Ask the Expert: Does Seltzer Hydrate as Well as Water?

Trainer and health coach Cara Mia Scinto shares her take.

Photo by TK TK. Styling By Olga Khvan.

Photo by Mariel Tenney. Styling By Olga Khvan.

The seltzer obsession is real. Whether it’s New England standby Polar, local up-and-comer Spindrift, or national powerhouse LaCroix, carbonated water—in a dizzying array of delightful flavors—is everywhere. But can you really replace good old H2O with the bubbly stuff? We turned to personal trainer and health coach Cara Mia Scinto, founder of the Balanced Bod, to find out.

Question: Does seltzer hydrate as well as water?

Answer: Yes—most of the time.

The details: Seltzer is just carbonated water, so Scinto says there’s no harm in gulping it down. “The bubbly drink is absorbed by the body the same as regular water, so it does hydrate just as well,” she says. “Seltzer is an excellent alternative to sugary sodas and juices that also provides us with hydration.” She adds that the bubbles may even help you feel full—perhaps cutting down on your afternoon case of the munchies.

Before you vow to never again drink flat water, though, hear this: Scinto says chugging seltzer at the gym may not be in your best interests. Scinto recalls a recent Zumba class when she and a friend hydrated with seltzer instead of water.

“We both agreed on feeling too burp-y, gassy, and bloated drinking the bubbles during the workout,” she says. “Plain water might be a better choice for some individuals during a workout.”

The bottom line: Drink with abandon. Just bring your water bottle to the gym.