Your Qs: Is sparkling water making me eat more?

You asked, we answered.

OneLife  staff writer

OneLife staff writer

Staff writer

I recently heard that drinking sparkling water can cause you to feel hungry rather than satiated. Is there any truth to this? Help, I don’t want to have to throw out my Sodastream!

Amy, WA

There was a study that came out in 2017 – ‘Carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages induces ghrelin release and increased food consumption in male rats: Implications on the onset of obesity’ – which studied rats initially, and then 20 human subjects. The study found that when the humans drank carbonated water it significantly increased their levels of ghrelin – the hunger hormone – when compared to those subjects who drank regular water.

Now, that’s interesting, but I wouldn’t extrapolate it to make any recommendation about avoiding carbonated water. What isn’t quoted in the research is all the multifactorial variables that can influence hunger – for example, a person’s level of activity or the quality of their meals.

One of the first things we teach people who are trying to control physical hunger is to consider things like regular eating, experimenting with the amount of protein and fat in their diet, and monitoring their glycaemic index and fibre intake – because we know these factors can keep you feeling fuller for longer.

If you prefer to have carbonated water, then from a hydration perspective I say go for it. There’s a multitude of benefits you can enjoy from getting enough water, whatever its source. I would also recommend people apply Evelyn Tribole’s ‘10 Principles of Intuitive Eating’, especially in terms of honouring your hunger. If you’re feeling hungry, that’s a physiological need that you should address – rather than suppress.

I’d encourage people to reject the diet mentality and call out the next fad dieting rule for what it is: an attempt by the multimillion-dollar weight loss industry to seduce a vulnerable market. Make peace with food and your body by giving it the nourishment it deserves. And if you want to wash a meal down with a glass of bubbly water and a sprig of mint, because it may just taste better than plain water, then all the better.

– Sonya Douglas, accredited practising dietitian at Dietwise Nutrition Clinics .

OneLife  staff writer

OneLife staff writers come from a range of backgrounds including health, wellbeing, music, tech, culture and the arts. They spend their time researching the latest data and trends in the health market to deliver up-to-date information, helping everyday Australians live healthier lives. This is general information only and is not intended as medical, health, nutritional or other advice. You should obtain professional advice from a medical or health practitioner in relation to your own personal circumstances. The information in this article is general information only and is not intended as medical, health, nutritional or other advice. You should obtain professional advice from a medical or health practitioner in relation to your own personal circumstances.

Disclaimer:
The information in this article is general information only and is not intended as financial, medical, health, nutritional, tax or other advice. It does not take into account any individual’s personal situation or needs. You should consider obtaining professional advice from a financial adviser and/or tax specialist, or medical or health practitioner, in relation to your own circumstances and before acting on this information.