Club Soda for Stomach Pain & Constipation

Club Soda for Stomach Pain & Constipation
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Is carbonated water good or bad for heartburn, dyspepsia, and bowel regularity?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“Natural bubbling or sparkling mineral waters have been popular for thousands of years.” Manufactured sparkling water has been around ever since a clergyman “suspended water over a vat of fermenting beer.” “For centuries, carbonated water has been considered capable of relieving gastrointestinal symptoms,” including tummy aches, but we didn’t have good data until this study was published.

“Twenty-one folks with dyspepsia [an upset stomach] and constipation were randomized into two groups in a double-blind fashion” to drink one-and-a-half quarts of carbonated water versus tap water, every day for two weeks. Dyspepsia was defined as “pain or discomfort located in the upper abdomen,” including “bloating and nausea.”

And, carbonated water improved dyspepsia, compared to still water (tap water), and improved constipation. “Drink more water” is a common recommendation for constipation, but they didn’t observe a clear benefit of the added tap water. Seems you need to increase fiber and water, rather than just water alone. But, sparkling water seemed to help. Now, they were using sparkling mineral water. And so, whether these effects are due to the bubbles or minerals, we can’t tell from this study.

There’s been a concern that carbonated beverages may increase heartburn, GERD (acid reflux disease). But that was based on studies like this, that compared water to Pepsi. Soda can put the Pepsi in dyspepsia, and contribute to heartburn. But, so may tea and coffee, in people that suffer from heartburn. That may be partly from the cream and sugar, though, since milk is a common contributor to heartburn, as well. Carbonated water alone, though, shouldn’t be a problem.

Similarly, while flavored sparkling drinks can erode our enamel, it’s not the carbonation, but the added juices and acids. Sparkling water alone appears a hundred times less erosive than citrus or soda. So, a sparkling mineral water may successfully treat stomachache and constipation without adverse effects—unless you’re a teenage boy opening a bottle of sparkling wine with your teeth, especially on a hot day after you shake it up, placing one at risk for a “pneumatic rupture of the esophagus.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to stevepb via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“Natural bubbling or sparkling mineral waters have been popular for thousands of years.” Manufactured sparkling water has been around ever since a clergyman “suspended water over a vat of fermenting beer.” “For centuries, carbonated water has been considered capable of relieving gastrointestinal symptoms,” including tummy aches, but we didn’t have good data until this study was published.

“Twenty-one folks with dyspepsia [an upset stomach] and constipation were randomized into two groups in a double-blind fashion” to drink one-and-a-half quarts of carbonated water versus tap water, every day for two weeks. Dyspepsia was defined as “pain or discomfort located in the upper abdomen,” including “bloating and nausea.”

And, carbonated water improved dyspepsia, compared to still water (tap water), and improved constipation. “Drink more water” is a common recommendation for constipation, but they didn’t observe a clear benefit of the added tap water. Seems you need to increase fiber and water, rather than just water alone. But, sparkling water seemed to help. Now, they were using sparkling mineral water. And so, whether these effects are due to the bubbles or minerals, we can’t tell from this study.

There’s been a concern that carbonated beverages may increase heartburn, GERD (acid reflux disease). But that was based on studies like this, that compared water to Pepsi. Soda can put the Pepsi in dyspepsia, and contribute to heartburn. But, so may tea and coffee, in people that suffer from heartburn. That may be partly from the cream and sugar, though, since milk is a common contributor to heartburn, as well. Carbonated water alone, though, shouldn’t be a problem.

Similarly, while flavored sparkling drinks can erode our enamel, it’s not the carbonation, but the added juices and acids. Sparkling water alone appears a hundred times less erosive than citrus or soda. So, a sparkling mineral water may successfully treat stomachache and constipation without adverse effects—unless you’re a teenage boy opening a bottle of sparkling wine with your teeth, especially on a hot day after you shake it up, placing one at risk for a “pneumatic rupture of the esophagus.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to stevepb via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Doctor's Note

Did you catch my cameo? I was just playing around with a green screen. I’m always trying to find ways to make the videos more engaging so you aren’t just looking at study after study, but there may be a fine line between captivating and dorky…and I think I may have crossed it.

The goal is to widen the appeal of these videos so we can reach even more people—but doing so without distracting from the scientific rigor. What do you think? Should I do more little bits like this with me on-screen, or do you think those types of cuts detract from the professionalism? Please let me know in the comments section below.

For more on combating acid reflux, see Diet and GERD Acid Reflux Heartburn and Diet and Hiatal Hernia

2018 Update: I just published two new videos that may be of interest: Are Acid-Blocking Drugs Safe? and The Best Diet for Upset Stomach.
 

Some of my other videos on beverages include:

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