What are Carbonated Drinks?
Beverages that contain dissolved carbon dioxide. The dissolution of CO2 in a liquid, gives rise to fizz or effervescence. The process usually involves carbon dioxide under high pressure. When the pressure is removed, the carbon dioxide is released from the solution as small bubbles, which causes the solution to become effervescent, or fizzy.
These are also known as soft drinks, sparkling water, seltzer, cool drink, cold drink, fizzy drink, fizzy juice, lolly water, tonic, coke, soda, soda water, pop, or soda pop.
Carbonated water or soda water is water containing dissolved carbon dioxide gas, either artificially injected under pressure or occurring due to natural geological processes. Carbonation causes small bubbles to form, giving the water an effervescent quality. Common forms include sparkling natural mineral water, club soda, and commercially produced sparkling water (also known as ‘seltzer water’ in the U.S.).
Carbonation in carbonated drinks is Carbon Dioxide (CO2)!
Carbon dioxide is a colorless gas. In its solid form, it is used as dry ice. It can be found in spring water and is released when volcanoes erupt, trees are cut down, or fossil fuels and products made from them such as oil, gasoline, and natural gas are burned. It is used in refrigeration, carbonation of beverages, and production of fertilizers. Known as a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
Where does Carbon Dioxide hide?
Consumer products – dry ice, gasoline, and carbonated beverages such as soda and beer
Air – indoor and outdoor air, emitted by burning coal, oil, gasoline, and natural gas
Natural environment – when volcanoes erupt, or trees are cut down
Waste product made by the body – when you eat, move, and breathe you create carbon dioxide from internal cellular respiration
Why would you want to add more?
What happens to me when I get too much Carbon Dioxide?
This is what happens to the body when it is exposed to excessive amounts Carbon Dioxide in any form. Exposure occurs by consumption, inhalation, improper respiration, and absorption; the body is unable to remove the excess and toxicity occurs. Everyone is at risk for over exposure (toxicity).
Short-term Exposure to high carbon dioxide levels can cause –
- Suffocation by displacement of air
- Incapacitation and unconsciousness
- Vertigo and double vision
- Inability to concentrate
- Tinnitus – ringing in ears
- Seizures – uncontrolled muscle movements
- Nerve disorders
- Joint instability and/or pain
- Depressed mood
Touching liquid carbon dioxide (dry ice) can cause: Frostbite or blisters
A common concern with carbonated beverages is the acidity levels and the risk of calcium and magnesium loss from bones due to a change in the body’s pH levels. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no significant link between short-term consumption of carbonated beverages and urinary excretion of calcium, which is an indicator for calcium depletion. They say nothing about long-term consumption.
Long-term Exposure: Prolonged/continued exposure to carbon dioxide may cause –
- Changes in bone calcium
- Changes in body metabolism
- Changes in body chemistry
- Changes in joint stability
- Changes in skin integrity
- Changes in mental function
While plain carbonated water is a better choice than sugary beverages like soda, juice, or sweet tea, a small 2017 study revealed that plain carbonated water increased a hunger hormone called ghrelin in men. Essentially, when your ghrelin levels are high, you’ll feel hungrier and are likely to eat more, which can lead to weight gain.
Benefits of Sparkling Water
It’s also important to note that not all carbonated water is created equal. While carbonated water is just water plus air, some bottled seltzers and flavor enhancers contain sodium, natural and artificial acids, flavors, sweeteners, and other additives. Mineral and Soda water both provide:
- Rich in Health-Promoting Minerals
- Blood Sugar Management
- Healthier Alternative to Soda
- Help for Dyspepsia and Constipation
- Calms Motion Sickness
- Safer option than Tap Water
Dangers of Sparkling Water
Too much of anything is bad, Carbon Dioxide and Carbonic Acid included. Carbonated drinks in moderation won’t hurt anyone. Yet if you make this a daily, or multiple times a day, practice you will be consuming too much Carbon Dioxide, and many other chemicals if your drinking flavored carbonated drinks.
Researchers have found that the sensation we experience when we drink a carbonated beverage like sparkling water is due to a reaction that occurs inside our mouths that changes carbon dioxide bubbles into irritating carbonic acid. So that exhilarating “bite” of carbonation is actually chemical rather than physical.
Carbonic acid can begin to deteriorate joints, bones and teeth with continued consumption or exposure.
Carbonated water may increase irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) symptoms of bloating and gas, burning and excess acid due to the release of carbon dioxide in the digestive tract. Carbonated drinks can also be a trigger for constipation and/or diarrhea for some people with digestive health issues like IBS.