Carbonic acid • What does CO2 do in the body?

Effect of carbonic acid

Mineral water only contains carbon dioxide in very small quantities. A large proportion is already lost when the bottle is opened. You can read here whether carbonated drinks still influence the acid-base balance, how they affect people with stomach problems and which alkaline foods you should consume.

Article overview:

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How is carbonic acid created?

There is hardly any carbonic acid in sparkling water. Carbonic acid (H.2CO3) is created when carbon dioxide (CO2) in the water (H2O) is bound. Pure carbonic acid is a weak acid with a pH of four. A pH of seven would be neutral. Water that is mixed with carbon dioxide has a pH value of around six and is therefore almost neutral.

Acidification from carbonic acid?

The pH value can be used to determine whether a substance is acidic or basic. A value above seven indicates bases, acids have a value below seven. If a substance has the value seven, it is neutral. In the blood there is a pH value of 7.36 to 7.44, in the body cells it is 6.9. These values ​​are necessary so that all body functions can function properly.

Many people fear that carbon dioxide has a negative effect on the acid-base balance of the body. Although carbonic acid has a slightly acidic pH, the amount in sparkling water or carbonated beverages is too small to have any effect on the body. When the bottle is opened, a large part of the carbonic acid escapes. The remainder disintegrates in the stomach and causes belching. This means that carbonated water does not contribute to over-acidification of the body.

Carbon dioxide for stomach problems?

The stomach cannot over-acidify through carbonic acid, because the stomach acid already has a very acidic pH value of 1.5 to 2. People with heartburn, reflux disease or an over-acidic stomach do not necessarily have to do without sparkling water. This applies to purchased water as well as to self-bubbled water.

However, every person reacts differently to carbon dioxide. Anyone who gets oppressive stomach pains or flatulence from it or who has to belch frequently after drinking should either drink carbonated water in small sips or, even better, switch to still water.

Overacidification from food

Unlike carbonated mineral water, there are some foods that form acid when metabolized. These include, for example

  • White flour,
  • Zucker,
  • Alcohol,
  • flesh
  • and sausage
  • as well as sweet lemonades.

However, in most cases the body can counteract an excess. So-called buffer substances in the body ensure a constant pH value.

Acidosis is called acidosis in medicine. It occurs very rarely, for example when the kidneys are diseased or a metabolic disease such as diabetes mellitus is present. The symptoms of acidosis are usually severe and range from changes in breathing to poor concentration and a coma.

Alkaline foods

Bases have to be supplied to the body from the outside. A balanced and healthy diet is essential for this. Most vegetables and fruits are considered to be alkaline foods. Root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, parsley root or beetroot are considered to be highly alkaline foods.

Alkaline foods: this is how you eat an alkaline diet

Source: Lifeline | Das Gesundheitsportal by www.lifeline.de.

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