T Nation

Acid/Base Balance


Many nutritionists and personal trainers talk about the benefits of eating alkaline foods to balance the acidity of most foods we eat in a typical Western diet.

I was thinking, to counter this, along with eating your greens etc, could you drink sodium bicarbonate and get any long term changes to blood pH?

I had a quick search on PubMed, but didn't look for that long. Anyway, what I saw related mostly to acute changes in blood pH prior to exercise.

Anyone got any thoughts, or know of any research to support this?

Also, what are the benefits of eating alkaline foods?


Dude, who cares? Seriously. Unless you have some disease or disorder, your body will process everything the way it's supposed to. Your stomach is very acidic in order to denature proteins and do all kinds of stuff. It's SUPPOSED to be that way. If you're going to eat more veges, good! But don't spend your time researching stuff that only applies if you're unhealthy.


My initial post came off as quite concerned over minor details.

If I could rephrase it, my main questions are, what are the benefits of an alkaline based diet as purported by many alternative health practitioners, nutritionists and personal trainers?

Also, assuming these benefits are worthwhile, is there any benefit to sodium bicarb supplementation long term?

It's more a bouncing of ideas than anything, just interested for interests sake. Trust me, I eat plenty of burgers :wink:


there is no benefit...

the body self regulates blood PH levels very closely as the range is extremley narrow(7.35-7.45)...

look up acid base homeostasis...you wouldn't be able to make a change if you tried...


The benefits of alkaline foods come from the fact that fruits and vegetables, which are exceptional at promoting health, happen to be alkaline. You will not appreciably change your blood pH, and if you did, you would not be here posting.


It's hogwash. It's a non-scientific way of saying eat more fruits and vegetables and drink green tea.


Thanks guys, so I guess it gets filed under the 'guru' medicine tab, along with detox diets.



Apparently the body uses calcium and glutamine to regulate PH - not good for the muscles or the bones.