Carbonated drinks, as we are aware, are a mixture of carbonated water and other ingredients like flavors. Carbonated drinks are made by dissolving carbon dioxide gas and other ingredients; flavors, sweeteners, food acids etc. The process of dissolving carbon dioxide into water is called as carbonation. When you dissolve carbon dioxide into water it is called as carbonated water or sparkling water. It is a chemical formulation that gives carbonic acid.
Carbonated water is plain water in which carbon dioxide is dissolved. This process is called as carbonation. Carbonated water also called as sparkling water or seltzer is simply plain water into which carbon dioxide gas has been dissolved. Thus the chemical formation as a result is that of carbonic acid. Carbonic acid has a chemical formula of H2CO3. Carbonated water is often the base of most soft drinks that are manufactured. There may be additives that may be used to give it the specific taste, flavor etc.
Earlier carbonated water could be produced at home by charging a seltzer bottle filled with water and then adding carbon dioxide. This is mainly what happens with carbonated water. If you consider club soda then it is similar to carbonated water as it forms the basic thing and there is addition of table salt, sodium citrate, potassium sulfate, potassium citrate etc. These are simple additives that give taste to our soda water.
The first time carbonated water was tried out was by Joseph Priestly who found a method of infusing water with carbon dioxide by suspending a bowl of water above beer vat at a local brewer. The process gave the water a pleasant taste. With the carbonation method used now, it is the pressurized carbon dioxide that is dissolved in water. The pressure causes the solubility to increase. This helps dissolve more carbon dioxide. The quality carbonated beverages depends on the amount of dissolved CO2 that is dissolved in it.
The chemical formula as a result of carbonation gives the soft drinks its bite. The fizzy taste is due to carbonic acid and not due to the bubbles. Carbonation is also used sometimes to lower the pH of a water solution. If you are home brewing remember over-carbonation can be dangerous and may even cause explosion of the bottles. Thus the bottlers use priming sugar or malt extract while bottling beer to make the process safer. Sometimes, carbonated water is also useful in removing stains from coffee mugs or stains from silver.
As against the misconception that all carbonated drinks are responsible for dental erosion, sparkling mineral water actually has negligible effect. It is mostly the soft drink that we have, which is the major cause of tooth decay. Similarly carbonated beverages are not directly associated with high risk of bone fracture. It is the over consumption of soft drinks and ignorance of calcium rich food which is the real cause.
Carbonated drinks, mainly carbonated water and other varieties available now with natural flavors are not harmful. If you want to find the chemical formulae of different carbonated drinks like soft drinks, carbonated water etc you may surely do so. Basically there does not seem to be anything harmful unless there are other factors affecting the formula.