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.
History of Carbonated Drinks
Another early type of soft drink was lemonade, made of water and lemon juice sweetened with honey, but without carbonated water. The Compagnie des Limonadiers of Paris was granted a monopoly for the sale of lemonade soft drinks in 1676. Vendors carried tanks of carbonated lemonade on their backs and dispensed cups of the soft drink to Parisians.
In the late 18th century, scientists made important progress in replicating naturally carbonated mineral waters. In 1767, Englishman Joseph Priestley first discovered a method of infusing water with carbon dioxide to make carbonated water when he suspended a bowl of distilled water above a beer vat at a local brewery in Leeds, England. His invention of carbonated water (also known as soda water) is the major and defining component of most soft drinks.
Thomas Henry, an apothecary from Manchester, was the first to sell artificial mineral water to the general public for medicinal purposes, beginning in the 1770s. His recipe for ‘Bewley’s Mephitic Julep’ consisted of 3 drachms of fossil alkali to a quart of water, and the manufacture had to ‘throw in streams of fixed air until all the alkaline taste is destroyed’.
It was not long before flavoring was combined with carbonated water. The earliest reference to carbonated ginger beer is in a Practical Treatise on Brewing. published in 1809. The drinking of either natural or artificial mineral water was considered at the time to be a healthy practice and was promoted by advocates of temperance. Pharmacists selling mineral waters began to add herbs and chemicals to unflavored mineral water. They used birch bark (see birch beer), dandelion, sarsaparilla, fruit extracts, and other substances. Flavorings were also added to improve the taste.
In America, soda fountains were initially more popular, and many Americans would frequent the soda fountain daily. Beginning in 1806, Yale University chemistry professor Benjamin Silliman sold soda waters in New Haven, Connecticut. He used a Nooth apparatus to produce his waters.
Businessmen in Philadelphia and New York City also began selling soda water in the early 19th century. In the 1830s, John Matthews of New York City and John Lippincott of Philadelphia began manufacturing soda fountains. Both men were successful and built large factories for fabricating fountains. Due to problems in the U.S. glass industry, bottled drinks remained a small portion of the market throughout much of the 19th century.
In the early 20th century, sales of bottled soda increased exponentially, and in the second half of the 20th century, canned soft drinks became an important share of the market.
During the 1920s, “Home-Paks” were invented. “Home-Paks” are the familiar six-pack cartons made from cardboard. Vending machines also began to appear in the 1920s. Since then, soft drink vending machines have become increasingly popular. Both hot and cold drinks are sold in these self-service machines throughout the world.
Per capita consumption of soda varies considerably around the world. As of 2014, the top consuming countries per capita were Argentina, the United States, Chile, and Mexico. Developed countries in Europe and elsewhere in the Americas had considerably lower consumption. Annual average consumption in the United States, at 153.5 liters, was about twice that in the United Kingdom (77.7) or Canada (85.3). From 2009 to 2014 consumption dropped over 4% per year in Greece, Romania, Portugal, and Croatia (putting these countries at betwen 34.7 and 51.0 liters per year). Over the same period, consumption grew over 20% per year in three countries, resulting in per-capita consumption of 19.1 liters in Cameroon, 43.9 liters in Georgia, and 10.0 liters in Vietnam.