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Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate, is a fine white powder frequently used in baking. Baking soda and baking powder are similar in that each releases carbon dioxide gas to make baked goods fluffy and light.
Outside the kitchen, you can use sodium bicarbonate for oral care, add it to bath water to soothe sore muscles, dust the powder under your arms as a natural deodorant, or pour soda down a drain with white vinegar and hot water to unclog it.
Baking soda may supposedly have the ability to help you shed those stubborn pounds. Whether this is true or not remains a topic of discussion.
Let’s explore what the proponents and naysayers say about baking soda for weight loss. Could this pantry wonder be the solution to getting rid of a few pounds?
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Baking Soda for Weight Loss: Does It Help?
There’s little to no scientific proof that baking soda promotes weight loss. Diluting baking soda in water, apple cider vinegar, or lemon water may indirectly help you shed weight, but baking soda seems to have little to do with weight loss.
Baking soda is slightly alkaline, and some people claim that alkaline ingestion encourages weight loss. However, there’s no scientific evidence to back up the theory.
The body constantly maintains a stable pH level and the foods we eat have little to do with this process. Therefore, consuming baking soda to alkalize the body and promote weight loss is, unfortunately, not true.
The body will try to neutralize acidity by producing fat cells. Something as simple as drinking alkaline water can neutralize stomach acid. Alkaline water has higher pH than tap water; thus, the body does not have to increase fat production to restore the pH levels to normal.
Since baking soda has alkalinity, consuming it may give you the same benefits as drinking alkaline water.
How to Use Baking Soda for Weight Loss
Baking soda may indirectly affect weight loss depending on the liquid you mix it with. Common options include mixing baking soda with water, apple cider vinegar, or lemon water and drinking the mixture on an empty stomach.
Drinking a combination of apple cider vinegar and baking soda to lose weight works by suppressing appetite. If you want to stop overeating, this mix is the best way to do it. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which suppresses appetite.
Adding baking soda to lemon juice for weight loss will ensure proper body hydration and better metabolism. The lemon juice mixture will also make you feel full. All this will have a positive effect on your efforts to lose weight.
Some people believe that adding baking soda to your bathwater may promote weight loss since it boosts your magnesium and sulfate levels. However, there’s no scientific proof to that extent.
Consuming sodium bicarbonate before a gym workout may improve resistance when exercising. There was a significant improvement in the level of resistance from those who took the baking soda mixture.
The reason for this could be the reduction of lactic acid buildup in muscles during workouts. The acid is the primary reason for muscle fatigue, making you slow down or stop after a short time. Diluting baking soda in lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or water creates a pre-gym supplement drink.
Is Drinking Baking Soda Safe?
Before preparing your baking soda, you need to know that there are many side effects associated with it. Let’s check out some potentially harmful ones.
#1 High blood pressure
Consuming a lot of sodium bicarbonate can lead to high blood pressure, which causes a heart attack or stroke.
A teaspoon of baking soda has about 1,000 milligrams of sodium, yet it’s advisable to consume no more than 2,300 milligrams a day. However, the ideal limit, especially for adults with high blood pressure, is 1,500 milligrams.
Too much sodium bicarbonate pulls more water into your blood vessels, which boosts the amount of blood in your blood vessels, ultimately driving up your blood pressure.
#2 Metabolic acidosis
High consumption of baking soda can lead to metabolic acidosis. The high alkali levels make it difficult for the kidney and lungs to maintain a healthy alkaline metabolic environment. Their inability to do so will lead to high acid levels in your fluids.
Direct effects are headaches, confusion, respiratory difficulties, and loss of appetite. Others are increased heart rate, jaundice, and excessive fatigue. Ignoring the symptoms can lead to severe health complications like kidney failure, heart failure, bone diseases, and delayed growth.
#3 Digestive issues
When you consume too much baking soda, the body tries to maintain the right balance of fluids, which causes vomiting and diarrhea. If the body retains extra sodium, you’ll experience kidney failure and dehydration.
Too much consumption of baking soda will also lead to the formation of excess intestinal gas, which might cause stomach pain and bloating. To prevent bloating and digestive issues, you’ll need to reduce the amount of baking soda you consume.
Healthful Weight Loss
If you’re looking for an effective and long-lasting way to lose weight, exercise and nutrition are the way to go.
An app like DoFasting will help you get personalized intermittent fasting guidance on your weight loss journey. Some of the DoFasting app features include customized schedules for daily fasting, whether you choose the 7, 14, or 28-day challenge.
It helps with accountability and provides convenience to users. The app also has a progress calendar and tracker to motivate you by showing the progress you are making. It has over 5,000 healthy, easy, and delicious recipes.
You also get 20 diet plans covering all types of eating preferences or needs. These include ketogenic, lacto-vegetarian, low-fat, and vegan diets.
Other important features include healthy meal recommendations from top nutritionists, excellent home workout videos, and an accountability partner to keep you on track, thus ensuring greater success.
The focus on the healthiest weight loss methods will make it easier for you to stick to the regime. With the DoFasting app, you also get plenty of support, motivation, and tips to help you stay on course.
Can baking soda kill you?
Baking soda in itself will not kill you, but consuming too much baking soda can be dangerous to your health. Conditions like metabolic acidosis and excessive carbon dioxide can lead to profound health implications resulting in death.
What is the best time to drink baking soda?
You can drink baking soda at any time of the day, and it’s best to drink baking soda on an empty stomach. Avoid taking it on a full stomach because acid buildup may lead to a stomach rupture.
What happens when you drink vinegar and baking soda?
Apple cider vinegar and baking soda combination will make you feel less hungry. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar encourages weight loss by promoting satiety. Reducing your food intake makes you consume fewer calories, thus leading to weight loss.
Can I drink baking soda on an empty stomach?
Drinking baking soda on an empty stomach is recommended. It helps digestion by maintaining a balanced pH throughout the digestive system. Sodium bicarbonate helps protect against acid reflux while maintaining healthy bowel functioning.
Does drinking baking soda help reduce cellulite?
Drinking baking soda will not have an impact on cellulite. Mixing baking soda and honey will boost blood circulation and minimize the appearance of cellulite. Even when you lose weight, the body fat cells will collapse or shrink, not disappear.
Is baking soda the same as baking powder?
No, baking powder is not the same as baking soda.
A Word From Our Nutritionist
There is no scientific evidence that supports the use of baking soda for weight loss. Mixing baking soda with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice could indirectly help you lose weight. If you decide to explore the weight loss benefits of baking soda concoctions, do it safely.
Do not exceed half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in a full glass of water, and remember that the solution is not for long-term usage.
However, some people may have allergic reactions to ingesting baking soda. If you experience any side effects after you integrate baking soda with lemon water, apple cider vinegar, or water, stop using it immediately.
Finally, incorporate a healthy diet and exercise. A lifestyle change can yield better results in the long term.
According to science, there’s little to no backup that baking soda can help you lose weight. However, mixing baking soda with apple cider vinegar, water, or lemon water may indirectly help with weight loss. If you, therefore, decide to go ahead with the weight loss baking soda tips, stay within safe limits.A healthy diet and exercise should be part of your routine. There is no quick fix or easy formula for losing weight. Intermittent fasting, for instance, can get you the results you need. Download the DoFasting app for a personalized assistant who will walk the journey with you.
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD