Alkaline (basic) water
Explanation of alkaline and pH neutral water
Why alkaline or pH neutral water?
The acid balance
The body's acid balance determines how healthy or sick you are.
What is acid/base balance and why is it so important to our health?
Our diet contains acid-forming and alkaline substances (bases). Good health requires a proper balance between acids and bases. We then speak of a neutral pH of the body (between 7.1 and 7.5). Because our contemporary diet often consists of too much meat, fats and sugar (acid-forming) and not enough fruits and vegetables (alkalizing), in many people the acid/base balance is chronically disturbed.
The body will always try to restore an imbalance by binding excess acids to minerals (including calcium, magnesium, iron, calcium, sodium and zinc) and neutralizing them with them. As long as sufficient base-forming nutrients are present in the body, excess acids stored in connective and fatty tissues during the day can be eliminated through the kidneys, skin and lungs at night.
If insufficient minerals are present in the diet, the mineral supply in the bones, skin and internal organs must be tapped. This causes deficiencies over time. The body eventually becomes unable to correct the disturbed acid/base balance and becomes chronically acidic. This is called acute acidosis.
Acute acidosis can also occur from other causes, such as poor nutrition, poor lung function (causing too much carbon dioxide to be retained), a metabolic disorder (causing too much acid to be produced, for example in diabetes) or a kidney abnormality (causing too much alkaline, alkalizing substances to be excreted).
This form of acidosis is recognized and treated as such by medical professionals. Acidosis due to improper diet, however, is not. Therefore, many people with disturbed acid/base balance suffer from health problems that could be easily remedied if the cause were known.
A disturbed acid/base balance inevitably leads to a mineral deficiency. Resulting health problems such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatism, gout, respiratory and urinary tract disorders, metabolic problems and a malfunctioning immune system, are considered by many physicians to be inevitable ailments of old age and wear and tear. Treatment usually focuses on symptom and pain control rather than finding the cause and cure. Simple dietary modification is usually not considered.
The problem has been known for a long time
As early as the 15th century, the Swiss physician Paracelsus stated that acidification of the body is the basis for all diseases. By the end of the 19th century, when people had developed the means to do serious research on this, researchers soon discovered that a long-term disturbance of acid balance can indeed lead to all kinds of health problems.
Over the last hundred years, the problem of acidification has exploded. Environmental pollution, unilateral application of fertilizers and the use of pesticides have caused our food chain to become increasingly acidified. This has a direct negative effect on the functioning of our bodies. Changes in our diet, impoverished food and deteriorated eating habits (too much meat, fat and sugar, not enough fruits and vegetables) do the rest. As a result, a large portion of the Western population suffers from a disturbed acid balance and therefore, apart from the negative consequences of chronic obesity, experiences all kinds of health problems.
Acid-forming and base-forming foods
Whether food is acidifying or alkalizing has nothing to do with the taste of the food itself. A lemon tastes very acidic but actually has an alkalizing effect because it stimulates the pancreas to neutralize acids by producing alkaline buffers. Sugar and foods with a lot of added sugar actually have an acid-forming effect.
In general, meat (chicken to a lesser extent), fish, seafood, grains, coffee, oil, alcoholic beverages and legumes are acidifying, and the remaining fruits and vegetables are alkalizing. The list below gives a rough overview of acidifying and alkalizing foods:
Alkalizing, base-forming nutrition (base excess, high pH)
- Vegetables: eggplant, broccoli, mushrooms, garlic, asparagus, watercress, chicory, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, lettuce, endive, alfalfa, spirulina (algae), chlorella (algae), kohlrabi;
- Fruits: strawberries, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, black currants, cherries, red currants, dates, grapes, grapefruits, melons, nectarines, oranges, lemons, peaches, pears, pineapples, raspberries, tomatoes;
- Protein: free-range eggs, fat-free cottage cheese, chicken breast, organic yogurt, almonds, tofu, sunflower seeds;
- Spices: cinnamon, curry, ginger, mustard, chili pepper, sea salt, miso, all green spices;
- Beverages: mineral water (non-carbonated), fresh-pressed fruit juice, unpasteurized milk, fresh vegetable juices, all types of tea.
Acidifying nutrition: (acidosis, low pH)
- Fats and oils: avocado oil, corn oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil;
- Fruit: cranberries (cranberries)
- Cereals: rice or whole grain wafers, corn, rice, rye, wheat;
- Dairy: milk, cheese (from goat's, cow's or sheep's milk), butter;
- Nuts: cashews, peanuts, peanut butter, walnuts, pecans;
- Beans: peas, split peas, white and brown beans, soybeans and soy milk;
- Animal proteins: beef, shellfish, salmon, tuna, duck, fish, white meat, lamb, pork, rabbit, turkey, game;
- Pasta: all pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, lasagna, etc.);
- Sugary foods: all candy, honey, syrup, sweetener, lemonades, sugar;
- All alcoholic beverages;
- Carbonated water and soft drinks;
- Drugs, chemicals and pesticides.
Note that nutrients with an acidic content are not necessarily unhealthy. On the contrary, oils, nuts, fish (unsaturated fatty acids) and even a glass of wine are indispensable for a balanced diet.
Health problems arise only when the acid/base balance is disturbed by a one-sided diet of acidifying foods. So don't make the mistake of trying to restore a disturbed acid/base balance by eating only alkalizing, base-forming nutrients! Although due to the poor state of our contemporary diet, a diet with an excess of base-forming nutrients is almost as harmful.
A special warning for cola and other soft drinks
Cola is not only the most popular soft drink in the world, but also the most unhealthy. Cola has an extremely low pH and is one of the most acidifying soft drinks out there. If it did not have so much sugar in it, it would be completely undrinkable. The containers in which the "secret raw materials" for Coca Cola are transported mandatorily bear the same warning labels as containers containing life-threatening caustic acids for the chemical industry!
A healthy, neutral pH of the body is between 7.1 and 7.4. Below a pH of 7, we already speak of acidosis. Below a pH of 6, we speak of acute acidosis. The more acidic the substance, the lower the pH.
Stomach acid has a pH value of 1.5. Cola has a pH value of 2.5. That is only one point higher than the pH value of hydrochloric acid. Other carbonated soft drinks have a pH value between 3 and 3.5.
So as long as you are working to restore the acid/base balance in your body, it is better not to drink carbonated soft drinks, especially cola.
The acidity of the stomach
The acidity of the stomach is very important for digestion and absorption of nutrients. Proteins require a different level of acidity in the stomach for proper digestion than carbohydrates. Thus, carbohydrates and proteins eaten together cannot be digested optimally. Undigested food particles, especially undigested proteins, remain in the digestive tract and can cause metabolic problems, mold, infections and allergies. Other incompletely digested food residues are stored as slugs. Therefore, it is better not to combine too much protein (meat, fish, egg, dairy products) in one meal with carbohydrates (white flour and sugars).
The theory that proteins and fats should be eaten separately from carbohydrates is the basis of the Montignac diet and has indeed been shown in practice to lead to better acid balance and weight loss. The Atkins diet, due to strict restriction of carbohydrates and emphasis on protein and fat, inevitably leads to more acidification of the body. If you still want to follow the Atkins diet, compensate for the lack of alkalizing nutrients.
Acidification is a creeping process
Acidosis is not something you suffer acutely after one fat steak. It's a creeping process that causes more and more symptoms as it progresses. Different foods produce different types of acids that can cause different health problems:
- Meat > uric acid
- Phosphate-containing foods (fast food, meat, sausage, cola and soft drinks) > (ortho)phosphoric acid
- Sugar and white flour products > acetic acid
- Pork > sulfuric acid
- Cheese > nitric acid
- Nicotine > nicotinic acid
- Aspirin > acetylsalicylic acid
- Wine > wine and sulfuric acid
- Coffee and black tea > chlorogenic acid
- Carbonated water and soft drinks > carbonic acid
Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and amalgam fillings also have acidifying effects. In addition, stress, anxiety, fatigue and lack of sleep prompt the body to produce hydrochloric acid.
In the initial stages of acidosis we speak of latent acidosis. As the process progresses we speak of acute acidosis and a multitude of symptoms may arise such as:
- Chronic headaches
- Listlessness and fatigue
- Concentration problems
- Acid burn in stomach and esophagus
- Pain in the urinary bladder and pathways
- Muscle pain after exercise
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Candida (a severe form of fungi in the intestines)
- Intestinal parasites
- Bacterial infections
- Frosted tongue (sign of inadequate removal of toxins and waste products)
- Bad breath
The body will always try on its own to restore an upset pH balance. It is vital for the body to maintain a proper acid/base balance in the blood because abnormalities can lead to acute problems, coma and life-threatening situations. If necessary, the body will sacrifice large-scale calcium and magnesium from the bones and cause osteoporosis (osteoporosis) in order not to compromise the acid/base balance in the blood.
Degeneration of bones, muscles, digestive organs and immune system
As chronic acidification of the body lasts longer, it has an increasingly severe effect on a wide range of body functions and can eventually result in:
- Osteoarthritis or arthritis due to the extraction of minerals from the joints;
- Osteoperosis (osteoporosis of bones) due to the withdrawal of calcium and magnesium from the bones;
- Deposition of acid crystals on joints, causing rheumatism, arthritis or gout;
- Damage to muscles, ligaments and tendons due to lack of minerals;
- Stimulation of nerve endings, which can cause pain and spasms;
- Varicose veins, hemorrhoids, vasoconstriction and circulatory disorders due to the extraction of minerals from the blood;
- Colitis, diarrhea, Crohn's disease, a spastic colon due to the extraction of minerals from the intestinal lining;
- Heartburn and difficulty swallowing due to the extraction of minerals from the esophageal lining.
Impaired function of antioxidants
An impaired acid/base balance can be corrected by simple means
A disturbed acid/base balance can be restored in a relatively short period of time. A dietary adjustment with the use of proper supplements can ensure that this balance does not become disturbed again.
- Stop using sugar and all foods with a lot of added sugar. Also with the cane sugar from so-called healthy foods. It is just as bad. This is not easy at first because we have been conditioned for years to like sweet. It is so woven into our thinking that the word sweet has even become a synonym for obedient and good. However, sugar is a very harmful substance that has no nutritional value whatsoever. The body is much better off without it. Besides permanently upsetting the acid/base balance in the body, sugar is responsible for many other health problems. In fact, it is pure poison.
- Read the packaging before buying anything, especially of "fat-free" and diet products, as they are often stiff with sugar to still give an illusion of nutritiousness and satisfaction (note that any ingredient whose name ends in "ose," such as dextrose, fructose and lactose, is as harmful as regular sugar).
- Drink at least two liters of water a day. Water eliminates both the waste products produced by the body itself and those produced by fat burning.
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less meat.
- Avoid sweets and highly carbonated beverages. Drink spring water or purchase a simple water filter to filter tap water.
- Try to exercise or move regularly. By moving more, you breathe deeper and eliminate more acids.
- Get enough sleep.
How can you promote the restoration of acid/base balance?
As long as the body is severely acidified, it will continue to withdraw minerals from bones and organs. But by choosing a more balanced diet and taking the right supplements, the body will quickly begin to recover. To support this recovery process, the following supplements are recommended:
- A good multivitamin, to make up for all deficiencies created by acidification;
- A mineral complex to supplement acute mineral deficiencies;
- A calcium preparation to which magnesium, boron and vitamin D have been added to restore osteoporosis caused by acidification.
If acidosis has resulted in joint problems such as osteoarthritis or gout, a combined formula of glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM (possibly supplemented temporarily with additional MSM) may help. Glucosamine and chondroitin encourage the body to produce new cartilage and collagen in the affected joints, while MSM (a natural form of sulfur) provides the building blocks for them.
How do you measure the body's acid/base balance?
The acidity of blood and urine is measured by determining the pH value. Blood has a fixed pH of 7.35 to 7.45. Water is pH neutral (pH 7), pH neutral means that acids and bases cancel each other out. Anything with a pH lower than 7 is acidic, anything with a higher pH is basic (alkaline). As described earlier, the body prioritizes keeping the acidity of the blood stable above all else because even a small deviation can lead to serious health problems. The pH level of blood can only be determined by blood tests.
To find out what the acidity of the body is, and whether changes in diet are having the desired effect, you can measure the acidity of your urine. This should have a pH of about 7.1 in the morning. Then the acidity decreases during the day, reaching a value of 7.4 around 5 p.m. If the pH of your urine is below 7, then you have an acid/base imbalance. If the pH is below 6, you have acute acidosis. Test strips to determine the pH level of your urine yourself can be purchased at any pharmacy.
Source: Robert Gubbi, Young Again Netherlands.