We’ve all had the one can of soda that was found in the depths of the pantry.
The expiration date was up months ago if not years. You stand there thirsty, contemplating the possible consequences of drinking expired soda.
You should know that opening the can or bottle of soda will effectively nullify the expiration date as well.
Your soda will degrade in taste and carbonation much quicker after you open it. Although, there are some prevention methods you can use to stave off the reduction in taste once you open the soda.
So, how long do you have after the expiration date before things start to go south for your soda?
The Expiration of Soda Expiration Dates
While you can drink expired soda without any health consequences, you’re not going to always have a pleasant drink.
After a certain time frame beyond the expiration date, soda will start to lose carbonation and become flat and bad tasting.
In general, you’ll have about six to nine months after the expiration date to still enjoy a refreshing soda. It should be noted that all soda generally expires around the same time.
Whether you’re drinking Coke, Pepsi, a ginger ale, grape soda, orange soda, or whatever your favorite carbonated drink is, you’ll find that their expiration dates are all relatively the same.
Because the expiration date is nullified after you open a can or bottle of soda, you’ll only have a relatively short amount of time to drink the soda before it goes flat and tastes bad.
There may also be a variance if your soda is diet. The U.S Department of Agriculture states that diet soda may only last up to three months past the expiration date while a normal soda may be consumed up to six months past the expiration date.
While this is a good general rule, there can also be a lot of variation. There are many confirmed reports of people drinking sodas that were expired by many years and found it tasted fine.
Have a look at this video where these guy drinks 30 year old expired coca cola !
Your mileage will vary depending on how much exposure your can or bottle of soda has had against the elements.
Things such as sun exposure and physical damage to the container may compromise the soda and make it expire faster than expected.
How to Tell if Your Soda Has Expired
The first thing you’ll want to look for is the quality of the container.
If considering drinking an expired diet soda, be warned: they’re known to taste worse than their normal counterparts after they begin to expire.
This is because of the artificial sweeteners used in the diet soda to give it flavor.
The artificial sweeteners will begin to break down over time. It’ll taste worse and worse the farther away from the expiration date you are as well as after it’s exposed to open air for some time.
How to Extend Soda Shelf Life
While leaving soda out in the open or your pantry is fine, there are some things you can to further extend the shelf life of soda.
Store your soda in cool, dark areas to give it the best odds of lasting longer.
You should also know that bottled soda will generally keep for longer than canned soda after it’s been opened.
In general, you can expect bottled soda to last between two to three days longer than canned soda.
If you’re one of those people who love to open a soda and put it back down before finishing, consider moving to bottled soda so you won’t waste as much due to de-carbonation.
How Does Soda Expiration Work?
Once the soda has been exposed to the open air, carbonation will begin to rapidly leak out of your container.
Artificial sweeteners begin to affect the taste of your drink because of their chemical makeup. Artificial sweeteners are exactly what they say they are – artificial. They’re made from chemicals and they begin to break apart and dissolve into your drink after a certain amount of time.
This is why the expiration date will be more important when you’re drinking diet sodas.
Diet sodas will generally begin to degrade fairly quickly after opening and after their expiration date. Like normal sodas, they’ll be fine to drink still.
However, they will lose their flavor extremely quickly. This is because as the chemicals begin to break up, they’ll start affecting the overall taste of everything.
What Not To Do With Expired Sodas
Be warned that a large fluctuation in temperature, such as when a bottle or can of soda thaws, can cause a drastic change in taste and fizziness of your drink. You may try to store your soda for the long haul but end up with a terrible tasting drink.
Is It Worth It?
Take solace in knowing that there will likely be no negative consequences to your health.
But, your taste buds may be a different story.
Be especially cautious when drinking diet soda as it is more likely to become flat and gross faster than standard soda.
Is it bad to drink expired soda? No, but you probably won’t like it.