Is Apple cider vinegar mixed with baking soda good for weight loss? Experts express doubts over effectiveness of trending recipe

ACV, which has acetic acid as the main active component, is known to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and regulate blood sugar spikes.

Myupchar July 16, 2020 15:24:53 IST
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Is Apple cider vinegar mixed with baking soda good for weight loss? Experts express doubts over effectiveness of trending recipe

Weight loss is not easy and everybody knows and understands this. But even still, many people easily get attracted to seemingly easy hacks and tricks that can supposedly jumpstart your metabolism, boost fat loss, and minimise the effort it takes to lose weight.

But the questions you need to ask yourself every time you come across a weight-loss trend (whether it's the celery juice cleanse or apple cider vinegar) are “is it safe for me?” and “will it do more harm than good?”.

The latest weight-loss trend to hit the web is a blend of apple cider vinegar (ACV) and baking soda. Yes, apparently you have to mix the two ingredients and drink up to lose weight. But should you try it? Let’s find out.

What the trend says

It’s simple. Mix two teaspoons of ACV with a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass, and add water to dilute it. Drinking this little “tonic” is supposed to provide you with the benefits of both the key ingredients, in one go.

ACV, which has acetic acid as the main active component, is known to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and regulate blood sugar spikes. Many also believe that it can help you lose weight, though some experts claim there isn’t enough scientific evidence to back this.

Baking soda, on the other hand, is known as a natural antacid that can help keep digestion-related issues at bay. It’s an alkalising agent that can reduce the risks of urinary tract infections, improve kidney function and improve exercise performance. Its weight-loss benefits, once again, are said to stem from these possible benefits instead of being directly responsible for them.

What science and experts say

“Nutritionally speaking, consuming ACV and baking soda individually does have its benefits,” says Akanksha Mishra, a nutrition and wellness expert associated with myUpchar. “Research regarding the weight loss benefits of these ingredients combined together is not yet available, so we can’t conclusively say if this can help with weight loss or not. What should be taken into account is the quantity of each in the drink and the frequency at which you consume it.”

These two factors matter more because they’re directly linked to the possible side effects these ingredients may have. “A teaspoon of baking soda in a cake is not the same as a teaspoon of it consumed raw,” Mishra says. “There’s no cooking process involved, so the reaction in your body might be very different.”

This aligns with what we know about baking soda - excessive consumption of it can cause metabolic alkalosis, a condition where your body is no longer able to control your pH levels, which can turn fatal if left untreated.

When it comes to oral health, however, both these ingredients are likely to have negative effects rather than positive ones.

“The acetic acid in ACV can degrade the outer layer of the teeth, called the enamel,” Dr Sonia Bhatt, a dental surgeon associated with MyUpchar, says. “Enamel protects the nerves and veins present inside the teeth, but once this layer degrades, teeth experience sensitivity and even pain. However, small quantities of ACV or diluted ACV may not cause much harm.”

“Similarly, there is a misconception that using baking soda can result in whiter teeth,” she says. “The truth is, baking soda acts as an abrasive which grinds the upper layer of the teeth slowly. This grinding of the enamel is difficult to notice immediately but is felt when the sensitivity kicks in.”

As far as the combination of both ingredients is concerned, Bhatt believes it’s not good for your teeth in the long run.

“The concoction made from both of these ingredients can erode the enamel, thus resulting in sensitivity and cavities. Prolonged contact of the teeth with both, baking soda and ACV, can also lead to discolouration of the teeth,” she says.

What you should do

As much as you’d like there to be, the existence of a perfect weight loss “tonic” or trick might never be backed by science or even be proved to be 100 percent safe or sustainable. You can definitely tailor your diet to improve your metabolism and ability to lose weight, and there are some effective diets for weight loss you can choose from.

You should get a proper exercise routine, get enough sleep and keep stress at bay for overall health too. But, as far as the ACV and baking soda combo trend goes, it’s best to consume prescribed amounts of these ingredients individually, with the approval of a doctor, instead of combining both until research supports its benefits unequivocally.

For more information, read our article on Apple cider vinegar.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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