What’s bicarbonate of soda? Simple: it’s better known as baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate. Its uses are endless: it cleans, works as an antacid, and even puts out fires. It has drinkable health benefits, too. Viruses and diseases such as colds, flu, heart disease, and cancer thrive in an acidic environment. Baking soda, which is alkaline, can offset acidity and help balance your body’s pH levels.
In a 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, patients with advanced kidney disease who took baking soda daily experienced dramatically slowed-down progression of the disease, resulting in no need for dialysis.
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Acidity and alkalinity is measured by pH, which ranges from 0 to 14; 7.0 is neutral, below 7.0 is acidic, and above 7.0 is alkaline. Baking soda has the highest pH of 14, so proponents believe drinking it can keep your body from becoming too acidic.
On an empty stomach, take 1/4 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in half a glass of water—once in the morning and again before bedtime.
Drink this solution at the very beginning of cold or flu symptoms, such as a runny nose or sneezing, to help kill the viruses.
You can also neutralize acidity in your body by eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you’re an athlete, swallow sodium bicarbonate supplements with lots of water to buffer lactic-acid buildup and improve your exercise performance. Ingest 0.3 grams of sodium bicarbonate per 2.2 pounds of body weight, with plenty of water, one to two hours before physical activity.
If you just can’t with baking soda, drink a glass of water with the juice of half a lemon or lime squeezed into it, twice daily. Lemons and limes are acidic but become alkaline in your body, raising your alkalinity almost as well as baking soda.
- Test your saliva or urine pH levels inexpensively with litmus paper, the pink and blue strips you may remember from high school science class. These are available at drug stores. Or, consider purchasing a pH meter for personal use.