9 health benefits from using baking soda

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is widely used in baking.

This is because it has leavening properties, meaning it causes dough to rise by producing carbon dioxide.

Aside from cooking, baking soda has a variety of additional household uses and health benefits.

Here are 9 benefits and uses of baking soda.

1. Treat Heartburn

Baking Soda, Water and Wooden Spoon

Heartburn
is also known as acid reflux. It is a painful, burning sensation that
rises in the upper region of your stomach and can spread up into your
throat.

It is caused by acid refluxing out of the stomach and up your esophagus, the tube that connects your stomach to your mouth.

A few common causes of reflux are overeating, stress and eating greasy or spicy foods.

Baking
soda can help by neutralizing stomach acid. Dissolve a teaspoon of
baking soda in a glass of cold water and drink the mixture slowly.

2. Mouthwash

Mouthwash
is a great addition to a good oral hygiene routine. It reaches corners
of your mouth and crevices of your teeth, gums and tongue that may be
missed during brushing.

Many use baking soda as a
replacement for mouthwash. It can help freshen your breath and provides
antibacterial and antimicrobial properties .

The recipe
for baking soda mouthwash is simple. Add half a teaspoon of baking soda
to half a glass of warm water, and then swish as usual.

3. Soothe Canker Sores

Canker
sores are small, painful ulcers that can form inside your mouth. Unlike
cold sores, canker sores do not form on the lips and aren’t contagious.

Research has found that baking soda mouthwash is great for soothing pain caused by canker sores .

You
can make baking soda mouthwash using the recipe in the previous
chapter. Rinse your mouth with this mixture once a day until the canker
sore heals.

4. Whiten Your Teeth

Many
studies have found that toothpaste containing baking soda is better for
whitening teeth and removing plaque than toothpaste without baking soda .

This
is likely because baking soda has mild abrasive properties that let it
break the bonds of molecules that stain the teeth. It also has
antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can help fight harmful
bacteria .

5. Deodorant

Surprisingly, human sweat is odorless.

Sweat
only gains an odor after it is broken down by bacteria in your armpits.
These bacteria convert your sweat into acidic waste products that give
sweat its odor .

Baking soda can eliminate the smell of
sweat by making the odors less acidic. Try patting baking soda onto
your armpits and you may notice the difference (15).

6. May Improve Exercise Performance

.

Some
studies show that baking soda can help you perform at your peak for
longer, especially during anaerobic exercises like high-intensity
training and sprinting.

During high-intensity exercise,
your muscle cells start producing lactic acid, which is responsible for
the burning feeling you get during exercise. Lactic acid also lowers
the pH inside your cells, which may cause your muscles to tire.

Baking soda has a high pH, which may help delay fatigue, allowing you to exercise at your peak for longer .

For
example, one study found that people who took baking soda exercised for
an average of 4.5 minutes longer than people who didn’t take baking
soda .

7. Relieve Itchy Skin and Sunburns

A
baking soda bath is often recommended to soothe itchy skin. These baths
are especially effective at soothing itches from bug bites and bee
stings .

Additionally, baking soda may help soothe
itching from sunburns. It seems more effective when combined with other
ingredients like cornstarch and oatmeal.

To make a baking soda bath, add 1–2 cups of baking soda to a lukewarm bath. Make sure the affected area is soaked thoroughly.

For
more specific areas, you can create a paste with baking soda and a bit
of water. Apply a thick layer of paste to the affected area (27).

8. May Treat Calluses

Calluses
are hard, rough patches of skin that are caused by longtime friction or
pressure. Activities that typically cause calluses are frequent
walking, gardening or sports.

While calluses aren’t necessarily serious, they can cause pain and discomfort when applying pressure.

Interestingly,
studies have found that soaking calluses in a baking soda bath may help
soften them, remove any scales and reduce discomfort (28, 29).

9. May Slow the Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease

People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) slowly lose function of their kidneys.

The
kidneys are incredibly important because they help remove excess waste
and water from the blood. At the same time, they help balance important
minerals like potassium, sodium and calcium .

Research shows that baking soda may help slow the progression of CKD .

In
a study including 134 adults with CKD, it was found that those taking
sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) supplements were 36% less likely to
rapidly develop kidney failure than people who did not take the
supplements

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