Drinking seltzer might not scream "healthy decision" like eating kale or quinoa. But believe it or not, there are many benefits of seltzer water, and with so many ways to incorporate it into your diet, it's no wonder this bubbly beverage is popping up everywhere lately. So grab a glass and pull up a seat. Here are some pros you may not have known about this everyday fizzy drink, plus some unexpected ways you can use it in the kitchen.

1. Stay Hydrated

Seltzer is just water that has carbonation added to it, which means that a bottle (or can) of it totally counts toward your daily hydration quota. In fact, one study even found that seltzer drinkers actually sip slightly more than those who drink plain water. In other words, that bubbly is pretty tasty.

2. Take the Edge off Your Hunger

If your stomach's rumbling and dinner is still an hour away, research suggests that a swig of seltzer can keep you satisfied without ruining your appetite. That's because all those bubbles take up space in your belly, so you feel fuller. You might want to skip drinking seltzer if you have gastrointestinal issues, though. Some experts suspect that the carbonation can trigger gas and bloating in people with sensitive digestive tracts.

3. Kick Your Soda Habit

If you're trying to cut back on your soda consumption, you might want to make seltzer water your new sip of choice. Unlike soda, unflavored seltzer has zero calories, and it's free of sugar and artificial sweeteners. But you'll still get the same fun bubbles, and if you want, you can bump up the flavor with real ingredients—more on that later!

4. Say No to Tooth Erosion

Carbonation makes seltzer slightly more acidic than regular water, which has prompted some concerns about its ability to erode tooth enamel or leach calcium from bones. But studies suggest that you shouldn't worry about seltzer wrecking your teeth or your bones, so feel free to drink up. (The sky-high acidity in soda can decrease bone density and rot your teeth, though.)

5. Get Fizzy in the Kitchen

Seltzer is pretty tasty on its own, but you can do a lot more with it than simply sip it straight. It's a truly versatile ingredient in foods and beverages. Here are some delicious ideas you can try.

  • Make your own flavored fizzy drink. Lemon or orange wedges, or muddled berries and herbs make seltzer taste special with zero extra calories. You can also experiment with homemade syrups, so consider trying flavors like ginger or strawberry. Unlike bottled sodas, you can control how much you stir in, keeping calories and sugar low.
  • Pump up your pancakes or scrambled eggs. Try swapping out some milk for seltzer in your favorite pancake batter recipe. The bubbles will give the batter more lift, making your pancakes extra fluffy and light. Or pour a splash of seltzer into beaten eggs before scrambling them to fluff up your end result.
  • Try a sparkling smoothie. Shake up your smoothie routine by trading all, or part, of your usual liquid for seltzer. The bubbles will make your blended drink lighter and frothier, just like those slushies you used to love as a kid.

It's clear that this carbonated drink deserves a spot on your list of healthy beverages. With so many benefits of seltzer water, and the added bonus of being able to customize the flavor however you see fit, you may want to start stocking your fridge now, before everyone else is in on this bubbly treat.