Why do I hiccup after drinking soda?
May 21, 2008 3:05 PM   Subscribe

Why do I hiccup after drinking anything with carbonation?

As an adult, I started hiccuping after drinking any kind of soda. Just one hiccup after the first drink and then my body seems to get acclimatized and relaxes. What's up with that? Does it happen to anyone else?
posted by carmelita to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yes!! This started happening to me several years ago. It started as an attempt not to burp on that first sip of soda and then it became a habit. It was cool for awhile because I'd just let out a cute little hiccup instead of a burp. *However* this habit has become so reflexive that I do it all the time now though I rarely drink soda anymore. It's sometimes virtually involuntary and sometimes uncontrollable. Not to mention the little hiccups have gotten louder and higher pitched. People on the street or in grocery stores stop in alarm and often say "Bless you...I think?" because they don't know if I sneezed or what. Friends, family and coworkers find it quirky and cute but after a few years it's really begun to annoy me.
posted by i_love_squirrels at 3:25 PM on May 21, 2008

How are you drinking it? Are you sipping or gulping it? Hiccuping is the diaphragm and lungs falling out of synch- but I'm not sure how carbonation could contribute to this. Perhaps you shouldn't inhale immediately after taking a sip?
posted by self at 3:37 PM on May 21, 2008

Happens to me too. Though only sometimes, and for longer. Not just one hiccup, my first sip of soda triggers a full series of hiccups.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 3:53 PM on May 21, 2008

Ha! Always happens to me too. Just as you describe. It's happened as long as I can remember. One little hiccup after the first sip, then nothing. Only with soda. I'm finally not alone!
posted by ssimon82 at 4:02 PM on May 21, 2008

Another me too here.
posted by rlef98 at 4:04 PM on May 21, 2008

This happens to me a lot. I have some chronic stomach problems which probably aggravate it and the Wikipedia article (for example) dont exactly support this, but I've come to believe that its some kind of short circuit associated with getting rid of air/gas in your stomach. If I can belch, it almost always goes away, but happens a lot when I drink anything carbonated.

As far as a home remedy goes, if you take a drink of water with your fingers in your ears, you'll belch and your hiccups will go away. I have absolutely no idea why it works but its foolproof. And it looks funny too. Try it.
posted by elendil71 at 4:07 PM on May 21, 2008

Me too!
posted by Sassyfras at 4:13 PM on May 21, 2008

Me too, and like my squirrel-lovin' colleague upthread I didn't used to. It does seem to set in as you get older.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:39 PM on May 21, 2008

Same here - happens with carbonated beer, too. I suspect it might be due to breathing/swallowing at the same time. Maybe as the liquid is separating from the carbon dioxide in our mouth, our epiglottis is trying to figure out the proper routing procedure?
posted by krippledkonscious at 4:43 PM on May 21, 2008

This happens to me, but if I drink the first sip slowly I can then gulp with no hiccups.
posted by jdl at 4:53 PM on May 21, 2008

Response by poster: The hiccup always starts in the middle of my first drink. Now that I know it's coming I don't usually spill, but when it first started happening I would slosh soda out of the glass. So ridiculous!
posted by carmelita at 4:55 PM on May 21, 2008

wow. This has been an ongoing joke in my family for years. (last time my parents came to town my father shook his head and said "You still don't know how drink?!" )

I thought it was just me, and I've noticed the colder the drink is, the more likely it's going to happen. maybe a new support group is in the works
posted by tj at 6:26 PM on May 21, 2008

Nthing it. First gulp causes a big hiccup. i think it's the fizziness causing a harsh sensation in the throat, but that's a guess.
posted by tomble at 7:38 PM on May 21, 2008

me too! damn, im not the weirdo i thought.
posted by Mach5 at 7:41 PM on May 21, 2008

What jdl said.
posted by flabdablet at 8:15 PM on May 21, 2008

Friend, you're totally normal. You're going to need to describe a much weirder behavior to get our attention.
posted by Mapes at 8:41 PM on May 21, 2008

me too

But, normal or not, I'm still interested if anyone has an answer to "Why?"
posted by winston at 8:55 PM on May 21, 2008

Well, I remember something in high school about how carbonated drinks have a mixture of CO2 and nitrogen to make the bubbles, and the nitrogen makes you burp more for some reason. (This is all hazy memories, could be wrong.)

We were taught to blow across the top of a can to get rid of the N+CO2 that had accumulated on top before we took a sip so that we wouldn't breathe it in while drinking. That could explain the first-sip part of your problem; your first sip is when you are taking in the most gas.

The cold thing also has to do with gas: cold liquids hold more gas than hot liquids, so you have more dissolved gas in a cold drink. Then it warms up inside you and releases and you burp it out. I don't know why you are hiccuping and not burping though. Maybe you are hiccuping because you are subconsciously suppressing a burp?
posted by rmless at 9:00 AM on May 22, 2008

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