Talk:Soft drink

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In my view the article is unnecessarily complex. Coming from Scotland, UK, my understanding of a "soft drink" is any alternative to a "hard" alcoholic drink, although not usually used to include tea, coffee, hot chocolate, etc. It does include water, alcohol-free beer, fruit juice and any drink commonly consumed by a someone not wishing an alcoholic drink in a bar setting. Perhaps the meaning differs from region to region of the English-speaking world. EdX20 (talk) 20:43, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

I believe this is the case. An English friend of mine shares your definition, while in Australia the usage of "soft drink" fits this article perfectly. -- (talk) 08:21, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

In Canada the meaning is also reflected in this article, soft drink is a synonym for pop. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:04, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

Same here in the US. Soft drink is as described: carbonated, flavored beverage. It probably *should* be any non-alcoholic drink, but it seems we use "soft drink" as an agreeable term for what is otherwise highly regionally named - "soda", "soda pop", "pop", etc. Paradox (talk) 03:34, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

Stronger Citations[edit]

Much of this article, including the "Health effects" and subsequent sections, appear to be extremely speculative. I noted some areas where citations could be added. Will look for research and references to add. Would welcome any help or thoughts! KatCray (talk) 20:54, 3 June 2011 (UTC)KatCray

Kool-Aid says it is a soft drink right on the label[edit]

It is also on the list of American soft drinks. So why does this article say it is not? -- (talk) 01:56, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

This actually leads me to think that the article is "wrong" throughout the lead section and in the title as far as what it's about. My suspicion is that we have here now an article about Carbonated beverages which should be moved, and that since these are a subset of Soft drinks, a more general overview should go here instead. Does anyone know if there are industry guidelines on what's labeled as what that would clear this up? - RedWordSmith (talk) 07:44, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
It has long been accepted that soft drinks are carbonated nonalcoholic beverages. There are no guidelines or laws about this, but dictionary definitions and common usage prevail. Kool-Aid's labelling is wishful thinking. Wahrmund (talk) 20:04, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Beer is a carbonated beverage but not a soft one, so I don't think that will work out. Rmhermen (talk) 20:59, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. Maybe Soda (beverage) would be better? This would have the advantage of being analogous to diet soda. - RedWordSmith (talk) 23:22, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Source for this? The first link for the article notes that there are many terms used to refer to carbonated beverages, some of which are clearly not appropriate for the title of this article (eg Lemonade). If we were to go by common usage, the dialect study puts Soda far ahead at 53% vs 6% for Soft drink, in the U.S. at least. Further, two dictionaries, Random House and our own Wiktionary suggest that soft drinks are usually 'but not always' carbonated, and another, the Collins English Dictionary/World English Dictionary (at the RH link), says only that a soft drink is "a nonalcoholic drink, usually cold." What benefit would it give Kool-Aid to label their product as a soft drink if it were not, in what is, relative to the rest of the front package, fine print? - RedWordSmith (talk) 21:24, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

I found the following concerning this question:

Webster's Third International Dictionary, 1966, does not have an entry for soft drink. but it has an entry for soda water that describes what we now call soft drinks.

soda water 2a: a beverage consisting of water highly charged with carbonic acid gas that is effervescent when not under pressure and is used in the manufacture of soft drinks ... 2b: or soda pop : a bottled soft drink consisting of such charged water with added flavor and sweet syrup.

The Columbia Guide to Standard Anerican English (copyright 1993 by Columbia University Press) refers soft drink(s) to its entry at soda, which has:.

soda, club soda, pop, seltzer, soda pop, soft drink(s), sparkling water, tonic. All these are names for nonalcoholic beverages usually carbonated so as to fizz, bubble, or "sparkle." The general terms are soft drinks (as distinguished from "hard" [alcoholic] drinks), soda, pop, and soda pop .... These beverages may have any of a variety of flavors or none at all.

The New Oxford American Dictionary (copyright 2010, by Oxford University Press) has:

soft drink a nonalcoholic drink, esp. one that is carbonated.

I think we can safely disregard the Wiktionary definition.

The dialect study referenced in the article is useless for the purposes of this discussion, first because the article title references standard English and not any of the many various dialects, and second because the study's question stands our issue on its head since it asks: "What is your generic term for a sweetened carbonated beverage?" Rather, it should have asked, "What is your generic term for a soft drink?", when completely different results would have been obtained.

As for Kool-Aid's describing their product as a "soft drink," they gain absolutely no benefit from doing so, yet they do have to call the stuff something, don't they? Wahrmund (talk) 17:50, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Deleting dubious claim[edit]

Reason 1: Kool-Aid specifically calls itself a soft drink, and has for years, right on its labeling. There is only one authority in this country on accepted names for prepared food and nonalcoholic drink products, and that is the FDA. If there were a strict definition of what could and could not be called a soft drink, and Kool-aid failed to adhere to that in any way, the FDA would not allow them to label themselves as one. Kool-Aid and similar products came under heavy srutiny from the FDA in the late 70s and early 80s for their sugar content and the types of artificial color they used, and so any labeling concern would have come to light during that time.

Reason 2: The FDA specifically talks about "carbonated soft drinks."[1] If carbonation were a prerequisite for being a soft drink, why would the FDA need to differentiate between carbonated soft drinks and uncarbonated soft drinks?

Reason 3: the FDA specifically calls Kool-Aid a soft drink [2]. Read the report on this foot note, it lists several Kool-Aid flavors as soft drinks in this study on benzoate levels in soft drinks.

Reason 4: Kool-Aid has officially been recognized as a soft drink, when the state of Nebraska legislature designated Kool-Aid the official state soft drink.[3]

I am removing the claim that it is not a soft drink. Mmyers1976 (talk) 17:17, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Increased fructose associates with elevated blood pressure. -- PMID 20595676[edit]

Jalal DI, Smits G, Johnson RJ, Chonchol M.

Increased fructose associates with elevated blood pressure.

J Am Soc Nephrol. 2010 Sep;21(9):1543-9. Epub 2010 Jul 1.

PMID 20595676

PMCID: PMC3013529

Free PMC Article


The recent increase in fructose consumption in industrialized nations mirrors the rise in the prevalence of hypertension, but epidemiologic studies have inconsistently linked these observations. We investigated whether increased fructose intake from added sugars associates with an increased risk for higher BP levels in US adults without a history of hypertension. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using the data collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2003 to 2006) involving 4528 adults without a history of hypertension. Median fructose intake was 74 g/d, corresponding to 2.5 sugary soft drinks each day. After adjustment for demographics; comorbidities; physical activity; total kilocalorie intake; and dietary confounders such as total carbohydrate, alcohol, salt, and vitamin C intake, an increased fructose intake of > or =74 g/d independently and significantly associated with higher odds of elevated BP levels: It led to a 26, 30, and 77% higher risk for BP cutoffs of > or =135/85, > or =140/90, and > or =160/100 mmHg, respectively. These results suggest that high fructose intake, in the form of added sugar, independently associates with higher BP levels among US adults without a history of hypertension. Comment in

PMID 20595676

PMCID: PMC3013529

Free PMC Article (talk) 23:05, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Proposed merger from Sugar drink[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was to merge Puffin Let's talk! 17:22, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Sugar drink is a stub and I don't believe that the topic is appropriate for an article of its own. The information could easily be added to this article. Puffin Let's talk! 19:14, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Merge - The sugar drink article doesn't warrant its own article. It is commonly used as a synonym for soft drink. --Jeremy (blah blahI did it!) 01:30, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Merge - Agreed as per nom and Jeremy. -Kai445 (talk) 03:38, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Widely sold soft drink flavors[edit]

I removed the unsourced claim "Widely sold soft drink flavors are cola, cherry, lemon-lime, root beer, orange, grape, vanilla, ginger ale, fruit punch, and lemonade." because it is unsourced, includes flavors not common in my area and leaves out flavors common in my area (as explained in my edit summary).

Another editor reverted this with the explanation, "you are going to dispute cola is a common flavor?"

Allow me to clarify. This list is subjective and unsourced. For openers, we have competing definitions at use in this article. While we state that soft drinks are "a beverage that typically contains water (often, but not always, carbonated water), usually a sweetener, and usually a flavoring agent" our list of alternate names includes "tonic, seltzer, mineral, sparkling water". This, therefore, would easily allow for hot or iced tea, coffee, water and various fruit drinks and juices. We try to backpedal on this with the unsourced claim, "Fruit juice, tea, and other such non-alcoholic beverages are technically soft drinks by this definition but are not generally referred to as such."

In my experience, the term is used to refer to either sweetened, sparkling sodas (Coke/Pepsi, 7up/Sprite, Dr Pepper/Mr. Pibb, grape/orange/cherry/cherry vanilla/etc soda, cherry cola (not to be confused with cherry), etc.) or non-alcoholic beverages in general (sodas plus tea, coffee, bottled waters of various kinds, fruit juices and drinks, etc.)

I am completely unfamiliar with a use of the term in such a way that it would include fruit punch and lemonade while excluding fruit juices or uses of the terms "seltzer", "mineral", "sparkling water" as general terms for soft drinks.

Am I disputing that cola is a common soft drink? No. I am disputing that this list is a representative sample of common soft drink flavors.

Comments before I remove this unsourced material again? - SummerPhD (talk) 05:12, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Fruit punch is a not uncommon flavor of soda. Probably somewhere there is lemon (not lemon-lime) flavored pop somewhere too. I di in fact look for some citation but could only find U.S. reports (6 of the top ten are cola, two lemon-lime-ish and one orange) or one international report which only listed the less useful cola #1, citrus #2. This article has always been about non-alcoholic carbonated drinks though. Rmhermen (talk) 13:33, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I notice that the earliest surviving edit to this page includes "Dansk Citronvand (Denmark: carbonated lemonade)" Rmhermen (talk) 15:54, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Whomever dreamed up the list probably was thinking of Sprite/7Up/Sierra Mist/etc. for the "lemon lime". Carbonated lemonade is rare in the US. Lemonade is common. Fruit punch is a common drink but an uncommon soda flavor. Basically, I think we have an unsalvageable piece of WP:OR here. - SummerPhD (talk) 18:00, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

In the UK lemonade is almost always carbonated. I've never seen uncarbonated lemonade anywhere I've been(London, Plymouth, Cardiff, Exeter, Londonderry etc.) -- (talk) 21:46, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

That's because you buy uncarbonated lemonade as a cordial, and add water (or carbonated water). This is referred to in modern UK parlance as "Lemon squash", while -ade is increasingly reserved for carbonated drinks. Squash of course used to mean freshly squeezed fruit juice (freshly squeezed is usually explicitly stated as this is a premium product, whereas commercially packaged, and sometimes reconstituted juice is referred to as "juice", though this is in turn a dysphemism (or maybe just sloppy usage) for diluted cordials, and the revolting "fruit drinks" which are usually very high in sugar) but the terms have changed places, I recommend Victorian "Enquire Withins" for more clarity on the earlier meanings of these words. All the best: Rich Farmbrough19:10, 10 November 2014 (UTC).

Fair use candidate from Commons: File:Soft Drink.svg[edit]

The file File:Soft Drink.svg, used on this page, has been deleted from Wikimedia Commons and re-uploaded at File:Soft Drink.svg. It should be reviewed to determine if it is compliant with this project's non-free content policy, or else should be deleted and removed from this page. If no action is taken, it will be deleted after 7 days. Commons fair use upload bot (talk) 21:33, 27 May 2014 (UTC)


Per Wikt:soft drink this title is ambiguous, and the article might be better at "carbonated drink" (includes sparkling water) or "carbonated beverage". All the best: Rich Farmbrough18:55, 10 November 2014 (UTC).

Tea/Juice not a Soft Drink!?[edit]

The only time I see the term soft drink is on menu's, sure sometimes menus will list craft beer under imports, but most common all cold non-alcoholic drinks are considered soft drinks. I am mainly frustrated because I searched for soft drinks, not looking for an article on pop, but a list of alcohol free drinks. I couldn't read the source that people don't refer to those as soft drinks in conversation. But I am pretty sure most people use the regional variant. (talk) 23:48, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Neither is Soda, that's just carbonated water. I've never heard Soda, by itself, as somehow meaning a soft drink, in my entire life. SodaStream, for example, makes carbonated water i.e. Soda, it's not until a flavouring is added that then it becomes a soft drink. Soda is just fizzy water and is nothing else really. Soda=Carbonated Water; Soda≠Soft Drink.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:10, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

You're arguing about regionalisms. In various parts of the U.S., you will hear "soft drink", "soda", "pop", "sodapop", "coke" and other terms used to refer to drinks made of carbonated water, color/flavoring and sweeteners. You will also find "soft drink" used to refer to all non-alcoholic drinks, all cold non-alcoholic drinks, all cold sweetened non-alcoholic drinks, etc. and all of those variations excluding carbonated and/or non-carbonated water. "Soda" is also used to describe any carbonated drink and/or carbonated water.
This article is about the beverage that is made of carbonated water, flavoring (with or without coloring) and a sweetener. Yes, some people call that beverage a "soda" while others use that term for carbonated water. Yes, some people call the beverage a "soft drink" while others use that term for a wider class of drinks. Yes, some people call the beverage a "coke" while others use that term for only the cola made by Coca-Cola, a fuel derived from coal/oil, a programming language, cocaine, etc.
Words are informally created by humans over time. They are not given to humanity with definitions etched in granite by the gods. Different people use the same words to mean different things. This article is about one concept that various people identify by different names. - SummerPhD (talk) 20:53, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Just my two cents to the OP, from my region's perspective - I'm in the Eastern US and Soft drink means soda (carbonated flavored beverage) everywhere I've been. If it's just carbonated water, it's not soda; it's called "seltzer water" or seltzer. I know "soda pop" or just "pop" is used in the mid/southern US to refer to soda, but in the same way as above; never is milk/tea/juice or anything non-carbonated meant by "soft drink", despite the lack of alcohol. SodaStream is called such because the end goal is to make Soda. Cheers Paradox (talk) 03:17, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

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Present tense: drink

Past tense: drank

Past participle: drunk

Confused? Compare drink/drank/drunk to eat/ate/eaten.

"Crackers may be eaten..."
"Soft drinks may be drunk..." - SummerPhDv2.0 16:11, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

Soft drink[edit]

The first, and perhaps unintentional, carbonated soft drink was created at the direction of Dr. Philip Syng Physick, also known as the father of American surgery. In 1807, Dr. Physick, for a patient with stomach disorders ordered the preparation of a carbonated drink made by pharmacist Townsend Speakman that had flavoring added to enhance the taste. (talk) 03:50, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Sugar Tax[edit]

The section on soda taxes proposed in the US should probably mention the fact that they have been shown to disproportionately affect low-income populations (who consume more sugary drinks on average) because the beverage companies simply pass the tax onto consumers. Paradox (talk) 03:40, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^