Apple cider vinegar and baking soda offer health benefits when taken on their own. Yet, the latest trend involves mixing the two in hopes of achieving even more stellar health.

This combination, once reserved for grade-school science experiments, is touted to improve digestion, reduce joint pain, fight urinary tract infections, and even help you lose weight.

This article explores whether taking baking soda and apple cider vinegar together bears any risks or offers benefits beyond those associated with taking each on their own.

Baking soda and apple cider vinegar have each been linked to various health benefits when taken on their own.

For instance, test-tube studies suggest that apple cider vinegar can help kill harmful viruses and bacteria, such as E. coli, S. aureus, C. albicans, as well as the norovirus, which is the leading cause of food poisoning (1, 2).

Apple cider vinegar may also help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity (3, 4).

Animal studies further suggest that vinegar may help reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels — although these findings haven’t yet been replicated in humans (5, 6, 7).

Older studies also suggest that apple cider vinegar may reduce feelings of hunger and help people lose body fat, although recent research to support these findings is limited (8, 9, 10).

When it comes to baking soda, research suggests that using it as part of a mouth rinse may help prevent the loss of tooth enamel. In addition, baking soda may help improve exercise performance during short-duration, high intensity exercise (11, 12, 13, 14).

Baking soda supplements may also help slow the progression of chronic kidney disease, as well as the growth of cancerous cells. However, more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made (15, 16, 17, 18).

SUMMARY

Apple cider vinegar may protect against viruses and bacteria, improve blood sugar levels, and help you lose weight. Meanwhile, baking soda may strengthen your teeth, improve exercise performance, and perhaps even protect you from certain diseases.

Combining baking soda with apple cider vinegar is touted to help alkalize your body and prevent diseases that thrive in acidic environments.

Yet, this idea ignores the fact that your body has tightly regulated processes in place to control its pH levels, and that what you eat or drink has very little effect on how acidic or alkaline your body is (19, 20).

The mixture is also claimed to contain nutrients and enzymes that will help prevent or cure a variety of health conditions, from poor digestion and joint pain to urinary tract infections and unwanted weight gain.

However, no studies can be found to support any of these claims. Moreover, there’s no scientific evidence that combining baking soda and apple cider vinegar offers health benefits beyond those associated with taking each on their own.

SUMMARY

Currently, no scientific evidence supports the idea that taking baking soda with apple cider vinegar provides health benefits beyond those linked to taking each on their own.

Ingesting baking soda and apple cider vinegar, either together or separately, may have a few potential risks.

Baking soda

Ingesting large amounts of baking soda may cause a life threatening condition known as metabolic alkalosis (21).

Metabolic alkalosis happens when your body can no longer control your blood pH. It can occur as a result of excessively high intakes of alkali compounds like baking soda (22).

This condition can result in spasms, muscle weakness, an altered mental status, and, if left untreated, an irregular heartbeat and even death (22).

Due to its high sodium content, high intakes of baking soda may also result in fluid accumulation, high blood pressure, and even heart failure, especially in people with alcoholism or compromised kidney function (17, 23).

Baking soda should not be given to children under 5 years old, as it may cause seizures and breathing difficulties. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid its intake (23).

Apple cider vinegar

Due to its high acidity, apple cider vinegar may result in throat burns or cause your tooth enamel to erode. Its intake may also cause nausea in some people (10, 24, 25).

Baking soda mixed with apple cider vinegar

Combining apple cider vinegar with an alkaline compound, such as baking soda, may help neutralize some of its acidity. However, it’s unclear whether the common recipes shared on the internet result in the complete neutralization of apple cider vinegar’s acidity.

Combining the two also creates a chemical reaction that produces gas. Therefore, this mixture may cause gas and bloating in people who ingest it before all the gas has escaped. However, no studies have researched this effect.

Baking soda and apple cider vinegar may also interact with certain medications. People currently taking medications should speak to their healthcare provider before adding either — alone or mixed — to their diet (26, 27).

Currently, little is known about the safety of long-term intakes of either of these compounds, let alone their combination. Therefore, until more is known, it’s likely safest to avoid taking this mixture altogether.

SUMMARY

Baking soda and apple cider vinegar may interact with medications and cause side effects of varying severity. Little is known about the safety of taking both together, so it may be safest to avoid this mixture altogether.

Baking soda and apple cider vinegar may each offer various health benefits when taken on their own. However, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that mixing the two offers additional benefits.

Ingesting either compound bears potential health risks, and little is known about the long-term safety of taking baking soda or apple cider vinegar alone, let alone mixed together.

Therefore, until more is known, it’s likely safest to avoid consuming this mixture.