How To Drink Baking Soda: The Best After Workout Tonic

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Baking soda is one of our most unassuming, and underestimated, household items. Scientifically called sodium bicarbonate, it’s found in natural form as the mineral nahcolite. Most of us know the cleaning and deodorizing powers of this powdery substance, but did you know that it can benefit your health, as well?



The health benefits of baking soda stem from its ability to regulate pH. When our bodies become too acidic, or too alkaline, health problems can occur. Baking soda helps to restore a healthy balance.

One very important area of life in which baking soda can greatly assist us is exercise. We all know the feeling of being utterly winded when we work out. Anyone who’s ever done high-intensity exercise knows the feeling of stiff joints, sore muscles, and lingering fatigue that this activity can bring.

The process of vigorous exercise leads to a buildup of lactic acid in our joints. While this is a natural process, it is one that can lead to that crushing fatigue, and nagging muscle pain that can knock you off of your feet. Exercising can also lead to a lowering of your body’s pH, a process called metabolic acidosis.

How can baking soda help with this? It can serve as a primary ingredient in a pH-balancing, fatigue-fighting after workout beverage. Not only may it help reduce the buildup of lactic acid in the body, it may also help to restore your body’s pH, helping you to recover more quickly from your workout.

There is science to back this up. A 1997 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology tested the effects of baking soda on “fatigue and recovery of the quadriceps femoris muscle after exercise.” Six male test subjects in good health were given baking soda, and then asked to exercise on a bicycle.

The researchers who performed the study concluded that the baking soda led to “reduced fatigue and enhanced recovery.”

A 1999 study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology tested the effects of baking soda on the performance of ten cyclists. On their results, the study authors wrote:

“The results of this study suggest that sodium bicarbonate may be used to offset the fatigue process during high-intensity, aerobic cycling lasting 60 min.

To make your after workout tonic, you can simply mix ¼ teaspoon of baking soda into an eight-ounce glass of water. Or, to enhance your beverage further, combine 4 cups of water with ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon of unrefined sea salt, 2 tablespoons of local raw honey, and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon or lime juice. This will not only help to ease your recovery, it will also replenish your body’s electrolytes.

There are many other healthy reasons to use baking soda. The following are just a few:

  • Soothe your sore and tired feet by mixing about three tablespoons of baking soda into a tub of warm water, and soak your feet.
  • Help combat bloating by drinking a glass of water with one teaspoon of baking soda and a squeeze of lemon juice after a heavy meal.
  • Mix ¼ teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of green tea to help boost your metabolism.
  • Mix with a bit of coconut oil and use as a natural deodorant.

Note: When choosing a baking soda, be sure to find one that does not contain aluminum. For some individuals, ingesting baking soda may irritate the bowels. Speak to a health professional you trust before you start supplementing with baking soda, to make sure it’s safe for your specific health needs.

Is there anything that baking soda can’t do? Please feel free to share other creative and healthy uses you have found!  

-Tanya Rakhmilevich

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  • jimana

    I understand the need to avoid over acidity and to remain on the alkaline end of the scale. I also understand that baking soda has many health benefits such as its ability to kill certain cancer cells. However, I have a couple of questions: (1) Doesn’t stomach acid quickly neutralize the alkalinity of the baking soda, negating its effect on the blood and cells of the body, and (2) would not there be an adverse impact on your ability to digest food for a short time because of the reduction of stomach acid level?

  • Sue Furnell

    Hi, can you please tell me if taking baking soda increases blood pressure as it seemed to put mine up?
    Thank you

  • Jondar Rell

    Baking soda should not be taken around mealtimes as it does indeed interfere with the acid in your stomach. best to take an hour or more before and after meals

  • BizChick

    I mix 1T baking soda, 1T coconut oil and a bit of hydrogen peroxide together for toothpaste. Also, any time there’s a sting from a wasp, hornet or bee we make a thick paste with baking soda and water and apply it to the sting site and it removes pain, itch and lessens the swelling. I use baking soda and water in a spray bottle to keep my dishrag and kitchen sponge from going sour. I soak meat trays and the absorption packets in baking soda water before they go into the trash to keep them from smelling. I pack baking soda around the bathroom sink drain, shower drain and tub drain and pour vinegar into it to boil out clogs and refresh the drain. The same goes into the toilet instead of harsh chemical cleansers to clean the bowl. I put a cup of baking soda in the washing machine with every load of clothes as a cleansing boost to my laundry soap. I buy it by the 10# bag at Sam’s because I use this stuff for so many things. There’s a free printable “Handy Solutions” tip sheet on the Arm & Hammer website for uses too.

  • BizChick

    I mix 1T baking soda, 1T coconut oil and a bit of hydrogen peroxide together for toothpaste. Also, any time there’s a sting from a wasp, hornet or bee we make a thick paste with baking soda and water and apply it to the sting site and it removes pain, itch and lessens the swelling. I use baking soda and water in a spray bottle to keep my dishrag and kitchen sponge from going sour. I soak meat trays and the absorption packets in baking soda water before they go into the trash to keep them from smelling. I pack baking soda around the bathroom sink drain, shower drain and tub drain and pour vinegar into it to boil out clogs and refresh the drain. The same goes into the toilet instead of harsh chemical cleansers to clean the bowl. I put a cup of baking soda in the washing machine with every load of clothes as a cleansing boost to my laundry soap. I buy it by the 10# bag at Sam’s because I use this stuff for so many things. There’s a free printable “Handy Solutions” tip sheet on the Arm & Hammer website for uses too.

  • BizChick

    I mix 1T baking soda, 1T coconut oil and a bit of hydrogen peroxide together for toothpaste. Also, any time there’s a sting from a wasp, hornet or bee we make a thick paste with baking soda and water and apply it to the sting site and it removes pain, itch and lessens the swelling. I use baking soda and water in a spray bottle to keep my dishrag and kitchen sponge from going sour. I soak meat trays and the absorption packets in baking soda water before they go into the trash to keep them from smelling. I pack baking soda around the bathroom sink drain, shower drain and tub drain and pour vinegar into it to boil out clogs and refresh the drain. The same goes into the toilet instead of harsh chemical cleansers to clean the bowl. I put a cup of baking soda in the washing machine with every load of clothes as a cleansing boost to my laundry soap. I buy it by the 10# bag at Sam’s because I use this stuff for so many things. There’s a free printable “Handy Solutions” tip sheet on the Arm & Hammer website for uses too.

  • Chazbo

    Well I’m no Dr. but refined salt “Sodium” in Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) would increase your blood pressure if you’re not drinking a gallon of water a day. If you’re using salt in your diet and drinking plenty of water, your blood pressure might be OK. I use pink salt and drink a gallon of water a day and it keeps my blood pressure normal. Cut back on the water and the pressure goes up. My uneducated guess is that if you’re using baking soda as suggested in this article, you are also doing it in conjunction with a vigorous workout of some kind which would sweat the salt from your body and keep your BP down.

  • Sue Furnell

    Thank you Chazbo. I do drink a lot but much is tea which has a diuretic effect i believe. No vigorous workout for me anymore as arthritis and fibro are killing me so O know I have inflamation:)

  • Sue Furnell

    Hi Thank you, I stopped taking it and it seems to have gone down, maybe I just have a problem with it or an getting dehydrated

  • RLT

    People should not ingest baking soda while digesting their food, that’s usually for 1 to 2 hours after a meal. That’s not a great time to exercise either.

    If you want to know what low stomach acid will do to your health, read the latest studies about the side effects of proton pump inhibitors.

  • Ingrid Marshall

    Try potassium bicarbonate if BP is and issue. Also go to Dr. Marc Sircus’ website. He has lots of info on sodium, magnesium and potasium bicarbonate

  • MaryKay Simoni

    I’ll actually use a little at night to brush my teeth and drink some only then because I am believing that during the day a high-acid stomach will help better with vitamin B assimilation/protein etc. Doing baking soda during the day would curb my beneficial stomach acid so that is why I’ll only do it at night and it does help raise my pH in the morning.

  • Leo Roars

    I use along soda as a facial scrub, scalp scrub and toothpaste. For cellulite, 1/2 cup caffeinated espresso, 1 cup baking soda, in the shower put one tsp in your hand add your favorite organic liguid so and scrub away! For facial and teeth, I mix baking soda and peroxide with a drop of tea tree or lavender, pepper!int good too, and scrub. Soap can be added for face. Add diatomaceous earth and coconut oil, scrub face or scalp, leave on 15 min then rinse and Pat dry. I always have baking soda in a cup in the bathroom and kitchen sink. It gets thrown in the drains once a week to fight drain odor.

  • John

    This is a ridiculous article and these so called “scientific studies” need to be scrutinized by REAL science. The body has 3 buffering systems and the first one is involved in making sure the stomach is almost pure acid, but it must be hydrochloric acid, not acids from rotting, decaying, putrefying food due to the lack of HCL in the stomach! Baking soda raises the pH and when the food you eat goes into the small intestine, in particular, the jejunum (upper portion of the small intestine, the pH needs to be between 1.5 and 3.0 (almost pure acid) to properly absorb Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, and Zinc! If the pH is to high, you will not absorb these minerals properly and that is where cataracts, bone spurs, and kidney stones to name a few problems happen! Humans, unlike herbivores, make HCL in their stomachs and the parietal cells that make this do so to SANITIZE the stomach contents killing bacteria, virus, parasites, and also break down proteins into amino acids while contributing to the preparation of vitamin B-12 to go through the process of making it!
    To take an idea like alkalizing the body by eating something that raises the pH before the body needs to have this happen is BAD SCIENCE. The liver and pancreas produce bicarbonate AFTER the chime passes the jejunum to neutralize the acidic condition, but NOT BEFORE as consuming baking soda will do!
    As we age, we produce less and less HCL and eating processed foods uses up the HCL. This is why people get acid reflux, acid indigestion, bloating after eating, etc. It is the LACK OF HCL to make the stomach acidic! Humans are not designed to have low HCL in the stomach! Why don’t children get acid reflux? Because they produce lots of HCL!
    I wish people writing this kind of article actually knew what they were talking about and to keep away from this kind of misinformation that is being promoted.

  • John

    Look at my post and read it please. You are correct and the author of this article needs to read the book called “DOCTORING DATA” by Malcolm Kendrich that explains how studies like these on making the body alkaline by eating alkalizing things like baking soda are ridiculous ideas.
    Where in history have any people gone out in the wild and found baking soda to eat? LOL.

  • John

    Hydrogen peroxide dries out the mouth and only kills about 30% of the germs. YOU will be far better off to “OIL PULL” with coconut oil. That oil contains lauric acid, capric, and caprylic acid that kill virus, bacteria, far better than hydrogen peroxide. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it around in your mouth for 2 minutes and then spit it out because it will contain lots of dead organisms. The lauric acid nourishes the thyroid gland and will make you healthier!

  • John

    Humans are NOT herbivores! Herbivores do not make HCL in their stomachs, except from a gland just above the small intestine to sanitize. They rely on probiotic bacteria, chewing the cud, and stomach grinding to break down their plant food. Humans need HCL to sanitize and to break down proteins into amino acids and also begin the process of making vitamin B-12.
    ALL antacids contain aluminum that is highly destructive to the body on many levels and llike calcium carbonate, they stop the body’s ability to process chromium in the kidneys! Chromium is the primary mineral for the pancreas and if you become deficient in this necessary mineral, you will get a sick pancreas and I believe huge amounts of pancreatic cancer are coming from this antacid use in America! We know Alzheimer’s is caused by aluminum as part of that causation. Is it any wonder that cancer is a $77 billion dollar industry, but dementia is a $203 billion dollar industry now?

  • John

    Blood pressure is NOT a causation for heart attack or stroke as many seem to believe because drug companies use this misinformation to promote selling blood pressure medications. If you read the studies you will see there is a correlation between higher blood pressure and heart attack & stroke, but never shows it causes it. Does the temperature rising cause a cold or flu? LOL. It is an indicator of a problem and actually helps kill the germs. When blood pressure rises, it is an indication of blood vessels constricting and in many cases is just dehydration due to the lack of water or minerals. The salt level goes up because the water content is decreasing. We have 3 buffering systems in the body that are at work regulating pH in various parts of the body.
    Doctors are trained to TREAT SYMPTOMS so you feel better, not make you healthy. Drug companies hijacked the medical industry decades ago and the industry became a money making industry designed to manage sickness, not cure it. There has been NO CURES of any degenerative disease in the last 150 years by any drug company! That should be a strong indication as to what is going on with our medical system.
    So if baking soda is raising your blood pressure, that is an indication you may not want to consume that. Your body is trying to tell you something.
    When you hear that baking soda kills cancer cells, salt kills snails too. When do sails come in contact with salt in their everyday life? Where do you find baking soda in nature that people eat? LOL.

  • John

    It is not salt that causes blood pressure fluctuation, but the ratio of water to salt in the blood, indicating a problem. Exercise always raises your blood pressure, so if you think the baking soda is doing it, make sure you are not doing other things that are the actual cause. Blood pressure is an indicator, not a cause, just like temperature rising or lowering is not a cause, but an indicator you have another problem.

  • John

    I suggest Dr. Mare Cercus needs to go back to chemistry 101 and learn some very basic chemistry. Any time you mix an acid and a base, you get a SALT of the base and water. Blood pressure is an indicator, not a cause, just like taking your temperature when it rises is not causing what is making you sick. Realize that drug companies and our medical system is about symptom treatment, not making you healthy. When you take an aspirin to reduce your temperature, you are fighting your immune system response to a problem. You dilate the blood vessels with aspirin increasing the volume of fluid that relieves the pressure. Did that solve what is causing the headache? No, it treated the symptom. Many high blood pressure problems are due to dehydration that includes lack of water and lack of salt. Because the ratio of salt is higher in the blood does not mean salt causes high blood pressure, it is usually the lack of water volume and when this happens, it appears more salt is causing the problem. Sodium to potassium balance should be what is examined.

  • John

    Eat more Russet potatoes and get your potassium that way instead of this bicarbonate.

  • jimana

    John, thanks for your posts. I’ve been to a hospital probably five times in the past nine or so years for various things. Every time I am discharged with an Rx for Nexium, Prilosec or some other proton pump inhibitor (PPI) which I refuse to have filled and use for a bookmark. People over 40 usually have too little stomach acid, not too much. It’s unbelievable that most doctors today don’t know the truth and continue to practice bad medicine by suppressing the body’s ability and need to produce stomach acid. H.Pylori and other bacteria as well as many viruses are kept in check by stomach acid. Why don’t they use a test to find out how much stomach acid a patient actually has? Truth be known, in the absence of sufficient acid and with the improper food combining (like fruits, meat and starches at the same meal), the mess doesn’t digest but sits there and ferments, creating the reflux that everyone blames on excess acid. And guess what – adds are showing up on TV from lawyers ready to sue doctors and drug companies because of physical damage caused by PPIs. Hippocrates was right: let your food be your medicine. Most of our illnesses are due to bad lifestyles and diet, not to some chemical deficiency which a drug company is more than ready to correct for you. It’s amazing how much information is available if we will only search and how lazy most people are, running to their physician and saying, “Her I am, doc, give me a pill to fix me up.”

  • Garth

    When the baking soda meets the stomach acid, it produces carbon dioxide, and you get the “soda-pop burps” that kind of burn your nose.  A couple of years ago, I took 2 tsp 2-3 times a day for 8 months for a problem I had.  What I found was that as long as I took it on an empty stomach, and did not eat until it was all absorbed (which took about 45 minutes), I did not get those, meaning my stomach was only producing acid when I gave it food, rather than all the time.  I monitored my pH by testing my saliva (always without having eaten or drunk anything in a couple of hours).  I started with 5.6, and over the months, with the baking soda and by what I ate, brought it up to 7.4.  5.6 is 60 times as acidic as 7.4.  BTW, I have never had any stomach or digestive problems, or GERD or anything like that, including even when I was using the baking soda.

  • tnjazzgal

    John, you speak as a professional, but have given us no credentials. Can you please kindly provide these, so that we can know you are not just another self-proclaimed “internet expert”? Thank you.

  • John

    Thank you for your comment. I am a certified nutritional therapist and work with people all the time to help them get well. The first thing I always look at is their digestion. It is the most common problem most people face as a result of aging poorly and food and drink choices. I eat anything and most any combination with no issues. The solutions are typically simple and do not require a bunch of drugs as a remedy. Understanding how the body works is key, but doctors are truly ignorant in this area and I am constantly amazed at what they are being taught. My wife has been a court reporter for over 25 years and is an expert on medical malpractice and construction defect due to listening to medical experts testifying in depositions about the problems.
    good luck to you

  • John

    Certified nutritional therapist, B.A. Biology & Chemistry, and working with many doctors, chiropractors, researching CANCER & serious illnesses, as well as formulating nutrient products based on DNA expression and how it effects the immune response in the body.

  • tnjazzgal

    Thank you, John. Very impressive. And I have very much enjoyed reading your responses here – thanks again.

  • AZ DONALD

    {{Humans are NOT herbivores!}}
    REALLY ?!?
    LOL.

  • Sue Furnell

    Thank you Ingrid 🙂

  • Sue Furnell

    Thank you John, I think many of the points you give people are more aware of now and that is why they consider alternative methods more. I have seen the same view in the cholesterol argument, that it is natural and needed and a symptom not the cause of problems. I am sometimes dehydrated as my fingers wrinkle but do drink a lot of tea and water. I do believe the salt balance matters as you can drink a lot and pass it but you need to hang on to enough.

  • Sheila Yagodzinski

    John I have Mast cell activation Disorder and am trying to heal with natural ingredients, vitamins, minerals. On meds but worried they’ll hurt me more than help me any advise on who I should confir with for this.

  • ABSOLUTE CRAP SCIENCE… this “advise” borders on litigious… BEFORE YOU CAUSE SERIOUS PROBLEMS FOR SOMEONE, LEARN WHAT THE F**K YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT…

  • fanofjesus

    I use about a teaspoon with my shampoo, and it allows me to only need one lathering; after the one lathering, my hair is squeaky clean!