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Importance of Increasing Alkaline

I read an interesting article in Ironman mag about the importance of keeping your body’s alkaline levels up high enough to prevent the negative effects of high acidity. It said that being too acidic can make it harder to build and maintain muscle, lose body fat as efficiently and possibly sub par gym performance.

Thru diet by eating enough veggies and fruits you can help keep up your PH levels. But I know I have trouble sometimes eating enough veggies. It suggested that supplementing with ordinary baking soda could help. Has anyone tried this?

Just so everybody understands, you cannot change your body pH by any mechanism that won’t kill you. The body requires a very narrow range of pH to function.

That said, the body will invoke extreme feedback measures to correct stimuli that might cause a pH imbalance. Problems arise when the extreme feedback measures in turn cause problems and throw other things out of whack. For example, the body will leach alkaline calcium from your bones if necessary to counteract acidity. Over the long term, removing calcium from the bones is a bad thing.

Berardi has written about this a lot. There should be an article here on T-Mag about the subject of acidity/alkalinity. Search for acidosis.

I suspect the benefit of baking soda is simply that it provides the body with sufficient raw materials to counteract acidity. Some people here in the past have sworn that taking some baking soda helps out when they’re sick. (I can’t attest to it myself.)

There has been some research that cancer cells are very acidic. In fact, scientists have observed that the body will deposit sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) around cancerous cells to kill them off, or protect surrounding cells. There’s even a novel MRI technique in development that looks for tagged sodium bicarbonate molecules as a cancer detection technique. An Italian doctor suggests sodium bicarbonate as a cancer treatment, but there’s a lot of controversy over that, including a suspicious death from one of his patients from bicarbonate poisoning.

I guess some bicarbonate can’t hurt, but like anything else, don’t overdo it.

does anyone drink V8 to get their extra servings of veggies?

i noticed that they have other flavors now that might not taste like sh*t.

i suspect my acidity/alkalinity levels are way out of wack lately too…

[quote]B rocK wrote:
does anyone drink V8 to get their extra servings of veggies?

i noticed that they have other flavors now that might not taste like sh*t.

i suspect my acidity/alkalinity levels are way out of wack lately too…[/quote]

I’m not sure which other flavors you are talking about, but I know some of them are fruit/veggie mixes so watch out for higher carb/sugar levels if that sort of thing matters to you.

I got to like the original V8 and really liked the Spicy V8 (original plus some jalapeno).

As far as V8, I drink it before I go the the gym, and I never cramp anymore. I’m also a fan of the spicy, but I think I heard that the spice makes it more acidic. I still prefer the spicy stuff, but on the subject, it’s just what I heard.

your spicy.

:wink:

[quote]yorik wrote:

I guess some bicarbonate can’t hurt, but like anything else, don’t overdo it.[/quote]

How much, though, is too much or not enough to do anything?

Back in the day I did the baking soda/creatine thing and my stomach did not appreciate it.

Hit the veggies, do the V8, and I hear there is this thing called Superfood that is pretty good…

the article said to start trying 1g mixed with water in between meals. if that doesn’t give you problems, up to 2 and so on. but i’ve found an article by J Berardi on the subject. it’s worth a read:

http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/bases.htm

A buddy of mine is on the PH based diet. He went from 330 in March to just under 300 in June. He is just as strong as he was when he was up in the hirer body weight (330/340), he has yet to catch up to the level of when he was 365 though.

I know he drinks a tablespoon or more of baking soda in his water (each serving of water). He used to use these drops, but a guy at the health store told him to just use baking soda since it was so much cheaper. He sent me some info on it via email, The guy/authors name is Lance Dreher. I thought about trying a little baking soda a few times through out the day to see if it makes a difference, I’m on AD now.

Interesting subject. I remember CT saying a while back that lemon/lime slightly alkalizes water as well. It tastes good, so I do it at home. I also take magnesium at night and glutamine with my PWO shake. Baking soda makes sense too, I’ve just never tried it.

[quote]mustangmarc13 wrote:
Interesting subject. I remember CT saying a while back that lemon/lime slightly alkalizes water as well. It tastes good, so I do it at home. I also take magnesium at night and glutamine with my PWO shake. Baking soda makes sense too, I’ve just never tried it.[/quote]

I guarantee that if you test the water after adding lemon or lime, it will be more acidic. The confusing part is that it’s not the acidity / alkalinity (pH) of what you consume, but how the body reacts to it. It’s called Potential Renal Acid Load (PRAL). Berardi explains it better than I can.

In college I used to mainly drink water with lemon squeezed into it and I was by far at my healthiest. Maybe I should go back to that.

I thought citrus would be acidic too, but according to the PRAL scores that Berardi cites, citrus juice is alkaline. I think the real issue here is all the protein we take in is pretty acidic. So we need to make sure and balance out with enough alkaline sources like fruits, veggies and certain supps.

[quote]yorik wrote:
Just so everybody understands, you cannot change your body pH by any mechanism that won’t kill you. The body requires a very narrow range of pH to function.

That said, the body will invoke extreme feedback measures to correct stimuli that might cause a pH imbalance. Problems arise when the extreme feedback measures in turn cause problems and throw other things out of whack.

For example, the body will leach alkaline calcium from your bones if necessary to counteract acidity. Over the long term, removing calcium from the bones is a bad thing.

Berardi has written about this a lot. There should be an article here on T-Mag about the subject of acidity/alkalinity. Search for acidosis.

I suspect the benefit of baking soda is simply that it provides the body with sufficient raw materials to counteract acidity. Some people here in the past have sworn that taking some baking soda helps out when they’re sick. (I can’t attest to it myself.)

There has been some research that cancer cells are very acidic. In fact, scientists have observed that the body will deposit sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) around cancerous cells to kill them off, or protect surrounding cells.

There’s even a novel MRI technique in development that looks for tagged sodium bicarbonate molecules as a cancer detection technique. An Italian doctor suggests sodium bicarbonate as a cancer treatment, but there’s a lot of controversy over that, including a suspicious death from one of his patients from bicarbonate poisoning.

I guess some bicarbonate can’t hurt, but like anything else, don’t overdo it.[/quote]

Good post. Eat your veggies.

Due to the bodies buffering system, what you eat will not really effect the bodies PH level unless you eat a whole lot of it. the buffering system however is like fillinf a ballon with water. It can only hold so much until it burst, then your in trouble.

Athletes have long used BI Carb to help curb acidosis of the blood in long endurence events.

I cant help but to think all this talk of PH levels is a marketing tool to sell useless PH balancing products.

Having said that I would not be over doing it on acidic foods.

High mineral waters. Whole Foods sells a ‘still’ (uncarbonated version) if you don’t like bubbles. If you want to b cheap then just use a Brita and carbon filter your water if your tap water has a sufficient high mineral content (ie hard water). This leaves most of the buffering minerals, and carbonates in the water - just removes most of the chemical crap.

My theory, untested of course, and one of the things that I’ve noticed with my clientele (mostly post menopausal women) is that they drink way too much purified bottled water which is void of disolved minerals. The same minerals your body uses to buffer the blood and tissues.

It’s also my belief that purified water also leaches minerals from the body by flushing them out through urinary system. I’ve had personal issues with cramping (esp when training outdoors during the summer) that I believe was caused by over consumption of purified water (I actually own an RO unit). When I replaced my water source with mineral water the cramping problem ceased.

O, and eat yer veggies u lazy bitches!

DJ

the body maintains pH pretty well.

i was sipping on apple cider vinegar all day and i was blue (alkaline) for most of the day after drinking a spinach shake beforehand.

WAY blue in fact. close to 8. lol
go get some pH paper on your saliva, it’s pretty fun to test randomly after foods n such.

i’m only acidic when I wake up because of lack of food or i ate spicy/salty/protein in excess the last meal before.

magnesium is basic too

There is a dirty little secret about PRAL.

Your total PRAL value for the day results solely from these factors:

  1. Protein intake: no matter what kind. Each gram adds 0.49 to your score. Higher values mean more acid load.

  2. Phosphorus intake. Each mg adds 0.037 to your score. (Thus, phosphorus content is actually penalized.)

  3. Potassium intake. Each mg subtracts 0.021 from your score.

  4. Calcium intake. Each mg subtracts 0.013 from your score.

  5. Magnesium intake. Each mg subtracts .026 from your score.

That’s it.

There’s no magic “vegetableness” going on.

What you’re really doing by aiming for alkalinizing (as judged by PRAL) foods is selecting for foods high in potassium, calcium, and/or magnesium, with absolutely no care as to which specific ones are being increased or whether this is matching your needs for these nutrients or not, and aiming for low protein foods, and rewarding for low phosphorus even if you need phosphorus.

Hmmm.

Could it make more sense to instead aim potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus contents to what they should be?

For example, I think about 5000 mg of potassium per day is good for a typical weigh training athlete. So that works out to -105.

Calcium? 2 g/day, which works out to -26.

Magnesium? 1 g/day, which works out to -26.

Phosphorus? 2 g/day, which works out to +74 per day.

So the total alkalinizing effect at these arbitrary good values is -157.

Suppose you have 300 g protein. Then the acidic load from this, calculated by the PRAL method, is 147. Add in the phosphorus, and you have +221.

Congratulations, you are at a modest +64 “despite” not necessarily having consumed a single vegetable! :slight_smile:

So what’s so awful about the grains that are so “acidifying”?

Why, they supply you with phosphorus. That raises their score and makes them look bad, to be avoided or minimized.

But having low daily intake of phosphorus is in fact not good.

So going by PRAL scores instead of getting good amounts of each electrolyte and mineral is I think not the way to go.

Ought you really to change the above sort of diet to lower the total PRAL?

Well, we could reduce the positive scores. Are we really going to be better off with less protein just for the sake of lower PRAL score?

Should we have less phosphorus? Could get by with half as much, but why?

Ought calcium and magnesium really be even higher yet? It’s true that they might wind up being twice as high with no detriment. That would change results by -52, still not quite yielding a net negative (alkaline) value. No reason to go beyond double the above values, and I’m not sure there’s any need to go beyond the above values at all. But no harm if it is so to speak naturally happening from the diet. (I wouldn’t supplement to drive past the above values, myself.)

Should potassium be even higher? I’ve never seen substantially more than that recommended. Why do so: just to drive down the PRAL score?

Those are the only ways to change the score.

It’s important to understand what things are actually measuring or quantifying. This is what PRAL is really quantifying. What I am saying is that the components should be optimized, rather than each or all made non-optimal for the sake of an imagined (but unproven) optimum PRAL total.

Makes sense, simple chemistry.

Bill,
What’s your take on hair mineral analysis? It supposedly is good at measuring long term tissue minerals. A friend told me she had good results changing her diet to match a deficiency found by hair analysis. On the other hand, my endocrinologist claims those analyses are so inaccurate as to be utterly worthless for any diagnosis.

Can I actually learn anything to adjust my dietary intake of these minerals from a hair analysis?

Thanks.