There are a million reasons to love sparkling water. It’s a refreshing drink after a long day, it’s low in sugar and calories, and there are so many delicious flavors to choose from. Unfortunately, recent research shows that this popular drink might be the culprit for your incurable hunger.
Birzeit University in Palestine published their research in the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, which showed that carbonated drinks, including sparkling water, could be making you inadverently peckish all the time. The reason this drink makes you hungry is because it contains carbon dioxide, which is the ingredient that makes it delightfully fizzy. But this necessary ingredient also triggers a hormone in the digestive system called ghrelin, which is responsible for the feeling of hunger in your body.
Research was conducted on rats to see how they responded to sparkling water. They were given tap water, flat soda, carbonated soda, and diet carbonated soda. After studying their blood sugar and cholesterol for six months, they found that the rats who tossed back carbonated beverages ended up eating more food than those who drank flat drinks.
Something similar happened in human subjects. 20 men between the ages of 18 and 23 were given one of the four same drinks, and those who drank sparkling water in the morning after breakfast had six times more ghrelin in their body than those who had still water. That’s a lot of hunger to deal with.
As with all research, this doesn’t mean this will definitely happen to you, but it does make you think twice about reaching into the fridge for that third sparkling water of the day.