– How does Emergen-C make flat water fizzy?


Is it considered “carbonated”? How is a powder able to add fizz to still tap water? Are there other “instant sodas”?

In: Chemistry

It contains two chemicals, usually baking soda and an acid, like citric acid, that when dropped into and dissolved in water, react with each other releasing CO2 gas, which is the fizzy stuff. This is the same reaction used to make model baking soda volcanos in school. The ingredients are just packed together in a dry form and only react when they start dissolving in water.

I don’t think it would be considered carbonated, because the fizz itself is not actually entering or dissolving in the water like with a carbonated drink, instead it is just bubbling up through the water after being released by the baking soda-acid reaction.

Fizz is carbon dioxide. Instead of adding it as a gas you can make it in situ. One way is to react sodium bicarbonate with an acid like citric or tartaric acids, both of which are solids.

I’ve never seen any soft drinks on the market or online that have this kind of “instant fizz”

Emergen-c, and alka-seltzer, both create a fizzy drink, but note that neither is a “soft drink” per se, they’re both medical products (altohugh emergen-c’s medical claims of the benefits of macrodoses of vitamin C are dubious at best)

notably mixing a base like sodium bicarbonate and an acid like citric acid produces a lot of SALT, in this case sodium citrate, which is quite salty tasting and the recipe for most soft drinks do not include high amounts of salty flavours like sodium citrate

If you want to have fun carbonating at home, I would suggest in investing in a Soda Stream or similar device, which lets you carbonate anything you want with compressed CO2 which will taste better than a spoonful of sodium citrate. a soda stream won’t fit in your pocket though

I have a bottle of home made carbonated hibiscus herbal tea soda in my fridge



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