Sparkling water varieties run the gamut, but overall they’re a pretty simple beverage. Whether you know it as carbonated water, fizzy water, or seltzer water, the drink is as popular as ever.
But just because it’s popular doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe during pregnancy. Is there anything you should be looking out for to keep you and your baby safe?
With simple ingredients of water, carbon dioxide, and sometimes flavors, or minerals, carbonated water is perfectly safe to drink while pregnant.
Keep in mind that some varieties have added sweeteners and caffeine, so it’s important to check the label to ensure you’re picking out the right sparkling water for you.
Beyond just safety, many pregnant women are looking for answers on how healthy sparkling waters are, if they can help stave off nausea, and how well they keep you hydrated.
Keep reading for all of the details, as well as a bit of guidance on what to look out for when shopping.
Is Sparkling (Carbonated) Water Safe For Pregnant Women?
Sparkling water is the unsweetened cousin to soda. Unlike soda, however, sparkling water doesn’t usually contain caffeine or added sweeteners. Certain brands are sweetened with natural juices, but I’ll cover more on that below.
Plain sparkling water is a pretty simple beverage. To get sparkling water, the water is put under pressure and infused with carbon dioxide to create the fizzy bubbles- that’s it! (source: BBC)
Note: Some sparkling waters also contain small amounts of sodium, added to improve the taste.
Because sparkling water doesn’t contain anything more than water and carbon dioxide, it’s also just as hydrating for you as still (non-fizzy) water. (sources: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
Sparkling water’s effect on hydration is important, too. During pregnancy, women should aim for 8-10 cups (1900-2400 milliliters) of water daily.
Increasing your fluid intake during pregnancy is essential for supporting circulation between mom and baby (source: Journal of Perinatal Education).
Sparkling mineral water is fairly similar to plain sparkling water. The only difference is the addition of minerals, namely sodium, calcium, and magnesium (source: University of Chicago Medicine).
Some sparkling mineral waters, such as unflavored S. Pellegrino, use naturally-occurring still mineral water and add carbonation, while other brands may add both minerals and carbonation.
Overall, sparkling water and sparkling mineral water are both perfectly safe ways to keep hydrated while pregnant.
The one type of sparkling water to avoid during pregnancy? Boozy hard seltzers, as no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy.
Looking for more information on sweetened sparkling drinks, like soda? Check out our dedicated article on driving soda when pregnant. .
Can I Drink Flavored Sparkling Water During Pregnancy?
Drinking glass after glass of water to stay hydrated can get a little dull. Flavored sparkling waters are an easy way to switch things up without reaching for a super sugary or caffeinated drink.
For women looking to curb a soda habit while pregnant, flavored sparkling waters can be a great replacement, giving you the fizzy kick without caffeine.
The source of flavoring for these waters varies widely, whether from fruit or another form of “natural flavoring.”
When it comes to beverages, “natural flavoring” is most often an essential oil or essence of fruits and herbs.
All “natural flavoring” comes from an edible plant or animal and are safe additions to your drinks, even while pregnant (source: FDA).
Many popular flavored sparkling waters are still unsweetened, though that’s not a guarantee. If you’re searching for an unsweet option be sure to check the ingredients list before you buy.
Beyond the addition of flavoring, some brands add a hint of sweetness. Fruit juice and cane sugar are common additions. While still sweetened with sugar, these waters have less than 5 grams of sugar added, compared to over 30 grams of sugar in regular sodas.
Drinking excessive sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with preterm birth, lower birth weights, and pre-eclampsia (source: Proceedings of the Nutrition Society).
The sweetener added in flavored sparkling waters is typically minimal and just enough for a pleasantly sweet taste.
Because there’s much less sugar added compared to sodas, there is less likelihood of negative impacts, and these drinks are completely safe to enjoy in moderation during pregnancy.
If you need to control your carbohydrates for a medical reason, such as gestational diabetes, be sure to include those from sweetened sparkling waters.
Whether lightly sweetened or not, flavored sparkling waters can help you reach your fluid goal with a little added interest and less sugar.
Can Sparkling Water Help with Pregnancy Nausea?
Carbonated drinks have long been used to combat nausea. Many people remember their parents offering them a glass of ginger ale to calm their stomach as a child.
While it seems a bit counterintuitive, as fizzy drinks can cause mild bloating and gas if drunk too quickly, carbonated drinks can actually aid in some digestive issues (source: UHC).
The carbonation in sparkling water works to decrease the acidity of the stomach, which can be especially helpful for women suffering from morning sickness or nausea (source: WSJ).
There are even fizzy drink mixes designed for the expecting mother. One popular example is Sparkling Mama.
These products combine the acidity-lowering nature of carbonation with other gut-calming ingredients, such as magnesium and mint. Unfortunately, there is not scientific evidence to show if these speciality drinks work any better than regular sparkling water.
What’s the Best Sparkling Water to Drink While Pregnant?
It seems like nearly every drink brand has tried their hand at sparkling or seltzer waters. With so many options, below are a few common brands and considerations to make when shopping.
- Perrier: Comes in plain, flavored unsweet, and juice-added recipes all made with natural mineral water.
- Waterloo: Comes in plain and fruit-flavors and are all unsweetened with no sodium added.
- Spindrift: Advertised as “unsweetened” Spindrift does have a sweet taste due to the addition of fresh-squeezed juices and fruit purees. The company also sells a version made with tea. The brand website doesn’t specify whether or not this particular drink is caffeinated, though the base is brewed black tea which typically contains caffeine.
- Dasani: Dasani’s range of sparkling water is relatively simple, with just fruit flavors, carbonated water, and around 35 milligrams of sodium.
- La Croix: Perhaps the brand with the widest array of flavors, La Croix’s sparkling water is also pretty straightforward with just carbonated water and (if you choose) flavoring.
- Bai: While the brand’s main product is flavored, still waters they also sell Bai Bubbles, a carbonated version. These drinks not only contain fruit juice, non-nutritive sweeteners, and sodium, but are also lightly caffeinated.
Overall, sparkling water is becoming a household staple, and for good reason. Drinking sparkling water is just as hydrating as still (non-fizzy) water and the effervescence may help relieve morning sickness and nausea symptoms.
Because the drink comes in many shapes and sizes, be mindful when shopping as some contain caffeine or other additives, such as sweeteners.
No matter whether you choose sweetened, caffeinated, or mineral sparkling water – all of them can be safely enjoyed in moderation while pregnant.