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No, says Ginger Hultin, MS, RDN, CSO, a Seattle-based dietitian, nutritionist, and health writer. “It’s hydrating, like regular water, and it’s not a diuretic like caffeinated drinks, so you can include it as part of your daily fluid intake.”

In fact, there aren’t many evidence-based downsides to drinking carbonated water, she says, other than some bloating and gas for people prone to those reactions. Given that possibility, and the fact that carbonated water can be more filling than still water, she recommends the still variety for before and after exercise to be sure that you actually consume enough water comfortably.

“As a dietitian, I always like people to mix up the things they’re eating and drinking — not to stick with the same thing day after day,” she adds. “So, if you like carbonated water, I recommend weaving it into your daily intake of fluids, but drinking plenty of regular water as well.”

If it’s the flavoring of the carbonated water you savor, you can add zing to flat water with slices of fresh lemon or lime, herbs like mint or rosemary, cucumber, or a combination of them.

This originally appeared as “Is drinking carbonated water, flavored or not, dehydrating?” in the April 2019 print issue of Experience Life.

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