Hydration debate: flat vs seltzer

Here’s how the swap can affect your performance.

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Sparkling water is a popular alternative to flat H2O, but its carbonation and acidity can leave people questioning whether the beverage has a place in their fitness routines, too.
Turns out, you can safely hydrate with seltzer during a workout, says Dana Hunnes, Ph.D., RD, a senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. Products from some brands, like Seagram’s and San Pellegrino, are even more hydrating than flat water because they contain 30 to 35 milligrams of sodium per serving, which helps your body retain water, she explains.

The swap probably won’t affect your performance, but drinking carbonated water while breathing in more air during tough workouts is a recipe for burping, Hunnes says. It’s more likely to happen during cardio sessions like running versus more stationary ones like lifting.

If you prefer seltzer and aren’t bothered by the bubbles, you can do a one-to-one swap of flat water for sparkling while you exercise, she says.