Micro Life Zone
Asked by mabipashlujo to Dirk, Elise, Janette, Renee, Yusuf on 20 May 2012.
Keywords: hurt, soda, softdrink, throat
I think there’s probably 2 reasons why – one would be the pH of the drinks, they are quite acidic so drinking them fast could sting your throat. The other would be the bubbles bursting as they go down your throat. Lots of bubble popping at once might make your throat hurt. You could probably do an experiment to test my theory quite easily by skulling orange juice. OJ has a similar pH to soft drink but no bubbles, so you could see if the pain is coming mainly from the acid or the bubbles.
More than likely it’s probably what Renee said – the bubbles hitting the back of your throat might cause it to hurt. It could also be because the temperature of softdrinks is often cold – and it hurts your throat, a bit like how it hurts when you put your fingers in ice-cold water, though it’s a quicker effect because the tissues in your throat a are lot softer than those on your hand.
So alongside testing whether it is bubbles vs. pH by comparing orange juice and softdrink like Renee said, you could try drinking it when it is cold and when it is warm, though it probably won’t be as nice, but hey, it’s in the name of science!
It is actually the bubbles in soft drinks that hurt your throat, more specifically the carbon dioxide that makes up the bubbles. Scientists have found that the gas causes the same pain message in the cells of the throat and back of the nose as mustard and spicy foods do. Our bodies are full of cells that register pain, they are called nociceptors, they also detect changes in temperature and friction. So, if you could rub the inside of your throat while drinking softdrink, you could rewire the message and you would have no pain!
*sigh* too slow, what they said. The bubbles.
Cold items like very cold drinks will give a headache, this is affectionately called “brainfreeze” (see link 1) below). I get it when I eat icecream. Not always though thankfully. The basic issue is that you are cooling your blood in capillaries in your head quickly causing shrinking which can be painful. Dehydration causes headaches in a similar manner I believe.
Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles make it hurt.
By BRIDGE8 under license from Mangorolla CIC 2022