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