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You may have heard about the benefits of drinking lemon water first thing upon waking – ranging from detoxification to improving digestion and aiding weight loss.
However, drinking lemon water can also be a trigger for acid reflux in healthy individuals as well as those who suffer from acid reflux disorders due to the high acidic content of lemons. (1)
But there is a way to combat this reflux or acidity.
By adding a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of lemon water, you can neutralize stomach acids to relieve acidity.
Note: Avoid excessive consumption of baking soda with lemon juice as it can be harmful. Consuming a mixture with too much baking soda may cause diarrhea and gas, whereas too much lemon juice could trigger acid reflux and make its symptoms worse.
Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water With Baking Soda
Here are some reasons you should drink lemon water with baking soda.
1. Helps treat acidity
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is alkaline and is a popular ingredient in many over-the-counter antacids. It is a folk remedy used to treat hyperacidity in the stomach, where it neutralizes excessive stomach acids, bringing relief from symptoms. (2)
The addition of baking soda to lemon water can bring about a similar neutralizing effect, making the mixture a safe choice for those with hyperacidity or reflux disorders.
2. May prevent kidney stone formation
Kidney stones from calcium oxalate crystals cause extreme pain and discomfort when they are lodged in the urinary tract. There are several dietary changes you can make to avoid the formation of these stones, such as avoiding foods rich in oxalates (such as spinach). (3)
But both lemon juice and baking soda have reported benefits in preventing the formation of these kidney stones.
A study confirmed that baking soda consumption can be an effective and less expensive alternative to potassium citrate in reducing the formation of calcium oxalate stones, (4) and lemon juice supplementation can prevent the reoccurrence of kidney stones in those who are prone to them. (5)
It is pertinent to note that the study used 60 ml of lemon juice twice a day to effectively reduce the likelihood of kidney stone formation, which may be difficult for people to consume daily.
However, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with the addition of baking soda can also be helpful.
3. Boosts energy levels
Baking soda consumption has been found to boost energy levels and increase endurance to exercise.
When ingested 90 minutes before exercise, baking soda increases the supply of energy. (6) This can improve your ability to exercise and can be useful in a weight loss plan.
4. Can improve digestion
Lemon juice has been used as a digestive aid to boost digestion, especially after the consumption of a heavy meal.
Studies have found that lemon juice improves the secretion of enzymes that aid digestion and facilitates the movement of food from the stomach into the intestines. (8)
This ability of lemon juice can be combined with baking soda’s ability to prevent acid reflux and hyperacidity, (2) which can be a beneficial remedy for those with weak and slow digestion.
Precautions to Consider
Before you go about consuming baking soda with lemon water, bear in mind a few things.
It is easy to overdo baking soda. Just like with anything else, excessive consumption of baking soda is not only counterproductive but also harmful. In extreme cases, death can occur with the excessive use of baking soda for the treatment of acidity. (9)
Acid-alkaline balance is extremely important in the body. In a case study of an elderly who has consumed baking soda, there were reports of severe alkalosis, where the acid-base balance of the body was severely thrown out. (10) While this condition is easily remedied, it can be harmful to health if left unchecked.
For this reason, experts discourage the long-term use of baking soda with or without lemon water.
Some symptoms you can experience with excessive baking soda consumption are: (11)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Drowsiness and lethargy
- Seizures and even coma (rarely)
How Much Baking Soda Is Safe?
To properly and safely make a glass of lemon water and baking soda, follow these steps:
- Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a glass of room-temperature water.
- Add no more than 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
- Mix well and drink the mixture.
This mixture can be consumed daily, but if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, stop consumption immediately.
Can I use baking soda and lemon on my skin?
A mixture of lemon juice and baking soda can be abrasive and cause microtears on the skin. It is advisable not to apply it to the skin and use alternative gentle face masks instead.
Can baking soda in lemon water aid with weight loss?
No. Baking soda in lemon water may aid digestion, which can reduce gas and bloating, making it appear as if you are losing weight, but it doesn’t help you burn calories, which can only happen through calorie restriction and exercise.
- Baking soda can neutralize the acidity of lemons, and a baking soda and lemon water mixture can bring relief from the symptoms of acidity.
- Baking soda in lemon water can improve digestion, prevent the formation of kidney stones, and boost energy levels to improve exercise endurance.
- Overdose and toxicity can occur, so care should be taken not to consume more than 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water.
- Avoid consuming this drink long term.