The effects of carbonated beverages on sensory acceptability and voluntary fluid intake after exercise were examined. The level of carbonation in a 6% carbohydrate (CHO) electrolyte drink was systematically varied (0, 1.1, 2.3, and 3.0 volumes of CO2), and its impact was assessed in 52 adults following 30 min of exercise. The perception of carbonation intensity closely tracked the differences in physical carbonation levels presented, with all perceived intensities significantly different from each other (p < .01). Overall sensory acceptability, perceived thirst quenching, and perceived sweetness were significantly lower for 2.3-vol CO2 and 3.0-vol CO2 than for 0-vol CO2 and 1.1-vol CO2 (p < .01). Perceived throatburn was significantly higher for 2.3-vol CO2 and 3.0-vol CO2 than for 0-vol CO2 and 1.1-vol CO2 (p < .01). Total fluid intake for 0-vol CO2 and 1.1-vol CO2 was significantly higher than for 2.3-vol CO2 (p < .05), which was significantly higher than for 3.0-vol CO2 (p < .05). It was concluded that levels of carbonation equal to or in excess of 2.3-vol CO2 negatively impact drink acceptability and voluntary fluid intake.
Int J Sport Nutr. 7(4):286-297.