The correct pH level of your blood is undeniably important for every aspect of your health—right down to the most elemental part of your being. It affects mental outlook, metabolism, organs, tissues, cells, molecules, atoms and chromosomes.
Most people are completely unaware of what their pH level should be and the healthy lifestyle steps they can take to correct their pH level. Read on to find out the best pH range, what affects pH levels, and how to support healthy levels in the body.
What Is pH?
The term pH stands for “potential hydrogen,” which is the measure of hydrogen ions in a particular solution. Don’t worry, that’s as science-y as it gets. Basically, all liquids have a pH level, and everything from your health to soil quality and ocean life is affected by it.
The pH scale measures on a scale of 0 to 14, with 7 as the neutral number. The more hydrogen ions present, the more acidic the solution. An acidic solution will read below 7 on the pH scale. An alkaline solution will read above 7 on the scale.
pH Levels in the Body
Many of your body’s fluids should be alkaline (just above a 7), including blood, pancreatic juice, bile, saliva and even seminal fluid. Some bodily fluids like gastric juices and vaginal fluids should be acidic. However, the most important of these is your blood.
The pH of your blood should register at 7.4 (slightly alkaline) or as close to that as possible.
What if your pH level dips to acidic? The body will try everything it can to correct the pH level, including pulling alkaline minerals like calcium from elsewhere in the body to do so.
What Affects pH?
Poor food choices are the #1 reason for acidic readings that would otherwise be alkaline. With a few dietary changes, though, this can easily be reversed and will make a huge difference in how good you feel! Alkalinizing foods include most vegetables and leafy greens, apples, grapes, melons and bananas. On the flip side, processed meats like bacon, sausage and smoked meats, as well as dairy, sugar, coffee, alcohol and fried foods, all contribute to acidic pH readings. You don’t necessarily have to avoid acid-producing foods entirely. Just make sure to balance those foods with a myriad of alkalinizing foods!
Your body naturally produces acid in response to stressful situations. Typically, the body can maintain balance for short-term stress, but chronic stress can create a strain on the body.
- Too Little or Too Much Physical Activity
Movement is important to body chemistry because it increases metabolism, which then burns fatty acids as well as other acids. Intense physical activity causes lactic acid and other acids to build up in the muscles. This is why rest days are an important part of any exercise regimen; they allow your body to clear out acids and recover. You can accelerate the process by drinking an alkalinizing drink after a workout.
One more reason to stop smoking. Nicotine is consumed as a way of coping with stress, but the reality is that it causes significantly more stress on the body. One of the ways it does so is by stimulating the body to secrete various acids including gastric acid in the stomach. It also causes the body to excrete fluids, and when the body is dehydrated, it becomes overly acidic.
Supplements for pH Balance
A lifestyle of a balanced, healthy diet and exercise should help you maintain an alkaline body, but sometimes extra help may be needed. Fortunately there are many supplements that can help your pH levels. Calcium, magnesium, alkalinizing powders and green foods supplements can all help you maintain a good pH balance.
Raise Your pH Instantly
The pH of plain water is a neutral 7, so when you drink water, it naturally raises the pH of your body when it registers on the acidic end of the scale. Drinking mineral water heightens the effect!