I have never had more than a sip of soda in a single sitting. It's not because I'm trying to be healthy, but it's because it actually hurts my throat. I literally cannot drink anything that is sparkling or has carbonation.

I had no idea why, and I honestly thought it was just all in my head. Was I allergic? Is that even a thing? Why does no one else complain about this? Recently, though, I was relieved to find out that I am not crazy, and, apparently, I am not the only one this happens to.

candy, chocolate
Aurelie Corinthios

So, what's the deal?

Sammy Mintzer

According to research done at USC in 2010, "The carbon dioxide in fizzy drinks triggers the same pain sensors in the nasal cavity as mustard and horseradish, though at a lower intensity." The gas from the carbonation activates a particular type of cell. This cell, which expresses a gene that serves as a general pain sensor, is the same type of cell that detects mustard. Who knew soda and a spicy condiment had so much in common?

Those bubbles do cause some weird stuff to happen. "Carbonation from beverages like soda causes two sensations, making your mouth taste sour and causing a tingling feeling in your nose and throat. The burning sensation that many people feel when drinking carbonated drinks stems from nerves that respond to pain sensations and temperature in your nose and mouth."

In no way does this sound pleasant to me. However, if so many people experience this burning sensation, why do people continue to drink soda? Maybe I'm just the only one who can't handle it. However, apparently, "the degree to which this receptor, TRPA1, is stimulated may determine whether the signal is interpreted as pleasure or pain." So, based on how the signal is interpreted, people can either handle soda, or they're like me, and they can't.

coffee, tea
Anna Arteaga

I'm really not that upset. I can't say I feel like I'm missing out on anything. Soda is pretty terrible for you, so I think I'll be sticking with water for now.