Is baking soda an acid or base?

In this brief article we will answer the query,”Is baking soda an acid or base?” We will explain why baking soda is a base. We will discuss if it’s safe to drink baking soda every day. We will also look at if baking soda is able to alkalinize the body and some good substitutes for baking soda.

Is baking soda an acid or base?

Baking soda is a base, it has a pH level of 9. It is widely used in a variety of food products and that is why it cannot be acidic. 

Baking soda is also known as Sodium hydrogen carbonate and it is a white crystalline substance that is salty and has an alkaline taste.

Why is baking soda a base?

Test from pH strip

If you test baking soda using a pH strip you will see that the color will be anywhere between 8 and 14 because it is a base. Baking soda has a pH of 9 and therefore it is a base and not an acid.

It reacts with an acid

This is another sigh that shows that baking soda is a base. When you add a base to an acid they usually react to form salt and water and that’s the case with baking soda when added to an acid.

Dissociation in water

When baking soda is dissolved in water it forms an aqueous solution of Sodium Bicarbonate which is alkaline. This is because its molecules break down into sodium (Na+) and bicarbonate (HCO3-) ions when in an aqueous solution.

Is it safe to drink baking soda water regularly?

There are people that usually drink baking soda regularly so as to alleviate indigestion and other problems such as stomach upsets which is as a result of the basic properties of sodium bicarbonate. 

However, it is not safe to drink baking soda water regularly even though it can provide short term relief against certain gastrointestinal problems. This is because baking soda contains sodium and high levels of sodium can cause heart related problems over time.

Can Baking Soda Alkalize the Body?

Yes, baking soda can indeed result in alkalinization of the body. This is why a lot of people have the notion that baking soda contains anti-cancer properties.

Because cancer cells do well in acidic conditions, it thus makes sense that alkalizing the body with basic ingredients and foods such as sodium bicarbonate. More research is still required on the subject matter.

What are some good substitutes for baking soda?

Baking powder

Baking powder can also be used as an alternative to baking soda as it also aids in the rise and leavening of the baked product.

Baking soda is very similar to baking powder and in fact the 2 products are usually used interchangeably but they are different.

Baking powder is a blend  of baking soda and tartar’s cream. It usually produces CO2 when exposed to liquid and heat and this is what causes the baked products to rise.

Therefore baking powder can effectively be used as a substitute for baking soda. However, it is not as powerful in its leavening power as plain baking soda and therefore you will require a greater quantity of baking powder to achieve the same result.

Potassium Bicarbonate and Salt

Potassium bicarbonate is another good substitute for baking soda. It is often used as a dietary supplement but is also a good substitute.

It is a great alternative for people who are trying to cut down on their salt intake as potassium carbonate has zero amount of sodium.

Potassium carbonate can be used as a 1:1 substitute for baking soda although because it contains no sodium you might notice that your food is a bit bland.

Baker’s Ammonia

Baker’s ammonia is basically ammonium carbonate and it is also another good substitute for baking soda.

Bakers ammonia is a great substitute as it also helps in imparting some unique crispiness to the baked products which is useful in products such as thin and crispy cookies or crackers.

It can be easily substituted for baking soda at a ratio of 1:1 although it is not suitable for all recipes. This is because when it is combined with heat and acid, it releases carbon dioxide and ammonia which has a pungent smell which is unpleasant.

You can learn how to use Baker’s ammonia by clicking this link.

Conclusion

In this brief article we have answered the query,”Is baking soda an acid or base?” We have also explained why baking soda is a base. We have discussed if it’s safe to drink baking soda every day. We have also looked at if baking soda is able to alkalinize the body and some good substitutes for baking soda.

Citations

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