Your body maintains very tight control over the pH, or level of acidity, in your body. The proper pH is necessary for the biochemical reactions responsible for life to occur efficiently. Nutrients, vitamins and minerals from foods are themselves acidic or alkaline, and must be neutralized by your body. Your body can excrete acids in the urine as one way of neutralizing them. Meat, dairy and grains increase the amount of acids produced in your body. However, too many acids in the body can cause health problems. Eat alkaline foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to neutralize excess acids.
According to Dr. John Berardi, professional nutritionist and creator of the Precision Nutrition system, the most accurate method of measuring whether a particular food is acidic or alkaline is the measure the effect of the food on urine pH 1. Most modern diets are highly acidic, as grains, dairy and meats are acid-forming foods. When acid-producing foods are consumed, your body can either neutralize or excrete them, decreasing the pH of the urine. High consumption of acidic foods, without alkaline foods, can cause your body to draw calcium from your bones and protein from your muscles to neutralize the acids, as only a limited amount can be excreted in the urine.
- According to Dr. John Berardi, professional nutritionist and creator of the Precision Nutrition system, the most accurate method of measuring whether a particular food is acidic or alkaline is the measure the effect of the food on urine pH 1.
- High consumption of acidic foods, without alkaline foods, can cause your body to draw calcium from your bones and protein from your muscles to neutralize the acids, as only a limited amount can be excreted in the urine.
How to Raise Body pH Level Quickly
Acidosis is a condition where the levels of acid in your body overwhelm your body's buffering systems, causing your blood to acidify. Diet alone is highly unlikely to result in acidosis severe enough to be detected by your doctor. Acidosis can cause rapid breathing, confusion and lethargy. Metabolic acidosis can be caused by complications of diabetes, kidney disease, dehydration and from some medications 2.
- Acidosis is a condition where the levels of acid in your body overwhelm your body's buffering systems, causing your blood to acidify.
- Diet alone is highly unlikely to result in acidosis severe enough to be detected by your doctor.
A few fruits, such as cranberries and blueberries, are slightly acid-forming. Simple sugars are neutral, and contribute little to acid-base balance. As acid-forming food constitute a substantial and necessary part of your diet, it is impossible to avoid them. The acid-forming effects of these foods can be neutralized by also consuming acid-neutralizing foods.
- A few fruits, such as cranberries and blueberries, are slightly acid-forming.
- Simple sugars are neutral, and contribute little to acid-base balance.
PH & Weight Loss
Most fruits are acid-neutralizing, due in part to the high amounts of alkaline minerals, including potassium, calcium and magnesium. Like fruits, most vegetables are alkaline due to their high concentration of alkaline minerals. Berardi recommends consuming several servings of fruits and vegetables with each meal, especially those high in acid-forming foods.
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How to Change Your Body pH Level
- Precision Nutrition: The Important of Acid-Base Balance
- Journal of the American Dietetic Association: Comparison of Estimated Renal Net Acid Excretion From Dietary Intake and Body Size With Urine pH
- The Telegraph, "Cleanse your body with the alkaline diet." Dec. 29, 2014
- Han H, Segal AM, Seifter JL, Dwyer JT. Nutritional Management of Kidney Stones (Nephrolithiasis). Clin Nutr Res. 2015;4(3):137-52. DOI: 10.7762/cnr.2015.4.3.137
- Schwalfenberg GK. The alkaline diet: is there evidence that an alkaline pH diet benefits health?. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:727630. DOI:10.1155/2012/727630
- Remer, T et al. Potential Renal Acid Load of Foods and its Influence on Urine pH, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 95, Issue 7, 791 - 797 DOI:10.1016/S0002-8223(95)00219-7
- Dawson-Hughes B, Harris SS, Ceglia L. Alkaline diets favor lean tissue mass in older adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87(3):662-5. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/87.3.662
- Fagherazzi G, Vilier A, Bonnet F, et al. Dietary acid load and risk of type 2 diabetes: the E3N-EPIC cohort study. Diabetologia. 2014;57(2):313-20. doi:10.1007/s00125-013-3100-0
- Xu H, Åkesson A, Orsini N, Håkansson N, Wolk A, Carrero JJ. Modest U-Shaped Association between Dietary Acid Load and Risk of All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality in Adults. J Nutr. 2016;146(8):1580-5. doi:10.3945/jn.116.231019
- Han E, Kim G, Hong N, et al. Association between dietary acid load and the risk of cardiovascular disease: nationwide surveys (KNHANES 2008-2011). Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2016;15(1):122. doi:10.1186/s12933-016-0436-z
- Jia T, Byberg L, Lindholm B, et al. Dietary acid load, kidney function, osteoporosis, and risk of fractures in elderly men and women. Osteoporos Int. 2015;26(2):563-70. doi:10.1007/s00198-014-2888-x
- Rebholz CM, Coresh J, Grams ME, et al. Dietary Acid Load and Incident Chronic Kidney Disease: Results from the ARIC Study. Am J Nephrol. 2015;42(6):427-35. doi:10.1159/000443746
Chris Daniels covers advances in nutrition and fitness online. Daniels has numerous certifications and degrees covering human health, nutritional requirements and sports performance. An avid cyclist, weightlifter and swimmer, Daniels has experienced the journey of fitness in the role of both an athlete and coach.