Why does sparkling water taste bad? Sparkling water can taste bitter or simply bad to some people, but few actually know why.
Several factors contribute to bad-tasting sparkling water, such as carbonation and the taste of its minerals. Additionally, high temperature and bad storage will worsen the taste a bit more.
Why Does Sparkling Water Taste Bad?
1. Productions And Personal Habits
Sparkling water is made by adding carbon dioxide to water under pressure. As a result, the carbon dioxide reacts with the molecules in the water to create carbonic acid.
Just like most acids, carbonic acid makes things taste sour and a bit bitter. This carbonic acid is what gives the sparkling water its fizzy and sour taste.
So, generally speaking, the bad taste in sparkling water is mainly from carbonic acid. As a result, many people find sparkling water to taste quite foul.
Additionally, your personal eating and drinking habits can affect the taste of sparkling water. If you tend to drink or eat sweet items excessively, then sparkling water will be off-putting.
2. Extra Minerals
Some varieties of sparkling water contain traces of minerals. Mineral sparkling water has large quantities of calcium, sodium, and other beneficial minerals.
Each mineral comes with its own taste attributes. The addition of these minerals can influence the flavor of the water.
For example, if sparkling mineral water contains a lot of sulfates, it can taste a bit medicine-like. Another example is when sodium is combined with chloride, they form sodium chlorine that gives mineral water a salty taste.
Also, a large quantity of magnesium can result in a bitter taste because it’s a base liquid.
Bases taste bitter because they release hydroxide (OH) ions in water which gives you a bland taste. On the other hand, acids release Hydrogen (H) ions in the water, which gives that sour taste.
Despite the taste that sets some people off, drinking mineral water can be beneficial healthwise. However, its taste may not be the best for some of us out there.
3. Adding Sweeteners
Compared to natural water, sparkling water has an extra punch to it. Along with the fizz of the carbonation process, the drink may also have a sweet, effervescent flavor.
Some sparkling water brands tend to add artificial sweeteners to their product. However, while this can be a good addition, it actually has a bitter side.
Some researchers found that those faux sweeteners can also leave a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. How so? Well, artificial sweeteners excite the same sweetness receptors on our tongue as natural sugar.
In addition, they also take a pass on the bitterness receptors, leaving an unpleasant aftertaste. While some people are sensitive to artificial sweeteners, others are less receptive to the bitter taste.
4. Excessive Heat
High temperatures can also affect the taste and consistency of sparkling water. Leaving a can or a bottle of sparkling water out in the heat can leave you with horrible-tasting water.
By the way, this isn’t just strict to sparkling water. Any carbonated drink ends up in the same boat when it comes to heat.
Warm drinks lose their fizz because the loss of carbon dioxide increases with high temperatures. A decrease in the amount of dissolved gas can cause the drink to go flat and end up tasting bad.
Moreover, the warmth or coldness of a beverage can affect our taste buds. Warm mineral water can increase your taste buds’ sensitivity to the taste of sodium and calcium.
5. Leaving The Bottle Open
To help paint the picture for you, shake any bottle of sparkling water, open it and watch what happens. When a bottle of sparkling water is opened, the pressure inside the bottle decreases.
Furthermore, the carbon dioxide starts to escape from the liquid, making a fizzy sound as it fizzes out. So, over time the sparkling water will go flat and taste less pleasant to you.
Depending on the storage conditions, an opened bottle of sparkling water can last at least two days when tightly closed in a fridge. However, if it’s been left for too long in the heat or started to develop an off appearance or flavor, it’s best to discard it.
So, why does sparkling water taste bad? Well, all of the factors revolve around the carbonation of the water.
Heat affects sparkling water, and improper storage conditions can influence the taste as well. Though it might have seemed too sciency, we hope this article has helped you understand why sparkling water can sometimes taste a little bad.