Musings of a Salt Whisperer
When I was a renal fellow back in the day, my mentor, Tom Andreoli had one of us (not me) calculate the amount of bicarb in a tsp of baking soda and it was 60 mEq. I've always taught this to students. Dr. A always favored giving bicarb in the form of baking soda to those who needed an oral supplement (instead of the citrate products). He told us to warn them that it would make them burp but that's "OK" because it ends up being good therapy and very inexpensive compared.So, I think 60 mEq it is but don't ask me to prove it by calculation. I've forgotten all that heady stuff about mg and mEq conversions and valences and the like. :>
I know this is an old post, but I just found this blog tonight. I love using A&H as a bicarb supplement. 1/2 tsp = 616 mg sodium = 27 mEq sodium (23 mg per mEq). Since NaHCO3 is 1:1 sodium:bicarb, that gives you 27 mEq bicarb/0.5 tsp....or roughly 60mEq/tsp.Compare that with a 650mg NaHCO3 tablet. The MW of NaHCO3 is roughly 84, so a 650mg tab is 7.7mEq....basic high school chemistry says that's 7.7mEq Na & 7.7mEq HCO3!If I needed even 30mEq/day, I'd much rather dissolve 1/2 tsp in a half cup water and swig it down than take 4 horse pills, and I have several patients who feel the same way.(I also like to avoid citrate, solely because it's hard to counsel about all aluminum-containing products).
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