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Is Your Soda Going to Go Flat in the Summer Heat? Is it Safe to Drink?

{ Posted on Jul 16 2010 by Marcus Alston }

I recently went to my neighborhood grocery store and noticed a lot of drinks stored outside in the hot summer weather (soda and water).  It was over 90 degrees!  I quickly thought to myself, “Will this soda be flat?  Is it safe to drink?”  I grabbed my camera and took a picture and then went back to do some research. . .

Bottles and Cans.  Both bottled and canned soda are transported through uncontrolled environments of varying temperatures of hot and cold.  Soda comes from the factory and often sits in warehouses, trucks and grocery stores.  The warehouses and trucks are often not temperature controlled and soda can get hot or cold for long periods of time even before it makes it the store.  The store environment is probably closest to your home environment, but in instances where stores load up for big demand and quick sales, they sometimes store the soda outside.   Fortunately, the soda and containers are designed to maintain quality and taste in a variety of conditions so that the taste and quality are maintained as long as the cap or seal is not broken.  Drinking soda cold or cool will give you the truest flavor so if you buy soda outside, chill it first.  Long periods of heat or cold might damage the soda quality, but this is somewhat rare–but why take the chance?  If you see soda stored outside, go inside and pick up your soda.  And try not to shop for soda immediately after a big holiday because unsold soda will inevitably make its way from outside back to the store shelves.

Diet Soda Appears to be a Little More Susceptible to Heat.  The exception might be diet soda with artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners don’t hold up well over time if they are exposed to heat.  Often your soda may not only be flat, but the flavor will taste “off” or less sweet.  Yuck!

How Soda Gets its Fizz.  At the bottling plant, carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules are forced into the soda and then bottled.  Soda usually goes flat because the carbonation used to give it its fizz is released, usually by opening the bottle.

If the cap is removed, it is no longer under pressure and much of the CO2 gas can escape.  The bubbles you see are made of CO2. Once the CO2 is gone, the soda will be flat.  Keeping an open bottle refrigerated with a cap tightly screwed on after opening it will help keep the fizz in longer, but it’s just a matter of time before all the CO2 escapes, even under these conditions.  Putting the soda out in a room in warm conditions or taking the cap off will accelerate this process.

Fizz Keepers. How about those fizz keepers that come with a pump and can add pressure back into your bottle and seal the bottle?  Don’t waste your money.  While they can put the soda under pressure and give you that new open bottle fizz sound, they do not pump in CO2 back into the container, but instead pump mostly air made up of oxygen and nitrogen.

Safety.  Keeping plastic and canned soda in the heat may release certain chemicals in the plastic such as bisphenol A (commonly called BPA).  Of course this applies to other drinks in plastic bottles as well such as water (and many canned drinks which have inner plastic lining) .  According to Mother Green News, most information on the potential dangers of BPA comes from animal research.  Tests on lab rats and mice have been shown to alter the reproductive hormone cycles in males and females.  BPA appears to be common in humans as a result of all the BPA exposure from the many sources of BPA in the various plastics we use.  One study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found BPA in 95 percent of urine samples. Note: Infants and small children take in more BPA than adults for their size and retain the chemical in their bodies longer than adults.  Common sources of BPA include breast milk, some pacifiers or bottle nipples which are made of plastic instead of silicon or latex, and plastic toys put into the mouths of babies.  For more information on the dangers of plastic, click here.

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2 Responses to “Is Your Soda Going to Go Flat in the Summer Heat? Is it Safe to Drink?”

  1. Thank you for the useful info! I would never have discovered this by myself!

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