We are often (read that as daily) asked “if I need acid in my stomach to digest food, won’t being alkaline or drinking alkaline water stop that process?” or words to such effect.
The stomach does need to be acidic, but there’s more to it than that.
Our stomach is a complicated piece of design. The optimal pH level of the stomach are between 2.8 and 3.2 with the average stomach being around pH3.
One of the biggest mistakes people make (in my opinion) when deciding if they should or shouldn’t drink alkaline water, is to over simplify the logic of a very complex and intricately balanced bio function. The logic goes like this.. if I drink alkaline water it will neutralise my stomach acid, therefore, drinking alkaline water is bad.
Just because some thing may sound logical does not by default make it true.
Consider for a moment.. meat is an acidic forming food, yet it can take 24 hours to digest a piece of meat. Compare that to green leaf vegetables that are alkaline forming foods, they can be digested in under 2 hours. One could even push the logical conjecture that, eating green leaf vegetables is bad for you because they will neutralise your stomach acid.
Clearly, no doctor or nutritionist would ever suggest eating green leaf vegetables is a bad thing for ones health. So there must be more to it than first meets the eye.
You must learn one thing.. the difference between acid forming and normal acid function.
Our stomach is not a constant bubbling caldron of acid just waiting to devour whatever falls in. The stomach actually produces acid, Hydrochloric Acid (HCI) as and when it is needed and in the quantities needed. Not only does it produce HCI, but it also produces Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3), and let’s refer to it from now on in as SBC. This SBC acts as a “buffer” to keep the HCI in check.
Depending on what we consume (eat or drink) the amounts of and the ratios of HCI and SBC are governed by the stomach. In fact, even just thinking of food is enough to get the stomach churning in to action. We notice this as tummy rumbles when we are hungry.
The stomach has an acid function.
As we consume alkaline water the pH level of our stomach will increase towards the alkaline state. As a natural response to this pH change, the stomach will produce more HCI to bring that increased pH back to around pH4.
Related Article: Are Water Ionisers Worth The Money?
We have a problem Houston.. and that is that when we eat acidic foods, the amount of acidity in the stomach rockets up (so the pH drops) but as the stomach does not need to produce more HCI to digest the food, no SBC is produced to offset that acidity level. This is bad because the acid rich food then passes from the stomach to the intestines with no way of protecting the body from that acid.
These acid rich foods are acid forming.
So as a rule of thumb, with acidic foods we need alkaline water to induce HCI production and in-turn SBC production. Otherwise, we will be burning our intestinal walls and passing acid rich compounds in to the blood stream.
The more alkaline water you put in your stomach, the better your health will be.
OK, so this whole article is simplified so that you can see how important alkalinity is to our acidity levels throughout the entire body. If you cannot drink alkaline water or eat alkaline foods at any particular time, you can always top up (cheat if you like) by having a alkaline rich capsule at the end of your meal.
The Alkaline Booster from 7.2 is perfect for this. I keep a tub with me all the time just in case I get caught out anytime and need that alkalinity boost as acid reflux was one of the symptoms I used to have from my then over acidic system.
The most common acidosis issues are:
- acid reflux/GERD
- IBS irritable bowl syndrome
- leaky gut