Many people have heard that drinking pop rocks and soda together can cause an explosion in the stomach. But is this actually true? We will explore what it means to drink these two things together, how they interact with each other, and whether or not you should be worried about your stomach exploding!
Consuming Pop Rocks and soda together at the same time is not dangerous. There is only one-tenth as much gas present in a package of Pop Rocks as there is in about one ounce of carbonated soda. Even if you combine Pop rocks with a carbonated beverage, there would not be enough pressure to make your stomach explode.
What are Pop Rocks?
Pop Rocks are a type of candy that is made up of small, round pieces of CO2 infused sugar with a hard outer coating. You can find Pop Rocks in many different flavors and colors including cherry, grape, orange and watermelon. These candies became popular back in the 1970s when they were first introduced to consumers.
With their unique flavor and sour tang, these little candy rocks have been the go-to treat for many people who want to add a little snap, crackle and pop into their life.
Pop Rocks were originally introduced by General Foods in 1975. Since they were first introduced, Pop Rocks have been sold by the millions and can be found just about anywhere you go to buy food or drinks for your family.
In 1983 General Foods stopped marketing Pop Rocks and Kraft Foods purchased the rights to it. They began selling the candy under the name Action Candy. However, today they are again marketed under the original name, “Pop Rocks”. They can be found for purchase both online and in stores.
Is it True that Pop Rocks and Soda can cause your Stomach to Explode?
We all know the feeling of popping a bag of Pop Rocks into our mouth and then quickly following up with a can of soda. We’re left with that tingly, fizzy sensation in our mouths as they melt together. But what would happen if you popped them both at the same time? Would your stomach explode?
There are numerous rumors about the dangers of ingesting this seemingly innocent combination, but the truth is that it’s unlikely to cause any harm.
Pop Rocks are made primarily from sugar and artificial sweeteners that won’t have much effect on your digestive system. The bubbles in cola can also be attributed as being harmless for most people since they get dissolved quickly before they can ever reach the stomach.
How Does Carbonation React with Pop Rocks in a Person’s Stomach?
Combining Pop Rocks and carbonation can cause an upset stomach. This is due to the carbonation bubbles popping in the stomach and releasing gas. The reaction is not dangerous, but it can cause an upset tummy. Especially for people who are sensitive to this type of thing or have a weak digestive system due to illness like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
The Pop Rocks will dissolve quickly before they get past your throat so there’s no risk that you’ll choke on them. But if both items enter at once into someone with IB syndrome then their symptoms may worsen. Because these two things mixed together may cause several problems:
- They can create air pockets which makes digestion harder.
- May lead to back pain from bloating.
- Can cause increased flatulence.
- Possible abdominal discomfort/pain when passing gas.
- May even lead to headaches from the carbonation bubbles in soda entering your stomach too quickly.
Deadly Cases of Pop Rocks and Soda
Have there been any cases of Pop Rocks and Soda causing death? Well actually yes, at least there are some cases believed to be attributed to this. However these cases have not been proven.
One example would be an incident where four children all died after eating Pop Rocks followed by Mountain Dew on Halloween night 1984. It was believed this could’ve happened either way but some say its likely that the children didn’t chew their Pop Rocks and soda properly. This could have caused a fatal blockage of air in one or more parts.
The only other known case was when two people died after eating Pop Rocks with soda. They had stomach cramps before dying from an overdose on carbon dioxide gas that can be found inside fizzy drinks like Coca Cola. However there may have been some underlying medical conditions they did not know about as well.
One hugely popular rumor was centered around the childhood actor John Gilchrist. This was the kid known as “Mikey”… You know…the “Hey Mikey, He Likes It” commercials. It was rumored that John Gilchrist had died after consuming a combination of Pop Rocks and soda.
He apparently disappeared after his Quaker Life cereal commercial debut in 1972. This is what may have started this rumor. However he actually continued to make commercials until 1988. He has since retired and is alive and well to this day! Even though he is very much alive, the rumors still persist that he died from Pop Rocks.
Debunking the Myths: Fighting Back Against the Pop Rocks Rumors
Considering the huge amount of rumors associated with Pop Rocks that has brought “bad press” to the brand over the years. General Foods had to find a way to fight back. Pop Rocks candy was actually invented in 1956. Considering it wasn’t released for public consumption until 1975, there was plenty of time for testing. But this didn’t stop the wide spread belief these candies may cause you harm.
In fact the Food and Drug Administration had actually set up a hotline used to calm parents of their fears about the product! But this didn’t stop the ongoing playground rumors that Pop Rocks and soda would cause your stomach to explode.
By 1979, these rumors had gained so much momentum that General Foods had to submit full-page advertisements to over 40 marketing publications. The also sent out over 50,000 letters to school principals to help calm the myth. The inventor of Pop Rocks actually had to go on a “goodwill tour” where he would attempt to debunk the myths!
It’s also worth mentioning the old wives tale about how eating too many of these candies could lead you into diabetes. This has been debunked as well by medical professionals who say it can’t be proven either way as to what causes this disease. But there isn’t enough evidence linking sugar consumption with developing type II Diabetes.
So to make a very long story short…Pop Rocks and soda are a safe product. The rumors that they will cause your stomach to explode is just an urban legend. These rumors are not based on any truth whatsoever!