FITTER FORT COLLINS
Wholesome Nutrition and Fitness for Life!
High acidity can become a dangerous condition that weakens all major body systems. It makes your internal environment conducive to disease. A pH-balanced environment, on the other hand, allows proper metabolic functioning and gives your body resistance to disease. A healthy body maintains alkaline reserves that are used to meet emergency demands.
What is the pH scale? pH stands for potential for freeing Hydrogen ions. The difference between acidity and alkalinity is based on the ability to free hydrogen ions. The pH scale essentially measures the oxygen in your blood. When your blood is too acid it will not carry enough oxygen. When it is too alkaline, it will carry too much creating an imbalance.
The scale goes from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral, a pH of 0 to 7 is acid and a pH of 7 to 14 is alkaline. This scale is not a linear scale like a centimeter or inch scale. It is a logarithmic scale in which two adjacent values increase or decrease by a factor of 10. For example, a pH of 3 is 10 times more acidic than a pH of 4, and 100 times more acidic than a pH of 5. Similarly, a pH of 9 is 10 times more alkaline than a pH of 8, and 100 times more alkaline that a pH of 7.
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 |
\ More Acid / Neutral \ More Alkaline /
The body must maintain blood pH within a very narrow range of 7.35 – 7.45. Even small variations in blood pH can have significant effects on body function. Most people who suffer from unbalanced pH are acidic. This condition forces the body to borrow minerals including calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium from vital organs and bones to buffer (neutralize) the acid and remove it from the body.
The body has alkaline reserves which should be best used for emergency situations such as healing injuries, illnesses, and unhealthy stress. Adding to this is our exposure to chemicals and pollution. And to compound things further, our western diet is high in refined sugar, processed foods and animal protein, making us acidic. All of this is a recipe for health problems including: cardiovascular damage, weight gain, diabetes, obesity, bladder and kidney conditions including kidney stones, immune deficiency, acceleration of free radical damage which can contribute to premature aging, cancer and tumor growth, weak brittle bones (osteoporosis), bone spurs, joint pain, aching muscles, lactic acid buildup, low energy and chronic fatigue, all of which are results of acidity in the body. Because most Americans consistently make poor food choices, over time high acidity can exhaust alkaline reserves increasing the risk to not just a little disease but multiple diseases in the body.
Water is the most abundant compound in the human body, comprising 70% of the body. The body has an acid-alkaline (or acid-base) ratio called the pH, which is a balance between positively charged ions (acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (alkaline-forming.) The body continually strives to balance pH. When this balance is compromised many problems can occur.
It is important to understand that we are not talking about stomach acid or the pH of the stomach. We are talking about the pH of the body's fluids and tissues, which is an entirely different matter.
Most people who suffer from unbalanced pH are acidic. This condition forces the body to borrow minerals - including calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium - from vital organs and bones to buffer (neutralize) the acid and safely remove it from the body. Because of this strain, the body can suffer severe and prolonged damage due to high acidity - a condition that may go undetected for years.
Why test your body pH? Simply, it is a good indicator as to what’s going on health wise in your body.
Body pH Testing
How do you test your body pH? You can pick up pH Hydra Paper or pH test strips from your local health food store, pharmacy, or online retailer. Follow the recommendations on the packaging but, consider the following information when evaluating your results.
Saliva testing – Prior to testing ensure you have not eaten, drank or brushed your teeth in the last hour. Rinse your mouth out with water and wait for approximately 3 minutes. Test your saliva. Match test results to the pH color chart provided with your strip.
When your body has an abundant supply of mineral buffers available, your saliva will read between 7.0 – 7.5. A low saliva reading is an indication you are low in alkaline minerals and are high in acid, meaning your body is out of balance.
When to test saliva pH – You can test saliva pH at various times throughout the day to get an idea how your pH is running with the foods you eat and what you drink. Just make sure you follow the testing recommendations above.
Urine testing – Quickly pass the strip through your urine stream; shake off excess urine. Match test results to the pH color chart provided with your strip after waiting 15 seconds.
Testing your body’s pH will determine if your body is eliminating a normal amount of acid or your body is too acidic. If the acid excretion rate is higher than would be considered optimal, your urinary pH will be more acidic or “low” on the color chart (ranging from 4.5 – 6.5). A low urinary reading is an indication that you are low in alkaline minerals and high in acid, meaning your body is out of pH balance.
Urine testing is an indicator of how you lived your life over the past 24 hours. If you have enough alkaline reserves to neutralize the acids from eating, exercising and breathing, your results will read 7.0 – 7.5. If you test lower, this is an indication your lifestyle is compromising your health and in need of improvement. If you consistently test low on the pH scale, this is an indication your alkaline reserves are depleted and you are at greater risk for disease. At this point you are probably experiencing signs of ill health if you have not already received a diagnosis for a disease or diseases. This is called latent acidosis. The buffer systems are overburdened and the normal pH range is exceeded, then blood loses its normal flow characteristics and the transportation of oxygen and nutrients is constrained.
When to test urine pH – The first two urine eliminations of the morning is the best time to test. The first urine test will be a lower pH because your body is ridding the acids from your body. The second urine should be higher. If it is not, you know your alkaline reserves are depleted and this is a concern. An optimal urine pH should run around 7.2.
About your alkaline reserves – If a person is young and has a lot of alkaline reserves and has partied (poor eating and drinking) hard the night before, the following morning pH would likely test a high pH around 8 or more. This is a reflection of how the body uses its alkaline stores to neutralize acids. If this is done often you can see how the alkaline stores would eventually become depleted which would become evident when pH testing results would be low or acidic.
Fluctuations of pH – There are fluctuations in pH. Your pH should be at its highest point at 2 p.m. and the lowest point should be 2 a.m. At 2 a.m. it’s common for people to need to get up to eliminate. This is good, as your body is needing to eliminate the acids from the body. If a person has to get up 3+ times at night, there is usually a health issue they’re dealing with and the body is trying to rid the acids unable to keep up with the elimination.
Healthy pH ranges – Traditional medicine considers a healthy pH range of 5.5 – 7.5. This is a very large range and most pH experts specializing in pH balance programs recommend tighter ranges (urine between 6.75 to 7.25 and saliva between 7.0 and 7.5). Tighter ranges will allow the body to preserve alkaline reserves, will help you maintain good health and allows optimal oxygenation throughout the body and tissues.
If your pH consistently runs too high (too alkaline) – You are out of pH balance. A high pH means your alkaline reserves are being used to balance blood pH. Optimal nutrition is important to keep your alkaline reserves topped off. Follow a high alkalizing diet of 80% alkaline forming and 20% acid forming foods for a few weeks or until pH strips consistently tests normal. Then follow a 70% alkaline forming and 30% acid forming foods diet thereafter.
What if your pH tests are consistently too acidic? You are out of pH balance and alkaline reserves are depleted. You are likely experiencing health issues and optimal nutrition is imperative. Follow an alkalizing diet of 80% alkaline forming and 20% acid forming foods for several months (longer may be needed depending on how serious the health condition) to normalize pH and rebuild alkaline reserves, re-build healthy blood and tissues, and then follow a 70% alkaline forming and 30% acid forming diet thereafter.
How long does it take to balance pH? It depends on health status. People that are seemingly healthy but choose to live a risky lifestyle or have experienced an injury or illness requiring a lot of necessary medications can return to optimal balance but optimal nutrition is key. If a person is ill and living with a serious illness it can take time to rid the excess acids from body tissues and hyper alkalize the body tissues. Alkalizing juice programs and raw food alkalizing programs are typically used and can be effective.
Once your pH is back into balance maintain good health by following a whole foods, plant based diet of 70% alkaline forming to 30% acid forming diet.
Note: For a printable pH food chart click HERE
For a printable version of this page click HERE