16 Surprising Benefits of Drinking Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate is commonly known as baking soda. It is a versatile household staple that offers a wide array of surprising health benefits when consumed as a drink. While most people associate baking soda with baking or cleaning, this humble white powder has the potential to positively impact various aspects of your well-being. From aiding digestion to supporting kidney health, drinking sodium bicarbonate can be a simple yet effective way to boost your overall health. This article will discuss 16 Surprising Benefits of Drinking Sodium Bicarbonate.

Baking Soda Nutrition Facts

Here are the key nutrition facts about baking soda (sodium bicarbonate):

  • Calories: Baking soda contains 0 calories per serving (1 teaspoon or 4.6 grams).
  • Fat: Baking soda contains 0 grams of fat per serving.
  • Carbohydrates: Baking soda contains 0 grams of carbohydrates per serving, including 0 grams of fiber and 0 grams of sugar.
  • Protein: Baking soda contains 0 grams of protein per serving.
  • Sodium: Baking soda is very high in sodium, with about 1260 milligrams per teaspoon (4.6 grams). This is over 50% of the daily recommended limit.
  • Other Nutrients: Baking soda does not contain significant amounts of other essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, or fatty acids.

In summary, baking soda is not a significant source of calories, macronutrients (fat, carbs, protein), or micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Its main nutritional consideration is its very high sodium content.

Benefits of Drinking Sodium Bicarbonate
Benefits of Drinking Sodium Bicarbonate

16 Surprising Benefits of Drinking Sodium Bicarbonate

1. Neutralizes Stomach Acid and Relieves Indigestion

One of the most well-known benefits of sodium bicarbonate is its ability to neutralize stomach acid. If you suffer from occasional heartburn or indigestion, drinking a glass of water with a half teaspoon of baking soda can help alleviate symptoms.

The alkaline nature of sodium bicarbonate reacts with the hydrochloric acid in your stomach. This will effectively neutralize it and provide relief from discomfort.

2. Calms Acid Reflux

In addition to providing relief from general indigestion, sodium bicarbonate can also be an effective remedy for acid reflux. The alkaline nature of baking soda helps to neutralize the stomach acid that can flow back into the esophagus.

By drinking a sodium bicarbonate solution, you can help reduce the frequency and severity of acid reflux episodes. This will promote a more comfortable digestive experience.

3. Promotes Digestive Health

Beyond its acid-neutralizing properties, sodium bicarbonate may also support overall digestive health. Some studies suggest that drinking water with baking soda can help balance the pH levels in the gut. This can create a more favorable environment for beneficial bacteria to thrive.

A healthy gut microbiome is essential for proper digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. By promoting a more alkaline environment in the digestive tract, sodium bicarbonate may contribute to better overall gut health.

4. May Improve Kidney Function

Research indicates that sodium bicarbonate could have protective effects on the kidneys. In one study, patients with chronic kidney disease who took sodium bicarbonate supplements experienced a slower decline in kidney function.

The alkalizing effect of baking soda may help reduce the acid load on the kidneys, allowing them to function more efficiently and potentially slowing the progression of kidney disease.

5. Helps Prevent Kidney Stones

Drinking a sodium bicarbonate solution may also help prevent the formation of kidney stones. Baking soda can increase the pH of urine. This makes it less acidic and less likely to promote the development of certain types of kidney stones.

When urine is more alkaline, it can help dissolve small kidney stones and prevent them from growing larger. Regular consumption of sodium bicarbonate may be particularly beneficial for those who are prone to developing kidney stones.

Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking Soda and Vinegar

6. Supports Exercise Performance

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts may benefit from drinking sodium bicarbonate before intense workouts. Studies have shown that baking soda can help buffer lactic acid buildup in the muscles. This can help improve endurance and reduce fatigue during high-intensity exercise.

When you engage in strenuous physical activity, your muscles produce lactic acid, which can lead to fatigue and decreased performance. By consuming sodium bicarbonate, you can help delay the onset of muscle fatigue and maintain optimal performance for longer periods.

7. May Help Treat Urinary Tract Infections

Some evidence suggests that drinking a sodium bicarbonate solution can help treat urinary tract infections (UTIs).

This creates an environment that is less hospitable to bacteria, potentially helping to clear the infection. UTIs occur when bacteria, typically E. coli, enter the urinary tract and multiply.

It can cause symptoms such as frequent urination, burning sensation, and pelvic pain. By altering the pH of the urine, sodium bicarbonate may help inhibit bacterial growth and support the body’s natural defenses against infection.

8. Relieves Canker Sores

Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, can be painful and irritating. Rinsing your mouth with a sodium bicarbonate solution may help speed up the healing process. It can also provide relief from discomfort by reducing acidity in the mouth.

The alkaline nature of baking soda can help neutralize the acidic environment that often exacerbates canker sores. Additionally, its mild antibacterial properties may help prevent secondary infections and promote faster healing.

9. Whitens Teeth

Baking soda is a popular natural teeth whitener. Its mild abrasive properties can help remove surface stains. Brushing your teeth with a mixture of baking soda and water a few times a week can lead to a brighter smile.

However, it’s important to use baking soda sparingly, as excessive use can damage tooth enamel. For best results, combine this method with regular brushing using fluoride toothpaste and maintain good oral hygiene habits.

10. Soothes Itchy Skin

If you suffer from itchy skin due to insect bites, poison ivy, or other irritants, a sodium bicarbonate solution may provide relief.

Soaking in a bath with baking soda can help soothe itching and inflammation, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

The alkaline nature of sodium bicarbonate can help neutralize the acidic compounds that often cause itching and irritation. Additionally, its mild exfoliating effect can help remove dead skin cells, promoting smoother skin.

11. May Help Treat Gout

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. Some research suggests that drinking a sodium bicarbonate solution may help dissolve these crystals and alleviate gout symptoms. In addition,  sodium bicarbonate may help prevent crystal formation and reduce inflammation associated with gout.

12. Supports Detoxification

Sodium bicarbonate may help support the body’s natural detoxification processes. By helping to maintain a healthy pH balance in the blood and tissues, baking soda can assist the body in neutralizing and eliminating toxins more efficiently.

The body’s detoxification systems, including the liver and kidneys, function optimally when the internal environment is slightly alkaline. Consuming sodium bicarbonate can help create this favorable environment. This can support the body’s ability to remove harmful substances.

Baking Soda can be a Natural Deodorant
Baking Soda can be a Natural Deodorant

13. May Improve Cholesterol Levels

Some studies have found that taking sodium bicarbonate supplements may help lower total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.

While more research is needed to confirm these effects, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is crucial for overall cardiovascular health. High levels of LDL cholesterol can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. By potentially reducing cholesterol levels, sodium bicarbonate may support heart health.

14. Helps Treat Yeast Infections

Yeast infections thrive in acidic environments. Drinking a sodium bicarbonate solution or using it as a topical treatment may help restore the natural pH balance of the affected area. This makes it less hospitable to yeast overgrowth and promotes healing.

Yeast infections commonly occur in the vaginal area, but can also affect other parts of the body, such as the mouth (thrush) and skin folds. By creating a more alkaline environment, sodium bicarbonate can help disrupt the growth of Candida albicans, the fungus responsible for most yeast infections.

15. May Reduce Risk of Certain Cancers

Although more research is needed, some studies suggest that maintaining a more alkaline environment in the body. This is based on the theory that cancer cells thrive in acidic conditions. By promoting a more alkaline internal environment, sodium bicarbonate may create a less favorable habitat for cancer cells to grow and proliferate.

However, it’s important to note that cancer is a complex disease with multiple contributing factors. More research is needed to fully understand the potential role of sodium bicarbonate in cancer prevention.

16. Promotes Overall Alkalinity

Perhaps the most significant benefit of drinking sodium bicarbonate is its ability to promote overall alkalinity in the body. Many modern diets are high in acid-forming foods, which can lead to a condition called metabolic acidosis.

By regularly consuming baking soda, you can help maintain a healthy pH balance and support optimal wellness. An alkaline environment is believed to be more conducive to good health. It may help reduce inflammation, support immune function, and promote better cellular health.

Baking Soda for Heartburn
Baking Soda for Heartburn

How to Safely Drink Sodium Bicarbonate?

While sodium bicarbonate offers numerous potential health benefits, it’s essential to use it in moderation and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Excessive consumption of baking soda can lead to side effects such as bloating, nausea, and electrolyte imbalances.

Those with high blood pressure or certain health conditions should consult their doctor before incorporating sodium bicarbonate into their diet.

Here are some tips for safely drinking sodium bicarbonate (baking soda):

  • Consult with your doctor first, especially if you have any health conditions, are pregnant, or are taking medications. Baking soda can interact with certain drugs and is not suitable for everyone.
  • Only use baking soda occasionally as a short-term remedy for indigestion or heartburn. Regular, long-term use can cause unwanted side effects.
  • Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into a 4-ounce glass of cold water. Do not take more than 3 1/2 teaspoons in a day.
  • Avoid taking baking soda on a full stomach. It’s best to take it 1-2 hours after meals.
  • Do not give baking soda to children under 6 years old unless directed by a doctor. Their symptoms need to be evaluated first to determine the appropriate treatment.
  • Be aware that baking soda is high in sodium. One teaspoon contains over 1000mg of sodium.[4] People on low-sodium diets or with high blood pressure should avoid drinking baking soda.
  • Stop using baking soda and see a doctor if your symptoms persist after 2 weeks of use. Ongoing indigestion may indicate a more serious underlying condition.
  • Watch for side effects like frequent urination, headaches, slow breathing, nausea, swelling of feet, or weakness. Stop using and contact your doctor if these occur.


Here are some common questions and answers about the health benefits of drinking sodium bicarbonate:

1. How much sodium bicarbonate should I drink to experience its health benefits?

A typical dose of sodium bicarbonate is 1/2 teaspoon dissolved in a 4-ounce glass of water. It’s best to start with smaller amounts and gradually increase the dosage as needed.

However, it’s crucial not to exceed the recommended dose without consulting a healthcare professional. Excessive consumption can lead to adverse effects.

2. Is it safe to drink sodium bicarbonate daily?

While drinking sodium bicarbonate can offer various health benefits, it’s not recommended to consume it daily without the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Long-term, excessive use of baking soda can lead to electrolyte imbalances, digestive issues, and other complications. It’s best to use sodium bicarbonate in moderation and as directed by a doctor or trusted health expert.

3. Are there any side effects of drinking sodium bicarbonate?

While sodium bicarbonate is generally considered safe when consumed in appropriate amounts, some people may experience side effects, especially if they consume too much.

Common side effects include bloating, gas, nausea, and abdominal discomfort. In rare cases, excessive consumption can lead to more serious issues, such as electrolyte imbalances, and high blood pressure.

4. Can drinking sodium bicarbonate help with weight loss?

There is limited scientific evidence to support the use of sodium bicarbonate for weight loss. While some people claim that drinking baking soda can help reduce body fat and promote weight loss, these claims are largely anecdotal.

Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise remain the most effective strategies for sustainable weight management.

5. How long does it take to see the benefits of drinking sodium bicarbonate?

The time it takes to experience the benefits of drinking sodium bicarbonate can vary depending on the individual and the specific health concern being addressed.

Some people may notice improvements in digestive symptoms or relief from heartburn within a few minutes to a few hours after consuming a sodium bicarbonate solution. However, for other potential benefits, the effects may be more gradual and require consistent use over a longer period.