Q. Can Drinking Seltzers, Sodas or Other Carbonated Drinks Harm Bones?

By Joyce Hendley, May/June 2008

Can Drinking Seltzers, Sodas or Other Carbonated Drinks Harm Bones?

A. Perhaps. There’s research that links drinking certain types of soda with weaker bones—but carbonation doesn’t seem to be the problem.

Nutrition experts once believed caffeine could be the culprit. In a 2001 study out of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, people lost measurable amounts of calcium after drinking caffeinated sodas. Drinking decaffeinated sodas didn’t appear to have the same effect. As it turned out, though, people tended to make up for the losses by excreting less calcium later in the day. The researchers concluded that if sodas harm bones it’s probably because people drink them in place of milk.

But another study, reported in 2006 by researchers at Tufts University in Boston, suggests that colas, specifically, might be problematic. Among the 1,413 women whose dietary records and bone-density scans they reviewed, those who drank a diet or regular cola at least three times a week over five years had significantly lower bone densities than those who sipped cola once a month or less. No such effect occurred with other carbonated drinks, even after researchers factored in intake of calcium from foods.

The likely cause? Phosphoric acid, which is unique to colas, says Katherine Tucker, Ph.D., lead author of the study. When the body breaks down this compound, the acidity (or concentration of free hydrogen ions) of the blood increases. To neutralize acidity, hydrogen ions bind with minerals, including calcium and magnesium. If they’re not available in the blood, says Tucker, “the body draws calcium from bones.” The occasional cola drinker probably needn’t worry. “The real risk is for those who drink cola every day,” says Tucker.

Bottom line: There are plenty of good reasons to quit a regular soda habit; carbonation isn’t one of them. In fact, sparkling mineral waters sometimes contain a little calcium and magnesium, says Tucker, “so they might even benefit bones.”


Effervescence is the escape of gas from an aqueous solution. The term is usually used to describe the texture that results from gas. In the lab a common example of effervescence is the addition of hydrochloric acid to a block of limestone. If a few pieces of marble or an antacid tablet are put in hydrochloric acid in a test tube fitted with a cork, effervescence of carbon dioxide can be witnessed. Produces effervescence which contains carbon dioxide.

This process is generally represented by the following equilibrium reaction, where a pressurised dilute solution of carbonic acid in water releases gaseous carbon dioxide at decompression.

Effervescence is the cause of bubbles in fizzy drinks (carbon dioxide escaping water), beers and sparkling wines. Carbonated beverages are beverages which contain dissolved carbon dioxide. The process of dissolving carbon dioxide in water is called carbonation. Carbon dioxide may be naturally occurring in the beverage from fermentation or a mineral source or be artificially added. Carbonated water was first discovered by brewer Joseph Preistley and Kristan Edwards.

Measuring carbonation
The quality of carbonated beverages including soft drinks, seltzer and beer is affected by the dissolved CO2 (the gas that causes carbonation) and the amount of carbonic acid in the drink. Carbon dioxide (CO2) has an infrared absorption wavelength of 4.27 micrometers and can be measured online using an infrared carbonation sensor. This is an improvement to the traditional inferred measurement method using temperature and pressure for Henry's Law coefficients because this methodology is influenced by changes in density and alcohol content. Infrared measurements are not affected by changes in density or alcohol content because they are actually measuring the CO2 molecule using the infrared transmissivity of the solution.

The amount of carbonation in a beverage is measured by weight per unit volume (grams/liter). This is because introducing CO2 into a beverage will change its weight. An easy experiment to prove this is to take a seltzer bottle and weigh it. Carefully remove the top slowly so no liquid escapes from the bottle; as the gas escapes the weight

In simple terms, it is the result of a chemical reaction occurring in a liquid which produces a gaseous product.


07/12/2013 - 3:22am

carbonation does not depent on the drink but in the type of drink it is and cola and fanta for a example cola is full of carbonation (fizz) so that makes people want to drink more and more of the drink also fanta has fizz but also has a orange flavour which is a fruit and thats why many people do not want to drink it and thats why thay like carbonation so much.


07/10/2013 - 6:39am

carbonation is not about how the drink tastes like but depends on the type of drink it is because some drinks have more carbonation than others and some do not have any carbonation because if you take cola and fanta as a example cola has a lot more carbonation than fanta so thats why more people like to drink cola than fanta bacause of the fizz and fanta has a taste of orange to it were as cola is just plain carbonation in the bottle/can.


07/10/2013 - 3:22am

some drinks might have more carbonation than others and this might depent on the type of flavours such as cola has big impacts and this is because it has a lot of carbonation than probably more than any other soft drinks and the carbonation makes people to drink more and more of it that makes the taste better than other drinks because an example fanta is a fizzy like drink but has not got much carbonation than cola and this is because fanta has a orange flavor in the drink were as cola has none of that and fanta is not that much widley been soled than cola because that has an orange flavor to it and not many might like the orange and like cola has not really got a flavour but is mainly just carbonation (fizz)


07/09/2013 - 7:56am

Acid foods = stores fat on body as your body stores Acid in the fat to stop you getting to Alkaline so Alkaline foods you will lose fat to release we eat to much Acid food to day we are getting to fat.
lemons go Alkaline in the body so some foods you think are Acid may not be look them up.
Orange juice has more sugar then coke the list go's on know what you are eating
Acid high body's breed Cancer and they say it takes 33 classes of water to bring you back from a glass of coke next time you think of having a coke
Happy eating


01/24/2013 - 4:29pm

Acid foods = stores fat on body as your body stores Acid in the fat to stop you getting to Alkaline so Alkaline foods you will lose fat to release we eat to much Acid food to day we are getting to fat.
lemons go Alkaline in the body so some foods you think are Acid may not be look them up.
Orange juice has more sugar then coke the list go's on know what you are eating
Acid high body's breed Cancer and they say it takes 33 classes of water to bring you back from a glass of coke next time you think of having a coke
Happy eating


01/24/2013 - 4:27pm

Carbonated water (also known as club soda, soda water, sparkling water, seltzer water, or fizzy water) is water into which carbon dioxide has been dissolved, a process that causes the water to become effervescent.

The CO2 bubbles in sparkling water or in any carbonated drink can be man-made by either of two processes.
One process leaves lots of sodium in your drink. The other process leaves you drinking no sodium.
The first process creates “club soda.” The second process creates “seltzer water.”

Each of these is bubbly water or fizzy water but for some people, the first process can mean extra weight because the salt or sodium causes some people to retain water in their systems. This is why some doctors tell people with high blood pressure that sodium is not good for them.

When you think of club soda, think of the fizz in Alka Seltzer. Alka Selter is aspirin plus Bicarbonate of Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3). Bicarbonate of Soda plus water creates CO2 plus NaCl. NaCl (Sodium Chloride) is the same as common table salt. Both the CO2 and the NaCl are dissolved in the water. Eventually (unless pressure is applied to keep the CO2 pressed into the water, the CO2 bubbles out (becomes undissolved) of the liquid. Then the liquid contains aspirin and salt. You drink it and hopefully feel better. Of course, you could have swallowed an aspirin followed by a drink of ordinary water and you would have avoided the salt as well as the CO2

When you think of Seltzer Water, think of those old time reusable spritzer bottles you see in the Roaring 20’s movies that were used for putting a shot of the “soda” into a scotch and soda. It wasn’t really soda but scotch and seltzer. This type of carbonated water is made by inserting a disposable cartridge of compressed CO2 into a closed bottle of water. The bottle is a pressure vessel with a release valve and spout for dispensing the carbonated water. The pressure forces the CO2 to dissolve in the water and voilà, you have bubbly (or seltzer or carbonated or fizzy) water without the NaCl.

When CO2 bubbles out, this is similar to boiling water where the air dissolved in water becomes undissolved (unless it is kept in a container such as a pressure cooker).

Look on your soft drink label to see which process the bottler used to make the “soda pop” you are drinking – with sodium or without sodium. Diet Rite Cola, for example, advertises no caffeine, no calories and no salt. Its process for making the carbonated water uses the process of forcing CO2 into water. Diet Coca-Cola with no calories comes in two varieties – with caffeine and without caffeine. However each version has sodium from the process that created the carbonated water.

Because few of us can taste any difference between carbonated water made from these two different manufacturing processes, some suggest that it would be more healthy or less unhealthy if soft drink manufacturers used the non-salt manufacturing process. At some point, watch for health food advocates to begin pressing restaurants to dispense only non-salt soft drinks.

Salty Dog


01/11/2013 - 4:39pm

my phylosophy: life is short eat everything drink everything, becuase soon enough your gonna get diabetes and have a restricted diet the rerst of your now miserable life. so eat and be happy and realize were all gonna die one day, might as well die happy or be misarable and diet to try to live longer and wind up dyeing before your time any way of a heart attack cuz you never thought it could happen to you. (being in the best shape you ever been).there is a reason dibetes has quadrupled and its not from the suger or high fructose corn syrup, it's because our foods are mostly preservatives. any one wanna guess how much food is grown in our countyand packaged FRESH? not as much as you think most of everything we eat (especially packaged) has gone about 1500 miles before you buy it at the store, and if it's friuts or vegatables add so pestasides for more nutrition. so I'm have embraced my mortality and I know I will die but I'm going down happy. junck food yeah, its my vice not alcohol not drugs, not ciarettes, little debbies! and cola

food for thought lol! E. nigma


12/08/2012 - 5:35am

Congress is taking too much liberty and telling us what to eat and drink. They are getting too engrossed in our liberties. Big brother is coming !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


07/05/2012 - 3:09pm

...said the Health Nut Nazi. Anybody hear about something called moderation? Nothing against healthy foods and salads with lite dressing and carrots and whole grains and steel-cut oats. It's been my experience, however, that the word 'organic' translates in the real world to mean: 'much more expensive, with a negligible, if not dubious, nutritive boost.'
I also like the occasional steak (6 ozs., not 16) or slice of pizza (not four). We shouldn't cheat ourselves of good flavor, but the trick is knowing when to quit. Do exercise that you enjoy doing, not some ball-busting marathon! I like to ride a road bike, and that's something I enjoy which is also good for my knees, heart, wind, what have you.
And every once in awhile, I get a 2-liter bottle of caffeine-free diet Coke, and twice a year (Father's Day and my birthday) I buy a gallon of whole milk instead of the usual skim. And I play with my grandchildren. Enjoy all of life, and don't make yourself a slave to some illusion of "perfect" health.


06/19/2012 - 11:57am

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