Celebrities like Victoria Beckham and Jennifer Aniston have recently brought the ‘alkaline lifestyle’ to the forefront, causing one to immediately wonder: is this another fad diet? What is alkalinity really all about?
Here are the basics: Your body must maintain a pH balance of about 7.4 to survive, and your internal systems work hard to maintain this balance. Your pH is impacted by the food and drink that we consume, which are either acidic (lower than pH 7) or alkaline (higher than pH 7). Over the last near century, our diets have changed significantly to incorporate large amounts of dairy, animal protein, processed foods, and sugar-laden drinks and desserts – all of which are acidic.
So, if our bodies regulate themselves to keep us balanced, what’s the big deal?
Our bodies may naturally work to maintain a stable pH – and keep us alive doing so – but if we don’t give our bodies what they need to maintain this balance in a healthy fashion, we pay the price in other ways. Our blood achieves this balance by robbing our organs, glands, tissues and bones of important minerals. For example: One can of cola has a pH of between 2.8 and 3.2, but the kidneys cannot excrete urine that is more acidic than about 5.0; in order to dilute this can of cola to an appropriate urinary pH, you’d need to produce 33 liters of urine! So the body turns to its store of alkalizing minerals. If there aren’t enough reserves of potassium and magnesium in the extracellular fluid, the calcium will be taken from the bone. Some have estimated that the quantity of calcium lost in the urine with the modern diet over 20 years could be almost half of your skeletal mass of calcium.
Here are just a few symptoms of too much acidity:
- acid reflux and heartburn
- weight gain
- diminished immunity
- premature aging
- muscle loss
- anxiety and irritability
Don’t want to give up your daily cola? No problem: to balance the acidity of one can of cola, just drink 32 glasses of water. Given that’s unlikely for most people, you could alternatively incorporate more alkaline foods into your diet and try to maintain an 80/20 rule – 80% alkaline foods, 20% acidic foods. Eating a lot of green veggies isn’t for everyone. An easy way to incorporate more alkalinity into your diet is to drink mineralized alkaline water. Many water filters create acidic water, so do your research. London Drugs offers affordable mineralized alkaline water options for both home and on-the-go.
So, is the increase in illness and disease directly related to the change in food and drink we consume in our bodies? You decide.
Content contributed by Santevia Water Systems whose focus is to reduce illness caused by acidosis and inflammation by offering affordable, eco-friendly mineralized alkaline water solutions. For more information, please visit www.santevia.com
Brown S, and Trivieri L. (2006) The Acid Alkaline Food Guide (1st edition); Lipski L, (2012) Digestive Wellness (4th edition); http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195546/