San Pellegrino is much safer than soda. It’s slightly acidic because of the carbonic acid that it contains, although it’s not much worse for your mouth than a glass of orange juice.
San Pellegrino is carbonated water. The main concern with carbonated water is that it does damage to your teeth by changing the pH of your mouth. The idea is that the bubbles in a carbonated drink carry with them something called carbonic acid; you drink San Pellegrino, thinking that it's a healthy alternative to soda, and the carbonic acid does a number on your teeth.
A group of scientists publishing in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation took a close look at that claim. They found that the carbonic acid did have an effect compared to non-carbonated water. That effect, however, was relatively tiny: a soda like Coca-Cola can break down a tooth 100 times faster than a San Pellegrino. San Pellegrino is less acidic than Perrier, which is in turn less acidic than flavored soda water.
That's important because many people turn to San Pellegrino and similar sparkling waters as a healthy alternative to drinking soda. Soda may be as bad for us as cigarettes; it's loaded with artificial flavoring and coloring agents and is rich in high fructose corn syrup. Most sodas will rot your teeth, increase your bad cholesterol, and put you at risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. San Pellegrino does none of those things. If you're choosing it as an alternative to soda, it's a no-brainer.
You can control for the acidity of San Pellegrino by brushing and flossing your teeth on a regular basis and restricting foods in your diet that do damage to your teeth. Talk to your dentist about what you should be doing to keep your teeth healthy.
At one point, it was feared that carbonated drinks were linked to osteoporosis. That claim has been debunked - there's no scientific evidence to support a link between the two.
Possible long-term side effects
- tooth damage
- much better alternative to soda
- less acidic than comparable brands
- improves indigestion