The correct pH level is undeniably important for every aspect of our health right down to the most elemental part of our being. It affects mental outlook, metabolism, organs, tissues, cells, molecules, atoms and chromosomes. The pH level of the blood should register at 7.4, which is slightly on the alkaline side of the scale. If it falls below this number toward the acidic side, your body will do everything possible to bring it back to a 7.4, even withdrawing the alkaline mineral calcium from your bones to do so. Unfortunately, most people are completely unaware of this fact, as demonstrated by the typical lifestyle that pushes body chemistry way over to the acidic end of the pH scale and any chances for total health to the realm of impossibility.
What is pH?
The designation pH stands for “potential of hydrogen” and it refers to the measure of alkalinity or acidity of a solution based on the number of hydrogen ions in the liquid. The more hydrogen ions present, the more acidic the solution. The scale is numbered from 0 to 14 and a solution that is neutral measures a 7. A reading below 7 is acidic, and above is alkaline. Many of the body’s fluids including blood, pancreatic juice, bile, saliva and even seminal fluid are alkaline and must remain so for health to prosper. On the other hand, gastric juices secreted in the stomach like hydrochloric acid are highly acidic, measuring in at around a 2 on the pH scale.
Special strips designed to test the pH of a solution can help you determine the health of your body chemistry.
Factors That Cause pH to Plummet
- Poor Nutrition—Wrong food choices are the #1 reason for acidic readings that ideally should be alkaline. The good news is you can easily reverse the situation with a few dietary changes, and they will really make a difference in how good you feel. Alkalinizing foods include grapes, apples, melons, bananas, most vegetables, and leafy greens; while processed meats like bacon, sausage, lunchmeat, smoked meats, plus cheese, sugar, coffee, alcohol, chocolate, and fried foods all heavily contribute to an acidic environment in the body. You don’t necessarily have to avoid acid-producing foods entirely; just make sure you balance them with those that create alkalinity. In other words, have a spinach salad and a few grapes with your cheeseburger.
- Stress—The body produces acid as a reaction to stress-causing situations, and it strains the body if it becomes chronic. Additionally, when under stress, we often turn to “stress habits” that amplify the problem of acidity like smoking, over consumption of alcohol, and overeating the wrong kinds of food.
- Too Little or Too Much Physical Activity—Movement is important to body chemistry because it increases metabolism, which then burns fatty acids as well as other acids. However, intense physical activity causes a build-up of lactic acid and other acids in the muscles. To offset this negative effect, take a day off between heavy workouts so the muscles get a chance to clear out the acid, or consume an alkalinizing powder drink on a daily basis.
- Smoking—The acidic effects of cigarettes are way underestimated. Nicotine is consumed as a way of coping with stress, but the reality is that it causes significantly more stress on the body. One of the ways it does so is by stimulating the body to secrete various acids including gastric acid in the stomach. It also causes the body to excrete fluids, and when the body is dehydrated it becomes overly acidic.