I’m sure you’ve all heard the hype surrounding alkaline diets. Basically, more fruit & vegetables + less animal products & processed foods = better health. Well, that information isn’t rocket science. Everyone can benefit from an extra serving of fresh fruit & veg a day.
But, what if I told you that the pH of your body directly affects your muscle mass? Blood gets more acidic as we age as our kidney function declines and could explain why we lose muscle mass as we get older. The more acid forming foods in your diet that isn’t counteracted by lots of alkalinising fruits and vegetable may create mild metabolic acidosis (Adeva & Souto, 2011) which has a direct effect on skeletal muscle (Beavers et al, 2009). Muscle wasting is an adaptive response to acidosis. When muscles break down, amino acids (proteins) are released into the bloodstream. The liver then takes these amino acids to form glutamine which the kidneys can then use to remove excess acid from the body. It has been found that diets rich in fruits and vegetables (alkaline diets) are directly linked to better preservation of muscle mass. This is because potassium-rich alkaline foods relieve mild metabolic acidosis that occurs with the ingestion of acid forming foods (think dairy, meat, eggs, processed foods and sugar).
Does it matter about the alkalinity of your urine though, regardless of what you eat?
Answer = yes
You’ll find yourself with a lower risk of kidney stones and better uric acid clearance if your urine is alkaline. Uric acid excess in the body is a marker for inflammation and is directly associated with an increased risk of fatality from heart disease and stroke. Usually high levels are caused by a highly acidic diet – which is pretty much the typical Australian diet at the moment (although I am seeing a shift in thinking take place with more people becoming health conscious). Alkalinisation of urine is effective for removing uric acid from the body.
So, how alkaline are you? If you feel up for an experiment to test your alkalinity, it’s as simple as buying a purple cabbage!
Purple Cabbage pH test
Chop up 1 quarter of a small purple cabbage and blend with 1/2 cup water in a blender until you’re left with a deep purple juice. Strain and reserve the leftover liquid. Next time you need to go to the bathroom, pour 1 cup of the reserved liquid into the toilet bowl. This is where the fun starts – watch your pee change colour!
Here are what the colours mean:
If it stays purple – your urine is acidic
Pink – really acidic
Blue – neutral
Sky Blue – alkaline
The lighter blue/greener it gets – the more alkaline your urine. The pinker it gets – the more acidic.
Needless to say I tried this and if you’re interested, mine stayed purple – yikes! Definitely going to eat a big bowl of green vegetables today and down a green juice!
I hope this post was informative and useful. If you try the pH test I would love to know!
Love Stace x