To drown or face carbonic doom

I went perusing through the archives and stumbled on some threads about Coca-Cola and its acidity. Snopes had some information to debunk the extreme stuff but the fact remains that Coke is acidic.
If we took a person who is a very strong swimmer and them swim in a pool of Coke, would they get tired from swimming and drown before the acids took their toll or would the swimmer succomb to the Cola first?

When you say succomb to Coke, so you mean by drinking its refreshing coolness? (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.) Coke is not acidic enough to appreciably protonate the proteins on skin, so a swimmer could last in Coke forever, as far as any deleterious effects of Coke contact are concerned. (Is this what you mean?) A strong swimmer is aware of methods of staying afloat indefinitely, and could nourish herself with the Coke. She would eventually die of malnutrition from lack of protein and vitamins.

If the swimmer were made of iron, however, that is another story.

And due to the carbonation, it’d be easier to stay afloat. Remember the raisins-in-the-7up trick?

Neither. Hypothermia.

Swimming in a pool of carbonated water presents different hazards, asphyxiation from breathing CO[sub]2[/sub]. Have you ever taken a swig from a half empty 2 or 3 litre bottle and gotten a bit of a rush from inhaling the gas in the bottle? In this case swimming in a pool of seltzer would be as deadly as Coca-Cola™ or generic store brand pop.

I forgot about that. Let’s give the swimmer an air hose.

So the body’s proteins would still hold up to the Cola?
Just wondering…

Only if it was caffeine-free diet Coke.

Raisins aren’t much bigger than the bubbles. If you tried to swim in a carbonated solution, your thrashing would produce lots of bubbles. Those would decrease the density of the medium, and you’d tend to sink.
Here’s a bit on the hazard that catastrophic release of seafloor methane poses to ships:

Now swimming in coke won’t be that bad, but at the very least, the gas released around your arms during a swimming stroke will decrease the efficiency of your movement through the liquid.

True, but remember that Coke has an awful lot of sugar dissolved in it. So it’s a good deal denser than regular water, and therefore easier to swim in.

Now if you’re swimming in Diet Coke, that’s another story; there’s not nearly as much mass of Nutrasweet in a Diet Coke as there is sugar in Coke. Personal experience tells me that a Diet Coke placed in fresh water will float, while a regular Coke will sink, so they’re on opposite sides of a density of 1.0 kg/litre.

Not neccessarily MikeS.You have to account for the mass of the metal can and the gas volume inside. You have detrmined that regular coke is denser than diet but not nothing beyond that with certainty. I’m sure both are more dense than distilled water.

Am I the only one who saw “carbonic doom” in the thread title and thought it would be something about Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back?

Maybe that’s “carbonitic doom.” :smiley:

The damn wasps would sting the swimmer to death before they had time to drown or melt!


When I read the thread title, I thought it was going to be asking whether a person would die of asphyxiation from the CO[sub]2[/sub] released from the bubbles in the Coke before they drowned.

Damn misleading thread titles.

Bring on the tentacled monsters!!!


Density of 10% sucrose is 1.04 g/cc (CRC)
Density of classic coke is 1.11 g/cc here
Density of diet coke is 1.00 g/cc
Seawater has an average density of 1.026 g/cc

If swimming in a pool full of Coca Cola was in any way dangerous, they would warn us about it on the label. I say go for it. :wink: