Water is essential for daily function, well-being, and mental health. We drink bottles and glasses of it every day, but even plain water can get boring.

Sometimes, we need that boost from a refreshing drink, but without the heapings of sugar and chemicals typically found in soft drinks. Looking to switch up your H2O? Choose the bubbly, carbonated version –– sparkling water. Before trying all of the latest varieties, understand the ins and outs of your new favorite thirst-quencher.

1. Check the label.

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Sparkling water is plain water charged with carbon dioxide bubbles. By itself, carbonated water is void of sugar, flavor and artificial acids. Very similar to a soft drink's fizzy after-taste, sparkling water leaves you with a refreshing, bubbly sensation in your mouth. But, once sugar is added for flavor, sparkling water can lose some of its health benefits. Check the back label before drinking to avoid a sugar-overload that can harm your teeth's enamel!

2. Be cautious.

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If you are sensitive to carbonated drinks, be cautious about consuming sparkling water. The bubbly beverage could upset your stomach or make you a little extra gassy. Learn your body's limits and avoid drinks like sparkling water that are heavily carbonated. If bubbles aren't your thing, you can still switch it up by infusing fruits/herbs into your water!

3. Stay hydrated.

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Avoid drinking carbonated beverages after a workout because the bubbles fill up your stomach and create the illusion that you're fully hydrated! The carbon dioxide in the sparkling water settles the stomach and gives a filled effect, which could prevent you from drinking enough water afterward. Track your plain water intake during the day, especially when you work out, to stay hydrated before enjoying any sparkling water.

4. Practice good health.

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Make your own creations at home to reap the full benefits of sparkling water. Add fresh fruits and herbs to plain sparkling water. The acid and carbonation in sparkling water does not harm your teeth or affect bone health, while sugary soft drinks/juices do. Use your best judgement while drinking beverages, but also enjoy different waters from time-to-time. Remember -- everything in moderation, even your favorite soft drinks!