Baking Soda For Weight Loss – Does Drinking it Really Work?

Written by Nathan | Updated on 9 November 2021

If you’ve heard buzz recently about baking soda weight loss and wondered if you’ve found your next miracle diet drink, you aren’t alone. Countless articles on the internet and social media influencers are touting this mixture as a sure-fire way to eliminate fat. But is there science to support this claim?

Baking soda is a required ingredient in most baking recipes. It’s also a fantastic natural cleaner, so practical for scrubbing everything from bathtubs to stovetops without a single scratch. And we can’t forget its remarkable deodorizing properties. So, it’s tempting to believe it can also melt fat; after all, baking soda has so many valuable uses. So why can’t it help you lose weight, too?

Does Drinking Baking Soda Help With Weight Loss?

No, adding baking soda to a beverage such as water or vinegar does not help burn fat.

The theory goes that if you add baking soda to a glass of water, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice, then drink it on an empty stomach; you’ll burn away the belly fat. The unfortunate fact is that there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

It’s understandable why some people would believe that drinking baking soda will trigger weight loss. After all, theories don’t just come from nowhere. The reasoning for this belief stems from the chemical properties of baking soda; since baking soda is made of sodium bicarbonate, it has some alkalinity. Therefore, some people believe that consuming alkaline is a shortcut to weight loss. The belief behind this is that alkaline consumption will bring your body’s pH into balance.

But this is a false narrative. What you eat or drink won’t bring the body into balance. Instead, the body has natural mechanisms to help that happen on its own. Your body regulates your pH balance just fine on its own. [1]

The best medicinal use for sodium bicarbonate is as an antacid. The baking soda will neutralize acids in your stomach that are causing you discomfort and emit carbon dioxide. This makes you belch, thus relieving stomach pressure.

If you’re interested in aiding your weight loss with the help of beverages, there are other, safer drinks you can turn to. Water with lemon juice is a refreshing alternative; it has no real weight loss properties, but it makes drinking water more enjoyable. It’s the hydration that’s the goal for losing weight. Vegetable juice is also an excellent choice; it offers many of the vitamins and minerals you need and may be lacking in your diet. Finally, green tea is another drink that is wonderful, for so many reasons. It’s calming and it’s packed with antioxidants. [2]

What Are the Side Effects of Ingesting Baking Soda For Weight Loss?

Drinking baking soda is not a safe way to diet. Furthermore, ingesting excess amounts of baking soda can have adverse health effects. Consuming too much baking soda can cause:

  • High blood pressure
  • Gas
  • Seizures (in children)
  • Fluid retention
  • Heart Failure

Baking soda is high in sodium. Large quantities of sodium in your system can have deadly results. For example, you may develop high blood pressure, which could, in turn, lead to a stroke or heart disease. People with unhealthy kidneys could also cause further damage to their organs, resulting in water retention.

Another side effect of drinking baking soda is increased urination. On the surface, this doesn’t sound so harmful. However, this isn’t normal urination. With the addition of sodium bicarbonate to your urine, it becomes a process called bicarbonate diuresis. This excess urination causes the body to lose large amounts of potassium, chloride, and sodium. These are necessary for your body to function correctly. In rare but extreme cases, bicarbonate diuresis may lead to dehydration because of the constant urge to urinate. [3]

Consuming baking soda, whether mixed in water or vinegar, can also have severe repercussions for your body’s ability to regulate its pH balance. Mass quantities of baking soda in your system can lead to metabolic acidosis, which may cause loss of bone mass and ultimately be life-threatening.

In addition, people who take daily medications are also at higher risk for complications from using baking soda for weight loss. Baking soda can have adverse reactions to certain medicines. It is always important to consult your doctor before undertaking any diet changes or supplements, especially when you’re on medication.

Perhaps the biggest red flag against ingesting baking soda outside for any reason other than as a cooking ingredient is that the Poison Control Center strongly advises against it. Their stance is that baking soda is toxic when swallowed in large amounts. Small quantities mixed in with baking products are safe, but nothing beyond that.

In short, swallowing baking soda to lose weight is a fad that’s best avoided.

Deconstructing the Claim that Baking Soda Can Help You Lose Weight

Baking soda weight loss is not an effective method for burning fat and may prove harmful. But why are people invested in this theory? After all, there are several online articles promoting the idea that if you consume baking soda, you will reach your body goals.

This idea caught on mainly in part to the effect baking soda has on neutralizing stomach acid. When the powder comes into contact with the acids in your stomach, it calms those down and leaves you feeling lighter. The reason you feel lighter, though, is because the combination of the two chemicals created carbon dioxide, causing you to release gas. That’s all. It didn’t successfully burn any belly fat.

However, people have indeed noticed a certain correlation between drinking baking soda water and weight loss. It has nothing to do with the baking soda, though. Weight loss experts frequently recommend drinking plenty of water when you’re trying to shed some pounds. 

Staying hydrated may help you:

  • Reduce hunger
  • Increase metabolism
  • Feel energetic
  • Encourage the loss of body fat

The reason for this is two-fold. First, water fills you up, making you less likely to binge on fattening snacks. Second, there’s evidence that high water intake may possibly encourage the breakdown of certain fats.

Hydration may work to reduce body fat through a process called lipolysis. Essentially, this is a metabolic process in your body that allows you to burn fat for energy when you are exercising or fasting. In layman’s terms, drinking water is one of the best things you can do in your battle to lose weight. [4]

Is Adding Baking Soda to Apple Cider Vinegar an Effective Diet Drink?

One common belief is that mixing baking soda with apple cider vinegar is the key to losing belly fat. However, the outcome does not change whether the baking soda is combined with water, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice.

It should be noted that apple cider should never be consumed undiluted. This is because it has high levels of acidity, which could do tremendous damage to your stomach. Therefore, when people try this mixture, they typically add one teaspoon of baking soda to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, then mix it with water to drink on an empty stomach.

So why apple cider vinegar? Apple cider vinegar is nothing more than twice fermented apple juice. Some studies have associated this liquid with increased metabolism as well as the reduction of fat storage in the liver and stomach. To be sure, there are some health benefits associated with apple cider vinegar. These include:

  • Antioxidant properties
  • Lowered blood sugar
  • Natural probiotics

In some other studies, apple cider vinegar has been shown to reduce feelings of hunger further but does very little in the form of fat reduction. 

When baking soda, which is a base compound, mixes with acid, it creates carbon dioxide. That’s why it’s so soothing on an upset stomach; it reduces excess stomach acid. However, when you mix it into vinegar, which is acidic, and drink it, you’re ingesting carbon dioxide. So the most noticeable result you can expect is a surplus of gas.

Some people even subscribe to the theory that bathing in baking soda water will also trigger weight loss by restoring your body’s magnesium and sulfate levels. Bathing in baking soda instead of ingesting it is less of a danger to your health than drinking the mixture but is no more effective. There isn’t any evidence to suggest baking soda plays any role in weight loss.

It can, however, help soothe tired and aching muscles. If you’re suffering from shoulder pain or a pulled muscle, for example, a little baking soda in your bath may bring you relief.

Other Ways to Promote Weight Loss

A balanced diet, exercising, and getting enough sleep are key ways to facilitate a loss in weight and persistence is key. 

There is no magic way to melt away your fat overnight. Think of weight loss as a marathon, not a sprint. It requires sacrifice and a lot of hard work, but the rewards will be plentiful. Remember to set small goals for yourself; that will prevent your aim from feeling too unobtainable. Small steps, which you can gradually increase, are the key to changing your lifestyle. And remember not to get discouraged if you have a setback. They’re going to happen, but recovering from them is what counts.

Ultimately slimming down requires exercise and good nutrition, not a fad. Baking soda weight loss won’t get you to your health goals, but trying to figure out what works will.

FAQs

Are there any health benefits of baking soda?

Baking soda has many surprising health benefits. It’s excellent for calming an upset stomach, which is why it’s so frequently used as an antacid. It can also boost kidney function among patients with chronic kidney disease. And it alleviates urinary tract infection symptoms.

While these benefits are encouraging, remember the importance of consulting with your doctor before beginning your own course of treatment. Your physician is best suited to determine any risks vs. benefits. 

What is a reliable way to lose weight?

If you’re looking to lose weight fast, remember that there really isn’t a safe, healthy way to do it. Cutting fat safely and effectively will take some time. Experts agree that the safest weight loss rate is around 2 lbs. per week.

Exercise and healthful eating are the key to losing weight so that you burn more calories than you take in. If exercising is difficult due to past injuries, try some easy mobility moves first to relieve your pain. 

Need help figuring out a healthy but effective diet for weight loss? The keto diet is one very popular way of eating mindfully if you need direction for your diet.

When should I drink apple cider vinegar and baking soda?

Most people who try this approach for weight loss drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. If you are trying the baking soda weight loss method, be sure to follow specific safety procedures. First, only consume small amounts. Second, be sure to dilute the vinegar with water and rinse your mouth with water after you drink it. The acid from the vinegar can damage your tooth enamel.

What happens when you drink apple cider vinegar and baking soda?

If you drink it in small amounts, not very much will happen. Of course, you may find yourself feeling less hungry than usual, but that’s likely to happen with any beverage you drink. 

If you begin to drink it in large quantities, though, that’s when you will likely notice some things happening to your body. But not the things you were hoping for. For example, you may have a stomach ache from all the acid in the vinegar. You might also begin to feel some bloating and maybe even some symptoms of elevated blood pressure, such as sweating and headache.

Is it safe to drink baking soda daily?

According to the package, you shouldn’t ingest more than seven half-teaspoons in 24 hours. When consumed in small amounts, diluted baking soda isn’t likely to harm you. However, that doesn’t mean that over time, taking too much won’t make you ill. It is best used for occasional relief from heartburn. There is little to no payoff for a baking soda weight loss method.

Resources

[1] Jaffee, Russell. 7 August 2018. Baking Soda is No Ally in Raising Alkaline Levels. Holistic Primary Care. 4 November 2021. Web. https://holisticprimarycare.net/topics/nutrition-a-lifestyle/baking-soda-is-no-ally-in-raising-alkaline-levels/

[2] Kraft, Sheryl. 9 March 2015. How to Drink Green Tea for Weight Loss. HealthyWomen. 4 November 2021. Web. https://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/how-drink-green-tea-weight-loss

[3] Wikipedia. 7 April 2021. Diuresis. Wikipedia. 4 November 2021. Web. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diuresis

[4] Biology Dictionary. 17 September 2018. Lipolysis. Biology Dictionary. 4 November 2021. Web. https://biologydictionary.net/lipolysis/

About the Author

Nathan

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.