Acid-base balance and a bodybuilder’s diet – what to eat to maintain optimal proportions?

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It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

Maintaining acid-base balance has an indispensable impact on our life and health. How does this relate to a bodybuilder’s diet, and how can we maintain the right proportions?

Acid-base balance – what does it mean?

By the term acid-base balance is meant the state of maintaining the optimal concentration of hydrogen ions (cations and anions) in body fluids, which determines the pH and, as a result, has a gigantic impact on the proper course of life processes. The optimum pH for most metabolic processes is 7.35-7.45. This balance is maintained by two main components – excretion in the kidneys and undisturbed ventilation in the lungs. When either of these is disturbed, the pH will begin to shift in one of two directions – acidic or alkaline. 

What if the balance is upset?

Changes in the body’s pH in either direction can threaten our life and health. In practice, acidification of the body is far more common than alkalosis. Symptoms of this include constant fatigue, worsened complexion, loss of appetite or chronic headaches. This is due to the metabolic disturbances taking place at the time and the poorer utilization of nutrients. In addition, in the case of long-term acidosis, various skin diseases, diabetes, hypertension or kidney stones can occur. You don’t have to be a specialist in this field to see that maintaining acid-base balance is a key issue in terms of enjoying good health and a long life.

Acid-base balance and diet

The foods we consume on a daily basis vary in their acid- and alkaline-forming element content, so what we eat naturally affects acid-base balance. If we assume that the ratio of energy components in each food ration is correct, we can then calculate the ratio of microbalances of acid-forming elements (chlorine, phosphorus, sulfur) to those of alkaline-forming elements (calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium). However, it is worth noting that not all elements from food are used by the body equally. In addition, the alkalizing ability exhibited by most vegetables, fruits and milk is less than the acid-forming power of meat dishes. As a result, for acid-base balance, alkaline-forming foods should predominate in the menu.

What to eat in order to maintain optimal proportions?

The diet of both a professional bodybuilder and an amateur in this discipline is inherently based on healthy eating, but given the acid-alkaline balance, it may be worth making some modifications to it. As we’ve established in time, it’s good if alkaline-forming foods dominate the dietary model – fruits (such as apples, strawberries or pears) and vegetables (beets, carrots, tomatoes or lettuce) are great. However, this does not mean that acid-forming foods should be abandoned – on the contrary, meat, rice or oatmeal in the right amounts will also contribute to balance. 

main photo: unsplash.com/Sandie Clarke

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