I used to chug a glass of water with baking soda before I went to bed to combat the indigestion and acid reflux that I would inevitably get as soon as I laid down. Thankfully, I no longer have to do that, but I do have to consciously balance my diet with plenty of alkaline foods and minerals to ensure I don’t have to take such drastic measures.
An excess of acid within the body, or acidosis, occurs due when your diet and lifestyle factors are more acid-producing than alkaline. More specifically, if you consume higher amounts of acidic foods, such as animal products and processed foods compared to alkaline foods, such as fruits and vegetables, you will have a greater risk of net acid load in the body 1. As aging occurs, there is also a naturally gradual loss in the ability to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and can be a contributor to an acidic body 2. Acidosis is commonly found in the the standard American diet where consumption of highly processed foods and high stress lifestyles are more prevalent 2.
Symptoms of acidosis can manifest in a myriad of ways, including:
Acidity is measured by a substance’s pH and an analysis of its mineral content. When it’s determined that it contains more acidic minerals than alkaline minerals, it is considered acidic. The ideal body pH is 7.36-7.42 (most accurately measured by a blood test) or you can also use litmus paper (found at any local pharmacy) to measure the acidity of the urine, so long as you take several measurements throughout the day before meals and after the first urination of the morning for 4 or 5 consecutive days3.
Since diet and lifestyle factors are the major contributors to an acid condition developing in the first place, to remedy an overly acidic body, you must reform your diet to eat more alkaline foods (plants and fresh whole foods) and eliminate acidic foods (processed foods and animal products). It’s also important to get plenty of fresh air and exercise, as a sedentary indoor lifestyle is also highly acidic. Alkaline supplements can also be taken to help ameliorate an acidic body, focusing on alkaline minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and manganese. You must also be sure to drain, or eliminate, the acids through the skin by sweating or through urine with proper diuretics such as herbal tea or medicinal plants3.