Why Do Carbonated Drinks Burn My Tongue? The Truth Revealed!

Carbonated drinks burn your tongue because the carbon dioxide in the drink reacts with your saliva, creating carbonic acid. This acid irritates the nerve endings on your taste buds.

Carbonated beverages, like soda and sparkling water, are popular all over the world. They’re fizzy, refreshing, and can sometimes offer a welcome pick-me-up. However, as you enjoy a sip or a gulp, you might feel a strange, almost painful sensation in your mouth.

It’s like your tongue is on fire. While this happens to many people, it can be uncomfortable, particularly if you drink carbonated beverages frequently. It’s not fully understood why carbonated drinks cause a stinging sensation on the tongue, but scientists have a few theories.

Why Do Carbonated Drinks Burn My Tongue

An Introduction To Carbonation

Why Do Carbonated Drinks Burn My Tongue

Carbonated drinks are incredibly popular and widely consumed worldwide. They are available in different flavors and brands, making them a popular choice for people of all ages. However, have you ever wondered why carbonated drinks cause a burning sensation on your tongue?

We will explore the science behind this phenomenon and try to provide a better understanding of carbonation.

Definition Of Carbonation

Carbonation is a process that involves dissolving carbon dioxide (co2) into a liquid. This process creates carbonic acid, which is responsible for the acidic taste and fizziness associated with carbonated drinks. Carbon dioxide is a gas that is naturally present in the air we breathe out, but companies artificially inject it into drinks to create that satisfying fizz.

How It Is Achieved In Drinks

There are different ways that carbonation can be achieved in drinks, but two popular methods include:

  • Natural carbonation: This method involves allowing drinks to undergo a natural carbonation process by leaving them to ferment for some time. During the fermentation process, bacteria convert sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide, which is responsible for the fizziness of the drink. Examples of drinks that undergo natural carbonation include champagne and beer.
  • Artificial carbonation: This process involves injecting carbon dioxide gas into the drink to create carbonic acid, responsible for the fizz. This approach is widely used in the production of soft drinks; examples include coca-cola and sprite.

Popular Carbonated Drinks

Popular Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated drinks are present in different brands and flavors worldwide.

  • Coca-cola: This carbonated drink is popular worldwide and contains caffeine, which has a mild stimulating effect.
  • Sprite: This clear drink contains lemon-lime flavor and is caffeine-free.
  • Fanta: This fruit-flavored carbonated drink is available in various flavors, including grape, orange, and strawberry.
  • Pepsi: A direct competitor of coca-cola, this drink contains caffeine and has an identical taste to coca-cola.

Carbonation is a process that creates carbonated gaseous drinks that are popular worldwide. Carbonation provides drinks a fizziness taste and an acidic taste, which causes a burning sensation on the tongue. Carbonation can be achieved through either natural or artificial means, and different brands and flavors of carbonated drinks are available worldwide.

Why Do Carbonated Drinks Burn?

Have you ever wondered why carbonated drinks tend to burn your tongue? The sensation you get after sipping on a soda, sparkling water, or beer can range from a mild tingle to an intense burning sensation. This happens because carbonated drinks contain dissolved carbon dioxide, which reacts with your mouth’s saliva.

See also  Does Sparkling Grape Juice Taste Like Wine?

Several factors contribute to why carbonated drinks burn, including chemical reactions between co2 and saliva, temperature, and acidity level.

Chemical Reaction Between Co2 And Saliva

When carbon dioxide dissolves in water, it forms carbonic acid, which releases hydrogen ions when it breaks down. These hydrogen ions are the ones responsible for changing the ph level of the drink. When you take a sip of carbonated drink, the carbonation combines with the saliva in your mouth.

The acid in the carbonated drink causes a chemical reaction, which produces a burning sensation on your tongue.

Role Of Temperature In The Reaction

Temperature plays a significant role in why carbonated drinks burn your tongue. The colder the drink, the more carbon dioxide it can dissolve. This is the reason why carbonated drinks are typically served cold. If you drink carbonated beverages at warmer temperatures, you might feel a stronger burning sensation. This happens because the reaction between the CO2 and your saliva is more intense.

Acidity Level Of Carbonated Drinks

The level of acidity in carbonated drinks is another factor that contributes to why they burn your tongue. The more acidic the drink, the greater the burning sensation it produces. Acidic drinks, such as sodas, have a low ph level, which is why they tend to cause more irritation on the tongue.

Sparkling water, on the other hand, has a relatively higher ph level, which explains why it causes less burning than other carbonated drinks.

Carbonated drinks contain dissolved carbon dioxide, which reacts with saliva in your mouth, causing a chemical reaction that produces a burning sensation on your tongue. The acidity level and temperature of the drink also contribute to the intensity of the burning sensation.

Now you know why carbonated drinks can make your tongue burn or tingle. So, when you drink soda or sparkling water, you’ll understand why you feel that sensation.

Who Is More Susceptible To Carbonation Burn?

Have you ever taken a swig of carbonated soda and felt a sharp, stinging sensation on your tongue? This unpleasant feeling is known as carbonation burn and is a common experience for many soda drinkers. In this section, we’ll explore who is more susceptible to carbonation burn and why.

Sensitivity Of Taste Buds

The degree to which a person experiences carbonation burn varies depending on the sensitivity of their taste buds. Some individuals have more sensitive taste buds than others, which means they are more likely to feel the burning sensation caused by carbonated drinks.

People with a heightened sensitivity to carbonation may experience discomfort even when consuming mildly carbonated beverages.

Research Studies

Research studies have shown that women are more vulnerable to carbonation burn than men. The reason for this is that women tend to have more taste buds than men, making them more susceptible to the burning sensation caused by carbonated drinks.

Additionally, it has been found that carbonation burn is more prevalent in older adults because they tend to have fewer taste buds as they age.

See also  Why Does Carbonated Drinks Burn My Throat?

Here are some of the key findings from the studies:

  • Women are more likely to experience carbonation burn due to their higher number of taste buds.
  • Older adults are more susceptible to carbonation burn due to the decrease in the number of taste buds as they age.

Understanding who is more susceptible to carbonation burn can help individuals make better beverage choices. Those who are more sensitive to carbonation may want to avoid soda altogether or opt for less carbonated beverages such as still or sparkling water.

Overall, it is important to listen to your body and recognize the signals it sends when consuming a carbonated drink.

Remedy For Carbonation Burn

Here are some remedies that can help alleviate carbonation burn.

Drinking Water

Drinking water can help neutralize the acid in your mouth. Sip on water between sips of the carbonated drink to help wash away the carbonic acid from your tongue and reduce the burning sensation.


Milk is also an excellent remedy for carbonation burn. It contains casein, a protein that can help neutralize acids. Drink a small glass of milk after enjoying a carbonated drink to soothe your tongue.

Avoiding Certain Foods And Drinks

Some foods and drinks can trigger or exacerbate carbonation burn.

  • Alcohol
  • Spicy foods
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Tomatoes and tomato-based products

Limiting your intake of these foods and drinks could help reduce the severity of carbonation burn.

Summary Of Remedies For Carbonation Burn

There are several remedies that can help alleviate carbonation burn. These include drinking water, consuming milk, and avoiding certain foods and drinks.

Final Thoughts On Whether Carbonated Drinks Are Worth The Pain.

Carbonated drinks’ taste and fizziness can be quite enjoyable, but it’s vital to consider the potential consequences of consuming excessively carbonated beverages. While carbonation burn is not a severe condition, it can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. Consider reducing your intake or finding alternative drinks without carbonation if the sensation is too unpleasant.

By following these remedies, you can continue enjoying carbonated drinks without suffering from discomfort.


In all honesty, carbonated drinks can be very enjoyable, but having them make your tongue burn isn’t such a pleasurable experience. You may have assumed that carbonated beverages had something wrong with them, but that is not the case. The main reason why carbonated drinks burn your tongue is because they are acidic, and carbon dioxide dissolves into carbonic acid when it comes into contact with water.

This acidic solution irritates the tongue’s delicate membrane when combined with the soft tissues in your mouth, causing it to burn. It’s nothing to be worried about, though; it’s just a natural cause and effect. People who have sensitive tongues or gastroesophageal reflux disease (gerd) are affected the most.

It’s possible to remedy burning sensations by sipping water along with your carbonated drink or minimizing the consumption of acidic foods. So, enjoy your carbonated beverages in moderation, and know that burning sensations are nothing to be worried about.

Emily Jones
Emily Jones

Hi, I'm Emily Jones! I'm a health enthusiast and foodie, and I'm passionate about juicing, smoothies, and all kinds of nutritious beverages. Through my popular blog, I share my knowledge and love for healthy drinks with others.