What can be the effects for the body to be immersed in Coca Cola for a while? A friend commented me that the coke is quite acidic (pH 2.5 if I recall properly), and we were guessing what could be the effects for the body after a time of immersion.

I read 20 Practical Uses for Coca Cola – Proof That Coke Does Not Belong In The Human Body and I see some things like:

E338 – Orthophosphoric Acid. This can cause irritation of the skin and eyes.

But I am guessing: what are the problems of a long contact of coke with the body - not drinking, but being in touch with it.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't put too much stock into the link. For example, the link says that the stomach releases "calcium" to neutralize acids. This doesn't make any sense; elemental calcium has no acid/base properties. Calcium ion actually behaves as a weak Bronsted acid in solution. I'm thinking the author meant some form of bicarbonate ion - a common biological buffer ion. $\endgroup$
    – Dissenter
    Aug 7, 2014 at 22:48
  • $\begingroup$ And what do you know, I knew it. "The stomach is protected by the epithelial cells, which produce and secrete a bicarbonate-rich solution that coats the mucosa. Bicarbonate is alkaline, a base, and neutralizes the acid secreted by the parietal cells, producing water in the process. This continuous supply of bicarbonate is the main way that your stomach protects itself from autodigestion (the stomach digesting itself) and the overall acidic environment." - health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/digestive/… $\endgroup$
    – Dissenter
    Aug 7, 2014 at 22:49
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    $\begingroup$ I would take anything you read on that blog with a grain of salt. I've examined a few of the scientific papers they've cited in other articles and they definitely cherry pick their data. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Aug 7, 2014 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ @jonsca thanks for clarifying that I shouldn't rely much on that blog article. It was the thing I found as source to coke vs human body, so I'm willing to see if someone can provide further (and more reliable!) information. $\endgroup$
    – fedorqui
    Aug 7, 2014 at 23:11
  • $\begingroup$ No, it's a fine question to ask from a safety point of view, that was just an aside :) $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Aug 7, 2014 at 23:13

1 Answer 1


Cola and soft drink products are generally in the pH=2.5-3.5 range. This is the same pH range as vinegar, lemon juice and most fruit juices. Note apple itself is around 3.0-3.5, so it is not about some magical trick of food industry to kill us all.

Does Cola dissolve your body traceless? No. Do you want to soak your body in it for hours? Would you soak your body in vinegar for hours? Or even water...


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