Why sodalicious?

Pressure. Solubility. Temperature. And why soft drinks make you tingly.

Woman Drinking Ice Cold Soda and Feeling Tingly

1-Minute NomNom

Soft drinks, or soda as they are also often known, are made by pressurizing carbon dioxide (CO2). The COoccupies less volume as a result, to between 1/4 and 1/3 of what it would occupy at normal atmospheric pressure.

When we open a bottle or can of soda, the pressure quickly drops to atmospheric pressure, and the COexpands and escapes as little bubbles (watch how this happens with the high-speed video below).

How quickly it escapes depends on the temperature. If the soda is ice cold, it is more soluble and holds on to a larger amount of CO2; the bubbles escape slowly. If the soda is warmer, it is less soluble and the CO2  bubbles scoot much more quickly.

bubbles make soda tingly on the tongue

This bubbles escapade is the reason behind the tingly feeling in our mouths when we drink soda. When our soda touches our much warmer tongues and mouths, the drink becomes warmer too. It becomes less soluble for CO2, and the excess escapes as bubbles.

very fizzy soda/soft drink on a wooden backgroundThe colder our soda (or the hotter our tongues such as on a sweltering day), the faster the bubbles escape. The larger and faster the number of bubbles escaping, the more we feel they are dancing on our tongues.

Hence having an “ice cold” soda is not just a marketing ploy but is really about science. Keep your drink as cold as possible for as long as possible if you want to enjoy your soda right up to the very last drop.

Feed Me!

How do you keep your soda ice cold for as long as possible? Share your secrets in the comments below!

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 6.02.39 pmLike this? Make me tingly by liking me to discover more. All you need is a minute a day to explore the world’s marvels through the phenomenon of food!


photos: in order – istockphoto/Trevor Hunt; depositphotos/monkeybusinessTharakorn


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