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Checking in with your body – Understanding pH

Posted by | Posted in Guests | Posted on 07-05-2009

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While working out and eating right are certainly the basics of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, understanding your body chemistry and how it relates to your fitness level is of crucial importance.

Your Body’s pH

The specific chemistry of your body is unique and complicated, but without getting deep into scientific jargon and spending hours trying to understand what it means let’s look at one crucial area that many ‘fit’ people tend to overlook: your body’s pH.

What is pH?

pH, in layman’s terms, is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, and the concept was introduced by Danish chemist Søren Peder Lauritz Sørensen at the Carlsberg Laboratory in 1909.  The measurements are taken on a scale ranging from 1 to 14, with pure water falling smack dab in the middle at 7, as neutral.  The specifics are, as you might expect, very complicated.  But pH can also be measured in regards to your own body and its fluids.  The test is simple and it can tell you a lot about your true fitness level.

Why should you care?

Research over the past few decades indicates that the pH of your body may affect it in ways that we never before dreamed.  In fact, your body’s pH may not only affect the way you feel and how well your organs perform, but it may be a significant factor in determining how well your body fights off disease.

Alkaline vs. Acidic

The basic rule of thumb to follow, and the main thing you need to remember when it comes to pH, is that your body chemistry is designed to operate at maximum when it is slightly alkaline.  In order to understand specifically ‘why’ requires either an elaborate explanation, or a degree in chemistry and biology, so in the interests of keeping things simple let’s just skip the ‘why’ of alkalinity and focus on the ‘how.’

Incidentally if you are seriously interested in understanding the ‘why’ try the following link to a PDF file published by the University of Rhode Island: http://www.uri.edu/ce/wq/ww/Publications/pH&alkalinity.pdf

The ‘How’

So what affects your body’s pH level?  A good question with a semi-complicated answer, but in short there are many factors, like how often you exercise to how high your stress level is, which affect your bodies chemistry.  But the main thing that affects it is your diet.

The Foods You Eat

As your body processes the foods you eat, each one has a very specific way that it affects your body in terms of its pH.  For example, any meats or animal products will tend to have an acidifying effect on the body.  Green foods, like spinach or celery, will have an alkalizing effect.  Remember, you body prefers to be alkaline, so you want to focus on the foods that encourage your body to move its pH in that direction.  The goal isn’t to only eat alkaline foods, but to balance your diet so that you are consuming slightly more alkaline foods.  For a list of foods and their alkalinity check out these pages:

http://www.ctds.info/acidic-foods.html

http://www.naturalpath.com/healthy_eating/list_of_alkaline_and_acidic_foods

All Things in Moderation

Remember the goal isn’t to eliminate all acidic foods, but to follow the age old adage that reminds us that ‘moderation is the key,’ and balance what we eat.  In terms of your body’s pH, following this simple rule could mean the difference between struggling to stay healthy and easily focusing on the right things that will maintain your body at its peak performance.

This post was contributed by Alisa Johnson, who writes about the online nursing schools. She welcomes your feedback at Alisa.Johnson1982 at gmail.com

Comments (8)

Many liquids such as sodas and even juices are slightly acidic to very acidic. If you cut many of these liquids out of your diet and consume alkaline ionized water of a high ph you can help your body maintain a high alkalinity level which acts as a natural detoxification method. You will however need an alkaline water ionizer to produce this alkaline drinking water: http://www.bawellwaterionizers.com/

This is indeed a very informative article on the ph balance of the body. It helped us become aware of everything related to ph balance.

Well, that’s a pretty good article. Really informative about the ph balance of the body and helps a lot to get a bit healthier.

This is a great post. I’ve been following some acid alkaline info lately from the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida. This is cutting edge info. Thanks for sharing! I like the moderation part you mentioned. Many people take it to extremes.

This is quite an informative and comprehensive posting on the ph balance of our body. Thanks for making the posting. I am sure many out there would find this useful.

Good to know about the workings of the body.Acidity is a problem and there are less remedies.I keep myself on a restrictive diet to make sure that I am in a no problem zone.

That’s interesting, I never knew much about PH levels. I will try to find a way to measure my health more regularly. Assisted Living is not where I want to end up at age 50.

Hey, that’s very interesting info! I didn’t know those facts about our body pH… but there’s something I don’t quite get: I always though that different parts of our body had different pH levels. For instance, the pH in our hands is not of the same level as the pH of say, the genitals. Could you please elaborate on that?

But anyways, thanks for sharing. Time to go eat some”alkaline” foods! *goes eat an energizer battery* LOL

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