It is no secret that balance is extremely important in all walks of life, be it balancing your professional and personal life, or having a balanced diet for healthy life and state of mind, this undeniable phenomenon couldn’t be as relevant as it is when it comes to the pH levels of the body.
IT’S ALL IN THE BLOOD
So, no matter how you go about it, things you eat and drink release either an acid or an alkaline base into the blood after digestion, absorption and getting metabolized. By default, our blood is mildly-alkaline with a normal pH level of between 7.35 and 7.45 and our body’s intrinsic homeostatic mechanisms need to have our blood strictly maintained at this level.
Which means that an excess of acid-producing foods and drinks, and subsequently the overload of acid base in our blood calls for our bodies to balance out the pH by turning to alkaline minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium in the body to digest and do away with the acidification for the good sake of equilibrium. That’s why drinking alcohol and smoking is linked to decrease in bone density as the blood takes calcium from the bones to reestablish its pH balance.
When our body is in a stressed state, we have a low magnesium to calcium ratio in our cells and when it is in a relaxed state, we have a high magnesium to calcium ratio. The math of it is that if our magnesium becomes too depleted, we actually end up putting our bodies and its functions in a permanent state of stress which actually depletes body magnesium further. If magnesium is depleted, calcium and potassium also get depleted because magnesium is required for their absorption.
THE PERILS OF BODY ACIDIFICATION
Too much of acid base in our blood is believed to be making people prone to illness because of the body’s essential alkaline-mineral depletion. An acidic body is a hotspot for illnesses, cancers and early aging to take roots. When the pH balance goes haywire, the cells of the endocrine glands are affected which include the pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, hypothalamus and adrenal glands
secreting vital products and hormones in the bloodstream.
It effectively means that any disruption in the workings of the endocrine system affects all systems in the body. On top of it, once we fall outside the normal range of blood’s pH levels, our cells stop functioning and we would be dead in no time if left untreated.
The long and short of it is that alkaline minerals are required for muscle contraction (including our heart muscle), nerve transmission, maintaining healthy blood pressure, normal clotting of the blood, regulating enzyme and distribution of oxygen and energy to our cells. They are also extremely
vital to our metabolic functions. Basically, life as we know it, depends on these blessed minerals.
ACIDS WITHIN THE BODY ARE NOT NECESSARILY BAD FOR YOU
However, pH varies appreciably within your body, while some parts are acidic, others are alkaline. The stomach is loaded with hydrochloric acid giving it a highly acidic pH of 2–3.5 range for the effective breakdown of nutrients we consume.
The respiratory system is also actively participating in keeping blood pH in check. When bicarbonate ions from your kidneys bind to acids in the blood, they form carbon dioxide which you breathe out and water which you urinate.
WHERE DOES ALL THE EXCESSIVE ACID GO?
The excessive acid from the blood is mostly done away with by the kidneys but when it get too much to process, the kidneys depute the body to store it somewhere else so that the kidneys can dispose with it at a time there is lesser workload on them. Where is it stored then? In our connective tissues, including our ligaments, muscles and tendons. the collagen fibres of the body are more or less our excessive acid storage units. If too much acids end up getting stored in these tissues, it causes inflammation and pain giving rise to conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia. Moreover, if there is excess acid in the stomach in the form of otherwise essential hydrochloric acid, it is destined to be stored in the lining of the stomach where it more-oftenthan-not leads to the formation of stomach ulcers.
THE AYURVEDIC CONNECTION
The ancient science of Ayurveda is based around 3 Doshas which are present in all individuals – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Doshas are the energies that perform different physiological functions in the body and it is believed that balancing them is the key to good health.
Vata Dosha controls bodily functions related to motion, including blood circulation, breathing and heartbeat. Pitta Dosha controls the body’s metabolic systems including digestion, absorption, nutrition and body temperature.
Kapha Dosha controls growth in the body, supplying of water to all body parts, moisturizing the skin and maintaining the immune system.
Out of the 3, Ayurvedic practitioners believe that keeping the Pitta in balance keeps our minds and bodies alkaline. When Pitta afflictions like acidic diet, stress, anger and impatience manifest in the bodies as heartburn, acid reflux and hair loss. These apparently temporary conditions are
bound to have negative implications on long-term health as prolonged acidity leads to serious medical conditions. That is the reason why Ayurveda proposes that one has an alkaline intakes just so that there is a balance in Pitta.
WHAT DOES ALKALINITY HAS TO DO WITH OUR DRINKING WATER?
Presence of calcium, magnesium and potassium (the alkaline minerals) give the water that mild-alkaline properties and when the water is stripped off them, it automatically becomes acidic.
Though we get most of the alkaline minerals we require from our food and not from our water, the alkaline minerals are required in water so that it doesn’t become acidic. Digesting acidic water and restoring the blood’s pH balance would direct the alkaline mineral resources of our food and those stored in our bodies towards countering the acid base released in our blood. Technically, mildly-alkaline drinking water prevents the loss of these essential alkaline minerals from our bodies.
It so turns out then is that along with having an alkaline diet, we are also required to drink mildly-alkaline water for retaining the alkaline minerals stored and consumed by our bodies.
With most water purifiers available in the market being RO types that extract all the minerals from the water, we are bound to get those aforementioned medical complications arising out of consuming acidic water in the long run. What is even more misleading is that most water purifier brands in the market have aggressively marketed in the past the myth that RO water bereft of essential minerals is the best thing to have.
Cuckoo, the Home and Kitchen appliances brand from South Korea is probably the only brand which has understood the importance of mildly-alkaline water for maintaining good health and thus has ensured from the beginning itself that all water purifiers launched by them in the consumer market dispense out drinking water that has all the essential minerals.