According to a September 28 announcement from the University of Southern California (USC), carbonated drinks are similar to horseradish and mustard to your nose and set off pain sensors.
Emily Liman, PhD, an associate professor of biological sciences in USC's neurobiology department who led the study published online in the September edition of the Journal of Neuroscience, said, "Carbonation evokes two distinct sensations. It makes things sour and it also makes them burn.
"We have all felt that noxious tingling sensation when soda goes down your throat too fast.
"What we did not know was which cells and which molecules within those cells are responsible for the painful sensation we experience when we drink a carbonated soda."
Apparently, the body processes soda, sparkling water and the like as though it were wasabi.
"The burning sensation comes from a system of nerves that respond to sensations of pain, skin pressure and temperature in the nose and mouth."
Perhaps the city of Paris might want to rethink the new free sparkling water fountain in Jardin de Reuilly that emerged on September 21.
However, Liman et al found research dating back to 1885 showing carbonation inhibits bacterial growth.