Baking soda is a cooking product that helps batter to rise. This article discusses the effects of swallowing a large amount of baking soda.
Soda loading refers to drinking baking soda. Some athletes and coaches believe that drinking baking soda prior to competition helps a person perform for longer periods of time. This is extremely dangerous, and in addition to side effects, it actually makes the athletes unable to perform.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
See also: Baking powder overdose
Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.
Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
- Patient's age, weight, and condition
- Name of product (as well as the ingredients and strength, if known)
- Time it was swallowed
- Amount swallowed
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.
What to Expect at the Emergency Room
The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. The patient may receive:
- Activated charcoal
- Breathing support
- Fluids by IV
- Medicines to treat symptoms
The outcome depends on a number of factors, including:
- Amount of baking soda swallowed
- Time to treatment
- Overall health
- Type of complications that develop
Update Date 12/19/2013
Updated by: Eric Perez, MD, St. Luke's / Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY, NY, and Pegasus Emergency Group (Meadowlands and Hunterdon Medical Centers), NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.