M any celebrities are talking today about the alkaline diet, which allegedly should reduce the acidity in the organism and start curing diseases from the milder ones like acid reflux or eczemas to the much-feared cancer. These diets usually include lots of fruits and vegetables, which are completed by a few glasses of high-pH water per day.
The question here, however, is if the body truly changes its pH as a response to the diet and if our efforts to balance it have any effect. Or if it is wise and safe to try doing so. Our article will try to answer all these questions and clear how pH works.
High-pH water seems to be the trend today for a healthy life. Find out from this article what alkaline water is and how it can help you and decide if it is time to give up tap water for a better alternative.
What Is pH?
PH stands for potential Hydrogen, more specifically, it measures the concentration of Hydrogen ions in a substance. The value of the pH can vary from 0 to 14. In the middle of the scale, the value 7 reflects perfect neutrality, and this is usually found in pure water. If the value drops under 7, the substance is considered acidic, and acidity increases as it gets closer to zero. On the other side of the scale, substances that have a pH higher than 7 are considered alkaline or basic, and they become more alkaline as they get closer to 14.
If you were wondering now where on the scale can the pH of the human body be position, the answer would be here and there. And this is because the human body doesn’t have an overall pH, so let’s say it from the start, diets that claim to balance your body’s pH are just big lies. How could they balance something that doesn’t exist as a whole?
In fact, our body’s pH can be alkaline in some organs, while remaining incredibly acid in others. The blood will have a value between 7.365 and 7.45, which is slightly basic, while the stomach will maintain a pH of 1.5 to 3.5 due to the gastric acid, which is good and should stay this way, otherwise, bacteria can escape this stage and cause intestinal infections.
Curious how acidic or alkaline is the water you are drinking? Check out our accurate pH test strips and perform a quick test. Your tap water should have a value close to 7.4, just like your blood.
Can the Body Change Its pH?
The short answer is yes. This usually happens with the blood, which can become either too acidic or too alkaline as a response to an illness. A series of symptoms will let you know if this happens and you will eventually end up making some blood tests that will measure pH as well. Your doctor will prescribe you a treatment based on the results, designed to treat the main affection. As the problem is kept under control, your body will be able to function normally or close to normal again and regulate blood pH.
So, what are the affections that can mess with your blood’s pH?
A pH change is usually triggered by serious conditions, especially chronic diseases, so you can rest assured that the common cold or the flu won’t affect it. Not even an unhealthy diet won’t have direct effects upon the pH. In a worst-case scenario, it will lead to a disease like diabetes or high blood pressure, and these will alter the pH’s value.
Find out how to stay healthy by drinking the right water. Check out our article about the benefits of alkaline water where we explain how it works and why you should include it in your diet.
Here are the most common affections that can lead to a more acidic or alkaline pH:
Also known as low blood pH, appears when the value drops under 7.35 and remains at this level for a long time. It can signal the following diseases:
- Diabetes – If you are suffering from diabetes, your blood can become too acidic as an effect of unbalanced sugar values. If your body cannot produce enough insulin and control it, diabetic ketoacidosis can install, producing symptoms like tiredness, thirst (excessive), breath that smells like fruits, urinating frequently and in large quantities, nausea, stomach pains.
- Kidney failure – Also known as metabolic acidosis, it is a serious disease and consists of kidneys not being able to remove acids from your organism. This will lead to high blood pH and low body pH. The symptoms include low or no appetite, weakness, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath.
- Respiratory Affections – Here we find asthma, pneumonitis, bronchitis, sleep apnea, and others. These manifest through breathing problems, which can become aggravated and, in extreme cases, require intubation.
High-pH water can offer relief if you are suffering from acid reflux. Take a look at our high-end water ionizers and install a permanent source at home.
It appears when the blood’s pH value is higher than 7.4 for a longer period. It is less common than acidosis and is usually a cause of the following affections:
- Losing too much water – This can happen as an effect of intense training which is not followed by appropriate hydration, or vomiting and diarrhea, as consequences of stomach infections or a virus.
- Kidney problems – If the kidneys are not functioning correctly, they may not be able to remove the right quantity of alkaline substances through urine, and these may end up back in your blood, making it more alkaline.
Can You Balance Your pH?
Adepts of alkaline diet follow this theory: if you ingest a lot of food items that have an acidic pH like sweets, meat, sodas, coffee, grease, or white bread, these will eventually make your body more acidic. This is why they choose to replace these aliments with vegetables and fruits, insisting on cucumbers, salad leaves, watermelon, chia seeds, avocado, and, in general, vegetarian items that have a basic pH. They claim that by feeding the body with alkaline food, it will eventually balance its pH and make acidity drop.
If you have decided to choose a diet that is based on plants, make sure you get good hydration. Find a good alkaline water pitcher among our selection and complete your daily mineral intake.
Is this how it really works?
Most studies suggest that the diet cannot make the blood more acidic or more alkaline. A healthy organism will immediately neutralize the alkalinity of acidity of the aliments you ingest, so the effects will be minimal to none.
Nevertheless, the alkaline diet proposes a healthy lifestyle, which would benefit the organism. By eating more green food and renouncing bad habits which imply stopping at a fast food during work hours or eating chips and sweets in front of the TV for hours, you may avoid getting diabetes or other diseases that have been associated with low blood pH.
The secret is to combine healthy eating with exercise and try to reduce the stress in your life. And know that good nutrition can help you stay healthy, but it cannot cure aggressive diseases like cancer. The promotors of the alkaline diet will tell you that cancerous cells cannot survive in an alkaline medium. Well, healthy cells can’t survive either, so you wouldn’t want to have your blood too alkaline. Plus, this theory was tested only in tubes, so it isn’t even clear if it would work in a real organism.
Does Alkaline Water Has Any Effect?
Although there are many claims that high-pH water could affect the acidity of your body, the studies are rather slim and the results inconclusive. Just like food, water goes first through the stomach where any abnormal pH value is neutralized. Nevertheless, a link between drinking high-pH water and lower acid reflux has been found and it does helps reduce the acidity in this case.
On the other hand, even if this claim isn’t meet, this type of water is still an excellent choice, as it has multiple good effects on the organism and can prevent the development of illnesses that can unbalance blood pH. First of all, it has been proven that it hydrates better than regular water and can reduce blood viscosity, which will result in a lower risk of developing high blood pressure or heart diseases. It is an important source of minerals as well, feeding your body with magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which are known to play an important role in regulating blood circulation and keeping the nervous system balanced and healthy.
Moreover, it helps you recover faster after intense training, as a study performed on athletes has shown, so you can include it in your diet if you are trying to lose weight. It will keep you energized for longer, so you can exercise more, and even cut some of your cravings if you drink it wisely.
Is high-pH water bad for you? Find all about the benefits and drawbacks of consuming alkaline water in our detailed article. Good research will keep you safe, so don’t hesitate to check other sources as well.
The Bottom Line
Your body is a perfect organism, with strong mechanisms to fight potential unbalances, so it is highly unlikely to experience visible pH changes if you are healthy. A change in the diet won’t make your blood more alkaline, but it can have good action on your body and help it stay healthy. It is more difficult for you to develop diabetes or kidney problems if you have a balanced lifestyle. However, many factors can influence the changes in your body, and genetics is one of the most important.
If you’ve tested your blood and the pH is somewhere higher than 7.4 or lower than 7.35, then you should check with a specialist. You may be dealing with a serious problem that requires medication and cannot be treated only through diet.