There’s a legit reason why many people prefer seltzer. The happy fizz of carbonation makes drinking water a heck of a lot more exciting. Sure, there are times when all you want is a big glass of still water to chug, like after a hard workout, but if you want something to casually sip on while you’re working from home, cracking a can of LaCroix can be so much more satisfying than putting a glass under the faucet and chugging. Which raises an important question: Does seltzer hydrate you?
First, it’s important to know exactly what we’re talking about when it comes to what’s in your glass. According to Nutritious Life founder and registered dietitian Keri Glassman, RD, many people use the terms “seltzer” and “club soda” interchangeably, but there’s one major difference that affects how hydrating each one is. “Seltzer is just carbonated water. Club soda often has sodium added to carbonated water which is how it differs from seltzer,” says Glassman.
Both beverages are hydrating—sodium or not, you’re still drinking water—but the sodium content is definitely still something to pay attention to and can work for or against you in terms of your nutritional needs. “If you are lacking sodium, the club soda may actually help hydrate you,” says Glassman. “But if you have adequate sodium in your diet, then club soda will be simply as hydrating as drinking seltzer or water.”
People tend to avoid sodium when they can, but there are times when you may actually need to increase their sodium intake. If you’ve been losing a lot of liquid because you’re ill, for example, or if you’ve been sweating a lot after a long run, you want to be sure to replenish your body’s sodium.
While it’s important to keep circumstances like the above in mind, a general rule of thumb, according to the American Heart Association, is to keep sodium intake under 2,300 milligrams a day. To put that in perspective, a can of club soda has 99 milligrams, on average.
If plain water completely bores you, try adding some lemon, cucumber, or mint as an easy way to add a bit of flavor. And if you can’t go a day without cracking a can of seltzer, just know that it’s definitely providing the hydration you need.
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