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Drinking Baking Soda and Water

By Sabina Rose
Food Pyramid - 6 Aug, 2013
drinking-baking-soda

Sodium bicarbonate and water

Can you drink baking soda? You probably never thought drinking baking soda would be a good idea, but you will be amazed when you read ahead and find out its numerous benefits. Not only can it be used to treat various diseases, a baking soda drink may also help in maintaining optimum pH levels in your body.

Drinking baking soda is also not unheard of among athletes, as it is believed to boost performance levels. If you are a parent or have a really good memory of your early childhood, you might have used gripe water, which is a very popular home remedy solution. It’s main active ingredient is baking soda. So you can see that drinking baking soda can be beneficial in different situations for both adults and children.

 

How does drinking Baking soda water affect health?

While using it for making cakes or breakfast pancakes, you might never have though that you could actually drink bicarbonate of soda. It being a common chemical compound used in laboratories, bio-pesticides and fire extinguishers, you can hardly blame yourself for not knowing. The reality is that its alkaline nature makes drinking baking soda a very good idea.

  • Solution to acidity – Baking soda is essentially an alkaline substance, which means it can be used to treat acidity. If your diet consists of a lot of burgers, fries and sugar rich sodas, you must be familiar with the uncomfortable feeling of bloating. Such a high fat diet with no mention of any fresh vegetables can cause your stomach to produce an excess of acid and lead to acid reflux disease, better known as heart burn. Simply drinking baking soda can reverse this acidity and relieve the queasy feeling and embarrassing gas. It’s pretty amazing that all you need to do to avoid the many devastating effects of your fatty diet is to drink baking soda!
  • Maintenance of Blood pH – The normal pH of the human body is slightly basic, constricted within the narrow range of 7.35 to 7.45. It is crucial for the body pH to stay within this range. Otherwise, an excess of acid in your blood can cause widespread damage ranging from bones to heart problems and even infections. Drinking baking soda helps remove the excess acid in your blood and keep it in the normal range. Thus, drinking baking soda and water helps prevent osteoporosis, osteomalacia, arthritis, and atherosclerosis and even inhibits the growth and spread of disease causing bacteria, viruses and parasites.
  • Antiseptic effect – If you have a habit of drinking baking soda, you are inadvertently doing your immune system a huge favor! Baking soda has mild antiseptic properties and kills pathogens and molds that cause infections. So every time you drink baking soda and water, you’re thwarting the common and very annoying throat infection. You can also apply baking soda to your toothbrush or even gargle with baking soda water solely for the purpose of a mouthwash. If you get burnt or scalded, you should immediately apply baking soda. Not only does it prevent your skin from blistering, it also prevents germs from invading the damaged skin.
  • Effect on Kidneys – Kidneys can be very easily affected by straying of pH from the normal range. Acidic urine can lead to the formation of kidney stones that cause immense pain and complications. Drinking Baking soda is the safest way to prevent this malady. Abnormal working of kidneys can also cause hyperkalemia, which is the fatal increase of potassium ions in the blood. This crisis can also be averted by drinking baking soda infused in water. Patients suffering from chronic kidney diseases are advised to drink baking soda to decrease the progression of their disease.
  • Prevention of UTIs – The easily contractible urinary tract infection can be agonizing to get over. The painful urination, fever and flank pain is relieved by drinking baking soda mixed in some water.
  • Gout – High levels of uric acid in the body can cause Gout. This disease is characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis mostly involving the big toe. To reestablish pH balance in the body, many doctors recommend drinking baking soda. This neutralizes the uric acid and helps dissipate the problem.
  • Treating Medicinal Overdose - Aspirin and other medicines such as tricyclic antidepressants, require an acidic environment for their complete absorption. In the case of an overdose, the patient must resort to drinking baking soda in order to create a basic environment. This inhibits the absorption of the medicine, thus averting the crisis in hand.
  • Boosting physical performance – Since you already know baking soda is an antacid, it counters the effect of lactic acid. Persistent exercise leads to the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles, causing fatigue and making you tire off easily. Drinking baking soda helps increase your resistance to muscle fatigue, increasing your stamina and endurance.
  • Helping with the common cold – Drinking baking soda infused in water is a classic remedy for the common cold. It does not only reduce the duration of your flu, it also cleanses your body of any germs and leaves you feeling revitalized and healthy.

When can you drink Baking soda?

Even with its various benefits, drinking baking soda is not the best thing for everyone. Even people who are completely healthy must not make drinking baking soda a daily habit. Too much of anything is harmful for the body; similarly baking soda can cause a lot of damage if not taken under the right circumstances.

  • Individuals suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure should avoid drinking baking soda. Your doctor must have advised a sodium-restricted diet to you, and baking soda contains large amounts of sodium. Hence, you must avoid it to maintain your blood pressure.
  • In patients with edema or liver diseases, drinking baking soda is a bad idea. The balance of electrolytes is crucial in your condition and baking soda will only worsen your condition.
  • Pregnant or lactating mothers should avoid drinking baking soda unless advised by the doctor.
  • In case of individuals taking prescription drugs, make sure you run this idea through a doctor. Baking soda can interact with some drugs and cause problems. In these cases you must avoid drinking it.
  • Children younger than five years should not drink baking soda. In the case of an upset stomach they can be given gripe water, which contains baking soda in a small and safe amount for them.
  • Athletes participating in competitions must make sure that drinking baking soda is allowed. In some sports, it might be banned as a performance enhancer.
  • Never drink baking soda immediately after eating. Drinking baking soda on a full stomach can do damage rather than repair. Wait until you have digested your food and then have some.

Like any other medicine, baking soda may cause some mild side effects. These include stomach cramping and increased thirst, but on a relatively mild scale. However, if you experience worrying symptoms such as nausea, weakness, slow breathing or swelling of the feet, immediately contact your doctor. These symptoms indicate that your body is reacting badly to the baking soda so you must not delay seeking medical attention.

Another common blunder that people do is that they confuse baking soda with baking powder. It is slightly different from baking soda as it contains potassium bitartrate (cream of tartar) and some starch. Drinking baking powder can be harmful for your body if taken in large amounts, so make sure you know what you are taking. Lastly, try taking the purest baking soda you can find. Some brands of baking soda may contain impurities like Aluminum. In cases of emergency this might just do, but it’s better to buy a brand that makes Baking soda solely for medicinal purposes.


References:
“Nutrition and Public Health”; Sari Edelstein; 2006
“Biochemical, Physiological and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition”; Martha Stipanuk; 2006
“Human Biochemistry and Disease”; Gerald Litwack; 2008

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682001.html

“Bicarbonate supplementation slows progression of CKD and improves nutritional status.”. J Am Soc Nephrol. PMID 19608703.
Knudsen, K; Abrahamsson, J (Apr 1997). “Epinephrine and sodium bicarbonate independently and additively increase survival in experimental amitriptyline poisoning”. PMID 9142034.

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/301574-treatment

“Sodium Bicarbonate”. Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology. 1998.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002738.htm

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  • Kelly

    So many basic errors and lack of references to the supposed benefits, I don’t know where to start, except to say it’s been proven that sodium does not increase blood pressure unless potassium is low.