Baking soda is somewhat akin to the Duct Tape of edible food products. It seems to be useful for everything from cleaning to deodorizing and from leavening baked goods to helping settle the stomach.
But, is baking soda for weight loss effective? Does the ice and baking soda drink for weight loss work? What does the research show about baking soda for weight loss?
In this guide to ice and baking soda for weight loss, we will discuss the baking soda weight loss fad that involves drinking baking soda in ice water to lose weight, focusing on whether it actually works and whether it is a safe and healthy approach to lose weight.
We will look at:
- Does Ice And Baking Soda For Weight Loss Work?
- Will Drinking Baking Soda Help Me Lose Weight?
- Does Soaking In a Baking Soda Bath Help You Lose Weight?
- Is It Bad to Drink Baking Soda for Weight Loss?
Let’s get started!
Does Ice And Baking Soda For Weight Loss Work?
There are many common uses of baking soda, ranging from helping to whiten your teeth, deodorizing your refrigerator, deodorizing and whitening laundry, and leavening dough and baked goods.
Some people also claim that baking soda may be helpful for weight loss.
There is a weight loss practice that involves drinking ice water with baking soda for weight loss, mixing baking soda with apple cider vinegar for weight loss, or even baking soda and lemon juice for weight loss.
Most of these baking soda weight loss drinks are purported to be effective concoctions to help lose weight when they are consumed first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
However, claims about baking soda and ice water drinks, baking soda and apple cider vinegar drinks, and baking soda and lemon juice drinks for weight loss are largely unsubstantiated by scientific evidence.This means that there is little scientific research to show that baking soda is good for weight loss or that any of the baking soda drinks for weight loss actually work.
Some people even use baking soda for losing weight by soaking in the bathtub with baking soda, hoping to capitalize on the potential weight loss benefits of baking soda.
Will Drinking Baking Soda Help Me Lose Weight?
So, does drinking baking soda help you lose weight? Will a baking soda and ice water drink or putting baking soda in apple cider vinegar actually help you shed pounds?
As mentioned, there is little research to back up the practice of consuming baking soda for weight loss.
The primary reason why people tend to believe or use baking soda for losing weight is because baking soda is thought to have an alkalizing effect on the body.
If you are familiar with the alkaline diet, also known as the alkaline ash diet, you might have heard of the theory that certain foods are able to alter the pH of your blood.
Acidic foods are thought to have an inflammatory effect on the body and contribute to osteoporosis, kidney strain, and overall poor health, whereas alkaline foods—foods that increase the pH of your body—are thought to promote health and overall well-being.
Because baking soda has a high pH (is very alkaline), proponents of the alkaline theory believe that drinking baking soda in water for weight loss and health is a great way to counteract the acidic nature of many processed foods, meat, cheese, dairy, protein, etc. in the diet that causes the pH of the body to be lower than optimal.
However, there is little evidence to show that the theory behind the alkaline diet is actually valid.
This is because the hypothalamus in the brain and the different body systems tightly regulate the acid-base balance, or pH, of your blood.
There are internal systems that buffer the acid in your blood if the pH decreases (becomes more acidic), and the kidneys are highly effective at offloading excess acid in the urine by excreting extra hydrogen ions in a more acidic pee.
When alkaline diet followers are “assessing“ if the alkaline ash diet is working, they are only checking the pH of the urine.
However, the pH of the urine does not correlate with the pH of the blood.
And, although the foods that you eat can and do change the pH of the urine, studies have not found that consuming a lot of acidic foods decreases blood pH or that consuming a lot of alkaline foods, including baking soda, raises the pH of your blood and brings your body to a more alkaline state.
Essentially, it doesn’t seem that a diet can override the body‘s internal mechanisms to regulate the acid-base balance of the blood. The detoxification and buffering systems that we have via the kidneys already do that.
Just because your urine is more acidic or more alkaline does not mean that your overall body pH or blood pH has shifted out of the tightly-regulated normal homeostatic range of around 7.36 to 7.44.
Therefore, the claims that drinking baking soda for weight loss will help bring your body to a more alkaline state are largely unsubstantiated.
Does Soaking In a Baking Soda Bath Help You Lose Weight?
A baking soda bath for weight loss also does not seem to be an effective method, at least one that is not yet proven to be beneficial based on scientific research.
People sometimes sit in a baking soda bath for weight loss with the hopes that this will help replenish levels of magnesium and sulfate, two nutrients that are found in baking soda and touted to help eliminate toxins from your body and boost your metabolism for weight loss.
Again, the body has the liver, kidneys, and sweating mechanisms already built in that naturally take care of the detoxification process to eliminate toxins in the body through biotransformation.
Furthermore, it’s not clear that a sufficient amount of these nutrients would be absorbed through the skin in a baking soda bath for weight loss.
Is It Bad to Drink Baking Soda for Weight Loss?
Although there is little evidence to suggest that baking soda will help you lose weight, there can be indirect weight loss benefits of baking soda in ice water drinks.
Particularly if you have a baking soda and ice drink for weight loss, you may get an indirect metabolic boost from your baking soda drink due to the ice water rather than the baking soda.
Studies have found that drinking ice water can cause a temporary increase in metabolic rate.
Additionally, hydration alone can help speed your metabolism and burn more calories.
Plus, if you are having your baking soda ice water drink on an empty stomach before eating, and especially within 30 minutes before a meal, pre-hydrating can help you feel more full going into the meal.
This may help you consume fewer calories, which will then translate to weight loss over time.
Drinking baking soda in apple cider vinegar may also help reduce bloating, gas, and heartburn symptoms.
Some natural medicine practitioners suggest that people with acid reflux, heartburn, or indigestion drink apple cider vinegar and baking soda for stomach relief.
Baking soda may also help you burp because it creates carbon dioxide in the presence of a liquid, particularly when it neutralizes acid, and the stomach is an acidic environment.
If you feel bloated and your stomach is gassy, the baking soda may help you burp or expel extra gas through the rectum, which can help you feel lighter and more comfortable and look slimmer if you have significant bloating.
Although we tend to think of the practice of drinking ice water or apple cider vinegar and baking soda as innocuous, there can be side effects from consuming too much baking soda for weight loss.
Particularly if you suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, kidney disease, alcoholism, congestive heart failure, or are pregnant, breastfeeding, or under the age of 12, you should not try baking soda for weight loss without consulting your doctor beforehand.
Drinking too much baking soda and apple cider vinegar or baking soda and lemon juice drinks can also cause bloating due to the carbon dioxide production that occurs when the chemical reaction plays out between the acid and base.
Other risks of consuming too much baking soda include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hyponatremia, and even encephalopathy, which is swelling of the brain.
Finally, consuming baking soda in excess can potentially cause metabolic acidosis by throwing off the ability of your body to properly regulate pH. This can be extremely dangerous.
For a healthier weight loss drink alternative to the ice and baking soda drink for weight loss, check out our guide to drinking lemon water for weight loss and the 14-day lemon water weight loss challenge here.
You can also learn about alkaline water here.