Geometry and energetics of low energy conformers of sodium dihydrogen triacetate (SDHTA) and its anion are studied using density functional theory (DFT) at the Becke, Lee-Yang-Parr hybrid functional (BLYP) and Becke, three-parameter, Lee-Yang-Parr hybrid functional (B3LYP) levels. For both cases, two structures of comparable energy are found, which have different symmetry with respect to the two hydrogen bonds (HBs). DFT-based Born–Oppenheimer molecular dynamics simulations are performed for SDHTA, which show that both structures are visited at room temperature conditions. The trajectory analysis further reveals that the two HBs behave anticooperative, that is, on average elongation of one HB is accompanied by a compression of the other one. This is in accord with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experimental studies for a similar counter ion–dihydrogen triacetate complex. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.