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Alkaline Foods

This morning I came across an interesting article titled “Why you Should Drink Warm Water and Lemon.”  Well when I wake up in the morning I go straight for 32 ounces of cold water, so I was curious to learn why warm lemon water was a good thing.  According to the article, it boosts your immune system, aids in digestion, clears skin, helps with weight loss, and balances pH.  Balances pH? Am I back in chemistry class? Apparently lemons are an incredibly alkaline food, and now I know you are wondering why that even matters.  (I was too!)  Then I remembered last year reading The Paleo Diet for Athletes, which also discusses alkaline and acidic foods.  Today, I decided to refresh my knowledge on alkaline foods…

What is the idea behind eating alkaline foods and why is this particularly important for athletes?

Rich Roll, who is an ultratriathlete vegan, strongly believes in plant power.  One of the benefits he says for eating a plant based diet is that their alkaline properties help reduce inflammation, which helps with recovery.  This is in contrast to acid producing foods such as meat and dairy.  Now don’t get confused with what the food is outside of your body.  It’s what the food does inside your body that is important.

The typical Western diet is net acid producing because of foods such as grains, cheeses, and salty processed foods.  The athlete  has even more blood acidosis going on because of the by-products of exercise.  Your blood however, will do all that it can to maintain a pH of around 7.4.  If there is too much acidosis going on,  your blood will do all that it can to maintain that pH.  If this means taking calcium from your bones and breaking down muscle tissues, then that is what will happen.  To stop this from happening, you should eat net alkaline producing foods.  There are a lot of alkaline foods you can eat.  Just think green veggies, tropical fruit, berries, and tofu.  Here are a few detailed lists of these foods:

Balance pH Diet

Benefits of eating an alkaline diet include helping with inflammation, heart disease, type II diabetes, and increasing mineral absorption.  Luckily I have a bag of lemons in my refrigerator so I’ll be able to have my warm water with lemon tomorrow.  I think it’s so incredible the role diet can play in our ability to perform, recover, and take on the day.  I am the worst for coming home after a long Saturday workout and going straight for the not so good for me food.  Soft pretzels from Flying Saucer are my favorite.  I think if I really want to achieve my running dreams, I need to pay a little more attention to my diet.  I plan to start experimenting with this idea of alkaline foods.  Let’s see how it goes!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


(Source: The Paleo Diet for Athletes)

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Yes, yes, yes. I learned so much about this when I stated cleansing, as cleansing realeases the acidity in your body and balances its PH. Also IsaLean shakes have a straight up 7 PH rating, many other protein shakes out there contain preservatives and fake ingredients that make them “not-so-good” for you, even the famous Muscle Milk. Wish everyone would do their research… like you! 😉

    June 7, 2012
    • And actually, talking about clearing the skin, I really believe that the whole alkalinizing process was what made my chronic eczema be gone forever.

      June 7, 2012
      • Isn’t it amazing the role diet plays in our overall health? I feel that if people would spend some time evaluating what they eat, they would be surprised at how a few changes can make such a difference. I know a few people with eczema so I will be sure to share this with them. My lemon water was super delicious this morning and I’ve gone two straight days with no coffee and don’t miss it a bit! Between chia seeds, kombucha, and lemon water, I don’t know what I’m going to do with all this energy! Happy Friday!!

        June 8, 2012
  2. Lou #

    Thanks for the list. I’ve been drinking my glass of lemon water every morning for the past month. I even did a 10 day Juice Fast. By day 7 I was working out again. I ran 2 miles and felt great afterwards. I wasn’t winded and I felt like I could have kept on going. I only did the 2 miles because I wasn’t sure how I would feel after 8 days of not eating solid foods. Since then I’ve mostly kept the grains out of my diet and eat mostly fruits and veggies along with small portions of lean meats like chicken, turkey and fish. Now that I’m back to working out I feel like I can do more and I don’t feel completely worn out. Another thing is there is virtually no recovery time needed. I barely get sore.

    June 8, 2012
    • That’s awesome Lou! Sounds like you’ve had a really good experience with lemon water. I had a cup this morning and I must say, I enjoyed it much more than coffee. I’m excited to try more alkaline foods in my diet and in particular after my workout. I hope to have the some no soreness experience you have! =)

      June 8, 2012
  3. I am now eating an alkaline diet to try to help in my fight with leukemia. Hoping it works.

    September 17, 2013

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