I regularly have nutrition discussions with my girlfriend Louise, obviously it’s something I am interested in, and fortunately so is she. With my academic background in nutrition, I consider myself an expert in this area, but it became profoundly apparent that even experts still have much to learn…and this particular lesson came from the missus :)
I was adamant that it was the sugar in carbonated drinks that contributed to the damage done to teeth and gums with excessive soda consumption. However, Louise explained that it was also the acid content of fizzy drinks that led to such issues. Louise is a nurse so I have no idea why I doubted this, but I proceeded to contest (like most men do). I was convinced the small amounts of citric acid etc added to fizzy drinks wouldn’t make all that much difference…but I was WRONG!
In fact, I was very wrong wasn’t I Louise (sorry dear)…in fact, carbonated beverages that contain the 3 most common forms of ‘added’ acid (citric, carbonic and phosphoric acid) can actually do more damage than the sugar itself! So when the enamel has been damaged, the sugar can get to work causing a cumulative breakdown of your poor teeth’s structural integrity. Yes the amounts of acid in fizzy drinks are quite small, so if consumed in moderation then the effects are minimal, but consider this…
Industrial users of phosphoric acid apply it to steel parts in order to strip them down to bare metal, and ponder this for a moment also… Water has a pH of 7 (indicator of substances acidity) which is deemed neutral, battery acid has a pH of 1, which is deemed highly acidic. Now guess where Colas measure on the pH scale… 2.5, and that's pretty darn acidic!
So now I know, but all things considered Louise :) should you really be having that sneaky can of Pepsi Max at lunch time???
Radio, L. (2014). If in doubt ask the missus. Journal of The Missus Is Always Right (JTMIAR). 07: 23
Livestrong, (2014). What kind of acids are in sodas? Retrieved 4th July, 2014, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/519798-what-kind-of-acids-are-in-sodas/