Difference between Still and Sparkling Water

Have you ever seen people pick sides about water preferences, like team “still” and team “sparkling”? Yet to you is all seemed the same? It’s with bubbles or no bubbles, right? If you want to find out more about what makes the two different, apart from bubbles, here is some useful information.


Still water is the water we all drink; it is the transparent fluid whose chemical formula everybody knows: H2O. The water we drink and we recognize as being still water is usually bottled tap water or comes from a natural source which has been tested and declared as being potable, such as a fountain or a spring.

While people in rural areas rely on fountains and local reservoirs for water, people in big cities get water from one main source, and depending on how good a job the people at the water cleaning station do, the tap water is either good for drinking or not potable. Another option for people with a preference for still water is the bottled type. This water can come from wells or springs; it can be mineral or distilled water (water which is boiled to have impurities removed).

Still vs Sparkling Water
Sparkling water in a glass

Sparkling water, also known as carbonated water, is still water in which carbon dioxide gas has been dissolved under pressure. This procedure makes the water bubbly and it gives it a slightly saltier taste. Sparkling water can only be found bottled, although it can run through special taps or be done at home with soda siphons. Although some people mistake carbonated water for mineral water, in reality, mineral water is still (flat) at the source, its attribute being that of containing minerals, such as sodium or sulfur compounds, not that of being fizzy.

Still Water vs Sparkling Water

So what is the difference between still water and sparkling water?

While drinking water is mandatory for humans, the bubbles in the sparkling water are not. Even so, do the bubbles in the sparkling water make for the main difference between the two? There have been some health concerns about the consumption of sparkling water, but most of them were laid to rest, while others are a matter of common sense. Some maintained that the bubbles would ruin your teeth enamel, while others claimed that it would eat up the calcium from the bones. It turned out that the teeth are not affected much by the fizz, while the calcium issue proved to be a problem with people who generally preferred soda because of associated eating and drinking habits which lead to an overall lower calcium intake.

Digestive problems may remain the last standing issue regarding the consumption of sparkling water, but these depend on the individual. A sensitive stomach is a clear counter-indication because the fizz can make the excess gastric acid and irritated stomach mucus conditions worse. On the other hand, a slow digestion or constipation could use some bubbles to speed things along.

People with urinary problems should avoid sparkling water and carbonated beverages of any kind. This leaves still water, which is completely harmless, as the safest solution in all cases. There is no risk of over-consumption, although the urine can come out a bit too clear, which means that you have drunk much more than what the body needs for hydration.

In the end, it is a matter of taste as much as it is a matter of dosage. Sparkling water is not necessarily bad for you, but too much carbonated beverages could, in time, have the dreaded effects mentioned above. Still water may seem flat and too sweet for a sparkling water fan, but excess is never good.

Comparison Chart

Still water Sparkling water
Natural water (H2O) Water to which carbon dioxide has been added under pressure
Can be found in natural sources, bottled or at the tap Can be found bottled, at the tap or can be made at home with soda siphons
When potable, it has absolutely no consumption counter-indication People with sensitive stomachs and urinary problems should drink less sparkling water