Q Someone told me I should be drinking bicarbonate of soda to help ease eczema symptoms – is there any truth in this?

A Drunk as a solution, bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate soothes an acid stomach (it’s what’s in Alka Seltzer). But there could be a kind of theoretical logic to consuming sodium bicarbonate for eczema, too, as a recent study suggested it could help reduce the inflammation that’s so typical in autoimmune diseases such as eczema.

That’s a long way off saying it’s a treatment for eczema, though, and you would need to take care how you took it as it can change the acid/alkaline balance of the body. It might be worth a worth a chat with your GP, as they sometimes prescribe sodium bicarbonate for kidney disease, so are familiar with its use beyond an antacid.


Competitive cyclists have specific nutritional needs and have to time eating meals and snacks carefully, so energy bars and gels can be helpful. Katie’s meals provide a good balance of key nutrients such as slow-release carbs and protein, but she could eat a bit more fruit and veg – a white potato is a starchy carbohydrate, nutritionally speaking, so won’t count towards your 5-a-day. Chickpea pancakes are a good high-protein snack, but a handful of nuts or a high-protein yoghurt such as Total 0% or Skyr is a quicker option. She could also try quinoa, wholegrain couscous or a bean salad with tuna for lunch.’

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