So SA’s big sporting events are lined up once again. Whether it’s the first one you’re taking part in or whether you’ve done so many that the medals are piling up, your food choices are as important as your training schedules.
You may have heard some talk recently about our diets being too high in acid producing foods and that following a more alkaline diet is important not only for overall health, but particularly in terms of staying power when it comes to maintaining energy output while training. Following an alkaline diet means you’re aiming to keep your blood pH on the alkaline side by eating more alkaline producing foods than acid producing foods.
What’s the deal with pH?
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14; a pH of 7 is neutral, anything below that is acidic, and anything above that is alkaline. According to those who follow an alkaline diet, our blood pH level should be slightly on the alkaline side, around 7.4.
Why should it be alkaline?
Apparently an acidic balance may decrease our bodies’ ability to be the best it can be – minerals might not be absorbed properly, energy production may be less, and repair of damaged cells may be negatively affected.
An alkaline balance on the other hand may allow our bodies to function more optimally and repair damage more readily. When we’re training hard, we’re putting our bodies through quite a workout, so following a more alkaline diet may help us train better without that “hitting the wall” feeling sneaking up on us.
What should we be eating?
Following an alkaline diet means moving away from a very high intake of acid producing foods such as some meats, processed grains, some dairy, soft drinks, sugar, some sweeteners, beer, coffee and tobacco. It seems we should rather be eating more alkaline foods such as:
- Fruit like apple, melon, berries, coconut, figs, grapes, lime, oranges, lemon, nectarines, pineapples and other tropical fruits as well as some fruit juices
- Green vegetables, peas, green beans and lentils
- Spices like cinnamon and ginger, herbs, seeds and nuts
- Carrots, celery, beets, mushrooms
- Tomatoes, onions
Keen to give it a go? KAUAI is introducing two fantastic, freshly squeezed alkaline juices at some of their stores this January (see which stores). Try out the delicious alkaline Lemon, Carrot, Celery & Apple Juice and the refreshing alkaline Watermelon Juice, both with a pH of 9, to add a functional and tasty aspect to your training.
Images sourced from Pinterest