Sodium Ascorbate is generally considered to be a more bioavailable form of Vitamin C and is occasionally recommended as an alternative to taking the raw or unbuffered Ascorbic Acid powder owing to the frequent report of gastric upset associated with unbuffered Vitamin C (a.k.a. Ascorbic Acid).
Current prices for Sodium Ascorbate typically run about double that of straight Ascorbic Acid powder and yet with some ordinary baking soda from your kitchen you can make your own Sodium Ascorbate solution from Ascorbic Acid powder and have all the benefits of dietary supplementation with Vitamin C but reportedly having less likelihood for the gastric upset issues commonly reported when consuming larger serving amounts.
Consider that I am not recommending you take larger serving amounts of Vitamin C (sometimes referred to as megadosing) that are occasionally recommended by other including some health practice professionals. But I am offering you a simple and foolproof recipe for making your own Sodium Ascorbate should you have an interest doing it yourself.
A Word of Caution: Sodium Ascorbate contains Sodium
Sodium Ascorbate contains a fair amount of sodium and individuals on sodium restricted diets should not take Sodium Ascorbate. There are several other buffered Ascorbic Acids and salts commonly available including Ascorbyl Palmitate, Calcium Ascorbate and Magnesium Ascorbate that do not contain appreciable amounts of sodium and any of these may be effective alternatives for your consideration if you are sodium intolerant. But as always, talk to your physician should you have health related
- A set of kitchen measuring spoons
- Sodium Bicarbonate Powder (e.g. Arm & Hammer® Baking Soda)
- Approximately 4 ounces drinking water
- In a tall dry 12 to 16 ounce drinking glass place 1 teaspoon (4.2 grams) of Ascorbic Acid powder (about one level teaspoon).
- Next add 2.5 grams Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3) powder, commonly referred to as baking soda (about 1/2 level teaspoon).
- Next add 2 to 3 ounces hot water (boiling from a tea kettle or hot tap water is okay) and stir until foaming stops and water turns clear (usually about 30 seconds).
- Next add another 2 ounces cold water or add a couple ice cubes stirring briefly until your solution is cool enough to drink.
With the completion of this reaction you will have created approximately 5.62 grams of Sodium Ascorbate (NaA), 1.25 grams Carbon Dioxide (the fizzing gas evolved) and 0.51 grams of additional water. You should drink your Sodium Ascorbate solution within a few minutes of making it.
Sodium Ascorbate’s Half-Life
As with Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate offers health benefits because it acts as an antioxidant in the human body. A common problem with anti-oxidants, on the other hand, is that they can oxidize rapidly with exposure oxygen in the air thereby becoming less potent and losing their effectiveness. The oxidation of Ascorbic Acid in aqueous solution may occur rapidly with a half-life of approximately 2 hours. For example, if after making your Sodium Ascorbate solution you were to leave it sitting around and wait 4 hours to drink it you might only be getting only about 25% of the original benefit because 75% of the Ascorbic Acid will have become oxidized. Therefore, it is recommended that you drink your Sodium Ascorbate solution within 5 to 10 minutes after preparing.
Theoretically, you could keep your Sodium Ascorbate solution in an airtight container indefinitely, such as a drinking water bottle filled to the top and sealed and kept in the refrigerator. However, drinking a portion of the contents and then resealing the lid would allow additional air and oxygen to become trapped in the bottle where in time it will begin to oxidize your stored Sodium Ascorbate solution. It’s probably best, therefore, to make only as much as is needed and drink your Sodium Ascorbate solution
If you’ve ever made and consumed a solution of straight Vitamin C powder in water, or consumed chewable Vitamin C tablets, you will have probably noticed a markedly sour taste. Vitamin C is an acid and acidic foods and drinks taste sour (having a low pH). Adding Sodium Bicarbonate and Vitamin C in solution results in a rather bland or salty tasting solution, when mixed according to the ratios indicated, with a resulting neutral pH of about 7.
Depending upon how much Sodium Bicarbonate you add to a given amount of Vitamin C powder the pH of the resulting solution will vary and thereby taste more sour less than pH 7 or more salty greater than pH 7. Your individual preferences and health related goals for making and taking Sodium Ascorbate may influence you to vary the pH of your Sodium Ascorbate solution one way or the other. To learn more about the potential health benefits of individually taking either Ascorbic Acid or Sodium Bicarbonate daily you may want to do your own research on these terms
Side Effects and Symptoms
Side Effects and Symptoms of the use and/or over-use of Ascorbic Acid and/or Sodium Ascorbate and/or Sodium Bicarbonate may include gastric upset, diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting. If you experience and are concerned about the side effects from taking Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate or Sodium Bicarbonate stop taking and consult your physician.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.