Baking Soda Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

lemon and baking soda on a wooden board


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As a pantry staple for any baking enthusiast, baking soda appears on most ingredient lists for muffins, cakes, and breads. Baking soda is a chemical leavening agent like baking powder, which causes batters to rise and produce substantive treats out of the oven.

This household product also gets used in popular toothpaste brands and cleaning merchandise. Plus, an open box can keep your refrigerator smelling fresh. You also will find baking soda under the names sodium bicarbonate, bicarbonate of soda, and sodium hydrogen carbonate.

Baking Soda Nutrition Facts 

The following nutrition information, for 1 teaspoon of baking soda, is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 0
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 1260mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g

Carbs

You won’t find any carbs in baking soda, as this substance is merely an agent to boost the rising power of batter when used in cooking.

Fats

Baking soda is a fat-free cooking compound.

Protein

Baking soda offers no protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

Even though baking soda has no calories, fat, or carbs, it does contain 1,260 milligrams of sodium and 1.7 grams of ash.

Americans eat approximately 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day. But the Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends consuming less than 2,300 milligrams per day, equaling about 1 teaspoon of table salt.

The ash in baking soda is known as sodium carbonate, created by two atoms of sodium, one atom of carbon, and three atoms of oxygen.

Calories

Baking soda has no calories. However, this doesn’t mean you can use as much as you want. Because cooking with baking soda is a science, you should follow recipes as they are written to avoid too much rising in your cooking, as well as an unfavorable salty soda flavor.

Health Benefits

The nutritional profile of baking soda contributes to its health benefits. Here are some ways baking soda can be used to impact health and wellbeing.

May Improve Athletic Performance

Research has shown that sodium bicarbonate may help create a performance-enhancing effect. A review from the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine found that supplemental sodium bicarbonate can reduce acidosis during exercise —a condition in which you have too much acid in the body fluids—allowing for improved athletic abilities. The sodium bicarbonate supplement used in the study was a gelatin capsule form, not the more common powder form.

In addition, these supplements were shown to significantly improve athletic performance by up to 3% in swimmers and cyclists. This supplement modifies blood buffering, influences phosphocreatine breakdown, impacts the accumulation of lactate, and influences the distribution of amino and fatty acids, which all contribute to boosting sports performance.

May Ease Knee Pain and Arthritis

Sodium bicarbonate could provide short-term relief of knee osteoarthritis (OA). In a 3-month, double-blind, clinical trial with patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis, researchers found that injections of sodium bicarbonate significantly improved symptoms after 3 months.

May Enhance Oral Health

You will find baking soda as an ingredient in several brands of toothpaste, as the compound is shown to improve oral health. Research published in the Journal of Dental Hygiene International studied the efficacy of toothpaste with and without baking soda for controlling plaque. Researchers found promising results of plaque removal with the baking soda-included toothpaste.

May Aid Digestion

Baking soda can help neutralize acid and reduce digestive health conditions, such as acid reflux and heartburn. Some research indicates that slowly drinking water with baking soda can help neutralize your stomach acid similar to how over-the-counter antacids work.

May Relieve Pain and Itching

The National Eczema Association says that 1/4 cup of baking soda in your bath or applying it directly on the skin in a paste—a mix of water and baking soda—can help relieve itching caused by bug bites.

For poison ivy, the FDA suggests using a baking soda paste to relieve itching and skin irritation. And, John Hopkins Medicine says that to help reduce pain from bee stings, apply a paste of baking soda and water on the sting for 15 to 20 minutes.

Allergies

If you have sensitive skin, you might want to avoid baking soda baths or using skin products containing sodium bicarbonate. Baking soda is an alkaline compound that can alter the natural pH of the skin if used as a topical treatment. This can cause redness, burning, and general irritation. Talk to a healthcare professional about whether you can use baking soda on your skin.

Adverse Effects

You should speak with a healthcare professional if you take medications, as baking soda can impact their absorption. Additionally, if you take blood thinners or are salt-sensitive you should talk to a healthcare professional before using any baking soda remedies. 

When It’s Best

Baking soda lasts approximately 6 months to 1 year once you open a box. If you notice your baking goods not rising even when you follow the recipe, your baking soda could have expired. Always check the expiration date before using baking soda and store it in a cool, dry place.

Storage and Food Safety

Baking soda will store for an indefinite amount of time when in an air-tight container stored in a dry location at 40 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Because baking soda absorbs moisture and odor, you must use a tight storage container or the baking soda will not last as long. While you can use an open box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors, be sure you use a different box for baking rather than the one in the refrigerator.

Recipes

 

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10 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. FDA. Nutrition C for FS and A. Sodium in your diet. Updated on June 8, 2021.

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  5. del Carmen Caamaño M, García-Padilla S, Duarte-Vázquez MÁ, González-Romero KE, Rosado JL. A double-blind, active-controlled clinical trial of sodium bicarbonate and calcium gluconate in the treatment of bilateral osteoarthritis of the kneeClin Med Insights Arthritis Musculoskelet Disord. 2017;10:1179544116688899. doi:10.1177/1179544116688899

  6. Valkenburg C, Kashmour Y, Dao A, (Fridus) Van der Weijden GA, Slot DE. The efficacy of baking soda dentifrice in controlling plaque and gingivitis: A systematic reviewInt J Dent Hyg. 2019;17(2):99-116. doi:10.1111/idh.12390

  7. Gastrointestinal Society. Baking soda for heartburn.

  8. National Eczema Association. How to use baths to manage your eczema.

  9. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Outsmarting poison ivy and other poisonous plants Updated June 14, 2021.

  10. John Hopkins. Insect stings.