The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda: Separately and Together

In this video, Dr. Ekberg discusses the benefits of apple cider vinegar and baking soda separately, as well as what happens when you mix them together. Apple cider vinegar supports digestion and can also turn into acetate, a short-chain fatty acid, in the lower intestine, providing various health benefits. On the other hand, baking soda is commonly used for relieving heartburn symptoms, but it is not recommended for regular consumption due to its alkaline nature. When mixed together, apple cider vinegar and baking soda neutralize each other’s pH, providing relief for burning sensations but compromising the digestive support. It is recommended to take them on an empty stomach and consider the specific benefits of each before deciding to mix them.

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Key Insights:

  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV) and baking soda have different pH levels: ACV is acid with a pH of 2.5, while baking soda is alkaline with a pH of 9.5.
  • Hypochlorhydria, which means low stomach acid, is a common condition and can lead to heartburn. Adding acid, like ACV, can often relieve heartburn symptoms.
  • Contrary to popular belief, most people’s bodies are not too acidic. The body regulates pH levels to maintain balance.
  • ACV supports digestion as it is an acid and aids in the breakdown of food. It also produces acetate, a short-chain fatty acid, which can provide fuel for the body and gut flora.
  • Baking soda is commonly used for relieving heartburn symptoms, but it should be used short-term as a symptom relief and not as a long-term solution, as it ignores the underlying cause.
  • Taking ACV and baking soda together neutralizes the pH and cancels out the digestive support from ACV, but may still provide some benefits from the acetate produced.
  • If taking ACV and baking soda together, it’s recommended to take it on an empty stomach to avoid interfering with digestion.
  • If unable to tolerate ACV without baking soda, using both may still provide some benefits, but it’s advised to try first without baking soda.


Hello Health Champions. A lot of people have gotten benefits from apple cider vinegar such as weight loss and improved digestion but now some people are starting to mix apple cider vinegar with baking soda so today I want to talk about the benefits of those two separately but also what really happens in the body when you mix the two together, coming right up.

Hey, I’m Dr. Ekberg. I’m a holistic doctor and a former Olympic decathlete. And if you want to truly master health by understanding how the body really works, make sure you subscribe and hit that notification bell.

When we talk about apple cider vinegar and baking soda, we have to talk about pH because that is what gives them their characteristics. Baking soda is an alkaline substance, it’s a base with a pH of 9.5, and apple cider vinegar is an acid with a pH of 2.5. So anything above 7 is a base, anything below 7 is an acid, and 7 is neutral.

So, what is supposed to be normal in the stomach? What normally is produced in the stomach? And the answer is hydrochloric acid. The stomach is supposed to be an acid vat. Your stomach makes hydrochloric acid, and it’s a very strong acid. It’s down here with battery acid. So, in a healthy human, the pH is supposed to be between one and three. It’s supposed to be an acid vat. And this is so that we can digest protein, so that we can absorb minerals, and so that we can kill pathogens.

So, in order for us to break down food, that’s the whole purpose of eating in the first place, is to break it down so we can absorb it and utilize it. But furthermore, that acid is an immune barrier. It kills off pathogens that we happen to ingest. So just looking at this, we can say that acid is a normal occurrence in the stomach, but baking soda is not.

Now, here’s a very, very common misconception. A lot of people believe that heartburn happens because you have too much stomach acid, and I can see where people would think that because it burns and there’s acid there, so it has to be too much, right? Well, no. It’s the exact opposite. That heartburn happens because we don’t have enough acid. By the time you add acid, almost everyone gets improvement in symptoms.

So the condition called hypochlorhydria means not enough stomach acid, not enough hydrochloric acid, is extremely common, and it depends on age because as we age, we produce less hydrochloric acid. Stress is another factor that will interfere with the production, that will reduce the production of stomach acid. Why is that? Because any time you’re stressed, your body is shutting down digestion in order to prioritize defending you against the outside world. Another factor is hypothyroid, very, very common. When your thyroid slows down when it’s underperforming, there is also less production of hydrochloric acid. Another reason for not enough acid is a bug called H. pylori, and this is a stomach bug that raises the pH and actually causes ulcers by interfering with the protective lining in the stomach. And also, antacids, things that people take to relieve heartburn, is a huge problem for hypochlorhydria because when you put a base in there like Tums or Pepcid AC, it neutralizes the acid and it interferes with that digestion. So any of these reasons or all of them put together can give you hypochlorhydria. So you can see how common this is.

Another misconception that was popularized by a book called Alkalize or Die is that most people’s bodies are too acidic. But just because the book is very persuasive and popular doesn’t mean it’s correct. And the truth of the matter is that pH is something that the body regulates, that it’s not that acid or base are bad, it’s that they have to be in balance. You have to have the right amount of acid at the right time, and then you have to neutralize it and balance it out at another time. And it turns out that acid is much easier for the body to neutralize. The body has these mechanisms to get rid of acids. The first way is in the urine. If you take a pH strip to your urine and it measures acidic, that doesn’t mean that your whole body is acidic, that means your body was successful in getting rid of acid to bring the body back to balance. So that’s one way the body can get rid of acid. But the fastest and most powerful way that your body can correct pH and get rid of acid is to breathe, to hyperventilate. That’s a way that you can become alkaline in seconds. And if you want to try this, then just start breathing in and out as hard as you can, as fast as you can. And what you will find is that within seconds, you’re going to get a little bit dizzy, and this means that you are becoming too alkaline because what you’re doing is you’re blowing off carbon dioxide, which is acidic. So by eliminating something acid, you become more alkaline. And your body regulates this through the breath all day long. So acid is pretty easy to get rid of. So it’s not true that most people are too acidic.

Let’s talk about the benefits of apple cider vinegar and baking soda. So apple cider vinegar does two things. It supports digestion because it is an acid. It supplements the digestion with something that is naturally supposed to be there. The second thing, though, is that the vinegar, which is also called acetic acid, is supposed to be very acidic in the stomach. But as it works its way through the digestive tract several hours later, it is in the lower intestine and now it is more neutral or alkaline. And now, this acetic acid turns into acetate, which is a short-chain fatty acid.

And this short-chain fatty acid is a fuel. If it gets back in your circulation, you can use it for fuel just like an MCT oil. But it’s also fuel for your gut flora. And these two mechanisms together result in reduced appetite, improved insulin sensitivity, and through that, we can improve type 2 diabetes and hypertension and cardiovascular disease and basically all the other problems associated with metabolic syndrome, which is insulin resistance.

And now, the benefits of baking soda. The biggest reason people talk about benefits of this is that it provides relief of the symptoms of heartburn. Now, in my book, that may be kind of a benefit short-term, but it is not a benefit long-term because any time that you take something for something, when you take a substance for a symptom, then you are ignoring the underlying cause. So yes, short-term, if you have a crisis, you could use it. But long-term, you’re allowing the real problem to get bigger and in that sense, you’re making things worse.

Every time baking soda is obviously also used for baking. It can be used as mouthwash, as toothpaste, as deodorant, air freshener, laundry whitening, supposedly bathroom cleaner, you can use it to polish silverware, you can use it as a weed killer. But if you notice, all of these, except for the first one, there’s nothing here that really involves that you’re ingesting substantial amounts of baking soda. So, I have not found any convincing arguments or research that you should eat baking soda on a regular basis. I don’t think that there’s a need on a regular basis to add that much sodium and add that much alkalinity to the body or the digestive tract.

Now, when you take them together, you have to realize that one is an acid and the other is a base, so they’re basically canceling each other out. You’re neutralizing the pH. So if you’re looking for symptom relief, if you have a burning sensation when you take the apple cider vinegar and it’s not because you didn’t dilute it, then you could mix the two and it would help relieve that burning sensation. Now, you’re gonna forfeit. You’re gonna undo the digestive support that you would get from that acid. But the other benefit, the acetate, the short-chain fatty acid, is still going to be there. And there’s probably some benefit from each, but you will get some benefit from the short-chain fatty acid. And again, these are made in a healthy gut. They feed the gut bacteria, and they can help with appetite regulation. These short-chain fatty acids can improve the metabolic signaling, so you can improve your metabolism and you can improve the breakdown of fat.

Now, if you take the two together, if you mix them, you have to keep the following in mind. You want to take it on an empty stomach. Why is that? Because if you take baking soda together with the apple cider vinegar and you’re having food at the same time, the baking soda will interfere with your digestion, just as if you took Tums or Pepcid AC or something else that blocks the acid. You cannot digest food properly after that.

And what about the other benefit from the short-chain fatty acids? You will still get that benefit, but if you can’t tolerate the apple cider vinegar without the baking soda, then I think that you get more of a total benefit. So try that first and use the baking soda if you can’t tolerate the apple cider vinegar.

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