Carbonated drinks are produced by the process called as carbonation which includes dissolution of carbon dioxide into water or any other liquid. The fizz that we see is due to carbonation. The chemical formulation as a result of carbonation is the formation of carbonic acid. The carbonation gives the drink its bite and fizzy taste is due to the carbonic acid. The feeling of a slight burning sensation is mainly due to the carbonic acid. The pH level of the drink is also reduced after carbonation. Among the carbonated drinks, the carbonated soft drinks are more acidic, as its pH levels is around 3.0. There is little effect of air exposure on the pH level of carbonated drinks. Experts suggest that acidic nature of these drinks is harmful for dental health.
There is a misconception that the bubbles present give the bite to the drink. The carbonic acid created in carbonation is what actually gives us that fizzy taste. Often in colas like Pepsi, Coca-cola, the phosphoric acid gives it the bite. Phosphoric acid however is not responsible for the fizz. The free oxygen is reduced due to carbonation. This causes reduction in pH of a liquid to some extent. The pH level of most carbonated drinks is around 2.8 to 3.0. It means their quality is more towards being acidic in nature. A pH of 7.0 is a neutral level. As you move down to 6 or 5 and so on it makes that product acidic. Colas with a pH of around 3.0 means they are quiet acidic and can be harmful for your body.
When you open the can or a bottler the gas from the drink is released. Depressurized carbon dioxide in colas or beer causes bubbles and makes the fizzing sound. If you leave the opened can or bottle exposed to air you would find it loses fizz to a certain extent. You may have experienced it; there is a flat taste to the drink with little fizz left. However, the pH level does not change to a large extent though it may go towards the lower end a bit. It means a little loss in acidity but nothing substantial.
Experts and nutritionists are of the opinion that such pH levels affect pH balance of our body which should be 7.0 preferably. The acidic nature of soft drinks can be harmful to your teeth. Enamel erosion may be caused leading to dental carries. Dentists often advise drinking with a straw to avoid contact with the teeth. The combination of soft drinks with high pH and other acid foods may lead to acidic food deposition around the joints and organs. It can surely affect the smooth functioning of the body system.
The pH levels of carbonated water and colas and other soft drinks may vary. The pH level in quiet a few drinks is approximately around 3.0. Studies undertaken show the following results Pepsi 2.530, Diet Pepsi 3.031, Coke 2.525, Diet Coke 3.289, Cherry Coke 2.522, RC Cola 2.387, Mountain Dew 3.229, Diet Mountain Dew 3.365, Diet 7-Up 3.706, Sprite 3.298 and Mug Root Beer 4.038.
It may be noted that the pH levels of Diet drinks are around the same range.