Maintaining optimum pH levels is important for our general well-being, and our bodies function best at a level that is slightly alkaline – ideally 7.4 on the pH scale.
But, our diets, often high in protein, dairy and sugar, can increase acidity in the body. In fact, it is estimated that what we eat consists primarily of acidic foods (around 80%), while only 20% of our diet consists of alkaline foods, like whole fruits and vegetables. This should be the opposite way around.
Our bodies do have sophisticated buffering systems, including the kidneys, lungs, intestines and skin, which excrete excess acid. But, by continuing to raise our acid levels through what we eat and drink, these systems have to work much harder to keep the correct pH balance.
The result is that we may feel tired and irritable, as well as suffer from headaches, heartburn, a burning bladder, gout, sore aching joints and muscles, unpleasant sour-smelling breath, and bad body odour.
In the long-run, the effects can be much worse with the body leaching alkaline minerals, like calcium, from our bones and cartilage and contributing to lifestyle diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis.
Achieving better balance
As the saying goes, we are what we eat (and drink).
- Eat plenty of fruit and veg, and any other foods rich in alkaline minerals – calcium, magnesium and potassium
- Eat fewer acid-forming foods, like meat, wheat, sugar, oil and all processed items
- Filter your drinking water through a reverse osmosis filter, and be sure to drink enough each day (30ml x your body weight in kilograms)
- Take a supplement that contains alkaline minerals
A super supplement
Vogel Multiforce Alkaline Powder (from R89,95 for 105g, Dis-Chem) gives you an essential dose of alkaline minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium. Just 7.5g mixed into a glass of water and taken before breakfast will help the body to neutralise any excess acidity.
You’ll feel the difference too with more energy, increased mental alertness, better sleep, good digestion, fewer colds, and fewer trips to the dentist!
Who should take an alkaline supplement?
- Anyone who wants to improve their health and maintain general wellbeing
- Athletes, to combat lactic acid build-up
- People with impaired kidney function
- Gout sufferers
- Those with inflammatory conditions, like osteoarthritis
Consult your doctor
Always check with your doctor before taking a new supplement. Those thinking of taking an alkaline supplement, but who have a heart disorder, renal failure or who are on calcium- and potassium-free diets should take special precaution.
Digital Editor at woman&home magazine, F1 Fan, Chocoholic.