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Is Coca-Cola Acidic? (Bad for GERD?)

All foods and drinks can be measured on a scale that tells us the pH level of that item. If you are experiencing acid reflux or tooth decay due to acidic foods, it is wise to try to avoid these products. You may be wondering if everyone’s favorite soda, Coca-Cola, is acidic.

Read on for more information on the acidity of Coca-Cola as well as the acidity of its ingredients.  

Is Coca-Cola acidic? 

Coca-Cola is considered to be an acidic drink. Coca-Cola has a pH of about 2.3, which has about the same acidity as a lemon. Other types of Coca-Cola are very acidic as well. For example, Diet Coca-Cola has an acidity of 3.2, and Cherry Coca-Cola has a pH of about 2.5.  

Now that we know that the pH of Coca-Cola is about 2.3, you may be wondering what exactly that means. The pH scale, which has been around since 1909, is a measure of how acidic, basic, or alkaline something is.

This scale goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being a base. Anything below seven is considered acidic, while anything above that is considered to be alkaline; for a product to have a pH so close to 0, that means that it is very acidic.  

pH level in Coca-Cola
pH level in Coca-Cola

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Are the ingredients in Coca-Cola acidic? 

According to the official website for Coca-Cola, this popular soda is made out of carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, phosphoric acid, caffeine, and natural flavors, as well as coloring. Are these ingredients all highly acidic? 

While the average tap water has a pH of about 7.4, carbonated water is slightly acidic. Carbonated water has a pH of about 3 to 4, making it more acidic than regular water, but it is also less acidic than traditional Coca-Cola. 

High fructose corn syrup, which is what makes the soda so sweet, has a pH of about 4 to 5, but it can vary based on the temperature of the syrup. Caffeine has a pH of about 5 to 6, making it the least acidic ingredient in Coca-Cola. 

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What are the effects of acid in sodas and other drinks? 

Acidic drinks can greatly affect your teeth. The lower the pH level, the worse it is for your teeth. Acidic drinks cause the enamel on your teeth to wear down. The enamel is the strong outer layer that provides your teeth with protection.

Once this enamel is weakened, it does not naturally repair itself. Weakened enamel can cause long-term tooth erosion, which is something that is permanent.  

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There are a lot of acidic drinks. Soda is one of the most acidic drinks, and it is important to remember that even sodas that are diet or sugar-free are still acidic. Other acidic drinks include citrus juices, sports drinks, wine, coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages. 

Here are some of the pH levels in different types of popular sodas

  • Pepsi – 2.5 
  • Sunkist – 2.9  
  • Mountain Dew – 3.2 
  • Sprite – 3.3 
  • Dr. Pepper – 2.9 
  • Root Beer – 4.75 
pH levels in different types of popular sodas
pH levels in various kinds of popular sodas

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On the other side, the drinks that are considered to be more alkaline include:  

  • Dairy Milk – 6.9 
  • Almond Milk – 6.0 
  • Soy Milk – 7.0 
  • Kale Juice – 6.8 
  • Water – 7.4 
  • Black Tea – 7.0 

Don’t know what to drink? We made a list of more than 20 most and least acidic juices and 20+ alcoholic drinks ranked by acidity levels.

Is Coca-Cola bad for acid reflux? 

Foods that have a low pH can also cause people problems with acid reflux. Coca-cola, and all sodas, are considered to be bad for anyone with acid reflux. This is because any carbonated drink causes your stomach to distend, which promotes reflux.

It is recommended that anyone with acid reflux stay away from all sodas, including the much-loved Coca-Cola.

Is Coca-Cola Acidic? Pin it!
Is Coca-Cola Acidic? Pin it!

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Other foods that should be avoided if you have acid reflux are deep-fried foods (such as French fries or onion rings), foods high in fat (like sour cream or whole milk), spicy foods, citrus fruits (including oranges, lemons, grapefruits, limes, and pineapples), and acidic vegetables (like tomatoes, garlic, and onions).

Instead, try to pack your diet with alkaline foods like green vegetables, potatoes, oatmeal, ginger (as well as ginger tea), non-citrus fruits (like apples, bananas, and pears), lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish, and seafood), egg whites, and healthy fats (which can be found in things like avocados, walnuts, and sunflower oil).  

Don’t know what to drink? We made a list of more than 20 most and least acidic juices and 20+ alcoholic drinks ranked by acidity levels.


What happens if you drink Coca-Cola too much?

Too many Coca-Cola drinks can have harmful effects on your health. Coca-Cola contains a huge amount of sugar that can cause tooth decay and negatively affect your blood glucose levels that increase in blood when we ingest a large amount of sucrose that Coca-cola contains.

Also, drinking Coca-Cola is dehydrating as it contains caffeine, so drinking too much of it can cause dry skin, fine lines, and wrinkles on your face.

Caffeine and sugar content in this drink lead to cravings which can easily lead to unwanted weight gain, weakened bones, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Is Coca-Cola vegan?

Not all Coca-Cola drinks are vegan. Beverages such as Lilt, Lilt Zero, Honest Lemon and Honey, and Schweppes Orange Squash are not vegan as they contain small traces of fish gelatin used to create the beta-carotene color in some of its products.

Let’s talk about the Coca-Cola drink itself. It contains carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavors, and caffeine. It doesn’t have ingredients derived from animal sources, not even in the natural flavor part of ingredients.

Some popular Coca-Cola vegan drinks are Dier-Coke, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Fanta, and Schweppes.