What do you do when you’ve reached a point in your life where the sum of your earlier actions is resulting in less than stellar health? You find the numbers on the scale are a bit higher than you’d like and your energy level is lower than you’d like. How do you begin to reverse the process?
Fortunately, the body is very forgiving. The biggest obstacle standing between you and optimal health is you. You can blame genetics, slow metabolism, or your second job, college, kids and spouse for taking up too much time to allow you to begin a fitness program. More than likely all of these factors will make it more difficult for you to improve your health, but when it comes down to it, you can continue placing blame or take the bull by the horns and make a few changes.
Where to Begin?
Start small by substituting. Whether you have 3 jobs, 18 kids and a slow metabolism, none of that stops you from drinking liquids. Instead of drinking soda, try substituting it with water. That’s not too tough, is it?
Soda is highly acidic. Wait; let me back this up a bit so you will understand why drinking water instead of soda is so important. I’m going to go through a very quick and simple pH 101.
What is pH?
pH is a means of measuring the “potential Hydrogen” of a substance. For the purposes of this post, the ‘substance’ is our body. The higher the number the more alkaline and the lower the number the more acidic. The range usually runs from 0 (acidic) to 14 (alkaline or base). The middle, 7, is neutral.
The human body operates optimally when our pH level somewhere between 7.35 and 7.45. Certain organs in our bodies operate optimally at a lower pH level (such as the stomach because of the digestive acids) and others at a higher level (such as the pancreas and intestines – they have to neutralize the acidic food the stomach deposits into the digestive system). Eventually it should work out so that the blood pH is maintained at an optimal level between 7.35-7.45.
What Does pH Have to Do with Health?
The body does everything it can to maintain the proper blood pH level. If your system becomes too acidic (a state of acidosis), your body will try to increase the pH by pulling alkaline minerals from wherever it can. Calcium (pH 12) and magnesium (pH 9) are great sources of acid fighting minerals. Guess where there are loads of calcium and magnesium? Yes, that’s right, your bones. Wonder why our bones become more frail as we age? Might be something more to do with your diet than the aging process.
Back to Soda
Soda is very acidic. Most sodas hover around the 2 or 3 pH range. Don’t take my word for it. To find out for sure, get yourself a pH strip and test the soda yourself. The more acidic soda you put in your body, the more your body will fight to increase your pH.
If you’re having a difficult time flipping the soda switch overnight, ease into it. After all, poor health didn’t develop over night and neither will good health. Over a period of a few weeks, begin reducing your soda intake and increasing your water intake. Your body will thank you for it.
The next small step towards health is… Taking Small Steps