Acid/Alkaline and pH Balancing
Understanding Acid/Alkaline and pH Balancing
We are alkaline by design, but acid by function (breathing, digesting, thinking…the list goes on).
Many of our beverages and foods today are very acidic, fingerpointing fast foods, soft drinks, coffee, and the list goes on.
So as a result of poor diets, degraded food, water, and air, consequently we’ve become too acidic.
When you become too acidic, thus out of pH balance, your body becomes stressed and vulnerable to a whole host of health problems.
You may experience low energy, fatigue, excess weight, poor digestion, aches and pains, and even more serious disorders.
Understanding pH – Basic Chemistry Lesson
pH (potential of hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.
It is measured on a scale of 0 to 14 – the lower the pH the more acidic the solution, the higher the pH the more alkaline (or base) the solution.
When a solution is neither acid nor alkaline it has a pH of 7 which is neutral.
Water is the most abundant compound in the human body, comprising 70% of the body.
The body has an acid-alkaline (or acid-base) ratio called the pH which is a balance between positively charged ions (acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (alkaline-forming), The body continually strives to balance pH.
When this balance is comprised many problems can occur.
pH and Your Body
We live and die on a cellular level. If our cells are healthy then we are healthy and if our cells are not healthy, and if they live in a toxic environment, then we are not healthy.
The human body contains about 38 litres of fluid so its cells are swimming in an ocean that is either acid, neutral or alkaline.
The body’s systems work best in an environment that is neutral to slightly alkaline although some vital organs, like the stomach, either produce or house very acidic substances.
High Body Acidity
High acidity is the most common acid-alkaline balance problem.
When the body’s mineral reserves are depleted the body “borrows” minerals form whatever source it can get.
This usually means that minerals are borrowed from bones and vital organs.
Over time this weakens the organs and muscles.
Some of the common health problems that result from high acidity include:
- Acceleration of free radical damage
- Bladder and kidney damage
- Cardiovascular weakness, including the constriction of blood vessels and reduction of oxygen
- Immune system weakness
- Lactic acid build up in joints resulting in joint pain
- Low energy
- Osteoporosis; resulting in brittle bones, hip fractures and bone spurs
- Low energy and chronic fatigue
- Slow digestion and elimination
- Yeast/fungal overgrowth
- Weight gain, obesity and diabetes
Urine pH is a measure of the environmental conditions in which the cells live. It also shows how the body responded to the food that was ingested within the last 24 hours.
This in turn is a good measure of how well the body is functioning.
How to Determine Your pH
Testing your urine pH is quick, easy and inexpensive.
To check your urine pH you need to hold the pH Test Strip in the midstream flow of your first morning urine for 3 seconds.
Then compare test strip colours to the colour chart on the pH Test Strip container to find the value that matches.
Healthy urine pH is generally between 6.5 – 7.5.
Emed recommends pHion pH Test Strips for an accurate result of saliva and urine pH. The results range from 4.5 – 9.0.
Simple changes make the big difference
Although conventional doctors do believe that increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables and reducing one’s intake of meat, salt and refined grains is beneficial to health, most conventional doctors do not believe that an acid-producing diet is the foundation of chronic illness.
However, in conventional medicine there is evidence that alkaline diets may help prevent the formation of calcium kidney stones, osteoporosis, and age-related muscle wasting.
Simple changes in your diet and the use of certain natural supplements can help to neutralize the level of acidity in your body and promote better health for years to come.
Note that a food’s acid or alkaline-forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself.
For example, lemons are very acidic, however the end-products they produce after digestion and assimilation are very alkaline, so lemons are, overall, alkaline-forming in the body.
Likewise, meat will test alkaline before digestion but it leaves very acidic residue in the body, so, like nearly all animal products, meat is very acid-forming.
Food pH Levels
The following table shows the pH levels of common foods:
Emeds Comment – What You Can Do
The process of rebalancing your body begins with proper diet and nutrition.
This includes eating alkalizing foods, hydrating properly and integrating proper nutritional supplementation.
The best way to support a healthy acid-alkaline balance within the body is to consume a diet that is composed of 70-80% alkaline foods.
While alkaline foods are extremely healthy, it can be very difficult to maintain a high alkaline diet.
You must limit highly processed foods, sugary foods, fruits, meat, alcohol, and soda, as these foods are acidic.
Alkalise Your Water
The drinking water that is available to us these days has to have all sorts of things added to it to make it safe for daily use.
These additives in the water, especially chlorine, make the water less desirable as a healthy source.
However, there are ways to make your daily water more pH balanced without having to spend an arm and a leg on costly equipment like ionizers, etc.
Here are some safe ways to increase the pH in your drinking water:
1. Invest in a water filter jug. These jugs are not expensive and the filters are replaceable. A jug water filter will help you filter out the chlorine in the water and that will already go a long way to increasing the pH in your water and making it more healthy.
2. Add a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (bicarb) to a litre of water before drinking it to increase the pH.
3. Add 4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to a litre of water – not only will it increase the pH of the water, it makes for a really refreshing drink especially on a hot summers day.
There is no need to go over board to get healthy water to drink – most people will tell you that ordinary drinking water is still preferred to any of the other waters out there.
By filtering your water, and adding a some bicarb or lemon juice to it, not only can you save yourself a lot of money, but you will have nice fresh water high in healthy pH!
Alkalising Through Natural Medicine
There are some great natural medicines available to help treat and prevent acidosis in the body.
Blackmores S.P. 96 is commonly used as a metabolic acid balancer. It can help ease gastric acidity and dyspepsia, and can help facilitate the removal or metabolic acids such as lactic acids.
Sodium phosphate has long been regarded as a healing nutrient of arthritis, including gout, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as fibrositis.
Sodium phosphate can also soothe itching of the epithelial tissue, for example urticaria, and can help soothe and prevent the symptoms of cystitis. It has been used to promote the growth and maintenance of strong, healthy nails.
Detox Greens provides a combination of herbs and nutrients scientifically formulated to support the gastrointestinal mucosa, enhance detoxification and assist in the elimination of heavy metals from the body.
Detox Greens contains specific ingredients to help alkalise the urine and support the elimination of toxins via the kidneys.
Blackmores S.P.P.S. contains a potent dose of sodium phosphate and potassium sulfate for the prevention and treatment of gastric acidity, acidosis and dyspepsia. It has also had proven positive results in facilitating the removal of metabolic acids such as lactic acid in the body.
S.P.P.S. is useful in the treatment of chronic or re-current low-grade conditions, including viral, bacterial and fungal infection.
Individuals suffering from excessive sighing or yawning, ‘fuzzy head’ or lack of mental clarity and skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and dandruff will find S.P.P.S. especially beneficial.
Magnesium Alkalising Combination for Stress contains high levels of magnesium, taurine and glutamine for the relief of stress. Each serving contains 350mg of elemental magnesium from MetaMag to counteract urinary depletion.
The inclusion of taurine and glutamine will help to regulate neuronal activity.
Metagenics Magnesium Alkalising Combination for Stress regulates pH to reduce acidity in stressed individuals. This formula provides support for the sympathetic nervous system, which is beneficial for those who are stressed, irritable or prone to insomnia.