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 the acid/base balance and why is it so important for our health?
Our diet contains acid-forming and alkaline substances (bases). Good health requires a proper balance between acids and bases. We speak of a neutral pH value 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 too few fruit and vegetables (alkalizing), the acid/base balance is chronically disturbed in many people.
The body will always try to restore a disturbed balance by binding excess acids to minerals (e.g. calcium, magnesium, iron, lime, sodium and zinc) and neutralizing them. As long as there are sufficient basen-forming nutrients in the body, the excess acids stored in the connective and fatty tissue during the day can be drained through the kidneys, skin and lungs at night.
If there are insufficient minerals in the diet, the mineral supply in the bones, skin and internal organs should be addressed. This will eventually lead to shortages. The body is eventually unable to correct the disturbed acid/base balance and becomes chronically acidic. This is called acute acidosis.
Acute acidosis can also be caused by other causes, such as poor nutrition, poor lung function (which retains too much carbon dioxide), a metabolic disorder (which causes too much acid produced, for example with diabetes) or a kidney abnormality (which causes too many basic, alkalizing substances to be excreted).
This form of acidosis is recognized and treated as such by the medical world. However, acidosis due to wrong nutrition does not. Therefore, many people with a disturbed acid/base balance suffer from health problems that could be easily remedied if the cause was known.
A disturbed acid/base balance inevitably leads to a shortage of minerals. Health problems such as bone decalcification, osteoarthritis, rheumatism, gout, respiratory diseases, urinary tract, metabolic problems and a malfunctioning immune system are considered by many doctors to be inevitable age-related ailments and wear problems. Treatment usually focuses on symptom and pain relief and not on finding the cause and cure. A simple adjustment of the diet is usually not considered.
The problem has long been known
As early as the 15th century, the Swiss medical doctor Paracelsus stated that acidification of the body is the basis for all diseases. When the means of serious research were developed at the end of the 19th century, researchers quickly discovered that a prolonged disruption of the acid balance could indeed lead to all kinds of health problems.
Over the last 100 years, the problem of acidification has grown explosively. Environmental pollution, the unilateral use of fertilizers and the use of pesticides have caused our food chain to become increasingly soured. This has a direct negative effect on the functioning of our body. The changes in our diet, depleting of the food and deteriorating eating habits (too much meat, fat and sugar, too little fruit and vegetables) do the rest. As a result, a large part of the Western population suffers from a disturbed acid balance and therefore, apart from the negative effects of chronic obesity, experiences all kinds of health problems.
Acid-forming and basing-forming diet
Whether food is acid-forming or basing, has nothing to do with the taste of the food itself. A lemon tastes very acidic but has a basal-forming (alkalizing) effect because it stimulates the pancreas to neutralize acids by producing basic buffers. Sugar and foods to which a lot of sugar has been added have an acid-forming effect.
In general, meat (chicken to a lesser extent), fish, seafood, cereals, coffee, oil, alcoholic beverages and legumes are acidic, and the other fruits and vegetables are basen-forming. The list below provides a global overview of acidifying and alkalizing foods:
Alkalizing, base-forming power supply (base surplus, high pH value)
- Vegetables: eggplant, broccoli, mushrooms, garlic, asparage, watercress, chicory, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, lettuce, endive, alfalfa, spirulina (alg), chlorella (alg), kohlrabi;
- Fruit: strawberries, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, blackcurrants, cherries, red currants, dates, grapes, grapes, grapes, melons, nectarines, oranges, lemons, peaches, pears, pineapple, raspberries, tomatoes;
- Protein: free-range eggs, fat-free cottage cheese, chicken breast, organic yoghurt, almonds, tofu, sunflower seeds;
- Herbs: cinnamon, curry, ginger, mustard, chilli, sea salt, miso, all green herbs;
- Beverages: mineral water (non-carbonated), freshly squeezed fruit juice, unpasteurized milk, fresh vegetable juices, all kinds of tea.
Acidifying food: (acid surplus, low pH value)
- Fats and oils: avocado oil, corn oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil;
- Fruit: cranberries
- Cereals: rice or whole-wheat waffles, maize, rice, rye, wheat;
- Dairy: milk, cheese (from goat, 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 protein: beef, shellfish, salmon, tuna, duck, fish, white meat, lamb, pork, rabbit, turkey, game;
- Pasta: all pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, lasagna, etc.);
- Confectionery: all sweets, honey, syrup, sweetener, lemonades, sugar;
- All alcoholic beverages;
- Carbonated water and soft drinks;
- Medicines, chemicals and pesticides.
Please note that nutrients with an acid surplus 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 only arise when the acid/base balance is disturbed by a one-sided diet of acidifying foods. So don’t make the mistake of wanting to restore a disturbed acid/base balance by eating only alkalizing, basen-forming nutrients! Although it is rare due to the poor state of our contemporary diet, a diet with a surplus of basen-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 value and is one of the most acidifying soft drinks out there. If there wasn’t that much sugar in it, it would be completely undrinkable. The containers in which the ‘secret raw materials’ for Coca Cola are transported are required to carry the same warning stickers as containers with life-threatening acids for the chemical industry!
A healthy, neutral pH value of the body is between 7.1 and 7.4. Under a pH value of 7, we already speak of acidification. Under a pH value of 6 we speak of acute acidosis. The more acidic the substance, the lower the pH value.
Heartburn has a pH value of 1.5. Cola has a pH value of 2.5. That’s only one point higher than the pH value of hydrochloric acid. Other carbonated soft drinks have a pH value between 3 and 3.5.
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 is of great importance for the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Proteins in the stomach need a different acidity for good digestion than carbohydrates. Carbohydrates and proteins that are eaten together cannot therefore be digested optimally. Undigested food residues, especially undigested proteins, remain in the digestive tract and can cause metabolic problems, fungi, infections and allergies. Other incomplete food residues are stored as snails. 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 in practice it appears to lead to better acid balance and weight loss. The Atkins diet inevitably leads to more acidification of the body due to strict restrictions on carbohydrates and the emphasis on protein and fat. If you still want to follow the Atkins diet, compensate for the lack of alkalizing nutrients.
Acidification is a stealthy process
Acidification is not something that will be acutely affected after one thick steak. It is a stealthy process, which as it progresses causes more and more complaints. Different foods produce different types of acids that can cause different health problems:
- Meat > uric acid
- Phosphate foods (fast food, meat, sausage, cola and soft drinks) > (ortho)phosphoric acid
- Sugar and white meal products > acetic acid
- Pork > sulphuric acid
- Cheese > nitric acid
- Nicotine > nicotine acid
- Aspirin > acetylsalicylic acid
- Wine > wine and sulphuric acid
- Coffee and black tea > chlorogenic acid
- Carbonated water and soft drinks > carbon dioxide
Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and amalgam fillings also have an acidifying effect. In addition, stress, anxiety, fatigue and lack of sleep encourage the body to produce hydrochloric acid.
In the initial phase of acidification, we speak of latent acidosis. As the process progresses, we speak of acute acidosis and a multitude of complaints such as:
- Chronic headache
- Lethargy and fatigue
- Concentration problems
- Heartburn in stomach and esophagus
- Pain in the urinary bladder and roads
- Muscle pain after exercise
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Candida (a severe form of fungi in the intestines)
- Intestinal parasites
- Bacterial infections
- Battered tongue (sign of insufficient disposal of poison and waste)
- Bad breath
The body will always try to restore a disturbed pH balance on its own. It is vital for the body that the blood maintains a good acid/base balance, as abnormalities can lead to acute problems, coma and life-threatening situations. If necessary, the body will widely sacrifice calcium and magnesium from the bones and cause osteoporosis (bone decalcification) so as 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 large number of bodily functions and can eventually result in:
- Osteoarthritis or arthritis by extracting minerals from the joints;
- Osteoperosis (bone decalcification) by extracting calcium and magnesium from the bones;
- Deposition of acid crystals on the 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, vascular narrowing and blood flow disorders by extracting minerals from the blood;
- Colitis, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, a spastic intestine by extracting minerals from the intestinal lining;
- Heartburn and difficulty swallowing by extracting minerals from the esophagections.
Disrupted action of antioxidants
Various vitamins, but also enzymes such as catalase, glutathione and in particular the SOD enzyme are important antioxidants that protect the body from free radical damage. However, these antioxidants cannot do their job properly in a soured environment, providing insufficient protection to the body and allowing free radicals to do their destructive work.
A disturbed acid/base balance can be corrected by simple means
A disturbed acid/base balance can be restored in a relatively short time. An adjustment of the diet with the use of the right supplements can ensure that that balance is not disturbed again.
- Stop using sugar and any foods to which a lot of sugar is added. Also with the cane sugar from the supposedly healthy diet. It’s just as bad. That’s not easy at first, because we’ve been conditioned for years to find 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. In addition to the permanent disruption of the acid/base balance in the body, sugar is responsible for many other health problems. Actually, it’s pure poison.
- Read the packaging before you buy anything, especially from “fat-free” and diet products, because they are often stiff with sugar to give an illusion of nourishment and satisfaction (note: any ingredient whose name ends up on “ose”, such as dextrose, fructose and lactose is as harmful as regular sugar).
- Drink at least two litres of water a day. Water drains both the waste produced by the body itself and the waste generated by fat incineration.
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less meat.
- Avoid sweets and highly fizzy drinks. Drink spring water or purchase a simple water filter to filter tap water.
- Try to exercise or exercise regularly. By moving more, you breathe deeper and eliminate more acids.
- Get enough sleep.
How can you promote the recovery of the acid/base balance?
As long as the body is severely acidified, it will continue to extract minerals from bones and organs. But by opting for a more balanced diet and using the right supplements, the body will quickly recover. To support this recovery process, the following supplements are recommended:
- A good multivitamin, to supplement all the deficits caused by acidification;
- A mineral complex to supplement the acute mineral shortages;
- A calcium preparation to which magnesium, boron and vitamin D have been added to restore the bone decalcification caused by acidification.
If acidification has resulted in joint problems such as osteoarthritis or gout, a combined formula of glucosamine, chondroitis and MSM (possibly temporarily supplemented with additional MSM) can yield results. Glucosamine and chondroitis encourage the body to produce new cartilage and collagen in the affected joints, while MSM (a natural form of sulphur) provides the building blocks for this.
How do you measure the body's acid/base balance?
The acidity of blood and urine is measured by determining the pH value. The blood has a fixed pH value of 7.35 to 7.45. Water is pH neutral (pH 7), pH neutral means that acids and bases cancel each other out. Anything that has a lower pH value than 7 is acidic, anything that has a higher pH value is basic (alkaline). Above all, as described earlier, the body gives priority to keeping the acidity of the blood stable, because even a small abnormality can lead to serious health problems. The pH value of blood can only be determined by blood tests.
To find out what the acidity of the body is, and whether changes in the diet have the desired effect, you can measure the acidity of your urine. It should have a pH value of about 7.1 in the morning. Then the acidity drops during the day, to reach a value of 7.4 around 17:00. If the pH value of your urine is lower than 7, you have a disturbed acid/base balance. If the pH value is below 6, you have acute acidosis. Test strips to determine the pH value of your urine yourself can be purchased from each pharmacy.
Source: Robert Gubbi, Young Again Netherlands.