Why Sparkling Water Tastes Bad?

  • By: Jan Helge
  • Date: July 18, 2023
  • Time to read: 5 min.

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Generally, sparkling water has a tart/bitter, bland taste due to the small amount of carbonic acid present. It may also taste bad because of added flavors and sweeteners, and poor storage conditions such as high temperatures can cause it to go flat.

Do you love sparkling water but hate the taste? You’re not alone. Sparkling water is a popular drink, but it often has a bitter or sour taste.

In this blog post, I will explore the science behind bubbly flavors and why sparkling water tastes bad. We will also discuss ways to improve the taste of sparkling water and make it more enjoyable to drink.

Why Sparkling Water Tastes Bad: The Science behind Bubbly Flavor

To understand why sparkling water tastes bad, we need to first understand how it is made.

Sparkling water is created by adding carbon dioxide to water under pressure. This carbon dioxide reacts with the water molecules to create carbonic acid. This carbonic acid is what gives sparkling water its characteristic fizz and taste.

Like most acids, carbonic acid has a sour and bitter taste. This is why many people find sparkling water to be unpalatable. Most people find sparkling water quite tart.

So in general, the bad taste you perceive in sparkling water is due to the presence of carbonic acid. However, there are other factors that can contribute to the unpleasant taste of sparkling water.

Let’s explore some of these factors now.

The Carbonation Process Strips Minerals

Unlike naturally-found sparkling mineral water, industrially-made sparkling water goes through a carbonation process that can strip it of minerals. This can leave the water tasting flat and bitter.

Sparkling Water is More Acidic Than Still Water

As explained earlier, the carbonation process creates carbonic acid. This makes sparkling water more acidic than still water. And as we know, acids can have a sour and bitter taste.

Flavors and Sweeteners

Some brands of sparkling water add flavors and sweeteners to their products. However, these can often make the water taste worse instead of better. This is because the added flavors and sweeteners can interact with the carbonic acid to create new, unpleasant flavors.

Poor Storage Conditions

While carbonated beverages, including sparkling water, have a long shelf life, poor storage conditions can lead to a bad taste. For example, if sparkling water is stored in a warm environment, the carbon dioxide can escape from the water and make it go flat. When this happens, the water will often have an off-taste.

You Opened the Bottle a Long Time Ago

Once you open a bottle of sparkling water, the carbon dioxide starts to escape. This means that over time, the sparkling water will go flat and taste less pleasant. For this reason, it’s best to drink sparkling water soon after opening it.

Now that we’ve explored some of the reasons why sparkling water tastes bad, let’s discuss how to improve the taste.

Why Do People Drink Sparkling Water?

You may be wondering why people drink sparkling water yet it tastes bad. There are actually a few reasons.

Some people find that sparkling water is more refreshing than still water. This is because the carbonation gives it a fizzy, bubbly texture that can be quite thirst-quenching.

Another reason people drink sparkling water is for the health benefits. Sparkling water is often seen as a healthier alternative to sugary soft drinks. It contains no calories or sugar and is a good source of hydration.

People trying to lose weight also find sparkling water to be helpful. This is because sparkling water can help to reduce hunger and cravings. It is also a low-calorie beverage that can help people reach their daily calorie goals.

Research also suggests that sparkling water can help with constipation and improve digestion. This is because carbonation can help to stimulate bowel movements.

Sparkling mineral water has natural minerals that can also be beneficial for health. These minerals can include calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Club soda, a type of sparkling water, also contains sodium. This type of sparkling water is also commonly used as a mixer for alcoholic drinks. People like the fact that it doesn’t add any sweetness or calories to their drinks.

Finally, some people just enjoy the taste of sparkling water. While the carbonation can make it taste quite tart, some people find this to be a refreshing flavor.

How to Improve the Taste of Sparkling Water

If you find sparkling water to be unpalatable, there are several things you can do to improve the taste.

· Add a Squeeze of Lemon or Lime Juice

One easy way to make sparkling water more palatable is to add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. The citrusy flavors can help to mask the bitter taste of carbonic acid.

· Add Fruit Slices

Another way to make sparkling water more enjoyable is to add fruit slices. This can also help to mask the taste of carbonic acid and make the water more refreshing.

· Choose a Brand with Fewer Additives

If you find that sparkling water from one brand tastes better than another, it could be because the first brand uses fewer additives. If you’re sensitive to the taste of carbonic acid, choosing a brand with fewer additives can make a big difference.

· Store Sparkling Water Properly

As we mentioned earlier, poor storage conditions can lead to a bad taste. So if you want your sparkling water to taste its best, be sure to store it in a cool, dark place.

· Add Honey or Syrup

This may not be the healthiest option, but adding honey or syrup can make sparkling water more palatable. The sweetness can help to offset the bitter taste of carbonic acid.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the ways you can improve the taste of sparkling water. Check out my article on tips and tricks on how to make sparkling water taste better for a more detailed discussion. 

Hopefully, this article has helped you to understand why sparkling water tastes bad and how to improve its taste. Remember, if you don’t like the taste of sparkling water, there are plenty of ways to make it more palatable. So don’t give up on sparkling water just yet.

Read also:
What Does Sparkling Water Taste Like?

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