Does Sparkling Water Help with Hangovers?

Woman with alcoholic beverage

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.
This means if you click the link and buy the product, we receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Most of us know that hydrating with water between alcoholic beverages is the key to avoiding a debilitating hangover. Similarly, drinking water can help alleviate hangover symptoms. But does sparkling water offer the same anti-hangover benefits as flat water?

In short, yes — sparkling water can help ease the discomfort of a hangover. These bubbly beverages will hydrate you just as well as regular water after a long night of drinking.

However, drinking carbonated water alongside alcohol can actually contribute to a more substantial hangover. This means that you should avoid carbonated beverages when you are drinking alcohol. That includes soda, club soda, and seltzer water. Instead, hydrate frequently with flat water to reduce the likelihood of a bad hangover.

Woman hunched over in bed

How Can Carbonated Water Make Hangovers Worse?

When you drink alcohol, it absorbs into your bloodstream quickly — about ten minutes. It may take 30-90 minutes for you to feel its full effects. When you add carbonated drinks to the mix, alcohol is absorbed even faster.

The carbon dioxide (CO2) in sparkling water relaxes the sphincter between the stomach and the small intestine, meaning alcohol can more quickly pass through to your intestines, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream.

Faster absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream causes you to get drunk more quickly. Your body can only metabolize the equivalent of about one drink per hour. Quick consumption without proper hydration can lead to more intense hangovers.

But sparkling water isn’t the only culprit when it comes to increasing the severity of hangovers when consumed alongside alcohol. The bubbles found in beer, champagne, hard seltzers, as well as mixers like soda, club soda, seltzer water are just as likely to make your hangover worse.

Is Carbonated Water Better Than Regular Water for a Hangover?

For those who enjoy the refreshing taste and bubbles of sparkling water, it can be a comforting beverage when hungover.

One of the most overwhelming symptoms of a hangover is dehydration. It can lead to symptoms such as headaches, dry mouth, irritability, and lack of energy. Carbonated water works just as well for hydrating your body after a hangover. For those who enjoy drinking it, sparkling water can help with increasing water intake. A splash of fruit juice or other flavoring can make it even more palatable when hungover.

Additionally, carbonated water helps to relieve indigestion — a common hangover symptom. When compared to flat water, carbonated water improved the symptoms of dyspepsia, as well as constipation. This means that if you find yourself experiencing stomach discomfort when hungover, sparkling water could be a great choice.

Some early research suggests that sparkling water may also help with another hangover symptom — loss of appetite. The carbon dioxide in the beverage may lead to increased levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Rats that drank carbonated water had significantly greater levels of this hormone, causing them to eat 20% more food.

However, there’s no need to worry about intense hunger pangs as a result of drinking sparkling water; the beverage is often enjoyed by people who are fasting.

Woman opening a bottle of sparkling water

Drinks to Avoid When Hungover

Whether you’re dealing with a hangover or trying to avoid one, not all beverages are equal. Avoiding certain ingredients can help you to evade an uncomfortable morning after a night of drinking.

Sparkling water that contains sodium, sugar, natural sweeteners or other additives can contribute to a worse hangover. Sodium, as you likely know, can cause dehydration.

Similarly, soda, juice, and other sugary drinks can also make a hangover more likely. This is not due to any chemical effect. Sweet mixers like these mask the flavor of alcohol and make beverages more palatable for many drinkers. That means they may be more likely to over-consume.

What’s more, when you’re already hungover, sugary drinks aren’t much help either. Sugar requires a lot of water for metabolization, and these drinks can actually make dehydration worse. Many sodas also contain caffeine, which can even further dehydrate the body.

Can Carbonated Water Help With Hangovers?

The best way to prevent a hangover is to remain hydrated while drinking alcohol. Sparkling water may contribute to a worse hangover when consumed with alcohol. This is because it can cause alcohol to absorb into your bloodstream more quickly.

However, if you find yourself hungover after a night of drinking, sparkling water can help to alleviate some of the most common hangover symptoms — from dehydration to indigestion. This means that sparkling water can be an excellent beverage choice for someone suffering a hangover.