When it comes to healthy beverages, water is the gold standard. It provides necessary hydration, fills you up, and doesn’t add calories, sodium, or artificial sweeteners. Other drinks, like soda, juice, and flavored waters just don’t measure up.

But what about carbonated water? Is it considered healthy?

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What Is Carbonated Water?

Carbonated beverages are simply any beverage that contains dissolved carbon dioxide. This produces the trademark bubbles and fizz that we all love, alongside slightly acidic substances.

No evidence has been found that the slight acidity of carbonated water affects the body in either a negative or positive way. Problems associated with soda drinking like increased calcium in the urine and possible contribution to chronic kidney disease don’t seem to be shared by plain carbonated water.

Check the Label

All carbonated waters — sparkling water, seltzer, tonic water, carbonated flavored water — are not created equally.

Some versions of carbonated water may contain extra ingredients to add flavor, which is not considered as healthy as plain carbonated water. Make sure you check the label so you know exactly what you’re sipping.

RELATED: Benefit Your Health With Infused Water

Add Some Flavor — and Some Nutrients

You may want to avoid some of the additives and sugars packaged in some types of carbonated water, but that doesn’t mean you have to skip out of flavoring all together. Try infusing your carbonated water with natural fare, like cucumber, mint, lemon, or even honey.

For more information on healthy eating, visit the website for UPMC Nutrition Services.

About UPMC

A $21 billion health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates more than 90,000 employees, 40 hospitals, 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a 3.8 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. In the most recent fiscal year, UPMC contributed $1.4 billion in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution, and paid more than $500 million in federal, state, and local taxes. Working in close collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC shares its clinical, managerial, and technological skills worldwide through its innovation and commercialization arm, UPMC Enterprises, and through UPMC International. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside on its annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. For more information, go to UPMC.com.