Over the past several years, research and studies provided insight into the gut-brain connection and the importance of gut health. A balanced microbiome can not only improve digestion and GI function, but it can also improve mental health and overall biological function.
Most people understand that water is the most beneficial beverage for their diet. The human body needs water to operate. Still, people like variety, and water is not the most diverse beverage on the planet. Many people turn to teas, coffee, and sodas for variety.
However, a new trend suggests drinking carbonated beverages for improved gut health. Some people even promote carbonated sodas. Is carbonation a solution for improved gut health, or is it only a fad and a pipe dream?
Carbonation and Gut Health
There are many benefits to drinking carbonated or sparkling water. According to some experts, carbonated water can improve digestion, swallowing, and feelings of fullness while reducing constipation.
Unfortunately, carbonated beverages can also result in bloating and belching. The drinks are made from dissolved carbon dioxide. The compound expands to a gas when it reaches the warm temperatures of the stomach and GI tract. The stomach expands to accommodate the gas, and belching occurs to release it.
Soda and Gut Health
There are many rumors about how soda can improve gut health or ease stomach ailments, but there is little truth to the speculation. Some studies suggest that drinking carbonated soda, such as Sprite, can help with digestion because of PH values.
In truth, carbonated sodas might cause indigestion and promote acid reflux. According to experts, carbonation leads to gastric distention, resulting in more pressure on the esophageal sphincter. Therefore, people who deal with acid reflux or heartburn should stay away from soda and other carbonated beverages.
Drinks That Promote Gut Health
If you are going to drink carbonated beverages, stick to water. If you are looking for beverages to support your overall gut health, consider one of the following:
- Peppermint tea
- Ginger tea
- Fennel tea
- Lemongrass tea
The above beverages all offer more benefits than sodas. Soda is a sugar-sweetened drink, and it can result in increased risks of heart disease, metabolic disorders, and tooth decay.
Water Is the Superior Beverages
If you are looking for the most beneficial beverage, it is water, hands down. Water is free of any additives and chemicals or potentially damaging compounds.
Carbonated water can also provide benefits for digestion and diet. However, you must also be aware that carbonation can result in an upset stomach, bloating, and unwanted gas.
As for beverages that contribute to gut health, Kombucha — a fermented drink — is likely the most beneficial. However, you will also want to limit your intake of the drink.
Carbonation is not some magical potion that will heal an unhealthy or unbalanced gut microbiome. The carbonation can increase feelings of fullness and prevent constipation, but that does not mean it will improve gut health. As usual, the only way to promote health is with a healthy diet and exercise.