Importance of Alkaline Foods for Athletes: How to Reduce Lactic Acid Build Up

Importance of Alkaline Foods for Athletes: How to Reduce Lactic Acid Build Up
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What Are Alkaline and Acidic Foods

Everything you eat is classified as either acidic or alkaline. This classification is based on the effect foods have on the body after digestion, not how they taste. Acids and alkalines are measured in pH (potential or power of hydrogen). Acidic-forming foods contribute hydrogen ions to the body and alkaline-forming foods remove hydrogen ions. Alkaline foods contain molecules or ions that combine with hydrogen ions to remove them from the food thereby neutralizing acid and acting as a barrier. An athlete’s diet should have a ratio of four parts alkaline foods to one part acidic foods. This means each meal should consist of about 80 percent alkaline foods, and 20 percent acidic foods. On average a person should maintain a diet that keeps your pH a little alkaline, between 7.35 and 7.45, on a 0 to 14 scale.

List of Alkaline Foods

The following is a list of alkaline foods that are easy to incorporate into your diet: almonds, artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, flax, garlic, grapefruit, green beans, herbal tea, hummus, kale, leeks, lemons, lentils, lettuce, limes, olives, olive oil, onions, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, red cabbage, rhubarb, soy milk, spinach, tomatoes, turnips and water (distilled, reverse osmosis, ionized). In general, fruits, vegetables and herbs are alkaline foods, while meat, pasta and processed foods are acidic.

Importance of Alkaline Foods For Athletes

Eating high alkaline foods keeps all the vital organs functioning well and optimizes the absorption of various minerals. This is essential for all athletes in order to be in top condition at all times. Continuing to maintain a pH toward the acidic range has negative health consequences. The kidneys, lungs and skin must work overtime to balance the body’s pH toward the alkaline. They do so by borrowing alkaline minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium, from bone and tissue. Muscle will also break down to obtain alkalizing amino acids. If a person maintains an acidic diet, over time aging will accelerate, resulting in muscle deterioration, osteoporosis, kidney stones and arthritis. Athletes need to ensure they have properly balanced pH levels. This can be achieved through diet as well as taking enzyme supplements, organic calcium and magnesium supplements, colloidal minerals, vitamins A and D, and drinking alkaline vegetable juices.

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