T Nation

Baking Soda and Body Acidity


#1

Was just chatting with my brother about the possible use of ingesting baking soda before bed to influence the body's acidity in attempt to reign in cases of tendinitis and inflammatory issues. Anyone have any experience or knowledge of this being done? I found some interesting stuff online where Dr Mercola claims that it can cure swine flu (?!)

S


#2

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#3

It's not something I was even considering, my tendons are okay so long as I don't slack with the Flameout/Curcumin combo each day. My brother had been speaking with a top Dr who works with a lot of MLB pitchers, and as my brother was a pitcher himself back in the day, this came up. Apparently this particular gentleman swears by it and has all his patients as well as himself make use of the approach. As it's a new idea to me, i was just curious if anyone had any thoughts or experiences.

Coincidentally I was at a contest last night and some woman selling her line of supplements at a table was very convinced of her anti-alkalide formula. I'm not swaying one way or another myself... yet.

S


#4

After way to many years of studying and practicing chemistry/biochemistry, I have serious doubts regarding any diet or supp that claims benefit you through making your body more alkaline. Why??? Quickly, the human body operates within a narrow pH range (acidity) for the blood, roughly pH 7.4 +/-.05 Variation outside this range causes more health negative effects...like death. There are multiple buffer systems in the body to keep that range in check with the dominate being based on carbonic acid (CO2 exchange from breathing). I doubt that the brief very small shift in blood pH from food/supp ingestion would be substantial enough to have a therapeutic effect.

I do agree with BBB's statements about changing the pH of the gut can have affects on the flora and fauna in the upper digestive tract and possible add-on effects from there. But changing the pH of the blood or upping a blood carbonic acid ion level just doesn't pass the basic biochem scan.


#5

this is spot on.


#6

Taking a teaspoon to get rid of muscle cramps when dieting is/was an old fashion way of dealing with it. Had more to do with the potassium though. Interesting thought though.


#7

Do what i did, head on down to the dollar store and get some baking soda. One spot is a buck, another spot its like 59 cents. But when you get home and take it, its going to gross you out. I did one doze and put the baking soda in my fridge lol. I really can't recommend it as something i can keep doing its just that gross.

I believe in its pH effects though. I put baking soda and creatine in i think a 1 liter jug and started sipping it. Fuck that. Don't do that. Take small doses and take chasers but be sure to test the baking soda in the chaser or you could get a baking soda in coco cola effect and hurt yourself.

I found it earth clinic.com i think. Something like 2 table spoons per 1-2 liters of water.
I say go with the small measurements like 1/8th tea spoon, 1/2 tea spoon and get it in your body a bunch of times a day. Flavor it with sugar or splenda, something.

I had bigger fish to fry i had just gotten 6 pre work out sups in the mail so i ditched baking soda.
Now that i tried all the stuff i bought maybe i'll add baking soda back into things.

More important for me is i stopped drinking whey, maybe i'll try whey with small amounts of baking soda for a intro to sodium bi carbinate.


#8

Agreed.

I would still subscribe to an alkali dominant diet (LOTS of fruits/veg/nuts and oils) as I believe this allows the system to maintain a neutral pH much easier than having a constantly acid intake. - basically, echo the statements above regard the digestive tract issues etc.


#9

I expect an acid problem. My kitchen is in renovation for what seems like for ever. I don't recall day one, but its been a few weeks with a few weeks to go. Since then i been eating for convince. Some times I'll eat out just to avoid the noise. One filthy food that i have included and expect to be drinking is soda. After a long time away from it, i went with it for the simple fact i can crack a can. No mixing whey, no smelling the milk.

I read that the guts pH isn't change able, then why would people get acid reflux.

If you are going to go on a pH altering venture please take a test strip before and after test. Please do it right. Test in a fasted state, test before a weeks exposure to the change, then test weekly and let us know if you are getting results on those things.


#10

With everything I've seen on gut health recently, the lining of the diegstive tract could be the driving factor here.

With all of the crap that makes its way into our food supply, maybe this has some therapeutic effect.

I am more interested in results than a faulty premise.


#11

Tried downing some Baking Soda (4-5 grams) with my solid meals.

It really messed up my stomach.


#12

Makes me wonder how much (if any) damage this guy is doing to the pitchers who come to him for treatment...

S


#13

I remember reading some studies involving endurance athletes buffering lactic acid levels by taking baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) before events. From what I have read on the subject is does effect the blood PH levels but only briefly. I could not find the original paper but these brief summaries could lead you in the right direction if you are interested.


"Improvements have been noted from studies of the amount of work accomplished in 30-120 seconds, exercise test to exhaustion of up to 10 minutes in duration and performance on anaerobic task after prolonged aerobic exercise. One well designed study by Dr D Wilkes and colleagues at York University, Toronto, reported a 2.9 seconds faster running time over a distance of 800 metres."

"300mg/kg bodyweight of Sodium bicarbonate or placebo were taken over a 2-hour period, up to 30 minutes before an 800 metre race, (Wilkes D et al Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 1983;15(4):277-280). 2.9 seconds average improvement translates to a distance of 19 metres. In an 800 metre race, that�¢??s the difference between winning and coming no-where."

"Dr David Costill and colleagues at the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University, Indiana gave athletes a lower dose of sodium bicarbonate (200mg/kg bodyweight)."

"The athletes then did five, one minute sprints on an ergometer bicycle, the last one to absolute exhaustion. The Soda loading improved the time to exhaustion of the last sprint by an incredible 42% (Costill DL et al Int J Sports Med 1984;5:225-231)."

"Other studies have also reported increased endurance, and increased power output after soda loading in maximal short term exercise. (Sutton JR et al Clin Sci 1981; 61:331-338. Rupp JC et al Med and Sci in Sports and Exer 1983; 15-115, McKenzie DC, et al J Sports Sciences 1986; 4:35-38)."

"Contrary to these results, an equal amount of studies have revealed no significant improvements in these areas but generally they have used lower doses of bicarbonate, or have used exercise duration greater than 5 minutes. (Inbar O et al J Sports Sciences 1983; 1:95-104, Horswill CA et al Med and Sci In Sports and Exer 1988; 20(6):556-569. George KP et al ERGONOMICS 1983;31(11): 1639-1645). However, an important note is that no study reported a decrease in physical performance.

The evidence indicates that both dose and exercise duration are critical."

"A fairly recent study done here in Australia at the Tasmanian Institute of Technology (McNaughton LR, Cedaro R The Aust Journal of Sci and Med in Sport 1991; 23(3): 66-69) gave elite class rowers 300mg/kg bodyweight of bicarbonate or placebo. Ninety-five minutes later, subjects made a maximal effort for six minutes on a rowing ergometer. Compared with placebo, the subjects rowed almost 50 metres further in the same time when receiving sodium bicarbonate.

That was greater than the difference between first and last at the 1991 WORLD ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS."


#14

I've found that baking soda is the best antacid around, better than tums & rolaids.


#15

The list of studies pretty well says it all. The body will seek a balance, but it doesn't hurt to help it find that balance more quickly. Anecdotal evidence is usually shunned, but then again medical science tends to be a few years behind what lifters have worked out for themselves. Food, toxins, and other environmental variables (particularly my working at a wastewater treatment facility) have thrown off my pH to the point I've definately felt it. Taking in a little baking soda made me feel physically better.

As for the digestion issues, the baking soda will totally screw up your stomach acids, so eating anything along with it is asking for trouble. Anything that stops your stomach acids from working effectively will likely send partially undigested food into your intestines, which results in gas / bloating and some pretty rancid trips to the bathroom. I'd drink a little bit of baking soda with either water or a very little fruit juice and wait for everything to balance out before eating solid food.

If you're looking to fix an upset stomach, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a little water helps balance that out. From the Roman army to the Egyptians right back to Hippocrates 400BC, it's worked on a great many ills, regardless of what studies the pharma industry may throw at you.


#16

Can I ask how you tested your pH levels? I'm not trying to knock you, I'm genuinely curious!


#17

I am not sure if its been mentioned but usually neutralizing acid in the body stimulates the body to counter by increasing acidity.

Also, do you drink any alcohol? Alcohol is broken down to acetic acid (vinegar) in the liver.


#18

Your body breathes off any alkalinity and the kidneys eliminate it as fast as you eat it. Other problem is that inflammation isn't dependant on acidic conditions. its an enzyme mediated reaction. if you stop the enzyme or substrate you stop the inflammation. for that you need NSAIDs or fishoil.