How alkalising can tackle endurance and recovery issues associated with exercise
We all know that exercise is vital to maintain our overall health and wellness, however, what degree of intensive training regimes can negatively affect our body? Many people don’t realise that they may not be achieving optimal results from their workouts due to the acid that is produced during exercise and through certain diets.
Alkalising is now being viewed as a solution to assist those in the health and fitness industry that have diets high in protein and rich in supplements; both of which are commonly thought to lead to high acidity within the body.
Alkalising helps to balance the acid overload that sports people often experience due to their diets’ containing higher than average protein levels. Diets high in protein and rich in supplements, such as protein powder and creatine, can create an acidic environment in the body which can lead to short term and long term health concerns. For athletes, fitness and training specialists, this can mean lower energy levels, less endurance, and slower muscle recovery.
Alkalising should be a high priority for those with intense exercise and training regimes; and can be beneficial for athletes and fitness professionals to reach and maintain their peak condition.
Intensive exercise lowers blood pH and produces lactic acid, leading to acidity which is believed to effect fatigue and performance. Increasing intake of alkaline foods can help to neutralise and remove lactic acid, so there is decreased recovery time for the athlete. A maintained alkaline diet may result in reduced lactic acid build up and the individual’s endurance may be increased.
Simply put, if our body is too acidic it will try to ‘balance’ itself to retain its optimal pH level (7.35-7.45). To do this, our body will draw from stores of alkaline minerals in the blood (calcium, magnesium, and potassium). When these stores are not adequately supplied, the body will ‘steal’ them from bones, muscles and cells; for example, drawing magnesium from muscles to neutralise the excess acid. Over time, this can deplete minerals in our tissues which can lead to long term health complications.
An alkaline diet can help maintain and increase energy levels because the red blood cells are able to carry more oxygen to the tissues and the haemoglobin doesn’t need to work as hard to eliminate acidic compounds. As a result, the oxygen carrying capacity remains high and the tissues in our body receive their optimal amount of oxygen to function effectively.
In addition, alkalising minerals, or electrolytes, activate muscles and assist with muscle recovery. Muscle contraction is dependent upon the presence of alkalising minerals – calcium, sodium and potassium – and without sufficient levels of these key electrolytes, muscle weakness or severe muscle contractions can occur.
So overall there are many factors that can negatively impact performance and recovery of a sports person if their body is burdened by excess acid.
To read more about alkalising and exercise refer to this earlier blog post ‘The importance of alkalising when exercising (as an ergonomic aid)’.