Finding the Acid / Alkaline Balance

Do you lack energy? Do you feel fatigued ? Do you have trouble shifting unwanted weight ?
Maybe its time to get balanced! We explain ACID/ALKALINE – something everyone should know!

Health is truly a balance among all the systems of the body. The cells of our body are so interconnected that when you improve the balance of any one system, it improves the balance and vitality of the rest of the organ systems. For example, improving cardiovascular health improves digestive function. Improving the function of the nervous system will improve the lymphatic system, and possibly most important, when you improve the acid/alkaline balance of the body, you simultaneously improve every other system in the body at the same time.

Finding balance begins in our bloodstream, as does repairing injuries, reducing inflammation, burning fat, building strong bones (reversing osteoporosis), and the increase of energy and vitality.
In order to function properly, the blood and other body fluids must maintain a very narrow acid/alkaline balance, which is measured by the pH factor (potential hydrogen). pH ranges from 0-14 (very acidic to very alkaline).  A pH below 7.0 is acid and above 7 is alkaline. Keep in mind when and if you test your pH that there is a tenfold difference between each number. For example, a pH of 5.0 is 10 times more acidic than a pH of 6.0.

Blood pH does not shift easily. The pH of our blood is between 7.25-7.45, and if the blood’s pH falls below or above that range, the body cannot function properly. A tremendous amount of energy is expended to maintain pH levels, all the while pulling from the body’s alkaline mineral reserves, causing deficiencies and health disorders.

When we maintain proper pH levels, injuries heal faster and health challenges improve more quickly because the body is oxygenated and therefore can detoxify and heal itself. If cells are energized in this way, we develop a strong immunity to diseases and a significantly lower propensity for cancer.
The best way to maintain optimal pH levels and optimal vitality is through what we eat and drink and how we react to stress. For the diet, if you follow an 80/20 rule, 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid, you should experience all the benefits that a body balance has to offer.

Have a look at the following lists to see which foods do what and where you might be able to increase your alkaline-forming foods. Keep in mind that the foods must be organic because ALL pesticides are very acidic.

FRUITS: apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, berries, cantaloupes, cherries, currants, dates, figs, grapes, grapefruits, guavas, lemons, limes, mangoes, melons, nectarines, oranges, papayas, passion fruits, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapples, raisins, strawberries, tangerines
VEGGIES: bamboo shoots, green beans, lima beans, string beans, sprouts, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, cauliflower, chard, chicory, chives, collard greens, cucumber, dandelion greens, dill, dulse, eggplant, endive, escarole, kale, garlic, leeks, legumes, lettuce, okra, onions, parsley, parsnips, sweet potato/yam, bell peppers, white potatoes, pumpkin, radish, rutabaga, turnips, watercress
NUTS: almonds, chestnuts, coconuts
MISC: ginger, honey, kelp, alfalfa, clover, mint, sage, green tea, quinoa, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, all seaweed/sea veggies
MINERALS: calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese

GRAINS: all white flour products, buckwheat, wheat, corn, barley, oats, rye
DAIRY: butter, eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, ice cream, custards, milk
FRUITS: jams/anything preserved, cranberries, pomegranates, olives
VEGGIES: artichokes, asparagus, garbanzo beans,
NUTS: peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, macadamia
MISC: alcohol, brine, coffee, cocoa/chocolate, candy, many dressings (because of the vinegar), drugs, jams/jellies, mayo, some spices, soda, lack of sleep, stress, worry

Quick Guide to Acid and Alkaline Foods

LSD vs HIIT: The Long and Short of it

Both LSD (Long Slow Duration) and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) are training methods with a focus on improving the cardiovascular system.

HIIT is a high intensity, short duration variety of cardio. A regular HIIT session usually lasts about 20 minutes and is characterised by working at max intensity for a short period (usually 30-60 seconds) followed by longer periods of active recovery. LSD on the other hand involves performing an activity, for example jogging, at a slow pace for anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour. The purpose of LSD is to operate within the threshold of your first aerobic zone i.e. within the range of your aerobic energy system – this is good for fat loss as the primary fuel metabolized for this energy system is fat.

HIIT relies on the glycolytic and ATP energy systems which use primarily carbohydrates and glycogen as fuel rather than fat. At first glance it may therefore seem that LSD is the better option if you are looking to lose weight, however HIIT has its own advantages where fat loss is concerned. HIIT pushes your muscles to the edge of their current ability such that when you perform HIIT you are creating micro-trauma in the muscles similar to when you do strength training. This means that the body then uses up more calories as it repairs these micro-trauma increasing your resting metabolic rate for 24 to 48 hours after training burning more calories than LSD over all.

So it seems that HIIT takes the advantage for weight loss but which is more beneficial to improving the cardiovascular system? Some of the main cardiovascular responses you are looking to achieve when training cardio are:

  • Increased Stroke Volume (the amount of blood pumped out of the left ventricle – to the body during each contraction)
  • Increased Cardiac Muscle Mass
  • Increased Mitochondria Function (Energy factory of the cell)
  • Faster diffusion rates of oxygen and fuel into the muscles

Studies have shown the physiological adaptations in the body that occur with HIIT are similar and in some cases superior to those that occur with LSD in all of these areas with the same amount of sessions per week. And as HIIT sessions are performed in less than half of the time of LSD this means that HIIT trains the cardiovascular system just as efficiently and in some cases better in a much shorter space of time – advantage HIIT.

Yet another benefit of HIIT is it trains the body to better tolerate and more efficiently remove metabolic waste (mainly lactic acid). During the work phase of the workout the body produces a significant amount of metabolic waste so during the rest phase the body removes this waste to ready itself for the next work phase. With repeated workouts the body becomes more efficient at this process which means you are able to more quickly recover from periods of high intensity exercise. This is something you do not get with LSD. This alone makes HIIT the very obvious choice if you are training to increase your performance in a sport, as most sports involve bouts of high intensity work followed by a period of recovery rather than a long slow continuous effort.

Also, if you are training to build strength and increase visible muscle mass HIIT is definitely the way to go as high intensity work causes your muscles to make high velocity contractions activating fast twitch muscle fibres which are not activated during LSD.

So to sum it up – while LSD certainly has its place in a training programme especially for beginners (a long slow jog in the sunshine can be a fun way to burn some calories and get a bit fitter at your own pace) if you are looking for maximum results from a workout that you can fit into your busy modern lifestyle the evidence says HIIT all the way.