Seltzers Could Be Worse For Your Bladder Than You Think

If you're a fan of carbonated drinks, you're one of many. Beverage Industry revealed in their 2021 market report that sparkling water has seen a near 16% increase in sales over the last few years — far exceeding the growth of still water sales. It certainly makes sense. With all its fizzy goodness, seltzers give our taste buds a much more interactive experience than regular tap water.

Better yet, science says that seltzers may also offer us some health benefits. Seltzer is void of sugar, making it much gentler on our tooth enamel than other carbonated beverages such as soda (via WebMD). Some research has even shown seltzer may help soothe an upset stomach or relieve constipation.

However, for some, all that carbonation can aggravate any preexisting urinary issues (via Well + Good). This means that if you're someone who has bladder irritation, consuming too much seltzer could ultimately be exacerbating the problem. Seltzer can induce bladder irritation, along with pain and increased trips to the bathroom. How so, you ask?

Seltzer can increase bladder irritation and urination frequency

"The carbon dioxide in sparkling water tends to irritate the lining of the bladder," explains urologist Dr. Austin DeRosa to Well + Good. So unfortunately, while all that fizzy goodness may delight our taste buds, the opposite may be true when it comes to our bladder. Not only that, but if you're a fan of hard seltzers in particular, experts at Shore Physicians Group say you may be doubling up on the irritation, as the alcohol in hard seltzers also acts as a diuretic.

While we may not be causing any direct damage to the bladder itself (per Well + Good), drinking seltzer at the expense of regular water can pose other potential problems. While seltzer certainly may quench our thirst in the moment, it is important to supplement it with adequate amounts of regular water.

Urologist Dr. Meredith Jankowski elaborates via Shore Physicians Group, stating, "My real concern is when people think they have made the healthy choice by eliminating soda and use the seltzer in place of water. Seltzer is not water. What the body needs to be properly hydrated is water and it is really important for anyone to remember to drink about 50 oz. of water each day."

For this reason, urologists advise that seltzers and other beverages besides regular water should only occupy up to 25% of your fluid intake each day.