– why do carbonated bubbles burn your throat when you drink too much or too fast?

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– why do carbonated bubbles burn your throat when you drink too much or too fast?

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That carbonation is actually fairly acidic. The acidity is actually what makes it “tingle,” too.

Those co2 bubbles in combination with the water create an acid – carbonic acid. It’s this acid that “burns” your throat, not the gas.

When CO2 is dissolved in water, before it forms bubbles, it is in the form of carbonic acid. This chemical is full of negative hydrogen ions which will react with various other chemicals like the ones making up your cells. So what you are feeling is actually the carbonic acid chemically burning away the cells in your throat. Thankfully it is not much acid and it is not able to do much damage.

These other answers are wrong, it’s not the acid. Carbonated water has a pH of about 4.5, while other non-carbonated drinks with similar or lower pH, like coffee (4.85), orange juice (3.9), or lemonade (varies, but Minute Maid lemonade is about 2.6) don’t burn. The stinging actually comes from the carbon dioxide coming out of solution. According to [this paper](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2993877/) it’s specifically the high concentrations of carbon dioxide that build up on your tongue/throat that activate pain receptors. (Numbers sourced from Google)