A nutritionist shared a video on TikTok showing how it is possible, with a little sodium bicarbonate and water, to test your stomach acidity. Does this really work? Answers from Alexandra Murcier, dietician-nutritionist.
Do you think you have stomach acid? According to Meg McDonald, who describes herself on her TikTok account as a “holistic nutritionist”, it would be possible to carry out a simple test at home, with few ingredients, to be sure.
Half a glass of water and a teaspoon of baking soda
In a TikTok video seen more than 32 million times, the young woman explains her test. Just take half a glass of water and a teaspoon of baking soda and mix everything together. Once the mixture is ready, drink it in one go and wait. Important clarification: this test must be done on an empty stomach.
Once the beverage has been absorbed, the nutritionist recommends setting a timer and observing when the first burps appear.
@onehealthygut This is not a perfect or diagnostic test BUT its easy and can give you a good idea of where digestion is at. I learned this from my schooling as a Nutritionist. Tell me how it goes for you! #bakingsodatest #guthealthcoach #bloatingrelief ♬ bad idea right? – Olivia Rodrigo
The amount of acidity present in the stomach revealed by sodium bicarbonate
In case of pronounced stomach acid, the mixture with sodium bicarbonate will generate a gas, which will make you want to burp. “We need to observe when we really want to burp” explains Meg McDonald. “If this does not happen within two minutes of drinking the mixture, the amount of stomach acid is probably low.”.
Stomach acid, mainly composed of hydrochloric acid, helps the stomach digest food. If its level is too low, symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, reflux or stomach pain may appear.
The stomach naturally contains acidity
Questioned on the subject, Alexandra Murcier, dietitian-nutritionist, confirms that the stomach is an organ which naturally contains an acidic environment. “The stomach contains natural acidity both for food digestion, but also for the proper absorption of vitamin B12. In excess, acidity causes digestive problems, but in too little quantity, too“.
Information confirmed by Dr Véronique Mounier, doctor of pharmacy. “When you suffer from a lack of hydrochloric acid, you have difficulty digesting proteins. Bacteria swarm and cause gas, which will cause bloating and distend the stomach and intestines. And the acidity rises towards the esophagus, we then think that we have too much, but it is the opposite, in reality“.
According to her, this test, although artisanal, can therefore give a first indication. “I recommend doing it several times in a row. Then, more in-depth investigations are necessary to understand where this hypochlorhydria comes from.” she concludes.