Many of us get so caught up in eating to look good that we often forget to stick to the basics and focus on our health. Without our health in line, we won't ever achieve that dream physique anyways so it is always best to focus on health first.
Our typical mode of focusing on the outward physique and less on our insides tends to ruin most attempts for a stronger, leaner, healthier body. Out of all of the processes essential to a head turning physique, a well functioning body is likely the most important, and neglecting your health at the expense of a temporary gain is a recipe for sure failure.
In order to keep your body functioning at its peak you must make sure that all of the processes involved aren't overloaded with toxins and overwhelmed by bad lifestyle choices.
Most of us do not live the right way. We eat the wrong foods; we don't get enough sleep; we are stressed out; and we don't get enough fresh air. With all of the abuse we put our bodies through, we can't expect it to function how it's supposed to.
It is funny how most of us get so frustrated when our bodies do not respond how we want them to when all we have to do is just listen to what the body needs. Similar to a high performance race car, the human body must be given the proper fuel, maintenance, and service in order to ensure high performance and longevity. If we take care of the body, the body will take care of the rest.
Today I want to discuss the acid/alkaline balance and how maintaining the proper balance can help you improve your health, well being, and get leaner faster.
Alkalines And Acids: The Balance of Our Foods
First the basics. Water has a pH (measured according to the potential of hydrogen scale) of 7.0. This range is considered neutral, as water is neither alkaline nor acid. Any substance with a pH greater than 7.0 is alkaline, and any substance with a pH lower than 7.0 is acidic. For a human to maintain a proper balance, it is best to shoot for a range between 6.0 and 6.8.
The acid-alkaline balance of the blood must be stabilized via the food we eat and, as such, we must give the body a constant supply of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium because these important minerals help neutralize the acid wastes that accumulate when we consume proteins, sugars, and starches.
Acid wastes can also be especially dangerous because they are believed to cause a variety of health problems and chronic diseases.
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Water Has A pH Of 7.0, Is Considered Neutral Being Neither Alkaline Nor Acid.
If you have suffered with chronic symptoms such as water retention, migraines, low blood pressure, insomnia, sunken eyes, bad breath, tooth sensitivity to acidic fruits, and/or alternating diarrhea and constipation, you may be suffering from acidosis. This term (acidosis) means that your body chemistry is likely imbalanced and overly acidic.
Various changes within the body can also throw off the natural acid balance, which can cause an acidic surge in body fluids and cause metabolic acidosis. Various disorders and diseases like stomach ulcers, obesity, kidney disease, liver problems, anorexia, adrenal disorders, diabetes, and fever can rob the body of its natural alkaline base, but typically, a bad diet plays the key role in creating an acidic environment within the body.
Note: Studies have shown that the over consumption of aspirin and vitamin C can also deplete the natural alkaline base.
When training to build a great physique, we so often get caught up in eating proteins and trying to build lean muscle, that in the process we disrupt the natural acid/alkaline balance in the body and become overly acidic. It is hard to train and recover effectively when suffering with the annoying effects of acidosis.
Protein And The Acid-Alkaline Balance
As I mentioned earlier, proteins are acid forming foods and we must eat alkaline forming foods to neutralize the acid wastes from protein consumption. This means that you should probably be eating a bunch more veggies with that chicken breast than you usually do.
Finding a perfect balance can be challenging and confusing at first, but a good way to approach it is to try to maintain an 80% alkaline and 20% acid ratio. That means that in order to maintain a healthy, balanced pH, you need to eat a diet that consists of 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods.
Proteins and starches are acid, vegetables and fruits are alkaline. Just about all of the metabolic wastes of the body are acids so we need to eat alkaline forming foods like fruits and vegetables to help neutralize these acid wastes.
Recent studies have shown that the average American diet only consists of about 15-20% fruits and vegetables. This means that most people in this country are getting the majority of their calories from acid forming foods. In light of the current health crisis in America, I think that it is safe to say that there is a strong correlation between acidosis and disease.
For optimal health, fruits and vegetables should make up 80% of your diet. Starches and proteins should make up the last 20%. This guarantees your diet will be 80% alkaline and 20% acid.
Here is a list that outlines the foods that are alkaline and the foods that are acid.
Alkaline Forming Foods
- Green Beans
- Lemon Tomato
Nuts And Seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds
Fats and Oils
- Evening Primrose
Acid Forming Foods
- Aspirin and most drugs
- Brussels sprouts
- Flour-based products
- Most meats
- Soda, soft drinks
Now, just because a particular food is acid forming does not mean that you should completely eliminate it from your diet or avoid it for an extended period of time. It just means that you shouldn't over do it, and that you should only choose about 20% of your foods from the acid forming foods list. Many foods that are acid are, in fact, quite good for you with the exception of a few.
So in closing, try as hard as you can to stick to the 80/20 rule. Your health and physique will greatly improve as a result.
Train hard and expect success.