the pill was adjusted to improve its safety, but mistrust of the pill persists and worries about infertility have continued to the present day.  

However, there is good evidence that birth control users need not worry about their fertility. A 2018 review of twenty-two birth control studies including over 14,000 women showed that 83% of women became pregnant within 12 months of discontinuing contraception. Furthermore, a 2013 study of 3,727 women found that although birth control use was associated with a short delay before conception, overall fertility was not impacted. Additionally, longer-term use of the pill was associated with higher fertility compared to short-term use (less than 2 years). Therefore, even long-term users of the pill should not be concerned. Overall, the evidence suggests that worries about infertility should not stop women from taking the pill.  


Is crossing your eyes harmful?

Young man rubbing eyes holding glassesImage by SG SHOT via Shutterstock

Children may do goofy things like crossing their eyes to get a rise out of peers and family members. You may have heard the warning that crossing your eyes for an extended period could lead to them staying in that position forever. But is crossing your eyes actually harmful? 

Six muscles move your eyes. Contraction of these muscles moves your eyes up, down, and side to side. Using these muscles to cross your eyes is a form of exercise and is not harmful. The experience of fatigue and perhaps headache might be interpreted by the human mind as indications of harm.  Perhaps that’s what gave rise to the myth that crossing your eyes is harmful.  

Once you uncross your eyes and give them time to rest, they will feel normal as the fatigue resolves. So, the next time you see a kid crossing their eyes for some laughs, there is no need to worry.,t%20have%20any%20lasting%20effect.