From Kris Carr’s Blog…
pH 101: Acid-Alkaline Balance & Your Health
BY: KRIS CARR
September 2, 2014|16Comments|
You may have heard about pH or the acid-alkaline balance in your wellness travels. I was oblivious to this concept when I began my health journey. But my overall well-being changed when I started to connect the dots between pH balance, inflammation and what I was eating and drinking. I’ve covered this topic in all of my books but I realize that I haven’t blogged about it for years. Since many of you are new readers (and some of ya could use a little reminder) I thought I’d tackle pH again today. Let’s dive in.
So what the heck is pH?
Remember high school science class? Well, if you don’t, here’s a little refresher course. The body maintains a delicate acid-alkaline balance. Everything from healthy cells to cancer cells to soil quality and ocean life is affected by pH. The term pH stands for “potential hydrogen” which is the measure of hydrogen ions in a particular solution (don’t worry if you’re not science-savvy, I’ll make this easy to understand!). In our case, that “solution” refers to our body’s fluids and tissues.
The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is and ranges from 0 to 14. Seven is neutral. Below 7 becomes increasingly acidic, above 7 increasingly alkaline.
As with most health-related barometers, balance is everything. Proper pH varies throughout your body for many reasons. For example, your bowels, skin and vagina should be slightly acidic–this helps keep unfriendly bacteria away. Saliva is more alkaline. While your urine is normally more acidic, especially in the morning. In addition, your body regularly deals with naturally occurring acids that are the by-products of respiration, metabolism, cellular breakdown, and exercise. So clearly the goal is not to think of acid as “bad” and alkaline “good”. Again, it’s a delicate balance.
By far the most important measurement is your blood. For optimal cellular health, your blood pH must be slightly alkaline with a pH between 7.365 and 7.4. A basic understanding of how our bodies maintain an alkaline blood range is important for good health. Your body doesn’t just “find” the balance it works extremely hard to create it. When we make poor lifestyle choices or are burdened by a toxic, chemical rich environment, our bodies have to work harder to create homeostasis.
When there’s even the slightest chance that you could become overly acidic (due to food and lifestyle choices, environment, chemicals etc.) your remarkable body will mine alkaline minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium from your bones, teeth, and organs to neutralize the acids. It’s sorta like having a supply of inner Tums. This is fine every now and then. But pillaging your reserves over the long term can lead to osteoporosis and other health challenges.