Search This Blog

Friday, April 3, 2015

Are These 9 pH Balance Claims Science or Science Fiction?

Is drinking alkaline water the key to good health?
Recently a long-time client showed me her bottle of alkaline water. She had been doing a pH-balance diet for several months, so to boost her body’s alkalinity she guzzled four or five bottles of this so-called “miracle water” daily.

Despite my cynicism, I’ve long been fascinated in pH balance diets, also called alkaline acid or alkaline diets.

At the same time, I questioned whether they proved legit or just the latest hype. As I dove into the science (or lack thereof), what I learned surprised and even shocked me.

What is a pH-Balance Diet Anyway?

“Remember high school science class? Well, if you don’t, here’s a little refresher course. The body maintains a delicate pH balance,” writes Kris Carr. “For now all you really need to know is that the pH scale runs from 0-14. Neutral pH is 7.0. The higher the pH (greater than 7) the more alkaline, while a pH lower than 7 is acidic.”

Based on those measures, some foods
fall into the acid camp while others are alkaline, as this valuable infographic shows.

Proponents of pH-balance diets believe every food leaves an acid or alkaline ash or residue in your body. A food can be acidic but leave an alkaline residue, or vice versa. Lemons, for example, have a pH of about two or three but leave an alkaline residue. 

Based on that idea, eating too many foods that form an acid residue – not the same thing as an acidic food – can make your blood become acidic, leading to cancer, osteoporosis, and other heath concerns.

I researched pH-balance diets to tackle whether these frequent nine claims held any truth.

1.     You want your body to be alkaline. False. Body tissues have different pH levels. The vagina must be acidic, since yeast infections can fester if vaginal tissue becomes too alkaline. Likewise, your stomach is incredibly acidic. Simply put: Different organs maintain different pH levels.
2.    Meat is the most acidic food in our diet. False. According to my friend Dr. Jade Teta, 70 percent of the acidic foods in our diet come from grains and dairy. Yes, meat is acidic, which is why you eat lots of alkaline veggies with your steak.
3.    Sugar is acidic. False. Fat, sugar, and starches have a neutral pH because they don’t contain minerals, sulfur, or protein. Combining these foods with other ingredients can shift the balance to acidic or alkaline.
4.    You can test your urine to determine whether you’re acidic. False. Yes, food can change the pH of your urine, but measuring that pH is fairly useless because that’s no indication about your blood pH, which is what really matters. “Worrying about the pH of your urine makes about as much sense as worrying about the dirt in your trash,” says Monica Reinagel, the Nutrition Diva.
5.    Food can change your blood pH. False. Your kidneys and other organs tightly regulate blood pH. Even slight deviations can create serious and even fatal consequences, so your body contains numerous checks and balances to keep that from happening.
6.    Cancer can only occur in an acidic environment. False. Based on that theory, eating a high-alkaline diet can destroy cancerous cells and keep you cancer-free. Remember, alkaline-forming foods affect urine pH, not the pH of your blood where cancer forms.
7.    Studies show acidic foods can trigger osteoporosis, muscle wear, and kidney damage. False. While these are all legitimate fears, do a PubMed search and you’ll quickly discover little evidence to support these theories.
8.   Alkaline water is better than regular water. False. Alkaline water has a higher pH level than regular water, which contains a neutral pH. Manufacturers claim extra electrons in this special water “clean up” free radical damage in your body. Among its supposed benefits, alkaline water neutralizes acid in your bloodstream, prevents disease, increases nutrient absorption, and slows the aging process. Don’t believe the unsubstantiated hype. Dr. Joseph Mercola calls alkaline water “snake oil on tap.” “The reality is, most of the circulating information is distributed by clever marketers, with very little scientific validity to back up their claims,” he says.
9.     You want to eat a balance of alkaline and acidic foods. True. Balancing acid and alkaline foods mimics the diet your Paleolithic ancestors ate. So if you eat a grass-fed sirloin, load half or more of your plate with leafy and cruciferous veggies. If you have some goat cheese, throw them on an apple or salad to balance the acidity. According to Tom Cronin, other ways to balance pH include drinking warm water with organic, raw apple cider vinegar, or a squeeze of lemon in the morning, eating plenty of berries, doing yoga, and meditating.

If you’ve ever attempted a pH-balance diet, did you get the results you wanted? Share your story below.

Further References


You have permission to do so, free of charge, as long as the byline and
the article is included in its entirety:

Fitness expert and strength coach Jini Cicero, CSCS, teaches intermediate exercisers how to blast through plateaus to create incredible transformations. Are you ready to take your fitness to a whole new level?  Find out now!© 2015 Jinifit, Inc.

If you use the article you are required to activate any links found in the article and the by-line. Please do not use this article in any publication that is not opt-in (spam).


Post a Comment