Carbonated drinks are prepared by the process called as carbonation. Carbonation occurs with dissolution of carbon dioxide in water or any drink. This is what gives the carbonated water the fizz. The fizz is often used to give “bite” in soft drinks like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Fanta etc. The flavor profile comes due to the phosphoric acid that is added to soft drinks like Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Carbonation may be a reason for the taste change. This is because with carbonation the free oxygen in the soda is reduced and that may lead to reduction in the pH level of the liquid by a small amount. This is where the question arises “are carbonated drinks acidic?”
There is a growing concern about the health effects of soda pop or flavored carbonated drinks. We are all aware that the fizz in these drinks comes from carbonation. There are many who believe that carbonation gives the carbonated drinks the bubbles. However, it is the amount of CO2 that causes carbonic acid in drinks and gives the different fizzy tastes to the drinks. There are some studies that suggest that exposing soft drinks for a short period causes dental erosion. It may lead to significant enamel loss with prolonged exposure to the drinks. People feel soft drinks are harmless and the sugar content is the only area of concern. They have diet drinks to overcome this concern. However, most drinks have some amount of phosphoric acid or citric acid. Experts say that while some colas ranked 2.39 on the acid scale, the distilled water for battery is just 1.0. This acidity may cause damage to your teeth and thus should be avoided.
The soft drinks that we normally have with our food may not be the best thing for our body. The pH of many soft drinks is 3.4 which is a great concern. The carbonated content may be related to heartburns. People having soft drinks are at a higher risk of reflux problems due to gas producing and acid producing items in them. It aids acid production in our stomach which may be in higher in some. This gas reverts back to the esophagus. The heartburns are mainly experienced due to this. Some studies also suggest that a can of soda per day may be the cause of elevated acid levels in the stomach for as much as 53.3 minutes.
Another theory is that the phosphoric acid in some carbonated drinks may be the cause of displacement of calcium from bones. This may cause lowering of bone density and weak bones. But some counter this theory and feel that the effect is actually negligible but the real problem arises when it is taken in larger a quantity. This is what causes weakening of bones and not the phosphoric acid in the carbonated drinks. The other ingredients like sweeteners, coloring matter, preservatives and other additives may also be causes of some other health issues.
There are plenty of reasons to avoid soft drinks. Carbonated water may be a refreshing alternative with natural flavors added.