Q. Is it safe to use baking soda regularly to counteract an acidic pH? -Kara

Hello, and a big thank you for your great information. I love it and tell all my friends. It was from your website I learned the trick about using baking soda to make your ph less acidic. It works like a charm! Wow!
Hi Kara,

Three questions about baking soda – First, is there anytime that you shouldn’t use it? Before a meal? after taking vitamins? a night before bed? Does it interfere with digestion or any other process I should watch?  Second – any long time effects if you use the trick regularly? (Say once a day, but almost every day?)

And finally, all things being equal, why are some people more acidic than others? Ever since I learned I should watch my ph I’ve told everyone and I’ve since noticed that I’m more acidic than most people and you wouldn’t expect it. I watch what I eat (processed, toxic foods, no soda, no artificial sweeteners, no dairy etc), I even have green smoothies in the morning thanks to your site. I’m a thin build and most my friends think I’m a health nut. I noticed that my boyfriend, who eats awful, his first meal of the day is high tilt coffee with lots of sugar with nothing more for hours and hours. He doesn’t eat any greens and healthy meals are the exception. Loves soft drinks & fast food. He works out hard and is into endurance sports but he’s always less acidic than me. Then on a recent trip with some girlfriends I took my ph strips and told them all about trying to be less acidic. I ate so healthy, took great hikes, slept great and when we’d go around the room (this time using saliva) I’m still considerably more acid! Everyone was shocked. What gives?  While I’m working to get even more alkaline foods into my diet to balance naturally it seems I have a predisposition to acidic. PS: (We’re both in our 40′s) -Kara

Hi Kara,

Taking sodium bicarb daily actually has good impact on the health of the kidneys and it’s from the nephrology literature that we find support for this habit. So I recommend that people check their pH on a regular basis and employ bicarb whenever it is needed as a safe adjunct even if it’s every day.Best if it’s away from food or in between meals.

The question remains, why do some people find a need for it everyday while other apparent acid-gulpers seem fine?  Well that is a complex issue as there are no two people alike. 

We come from different backgrounds and habits so where we are today is simply a reflection of that journey. The two thing I would have you explore are minerals and heavy metals. 

Mineral deficiencies, especially in magnesium, can contribute greatly to your ongoing acidotic state. I would recommend taking some magnesium in doses of 200 to 800 mg and see if this does not rectify your constant ongoing struggle with pH. I avoid magnesium “oxide” as it does not absorb well. If magnesium leads to a loose stool then decrease the dose and build up more gradually. 

I would also ensure that all minerals were being addressed by taking a well rounded mineral support formula. 

Heavy exercise that results in sweating on regular basis will lead to mineral loss. Also, the consumption of high fructose corn syrup will deplete minerals. 

If this still does not resolve your issue then explore the possibility of heavy metals which can can block your ability to absorb minerals. Heavy metals are all around you and come from such common contacts as silver metal dental fillings, improperly purified water, batteries, vaccines, fish, even our air if we live in a coal burning community like Cincinnati where coal is used to produce electricity. 

And as to the boyfriend who seems to defy all the rules of physiology . . . bad habits always catch up to you eventually. Hopefully you can have a positive influence on him before it’s time to pay the piper.

Congrats on your health journey and on putting some of the pieces together.  You are “conscious” and aware of your habits. All of your efforts will pay off over time as you are giving yourself the nicest gift of all . . . good health.

Stay strong,

Dr. Gary Huber

Reader note:  Kara is addressing information from the post Want to Feel Better? Drop Acid which states the following about baking soda:

A study published in 2009 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology states that taking baking soda orally slowed the progression of disease in chronic kidney failure patients.  They also showed that this change in pH aided the study participant’s ability to absorb and assimilate protein which led to better lean body mass measures. The study concluded that the sodium in baking soda did not raise blood pressures in these patients and improved their kidney function.

I recommend measuring your pH and if the average is low or in the acidic range then add ½ teaspoon of baking soda to water and drink it twice a day.  Monitor your pH and if it is still low then increase your water intake and increase the baking soda to as much as 4 times a day as needed to normalize the pH. After it normalizes then you should be able to maintain it with good dietary habits, increased vegetable intake and less acidic food.

If you exercise very aggressively and create a lot of lactic acid then this is a great way to reduce that acid load and recover.  Attention all bikers (the ones in lycra not leather), you know who you are, I’m talking to you. Click here to view the full post.

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