pH - What's Your Number? Part 5 of the Series

Over the last few months we have explored the importance of pH and it’s affect on our overall health.  pH is a measurement of acidity vs. alkalinity in your body’s tissues.  To have good health and to prevent illness and disease, it is best for your body to have a balanced pH of 7.5 (slightly alkaline).  We have learned how to test our pH through litmus paper test strips, and why it is important to follow the 80 / 20 Rule (a diet that consists of 80% alkaline foods and 20% acidic foods).  If more than 20-30 % of your diet is acidic, your body will produce an unhealthy acidic environment which creates a breeding ground for illness and disease, in addition to unhealthy weight gain. However, following the 80 / 20 Rule will significantly raise your pH and therefore bring more health and vitality to your life.

I have had an amazing response from the public regarding my pH articles.  A surprising amount of people didn’t know what pH was and most important, didn’t realize how acidic their diet was…and how this acidity was causing many of their health problems. Many of my readers have emailed me with a very interesting question….”how do I know if the water I drink is pH balanced?”

This is an excellent question, but before I answer this, let’s explore the fundamentals of water.  All chemical reactions in our body require water. Without water, nothing lives.   Since our body is between 70-80% water, drinking pure, pH balanced water is easily one of the most important things you can do for your health, particularly when you drink it instead of sugary, acidic drinks like soda or fruit juice.  Water protects us by preventing toxins and chemical substances from accumulating and creating destruction to our cells.  Water is essential for digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals.  It is a necessary transporter of vital nutrients and oxygen into the cells and eliminator of toxic substances that can damage the cell.

Total body water percent decreases with age, resulting in inadequate cellular hydration.   Meaning your body carries too much water outside of the cells versus inside of the cells.  This is common in over acidic or toxic tissues.  It is important to remember, hydrated cells are healthy cells.  A well-hydrated cell absorbs oxygen and nutrients and disposes of toxins and waste efficiently. Dehydrated cells are inefficient cells, resulting in limited nutrient absorption and toxicity. Unfortunately, thirst is not an accurate guide to your body's hydration levels. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

For water to be most effective in your body, it is necessary that it contain ionized minerals and that it should measure at a higher pH, which is necessary to assure that the body’s chemistry runs smoothly.

The problem is that most Americans are dehydrated.  We think drinking soda, coffee, energy drinks and fruit juices are sufficient.  The problem with these beverages is that they contain caffeine and sugar, which is extremely dehydrating and acidic.  Let’s first look at energy drinks which are extremely acidic. For example, Red Bull has a pH level of 3.26, almost 10,000 times more acidic than pH neutral water. Diet soda is even more acidic at a pH of 2.97 and therefore can cause weight gain and other health problems. In fact, 32 glasses of neutral pH water are needed to balance one Coke!  Sports drinks are shockingly more acidic than energy drinks and diet soda! Gatorade has a pH level of 2.95, more than 10,000 times more acidic than pH neutral water.

Americans are spending billions of dollars each year on beverages that may provide a temporary energy boost but also increase the likelihood of weight gain and over acidity in the body. A better beverage alternative is to hydrate frequently with purified alkaline drinking water, which hydrates better than diet soda and energy drinks and helps to neutralize the acidity in your body.

Now to answer the question…” how do I know if the water I drink is pH balanced?”   After much research on the topic of water, I have come to realize that most Americans hydrate their bodies every day with acidic toxic water!  Many of you may disagree with me on this statement.  You may say “I drink purified bottle water” or “I have a reverse osmosis system”.  Well let me give you shocking news about the water you are probably drinking!

If you still drink normal tap water, you are drinking water that is approximately pH of 7.0 neutral and still contains alkalizing minerals such as calcium and magnesium.  This is good… however, the problem with tap water is healthy minerals are not the only things you are drinking.  City water is also loaded with chlorine, fluoride, bacteria and countless pharmaceuticals such as antidepressants, antibiotics and narcotics.  Dr. J.M. Price M.D. says “Chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern time.  While it prevented epidemics of one disease, it was creating another… after the start of chlorinating our drinking water in 1904, the present epidemic of heart trouble, cancer, and senility began”.

Now if you don’t drink tap water, do you shower with unfiltered water?  The “chlorine chamber” you create with a hot shower everyday is even more detrimental to your health.  Your skin absorbs more chlorine in one shower than drinking a full glass of chlorinated water.  To protect yourself, use a shower filtration system that removes chlorine and other impurities.

What about you bottled water drinkers?  How safe if bottled water?  You may want to consider others options…

Bottled water is now second only to carbonated soft drinks in annual sales, with 9.4 billion gallons estimated to be sold in 2008. Americans will spend a whopping $12.5 billion on bottled water in 2008.

Did you know that 25% of bottled water is nothing more than reprocessed municipal water, and that 22% of bottled water brands tested in one study contained contaminants above state health limits?

It gets worse…did you know that bottled water costs more in fossil fuels to transport than tap water, and it also takes 1.5 million barrels of oil each year to create enough plastic to make the bottles? This amount of oil could fuel about 100,000 cars for a year. In addition, only 23% of plastic water bottles are recycled and an astounding 38 billion plastic bottles go into landfills every year!  Unfortunately, these bottles can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade!

Another problem with bottled water is that it is very acidic!  Reverse osmosis used to "purify" bottled water, strips everything out of the water - the bad, but also the good. Reverse osmosis water is “empty water”.  Healthy minerals are eliminated and the water becomes acidic which can be detrimental to your health.

Dr. Robert O. Young who wrote the book The pH Miracle for Weight Loss, tested 60 of the best-known bottle water brands in the world and found that only two had a pH level at or above 9.5, and 30 (including best-known brands such as Fiji, Aquafina, and Perrier) had a pH level below 7.0, meaning they actually are acidic.

Another health hazard with bottled water is, the bottles leech plastic chemicals into the water! In fact, researchers believe the amount of leeching will differ, based on exposure to sunlight, higher temperatures, time in transport and varying pH levels.

If you think you are “drinking healthy” by drinking bottled water…think again.  So therefore, I don’t recommend drinking bottled water on a regular basis. Not only because it’s hard to guarantee the water is from a clean source, but most brands of bottled water test at an acidic pH which is draining to your health and vitality.  I must also mention the excessive burden all of these plastic bottles place on our environment!

You’re best option for clean and affordable water is to filter your own water at home.  There are many different filtration systems available on the market.  Some are better than others.  They range from chlorine filtration systems to reverse osmosis and ionizers.  Perhaps I may expand on the differences of these systems in a future article.

To conclude, I would like you to remember these simple water tips…

  1. Sip water throughout the day, rather than consuming large quantities at once. If you drink large quantities of water at a time most of the water will pass through your body before your cells are able to use it.
  2. You need to drink half your body weight in ounces per day.  For example, if you are 150 pounds, you need to drink 75 ounces of water every day for proper hydration.
  3. Help the environment and your health, by limiting your intake of bottled water!
  4. Water is the best pick me up in the world…and it has less side effects!
  5. Water generates electrical and magnetic energy inside our cells.  It is the power for life!
  6. Most importantly, I want you to test the pH of your drinking water.  Use pH testing drops or litmus paper and see what the pH of your drinking water is.  Is it acidic?  Or is it slightly alkaline?  If it is acidic, I recommend you add some lemon juice or alkaline drops as a quick and easy remedy while you decide on possibly adding a filtration system to your home!

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Dr. Desirée, D.C.
4425 Jamboree Rd. Suite 118,
New Port Beach, CA 92660
(949) 391-7270