When we tend to think of disease, getting sick, germs, viruses and the sorts, we don’t usually think about the acid and alkaline balance in our bodies. In fact, not many people are really that aware that there is a delicate balancing act going on inside of you, and a sway either way can range from uncomfortable to fatal. Or at least, this is what new scientific research would suggest.
Many people think that it is germs themselves that cause disease. However, germs don’t do anything unless they have the right conditions to do their nasty things. Every now and then, there is something called a garbage strike in New York City. The people that come to collect the trash don’t come for a certain number of days. Rubbish piles up in the streets and what else does it attract? Rats. Thousands of them.
Most people look at rats as being the problem, just like germs. Except the rats came second. They would never have caused an issue without the heaps of garbage being left open on the streets. It is the same in your body. If you create an environment that looks like the streets of New York after a garbage strike, you’re going to attract all of the little critters that won’t hesitate to wreak havoc inside of you.
Popular figures like Tony Robbins, possibly the most famous personal development/motivator/life-speaker/fascinating guy in the world as well as Robert and Shelly Young, authors of The pH miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health, are the biggest proponents of balancing out your alkaline with your acid for optimal health. They believe that many people create this dirty environment within themselves by allowing their bodies to become too acidic.
As you will see from this article, an acid/alkaline imbalance in your body seems to cause all sorts of health problems – ranging from chronically low energy levels to heart attacks. However, there are easy ways to fix this imbalance, increase longevity and live your best possible life in the process. But first, the science behind acidity and alkalinity in the body and its effects…
It has been put forward that many people suffer illness – either in the short term or long term – from having excess acid in their system. I’m not talking about just your digestive system where acid is essential for the breakdown and digestion of your food, rather the excess acid that lingers in your bloodstream and causes all sorts of problems.
Acid and alkaline levels are measured along something called a pH scale. A pH value of 1 – the most acidic – would be something like gastric acid that can burn holes through metals. A pH value of 14 – the most alkaline – would be something like liquid drain cleaner. As you might have guessed, either end of this spectrum isn’t too great for a healthy human body.
The ideal pH that the body always tries to gear itself towards is 7.36 pH – so slightly more alkaline than acidic. Like with most equilibriums, this is where your body and entire functioning system is at its optimum for health, energy, fighting diseases and all of that important stuff.
Excess acid in your system can come from a variety of different sources. However, one of the main and often overlooked sources of this poison in your body actually comes from your mind. That’s right, the number one creator of acidity in your body is worry, stress and anxiety. It is likely that you have felt this acidity in the pit of your stomach whenever you are nervous or stressed out.
Another likely source of excess acid in your body – unsurprisingly – comes from your diet. Some of the main culprits are:
- animal proteins
- cooked oils
- processed carbs (which turns into sugar)
The biggest menace on this list is definitely sugar. Not just because it is so prominent in the average Westerner’s diet but because it is so effective at creating acid in the body.
This excess acid does its dirty work by weakening the electrical charges around your red blood cells – the key oxygen distributor (among other things) in your body. Because of this weakened charge, cells start to clump together and can’t move as efficiently throughout your body. The acid can also cause these cells to die which in doing so, creates more acid in a vicious circle.
Whenever you feel the aches and pains of a hangover, whenever you get a pounding headache, it is usually due to two things: excess acid in your system that your body is trying to get rid of and a lack of oxygen being distributed effectively – also because of the acid.
The body’s response
Because the body always wants to maintain that optimal 7.36 pH, it has to find a way to deal with all of the excess acid that you are helping your body to produce through your diet and through your worrying. Luckily, it is pretty good at its job. The bad news is that it can only handle so much before there are serious problems…
The first line of defence is the body’s in-built reserves of alkaline. The body keeps these reserves for when times are tough or when you just can’t stop eating those sweet treats. If your blood acidity is spiking for just a short time, it is relatively easy for the body to deal with it at this stage.
If this excess acid in the blood persists, the next trick that your body uses is its fat stores as a line of defence against the acidic blood – mainly to protect your arteries. Your body holds on to this excess fat for protection, and this is why it is almost impossible to lose your unwanted fat when your body is more acidic than it should be.
After going through its alkaline and fat reserves, one of the last lines of defence that the body has is calcium. This calcium is usually stolen from your bones as a means to counteract the high levels of acidity in your bloodstream. One of the reasons that you see old people start to shrink is because their body has moved on to using calcium from the bones to counteract too much acid over the course of a lifetime. Without calcium, the bones start to become brittle and shorten in length.
When your body can no longer use calcium to stop your acidic blood from literally burning holes in your arteries, it has to resort to its last line of defence – cholesterol. Temporarily, this isn’t an issue. However, if you continue to stay more acidic than you should be, the cholesterol builds up in your arteries until the blood struggles to get through. Combine this with red blood cells that are starting to clump together from the previous stages, and you are staring at a recipe for disaster…
How to intentionally balance it out
Although the problem of acidity can range from a minor headache to a serious heart attack, with the right measures, it never has to get that far. There are some easy steps that you can take to make sure that your body is slightly more alkaline than acidic, allowing it (and you) to perform at your very best. This includes achieving maximum energy levels, efficient disease-fighting and a much lower risk of serious health problems taking you from this life too soon.
- Cut out acid-causing foods as much as possible. Like with most things, simply limiting your intake is enough for your body to be able to cope with the stresses. However, if your energy levels start to drop over the course of a few days, you can’t seem to lose that pesky weight or you’re getting sick more than you would like, it might be time to consult your diet.
- Super-hydrate your system. Try to drink a lot more fluids throughout the day that will help your body to flush out any extra acidity that it is already trying to get rid of. Bonus points for fluids that are more alkaline in nature such as super green shakes, smoothies and alkaline-filtered water.
- Add wheatgrass and chlorophyll to your diet. Whether they be tossed into a blender or drank through dissolved powder form, both wheatgrass and chlorophyll are two of nature’s most potent ingredients that are packed dense full of energy and add much-needed alkalinity to your system.
- Consider doing a green cleanse. If you have been really struggling with your diet, acidity levels or simply want a complete reset to start feeling great again, consider doing a green cleanse. It is what lifestyle coach and legend Tony Robbins recommends the most highly when getting your body back to the right pH. He recommends drinking three litres of green juice for a few days and seeing how your energy levels start to change.
Some final thoughts
I am no stranger to being sceptical of diets and understanding how confusing the health world can be. Whenever a new diet comes along that seems like it is going to save the world, it is worth inspecting it from as many angles as possible. There are people who swear by it like Tony Robbins, and not many people can argue with his health and energy levels. Then there are others that believe that the science behind it is less than convincing.
What I do know is that making a conscious effort to cut acidic foods like sugar and adding alkaline foods like super green blends have left me feeling really good. Correlation doesn’t equal causation though, and I am aware that by simply getting better things in me – regardless of what my pH level is doing – might be what is causing this spike in energy and wellness.
More research needs to be done but for now, I recommend that you give it a go for yourself. Whatever the science is behind acidity and alkalinity in your body and the effects, it might just help you to be a healthier and happier version of yourself. And that is something that I can definitely recommend to you.