Sodium bicarbonate, known as baking soda, is a common household product used for cleaning, baking and getting rid of bad odors. However, mixing baking soda with water could also be used for various health conditions. Though drinking baking soda with water could have some benefits, there are some serious precautions to take before trying this.
Baking soda and water may have benefit in the right combination, ingested at the proper time and for certain period of time. Here are some possible benefits of drinking baking soda and water and possible warnings for ingesting this.
One of the most popular health uses for drinking baking soda with water is helping with heart burn and acid reflux. Sodium bicarbonate acts as a buffer against acid, so ingesting it would act as a buffer against stomach acid production. In fact, many antacids are made from sodium bicarbonate. Too much stomach acid production could be the reason for heart burn and lowering stomach acid may give temporary relief.
Arm and Hammer baking soda suggests mixing ½ teaspoon to 4 ounces of water every two hours for acid relief. Some important notes for taking baking soda with water include to make sure the baking soda is fully dissolved in water before ingesting and to not drink baking soda and water on a full stomach.
Alkalizing the blood
The body has a very tight control over the pH of the blood. If blood is too acidic or too alkaline, serious negative health consequences can happen. Some disease states such as cancer and osteoporosis have been associated with acidic blood levels.
Various things can affect blood pH levels including diet. In general, fruits and vegetables are considered alkaline, and processed foods, foods high in sugar and animal based foods tend to be acidic. No matter what your diet is, the body will buffer your blood pH levels to maintain health.
Another proposed benefit for drinking baking soda with water is to alkalinize your blood. This may have a benefit to helping blood levels stay more alkaline, but there are some serious side effects that could occur from ingesting too much baking soda. There is some controversy with taking baking soda and water to help alkalize the blood.
Like the blood, having too acidic urine could increase risk for kidney stones and possibly urinary tract infections. Therefore, drinking water with baking soda could help alkalize the urine which may have a beneficial effect on kidney health. Lowering the acid level of urine can help lower risk for kidney stones and help lower risk for urinary tract infection.
Ingesting baking soda mixed with water may even have some benefit for athletic performance, according to some research. Ingesting baking soda while exercising may help delay fatigue and lactic acid build up in the muscles. By delaying fatigue and lactic acid build up, athletes will be able to exercise harder and longer than without the baking soda.
Some research with tennis players suggested that the players were able to maintain service and forehand swings consistently throughout exercise more than without a supplement of sodium bicarbonate.
These are potential health benefits of drinking baking soda and water. Other potential benefits include helping those with gout and working as an antiseptic in the body. Even though there are some benefits with drinking baking soda and water, there are some serious side effects and dangers for certain people.
Children under age 5 years or pregnant women should not drink baking soda and water. If you are taking prescription medications, talk with your health care provider before drinking water and baking soda as this could interfere with your medication.
It is not recommended to drink baking soda and water for more than 2 weeks, and the maximum dose within 24 hours should not exceed 7 doses of ½ teaspoon baking soda mixed with water and 3 doses of ½ teaspoon baking soda in water if you are over 60 years of age.
If you alkalize your blood too much, you can severely disrupt your electrolyte balance which can have devastating effects including causing heart beat abnormalities or hypotension. If you experience any of the following symptoms from drinking water and baking soda, seek medical attention immediately: swelling, frequent urination, loss of appetite, bloody or tar stools or vomit that looks like ground coffee beans.
Drinking water with baking soda may have some possible health benefits, but there are also serious potential side effects. Seek medical advice before ingesting water and baking soda and make sure to follow recommended amounts and guidelines.
Drinking water and baking soda may help with heart burn and lowering blood acidity. Baking soda and water may also help with kidney health, as it can work to lower acidity of urine. Baking soda and water may also have an athletic performance advantage because it can help muscles fight fatigue and lactic acid build up.
References used in this article