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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Just how acidic is your body when you exercise?

I did a steady four hour mountain bike ride this morning. I drank about 600mls of water. About two hours after, I used a Medicine Tree PH strip to test my saliva PH, a pretty good measure of internal PH. Body PH should ideally be about PH 7.4 which is mildly alkaline (PH of less than 7.0 is increasingly acidic).

The less healthy we are, the more we tend to be acidic. When acidity and alkalinity are not properly balanced in the body, the breakdown may cause a myriad of chronic health problems. An acid body is a disease magnet.

Exercise is good for you; but it is not the exercise that is good - it is what happens during the recovery that is the key to health that accrues from exercise. Exercise breaks the body down and one of the consequences of exercise is an increase in acidity in the body. Your body responds by releasing alkalising minerals, like magnesium and calcium into the circulation.

To my surprise, my saliva PH two hours post exercise was down to about PH 5.8 and back to about PH 7.1 about four hours later. Now, this exercise today was pretty exhausting but not intensely anaerobic which produces vast amounts of lactic acid. So I was surprised at the massive drop in PH.

As part of my usual post recovery plan, I am setting out to restore my PH to about 7.4 which it tends to be most days. If I was to be on a diet that was acidic, I would be in trouble. I would be in more trouble if I was training hard every day before my body had time to alkalise. I think I would also be in trouble if I was drinking soft drinks and many sports and energy drinks which are extremely acidic. I wonder: How can a drink that is acid be called a sports drink? Refer to the chart below:

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