Published Feb 22, 2013 « Back
In this short article/blog I will explain the importance of alkaline. Making sure our body is in an alkaline state is very important to muscle growth, fat loss and general efficiency. It has been proven that by making sure your body is in an alkaline state you will reduce the risk of cancer along with other illness'/diseases. We must understand how to become "more alkaline" and make sure we don't slip into an "acid state". For this we need to look at the Ph scale.
The Ph scale is important so we can understand what level we are at. By improving your Ph you will improve your health and reach fitness goals, it will also improve body composition and aid faster recovery. If you're in an acidic state the enzymes cannot function properly, the level of cortisol will rise. It will also slow down protein synthesis producing poor training results. In the long term it can increase your risk of illness and disease.
Ph meaning Potential of Hydrogen refers to the level of acid/alkaline within the blood. It is measured on a scale of 0 - 14. A score of 7 meaning neutral, below 7 meaning acidic and above 7 meaning alkaline state. In real terms we want to aim for a Ph level of 7.45 for optimal performance/efficiency.
When eating we have to consider the nutrients we get from each food source, combining them to get the perfect balance. For example if you were just to have high protein then cortisol levels will increase (a stress hormone which is bad for fat loss and muscle growth). This is due to the animal protein as it produces a more acidic Ph within the human body. To stop this from happening we need to add food high in alkaline. The main foods to add being fruit and veg - these foods are a very good source for alkaline.
The typical western diet is very acidic causing our bodies to go into an acid state. Foods that are processed, salty, sugary, dairy and grains are all very acidic. To make sure our bodies are at an alkaline state we must:
High cortisol levels will increase the acidity in your body. In return high acidity will increase the levels of cortisol; turning your body away from fat burning mode. A nutrient to look into is phosphatidylserine (feel free to google). This nutrient has been shown to lower levels of cortisol as well as decrease anxiety. You may also want to try a wheat grass supplement. Having a shot of this ensures you start the day in a alkaline state. Controlling cortisol and insulin (click here to see the last blog on how to control insulin) is paramount to both remaining acidic and loosing fat/gaining muscle.
When we exercise, especially at a high intensity, lactate (acid) increases dramatically having a knock on effect and lowering our blood Ph level (remember we want it above 7.4 for optimal efficiency). To counter this we must cool down properly. Studies have proven that by cooling down we will increase our Ph level, which is important for protein synthesis (our muscles need the protein) and hormone production. If we ignore the cool down and keep training at a high intensity acidosis can occur. This means our body has dropped below 7.35 on the Ph scale, therefore having a negative effect on your bodies health. Your cool down should be around 9 minuets long at a low intensity. Allowing your Ph level to rise and acid to fall.
Dont think everything you have to eat should be akaline, that is far from the case. Making sure you have a stable meal plan and counter balance both acid and alkaline is paramount to reaching your goals. This way you can make sure you're reaching a Ph level of 7.45 and getting the most out of your training. Print off the food table and stick it on your fridge, this way you know you're eating an healthy meal. I hope this article has helped you understand the importance of being in an alkaline state. Implement it into your life and you will not regret it.