Lemonade with baking soda is overblown, says one RD

bBaking soda, aka sodium bicarbonate, is a popular baking ingredient because it reacts quickly by creating bubbles when it comes in contact with liquids and acids—this is how baking soda ferments. “Baking soda is also the main ingredient in many over-the-counter antacids because it is alkaline; It reduces stomach acid by neutralizing the acid in your gut to a higher—more basic—pH, says Bianca Tamburello, RDN, nutrition marketing specialist at FRESH Communications. “Here’s how antacids, and even baking soda alone, can relieve indigestion and heartburn.”

ICYMI, we just learned that adding a little baking soda to your coffee can help reduce acidity, make the drink easier to digest, and cause less intestinal irritation, especially for people with sensitive stomachs. Sensitization does not respond well to acidic beverages. And with Tamburello’s explanation of how baking soda works, the science behind this makes a lot of sense. It also raises the question: Can baking soda reduce the acidity of lemon juice?

Lemonade with baking soda: lame or legal?

At the very least, adding a little baking soda to your morning glass of lemonade seems like a great combination for heartburn sufferers, especially since lemons can worsen acid reflux, right? Are not? However, according to Tamburello, things are not so simple.

Tamburello notes that drinking lemon juice with a small amount of dissolved baking soda can help relieve mild symptoms of indigestion caused by stomach acid, but that’s not true for everyone. She also asserts that this is not recommended for long-term use. “It’s important not to jump on this trend, but to ask your doctor first if drinking lemon juice with baking soda is right for you,” she says. This will help pinpoint the possible cause of your indigestion in the first place—not “cover it up” by adding a little alkaline baking soda to a highly acidic beverage. If lemon juice upsets your stomach, Tamburello says it’s probably best to stop drinking it altogether and try something else, such as plain water, fizzy water, or even cherry juice.

What happens in the gut when you drink lemon juice with baking soda?

The citric acid in lemon juice has its benefits, but also some disadvantages. “The acidity of lemon juice can agitate people with GERD and worsen diarrhea for those with sensitive stomachs,” says Tamburello. “Also, the acidity of drinking lemon water over a long period of time can weaken tooth enamel. Adding baking soda, a base, to your lemonade, an acidic liquid, can help neutralize the acid and limit negative side effects, however, this also limits some beneficial aspects. of lemon juice, such as better digestion.

Tamburello goes on to emphasize that as a registered dietitian, she doesn’t recommend adding baking soda to your lemonade. “Again, if lemon water upsets your stomach, skip the lemonade and drink plain water,” she says.

“Adding baking soda, a base, to your lemonade, an acidic liquid, can help neutralize the acid and limit the negative side effects, however, this also limits some aspects of it. benefits of lemon water, such as better digestion… If Tamburello says: lemon water upsets your stomach, skip the lemonade and drink plain water.

The bottom line: While Tamburello says there is some research backing up the use of lemon juice and baking soda separately for their respective digestive and anti-acid benefits, there aren’t many uses in combination. is why the present is arguably a beverage trend that you might want to ignore.

Lemon juice, if your stomach can handle it, it’s okay

As for lemonade alone, while it gets a lot of buzz from health scientists, the biggest benefit of this elixir is hydration — something you can also get with a glass of it. good water. “Sufficient water retention is important for overall health and normal functioning of the body, but there is some limited research showing the benefits of adding a little lemon,” says Tamburello. “One study looked at the effects of drinking lemons before meals and found that lemon water helps increase stomach contractions for better digestion and the vitamin C in lemons can help boost your immune system. .” Additionally, Tamburello says that if you’re a coffee drinker, you should drink water (with or without lemon) before your morning cup of Joe to promote hydration for the rest of the day.


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