Fizzy Water Triggers Hunger Hormone, Makes You Fat

Are you piling on extra flab? Stop drinking that fizzy water as it could be encouraging you to eat more and making you fat, suggests a new study

Fizzy water, also known as sparkling water, club soda and carbonated water, is simply plain water into which pressurized carbon dioxide gas has been dissolved to give it a fizz. This refreshing beverage is often viewed as a healthy alternative to sugary soft drinks.

However, scientists from Birzeit University in the Palestinian West Bank suggest that the fizzy water may not be a healthy option.

According to the scientists, this sparkling water is not as weight loss-friendly as it is believed. In a mouse study, the researchers found fizzy water may actually be making you feel empty, inducing you to eat more than you would generally eat.

They say, carbon dioxide in the fizzy water triggers a key hunger hormone called ghrelin, which when spikes, prompts us to scoff more food.

To see the effects of fizzy water impact on hunger and weight gain, the Birzeit University scientists gave rodents different drinks and monitored their relative weight gain.

They found, mice that were given sparkling water including zero-calorie versions put on more weight than their counterparts that consumed still water. The researchers said that the carbon dioxide in the fizzy water prompted the rats to eat on average 20 percent more, resulting in excessive weight gain.

The Birzeit team also tested their findings on humans, and found that the hunger hormone ghrelin increases in people after drinking fizzy water. Human volunteers who had sparkling water for breakfast were found to have six times more ghrelin than those who had still water.

“The result of the study implicates carbon dioxide gas in soft drinks as playing a major role in inducing weight gain and the onset of obesity via ghrelin release and stimulation of the hunger response in male mammals,” the research reads.

Convinced by the study findings, Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: “The Department of Health must now curb the use of any chemicals that impinge on health and that should include carbon dioxide if this effect is replicated in further studies.”

But the findings were not welcomed by everyone. Gavin Partington, director of The British Soft Drinks Association hit back, labelled the study as ‘bad science.’

Partington commented: “There is no body of scientific evidence that carbon dioxide contained in soft drinks – or even beer – causes increased hunger or obesity. It is bad science just to assume an outcome from a study on rats will be the same for humans.”

The findings appear in Obesity Research and Clinical Practice Journal.