sparkling mineral water - is it as bad as soda for your bones

I enjoy drinking sparkling mineral water - but am concerned that it may be as bad as drinking soda, for your bones.
I do also drink lots of plain water and skim milk.

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The sparkling water simply contains carbon dioxide which is going to be virtually harmless in influencing calcium digestion and bone maintenance. Commercial carbonated soft drinks typically have added phosphoric acid and a high sugar content which are problems. The phosphorous tends to remove calcium from the body after it is absorbed, especially in older people and those with low PTH hormone levels. The sugar replaces calories that might come from healthier foods with valuable protein, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Milk is a nice food, but has a high phosphorous content. Since the body has to work hard to discard phosphorous without also losing calcium, some find it not effective as a source of calcium. Fish has good protein and is low in phosphorous.

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Thanks Tango for your reply. I also found these articles - make interesting reading, but hard to understand in laymans terms!

Both from medical sites: - 1. -
The Effect of the Alkali Load of Mineral Water on Bone Metabolism: Interventional Studies1

Alkaline mineral water lowers bone resorption even in calcium sufficiency: alkaline mineral water and bone metabolism

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Recipe for Magnesium/Bicarbonate Water
This is very easy to make if you have a Soda Stream or other fizzy water maker. Hardest part is finding a source of Magnesium Hydroxide (milk of magnesia) that hasn't got added flavour or Chloroform added.
They are made, just hard to find and UK chemist tend to assume that if it isn't on their computer it doesn't exist.
My pee was always as acid as the strips could measure, drinking this Magnesium Bicarbonate water brings it up to normal.

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Here is some information from NOF about soft drinks:

Certain soft drinks and sodas, especially colas, contain phosphorous in the form of phosphoric acid. These drinks may also have caffeine. Some people are concerned that the phosphoric acid and caffeine in soft drinks can harm bone health. Colas may have other chemicals, besides phosphoric acid and caffeine, that can affect the bones. People with osteoporosis should not drink more than five cola drinks a week.

Phosphorous exists in the human body as phosphate and, like calcium, is a major part of bone. The phosphorus found in food is needed to build healthy bones and other tissues. Because phosphorus is in many foods, it’s rare for healthy people not to get enough.

Phosphorous in the form of phosphate or phosphoric acid is often added to processed foods and soft drinks. As a result, concern has been expressed that Americans may be getting too much phosphorous. Some studies suggest that too much phosphorous can reduce the amount of calcium that the body absorbs. However, there is no scientific agreement about whether the current level of phosphorus in the American diet is harmful to the bones.

Caffeine in high amounts can cause bone loss. It interferes with calcium absorption and causes a slight increase in the amount of calcium in the urine. If you enjoy drinks that have caffeine, you can make up for any calcium loss by getting enough calcium to meet your body’s needs. Be careful not to substitute caffeinated drinks for milk and calcium-fortified juices. When drinks that have caffeine take the place of milk and other sources of calcium, bone health may be affected.

There is no connection between the carbonation in soft drinks and bone loss. In fact, certain carbonated mineral waters have been shown to improve bone health.

In summary: for bone health, it is best not to drink too many soft drinks.

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The idea of the mineral waters is that they add minerals and bicarbonate intake which is beneficial in the right proportions. Ted is suggesting making your own sparkling mineral water for best effect, excluding sodium which is present in some natural waters.

You could try just using some plain magnesium oxide pills from the health food store as your source of magnesium hydroxide. They should dissolve easily and will include some binders and other additions required to make the pills but no flavoring. Calcium carbonate will also dissolve in water but a little added glacial vinegar would help the process.

This provides an alternate source of magnesium which is often low in the western diet. The afib people are taking this to improve the electrical regulation of their hearts since magnesium is known to relax the nerves and help them work correctly. The mineral water also affects the acid balance of the body so it need not work so hard to maintain the correct acid balance. The PTH level is an indication of how hard the body is working to maintain a good calcium to phosphorous balance. The PTH level improves by getting lower when the mineral water supplies some of the needed minerals.

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Can anyone say which mineral waters are best? I have been drinking Gerolsteiner, which has the highest calcium I have been able to find ( 80 mg. per cup) However, in the links provided by Saxon, reference was made to alkali rich mineral waters, vs. acid calcium rich mineral water. I wonder which ones are alkali.. For those of us who don't want to make our own..

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Hi Saxon. Thanks for asking this question. I am curious about it, as well. I appreciate Seacoral's additional question. I used to be a big fan of Gerolsteiner until the price of it started to skyrocket. My husband and I are now big fans of Trader Joe's sparkling mineral water.

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