Are carbonated drinks bad for you?
Question: Is CO2 in carbonated drinks bad for you?
This is a good question!
CO2, or carbon dioxide, is a gas that in itself is not harmful to the human body. It is added under high pressure to drinks and that makes them carbonated.
(Note: There is also natural carbonation. Natural carbonation is the build up of natural gases during fermentation. Forced carbonation is when carbon dioxide is added to the substance under pressure.)
In fact, carbon dioxide has been part of the Earth's atmosphere apparently since it was formed kazillions of years ago. It's a natural chemical substance, primarily in gas form. It is not toxic (unless in very intense quantities, which is rare at this time).
More clarification on "what is carbon dioxide?
The answer to the question "Is CO2 in carbonated drinks bad for you?" requires a bit of understanding about pH balance of the human body. Carbonated drinks are acidic on the pH scale, and if the human body is more acidic than alkaline, it has difficulty functioning at an optimum level.
In other words, when the fluids inside and outside of the cells in the human body are not "in balance" meaning slightly more alkaline than acidic, or about 7 on the pH scale, health problems can result if the body remains acidic on a consistent basis.
For an uncomplicated explanation of pH and how it affects health, check out this pH definition
What you eat and drink affects the pH balance of your body constantly.
If you follow a "Standard American Diet" - a dietary habit chosen by many people in developed countries, and increasingly in developing countries, characterized by high intakes of red meat, sugary desserts, high fat, and refined grains - you've chosen foods that are acid-forming, knocking the pH balance of your body out of whack.
Drinking carbonated drinks, for the most part, is not such a great idea.
But when you're taking charge of your health and eating things that keep your pH balanced most of the time, an occasional carbonated drink isn't going to kill you!