So carbon dioxide and water, that’s all there is in soda water is there? Er, well, no not entirely. For you see H2O and CO2 can get together inside a seltzer bottle (or can of pop) to form a little something that goes by the name of of H2CO3, that’s carbonic acid to you and me. Just how much carbonic acid occurs when you carbonate water? Not terribly much, though enough to give soda water and other carbonated beverages their signature sour tang. Oh, you mean you thought the bubbles did it? Nope, it’s the acid. Sorry to burst your uh…oh man, I just can’t bring myself to go there.

Does the acid in carbonated water have any health implications? Despite what health gurus said for years about carbonic acid in soda and soft drinks causing calcium deficiencies and tooth rot, most of that was disproved by studies in the 80?s and 90?s. Which is not to say that there isn’t a link between calcium deficiency and carbonated drinks, especially in children. For children who drink a lot of soft drinks drink less milk, which means they take in less calcium in to begin with, and that’s not a good thing. For adults, dilute carbonic acid carries zero health risks.

6 thoughts on “H2CO3”

  1. My kids and I have been playing with dry ice lately, and dropping cubes of it in juice to give it a fizz. Very fun.

    1. Oh I do miss dry ice…you used to be able to get it lots of places. Ah, the mad scientist fun I used to have!


      – Joe

  2. I think it’s the high sugar content of these drinks that has the greatest health implications.

    1. You many be right, Jodie. Make them yourself and you can control the sugar!


      – Joe

  3. I’ve never been a fan of drinks with bubbles in them, and you’ve got me wondering if it might be related to the carbonic acid rather than the bubbles- thanks for the insight!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *