Carbonation Confusion

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Carbonated beverages like cola usually contain phosphoric acids, caffeine, large amounts of sugar, and other chemicals. These may add excess calories (if not diet), be dehydrating, and studies have shown that phosphoric acid in excess actually pulls calcium from bone making you more prone to developing osteoporosis.

But what about carbonated beverages that are caffeine-free and low sodium like club soda or Fresca? Sure, a cold, fizzy drink can be very refreshing, especially in hot weather or after a work-out. But is there such a thing as too much?

The answer is_ Yes. Because carbonation usually causes a feeling of fullness or bloating, you may not be getting adequate fluids to rehydrate your body. The human body's mechanism for thirst detection is very poor. Therefore, we have already been dehydrated for sometime before we feel thirsty.

Companies like Gatorade have not carbonated their products because it causes gastrointestinal distress and inhibits sufficient hydration. Because our bodies are composed of 70 percent water, dehydration can have serious adverse effects on bodily functions and even be fatal. On a smaller scale, our skin is affected many different ways when we do not hydrate it properly. Things like age spots are partially caused by the skin being dehydrated.

When your skin is dry, you will lose the elasticity and resilience or the ability for the skin to return to its original state after pressure is applied. Due to our aging process and environmental stress the resilience or tension and elasticity of our skin gradually deteriorates and then we begin to see the appearance of age spots and wrinkles.

There is no reason to completely eliminate caffeine-free carbonated beverages from your fluid intake. Just consume in moderation and make sure you are drinking 8 ounce glasses of non carbonated/caffeinated water per day to properly hydrate your body and skin to keep you living longer and looking better!

Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and founder of

. She is also the creator of The F-Factor DietaC/, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, improved health and well-being. For more information log onto