Yes, this IS a real topic.
Now, I’m not talking to the extremes that when you bleed a drop of blood, it burns through metal like the sci-fi horror movies would have you believe; Though that would be pretty cool.
No, instead what have are acidic blood levels and how nasty they can be for workouts, recovery, and just life.
What is Blood Acidity?
Also called “Acidosis,” Blood Acidity is where the pH levels of blood decrease beyond normal parameters (7.35-7.45) with the opposite, going above 7.45, is “Alkalosis”. (1)
When the pH of your blood falls below this certain marker then we begin to notice cellular damage and in most cases, depending on the length or degree of pH shift, irreversible cell damage.
So for all you fitness junkies out there, having too low of a pH breaks down muscle cells at a VERY fast rate, and makes it VERY difficult for you to recover from your workouts; so you don’t look like a healthy person and you can’t function as one either.
What Causes it?
“There are numerous causes but probably the biggest is diet. In particular, the consumption of sugar, legumes, corn and all corn-based products, pasteurized dairy, soy, and most grains. When you consume those foods every internal organ in the body along with all of your joints can become inflamed. The end result is that your immune system is compromised and your joints feel 10-20 years older than you.” (2)
In other words, a bad diet is a leading cause but we can take it a step further. As we have noticed in pasteurized dairy and grains, which are somewhat of a staple in most people’s diets, can be causing the lower pH levels even though these have been classified as “healthy” by most standards.
How to Fix it?
MMA fighters tend to be the better at auto-correcting this than most due to their alkaline diet which is extremely high in greens and eliminates the consumption of sugars, grains, and dairy while minimizing red meat intake and this has been a staple for most of their training careers.
I will say that I think grass-fed red meat is OK and there are some studies that show it can decrease blood inflammation and help buffer acidosis.
So my recommendation to keep your body in a healthy pH, or Alkaline based diet, is to forgo grains and pasteurized dairy and significantly increase the intake of green veggies, the leafier the better. To replace those starchy carb needs, I would recommend consuming yams, squash, & beets for the bulk of your carb needs.
Now, even I attest that the occasional processed carb will be ok just as long as it’s NOT a staple in your diet IF you feel that you are suffering from low blood pH levels.
Another way that ia pretty simple but seems a bit contradictory, is squeezing ¼ fresh lemon in a bottle of water in the morning and drinking. Yes, the lemon is acidic BUT it has an alkalizing effect on the body. (3)
Other pH raising effects that you can look into:
- pH drops
- Portable ionizer jugs
- The best one, in my opinion, is a home Alkaline Filter System (an example would be PurePro). Don’t get me wrong, this can be an upfront cost BUT if you wanting to take your fitness to that next level, this is the next level.
Side Note: There are some companies that claim to have alkaline water that can be bought in stores. I’ve tested the pH of these bottles and have found no difference; so if your dong that, it’s well worth checking the pH to see if you’re getting your money’s worth. I’ll save that reason why for another blog.
2. Ferruggia, Jason. The Renegade Diet: Jan 2012
In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.
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