In making water alkaline, how much baking soda is too much? I wish they said what constituted a “large amount”…. yikes.

wickedchicken / Originally posted on Alkaline water: a scam?


Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) intoxication can be devastating, especially in infants. The 1995 paper “Baking Soda: A Potentially Fatal Home Remedy” in Pediatric Emergency Care led Arm & Hammer to start placing warning labels against use in children under 5 on all their cartons.Too much bicarbonate can overwhelm our kidneys’ ability to excrete it, leading to a metabolic alkalosis, which can lead to seizures or even death.

To answer your question, as little as a few pinches can sicken an infant, but based on the series of case reports in adults it appears to take tablespoons for folks with normal kidney function to get into trouble. This is why I encourage anyone trying the three-quarters-of-a-teaspoon-per-quart of water regimen suggested in Alkaline water: a scam? to do it under the supervision of a physician to make sure you don’t have a condition that would preclude such a trial. And there are other ways to lower blood pressure without fear of toxicity: see, for example, my video Fill in the Blank.

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  • I just confronted a topic about Alkaline Diet.Is there any science on that?

    • Toxins

      Almost all plant foods will produce a potential renal acid load (PRAL) that is negative (alkaline) because of the amino acid makeup. Grains are very slightly acidic but most animal products are several times times more acidic. The PRAL can be calculated with this formula PRAL = 0.49(Protein) + 0.037(Phosphorus) – 0.021(Potassium) – 0.026(Magnesium) – 0.013(Calcium).

      You can go to the USDA nutrition database and calculate the alkalinity or acidity of certain foods this way using a 100 gram serving sample.

      Here are a list of common plant foods. A negative number indicates alkalinity whereas positive means acidity.

      Cereals, oats, regular cooked with water, w/o salt/ 2.18

      Bananas, raw/ -6.93

      Blueberries, raw/ -1.04

      Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked/ 2.18

      Broccoli, cooked, boiled, drained, w/o salt/ -3.57

      Cauliflower, cooked, boiled, drained, w/o salt / -1.33

      Carrots, cooked, boiled, drained, w/o salt/ -4.10

      Peaches, raw/ -3.11

      Beans, kidney, cooked, boiled, w/o salt/ -0.69

      Kale, raw/ -8.34

      Animal Foods

      Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, meat only, cooked, roasted/ 17.30

      Egg, whole, raw, fresh/ 9.43

      Fish, salmon, Atlantic, wild, cooked, dry heat/ 7.57

      Beef, bottom sirloin, tri-tip, separable lean only, trimmed to 0″ fat, choice, cooked, roasted/ 12.79

      Cheese, cheddar/ 19.00

      As you can see, all animal foods are acidic. This acidity is bad for
      our bones as explained by this study. “In response to chronic acid
      stress such as is imposed by an acid-ash diet, cellular responses
      mobilize bone and calcium as a buffer.”

      This acidic environment increases the production of cortisol which further diminishes bone density.

      This chronic acid load people put on their body causes bone loss leading to osteoporosis later on in life.

      • (amino acids can be acid or basic — I used to be able to tell you by looking at them, but — been a few years. Hell, I used to be able to draw them all. it’s not rocket science. Just the most basic chemistry of functional groups.) Seems to me the important thing is to simply eat a wide variety of whole foods. In truth, we don’t know what we’ll be learning about food, our present misconceptions. Dr. Gregor is always showing us that. But it seems common sense that meat is so calorie dense it’s hard to fit it in without packing on pounds. It’s also so dosed, so processed, so cruel. Why not take all that land we grow feed-corn on (or rather pay farmers not to grow — go figure) and plant beans and veggies on it. Organic, local. It makes more jobs, better food, we’re winners all round. Also builds community.

  • Guest

    Thank you so much for this information, i had no idea i was SO ignorant of nutrition.
    Great job!

  • Ronald Pols

    I used to be a gout sufferer, my fault entirely, but on a positive note the gout attacks were a very painful warning eg,Change.Lifestyle! (and a big thank-you to Dr Greger and this site) even to a point of not using the prescribed drugs for this terrible condition. The two doctors treating me were very impressed but slightly disappointed that I don’t patronize their clinic very much at all (not meant to be an acidic comment) and holistically everything has changed for the better health wise. At the end of the day, being informed and healthy to me is very important. Thanks again for the site and the contributors.