To understand the alkaline diet, you must first understand pH, short for potential of Hydrogen. PH is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline a solution is, pH value ranges from 1 to 14, with 7.0 as the middle or neutral point. Values below 7.0 indicate acidity, the lower the number, the higher the acidity. Values above 7.0 are considered a base.
An acid is a solution that donates hydrogen ions.
When an acid is dissolved in water, the balance between hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions is shifted, there are more hydrogen ions than hydroxide ions in the solution. This solution is an acid.
A base is a substance that accepts hydrogen ions.
When a base is dissolved in water, the balance between hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions shifts the opposite way. The base “absorbs” hydrogen ions, the result is a solution with more hydroxide ions than hydrogen ions. This solution is alkaline.
PH varies within your body.
Some parts of your body are acidic, others are alkaline. For example, stomach acid is highly acidic with a pH of 2–3.5, while blood is slightly alkaline with a pH of 7.36–7.44.
The Alkaline Diet
The alkaline diet is based on this pH level of your blood and the theory that any diet high in acid-producing foods will disrupt this balance. When your body tries to maintain the equilibrium of pH in the blood, the acidity of the foods will contribute to the loss of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium. Imbalance in the body causes dysfunction which leads to illness. Unfortunately, the Western diet is highly acid-producing and with few fresh fruits and vegetables.
An acid-producing diet may cause chronic illness and symptoms such as:
- flu and cold, with excess mucus production
- anxiety, nervousness
“There may be value in considering an alkaline diet in reducing morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases and further studies are warranted in this area of medicine.”
Conclusion: Alkaline diets result in a more alkaline urine pH and may result in reduced calcium in the urine, however, as seen in some recent reports, this may not reflect total calcium balance because of other buffers such as phosphate. However, alkaline diets may result in a number of health benefits as outlined below
Increased fruits and vegetables in an alkaline diet would improve the K/Na ratio and may benefit bone health, reduce muscle wasting, as well as mitigate other chronic diseases such as hypertension and strokes.
The resultant increase in growth hormone with an alkaline diet may improve many outcomes from cardiovascular health to memory and cognition.
An increase in intracellular magnesium, which is required for the function of many enzyme systems, is another added benefit of the alkaline diet. Available magnesium, which is required to activate vitamin D, would result in numerous added benefits in the vitamin D apocrine/exocrine systems.
How You Can Help
If you want to help clients with food, diet, weight management and improving the results of their fitness routines, the Fitness Nutrition Coach course is for you. You will learn about optimal nutrition, including proven techniques for increasing energy, optimal health and decreased dependence on medications. Instantly increase your job and career opportunities with this popular professional credential.
You can become a Certified Personal Fitness Chef and expand your current personal chef business, or add a new profit center for your fitness or wellness business. Many personal chefs cook and coach people in groups to help more people and earn more money per hour. Some chefs provide weekly meal prep service for health-minded customers and athletes.
Check out what it takes to start a career in personal fitness training. This is your most affordable and fastest way to become a highly qualified personal trainer.
NESTA coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.