Alkalize your body by managing your pH level to recover faster and prevent disease. A more alkaline body will improve your ability to remove toxins, and speed your recover from intense training.
Having a healthy pH that is more alkaline is critical because if your pH is low and you’re more acidic, the body’s enzymes can’t function, negatively impacting protein synthesis and detoxification. The acidity of the body is measured by pH level, which is an acronym for “potential of hydrogen.” It is calculated on a scale of 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral and the normal reading for water. A value of less than 7 is acidic and more than 7 is alkaline. You want your pH to be more alkaline because this leads to enhancement of the body’s anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
A new study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that by drinking water with a greater mineral content that was much more alkaline than normal (it had a pH of 10), subjects increased their blood and urine pH readings dramatically. After a week of only drinking alkaline water, participants increased blood pH from an average of 6.23 to 7.07 and urine pH from an average of 7.52 to 7.69. They also stayed more hydrated by elevating their pH.
A previous study found that giving alkaline water to cyclists who performed a dehydrating exercise bout resulted in a substantial improvement in hydration levels and accelerated recovery. The study didn’t test work capacity or performance—only hydration status—but the findings indicate that a better pH can enhance these, especially in endurance sports.
Back to the original study—it was done in “free-living conditions” meaning that diet, exercise, and daily activities were not altered in any way—the only thing that changed was the type of water the participants drank. The study also included a placebo group that drank normal water with a pH of 7, and they had no change in blood or urinary pH level.
A low pH is linked with greater disease risk, including diabetes, heart attack, osteoporosis, loss of muscle mass, and cancer. Overtraining can acidify the body since secretion of the stress hormone cortisol will decrease pH. Eating a typical Western diet will also lower pH. Processed foods, refined sugar, corn, sugar, gluten, alcohol, and soda will lower your pH. Strategies to elevate pH include eating lots of green vegetables and high-antioxidant fruits. Green drinks will also help you get alkaline. Drinking water with a high pH, as done in this study, will do the trick as well.
Take note that in this study, participants who naturally drank more water daily (an average of at least 3 liters a day rather than the total group average of 2.3 liters) elevated their pH level much more rapidly than the group as a whole. It took a whole week for significant changes in pH level to occur with the smaller water intake, whereas it took only 3 days to dramatically elevate pH in the subjects who drank a larger dose.
Use this evidence to make a commitment to always drinking at least 3 liters of water that has a higher pH. You will recover faster, detoxify better, and feel more energized.