If you haven’t heard of the mighty Mentos and Diet Coke experiment then where have you been? The world-famous experiment consists of combining super fresh and minty Mentos with that saccharine-sweet diet, and yes it has to be diet coke. The reaction between the substances makes for a huge foamy explosion that’s sure to make a mess of your kitchen and ruin your day. But if you drank diet coke and ate Mentos, would it ruin your stomach?
First, let’s examine what’s actually happening when the candy hits the soda? It starts a reaction that consists of a process called nucleation. Diet coke is manufactured with a lot of carbon dioxide to give the soda fizziness, and that carbon dioxide dissolves into the water content in the bottle.
The moment you open the bottle the carbon dioxide changes back into a gaseous form basically the CO2 changes from a liquid state to a gas state VERY fast, and when there are more physical places for the CO2 to land.
Then the process happens with a lot more volume, think of when you pour soda into a glass by itself versus a glass with ice. When it has ice, there are a lot more bubbles, that’s because there’s more surface area on which nucleation can occur.
Mentos tablets have a very rough surface, despite looking smooth to the naked eye, when you get up close you can see that the Mentos has a lot of uneven surfaces.
This bumpy surface acts as a PERFECT site for nucleation, so when all that liquid CO2 from the diet coke hits the millions of nucleation sites on the Mentos it creates the incredible Coca Cola Geyser! but can that happen inside your body?! it’s been rumored that a boy died by swallowing Mentos and chugging a can of diet coke right after! But would this really happen? Will the two meet up down in the pit of your stomach and explode?
What would happen to your stomach?
If unharmed Mentos made it 100% intact to your stomach and you chugged a liter of diet coke, your stomach and intestines would fill up with gas, like a balloon filling up with air, the walls of your guts would stretch and distend until the tissue hit its breaking point, and which point they would be damaged rupture inside your body.
This really happened!
Something like this actually did happen to a woman who was celebrating the Chinese NewYear, but Mentos and coke weren’t the culprits. She had overeaten and drank too much alcohol when surgeons attempted to help her, large amounts of gas from the alcohol were released and came into contact with electrical equipment and caused a fire, Her stomach basically exploded and the doctors had to remove her stomach entirely! However, the diet coke and Mentos tale is an urban legend…
But can it happen to you?
You cannot die from eating Mentos and drinking diet coke because the rough surface of the Mentos begins to dissolve almost immediately in your mouth so no nucleation can occur in your stomach, so while coke and Mentos won’t make your belly explode, overeating and drinking might! but even if there aren’t any definitive reports of it happening, we still did recommend you try it, Leave the coke and Mentos explosions in the glass instead of your stomach, and remember to do the experiment outside unless you want a big mess to deal with!