Alkaline Foods for Athletes

By Heather Fleming, Nutritionist, Fitness Quest 10

Everything you eat is classified as acidic, alkaline, or neutral. This classification is based on the effect foods have on your body after digestion, not how they taste. This concept measures in pH (potential or power of hydrogen).  Acidic-forming foods contribute hydrogen ions to the body and alkaline-forming foods remove hydrogen ions.  Alkaline foods contain molecules or ions that combine with hydrogen ions to remove them from the food thereby neutralizing acid and acting as a barrier.

The following is a list of alkaline foods that are easy to incorporate into your diet: almonds, artichokes, asparagus, avocados, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, flax, garlic, grapefruit, green beans, herbal tea, hummus, kale, leeks, lemons, lentils, lettuce, limes, olives, olive oil, onions, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, red cabbage, rhubarb, spinach, tomatoes, turnips and water (distilled, reverse osmosis, ionized). In general, fruits, vegetables and herbs are alkaline foods, while meat, pasta and processed foods are acidic.

An athlete’s diet’s goal is a ratio of four parts alkaline foods to one part acidic foods. This means each meal should consist of about 80 percent alkaline foods, and 20 percent acidic foods. On average a person should maintain a diet that keeps your pH a little alkaline, between 7.35 and 7.45, on a 0 to 14 scale.

Eating high alkaline foods keeps all the vital organs functioning well and optimizes the absorption of various minerals. This is essential for all athletes in order to be in top condition at all times. Continuing to maintain a pH toward the acidic range has negative health consequences. The kidneys, lungs and skin must work overtime to balance the body’s pH toward the alkaline. They do so by borrowing alkaline minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium, from bone and tissue. Muscle will also break down to obtain alkalizing amino acids. If a person maintains an acidic diet, over time aging will accelerate, resulting in muscle deterioration, osteoporosis, kidney stones and arthritis. Athletes need to ensure they have properly balanced pH levels. This can be achieved through diet as well as taking enzyme supplements, organic calcium and magnesium supplements, colloidal minerals, vitamins A and D, and drinking alkaline vegetable juices.

Cheers to Your Health!

Heather Fleming is the founder of Conscious Nutrition.  Her personal inspiration toward helping others live a life of feeling well and energized started with a degree in Nutritional Science, from the University of Nebraska.

She pursued the medical field, only finding it wasn’t the right fit. She discovered holistic and alternative healing and created Conscious Nutrition. She loves assisting others toward optimal health and believes in starting with simple lifestyle changes. Heather doesn’t want others to experience a life with low energy, digestive disturbances, and mental fog. However empowering others to live a life of vitality, purpose and energy.

Conscious Nutrition believes, you are your best guru for your body, and we want to support you during the process of learning more about your body and health.

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About kylesands
Director of Marketing at Fitness Quest 10

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