Words of Wellness Wednesday January 18th
I saw an article in a magazine not long ago on the subject of pH levels in our body, and just how important keeping a neutral pH level is. Plus I see more and more companies producing purified water with pH Levels that are slightly higher than normal. I even went into Harris Teeter the other day and saw jugs of water for sell, marketed towards higher pH Levels. There must be a big demand for this type of water or companies wouldn’t be producing it!
So what’s this pH stuff all about? What does exactly having good or normal pH levels mean? What does the pH stand for anyway? Acidic or alkaline, what’s that all about? Well read the LINK below and find out just what all this means and just how being too acidic or being in an alkaline state can mean for your overall health!
BALANCING YOUR pH BALANCE
When I was at OrthoCarolina (before coming to Europa) assisting with physical therapy and working in their sports performance center, we emphasized to our patients and athletes how important it was in keeping and knowing ones pH balance. For our athletes, improved athletic performance and for our patients a faster healing rate for bones and joints. Now we might have “oversold” them about the importance of a good pH balance in the body, but before I go any further, let me explain.
When it comes to good health and longevity, pH balance is vitally important. When you have a proper pH balance then losing weight, gaining muscle, or even overall health is easier to obtain. Your body’s pH balance will determine to a large degree if one is in a healthy state by the body being more alkaline or in an unhealthy state by being more acidic.
The pH level in your drinking water can reflect how acidic water is. pH stands for the “potential for hydrogen”, which in this case refers to the amount of hydrogen found in water. The U.S. environmental agency (EPA) does not regulate the pH levels in our drinking water. It’s classified as a secondary drinking water contaminant whose impact is listed as aesthetic. The EPA recommends that the public drinking water systems maintain pH levels between 6.5 and 8.5. This is a good guide for individual well owners as well.
The range of pH levels runs from 0 to 14, with 7.0 being neutral. Anything below 7.0 is listed as acidic and anything above 7.0 is listed as alkaline. Ideally you would like your body to be slightly higher than 7.0, which would be slightly alkaline. There are many things besides water that affect your pH levels. Everything from stress, too much exercise or over-training, and even the types of foods we eat can affect your pH.
While we are on the subject of foods affecting your pH, a diet that is high in fat, especially cheese is very acidic. Cheese is one of the most acid producing foods—please avoid as much as you possibly can! Processed foods such as sugar, sodas, chips, what I like to call “Dead Foods”; have very little nutritional value can and will make our bodies very acidic! Believe it or not, high protein diets especially red meats can make our bodies acidic. Make sure that every time you sit down to eat beef or a nice juicy steak, have some spinach, kale or any dark leafy vegetable. This will help counter the acids in red meats. Each time I eat a lean ground hamburger with rice for lunch I always include some spinach or kale. It’s a staple in the Sigmon household.
You may read in some articles that although high protein foods are more acidic, eating them leads the body to excrete those same acids more efficiently. However, I still like to be on the safe side and have my spinach and kale or a dark leafy vegetable with my protein.
Some signs that your diet may be too acidic could be anything from fatigue, mental fog, dry skin, heartburn, gas, bloating and cramps and even acne. When you eat a diet that is high in acid it flushes the acid out through the skin, which can cause unwanted acne or even mouth sores.
However, eating alkaline is eating healthy. Put simply, eat natural foods like plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and limit your sugars. Just another reason to limit your sugar intake! An alkaline diet is truly one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
Chip’s Tips: I‘ll share with you some of the things that you can do to help your body become less acidic and more in an alkaline state. These are some things that I have been doing for years!
1. Each morning I have a glass of warm water with a freshly squeezed lemon with my breakfast. Lemons are great for reducing acid in the body.
2. Raisins! Bring a small box to work each day. Raisins are also great for helping the body get to a more alkaline state. Figs will do the same—(not an excuse to eat Fig Newton’s)
3. Whenever you can drink bottled water, please do! Usually certain brands will have a positive pH levels. We sell a brand at Europa called AQUAHydrate, which has a pH level of 9 and is load with electrolytes! I recently saw a jug of water for sale called “Diamond Creek”. On the front of the container it states that it has a 9.5 alkaline base. It also states these facts:
• Faster Hydration
• Effective Antioxidant
• Reduces Inflammation
• A high Mineral Content
• Reduces Acid Build Up
You’re seeing more and more of these types of waters manufactured, and why? It’s the up and coming thing on health plus the demand is there or they wouldn’t make this type of water… especially for $3.89 a gallon!
I have heard that “Deer Park” water has a positive pH balance but have not seen documentation to back that claim up with. This is the water that I prefer to fill my shaker bottle up with each day along with my BCAA’s. I will also add Glutamine to my drink. Not only does Glutamine help in recovery it has also been shown to neutralize acid in the body. Another reason why this supplement is one of my favorites!
So hopefully the next time you hear something about your pH balance you’ll know a little something more about what it is and what it really means. You’ll have your PhD in pH balance!
If you want to get serious about making sure that your body has a good pH balance you can purchase pH sticks at any drug store. The stick will indicate if your pH is balanced or not. It will require a urine sample. I did this for while I was at OrthoCarolina along with some other physical therapists and mine was always high, which inspired me to take control of my pH! Taking that initial test can help you navigate what you need to do to get your pH on the right track.
Chip Sigmon CSCS*D, CISSN, USAW, RSCC*E
Wellness Coordinator, Europa Sports Products
1. pH Perfection, by Nadine Dumas, Inside Fitness Women.com
2. Myths About High Protein Diets, by Poliquin Staff, Poliquin Group, 2012
3. pH in Drinking Water, Wellcare, Sept. 2007