In the game of optimal health, it’s most important to take a look at the things you ingest daily and replace those that are sabotaging your efforts at weight loss and/or overall health with a heathy substitute.

A good health coach will not come into your life and start demolishing your kitchen cupboards but rather educate you about what you are actually doing to your body and then help you make better choices that you also enjoy.    I once read a quote by waterman Laird Hamilton that went something like, “If you are going to eat or drink something every single day, like coffee, make sure it is of the highest quality and purity.”  I couldn’t agree more.  The reason I created Lifeguard Greens, was to insure that this part of my health regimen was the very best that it could be meaning, it had to contain all of the important elements necessary to support my health. “Drinks made from green vegetables and grasses in powder form are loaded with alkaline-forming foods and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is structurally similar to our own blood and alkalizes the blood.” Dr. Axe

Sadly, part of the reason Americans are experiencing the current health crisis is the result of our well-intentioned stab at making better choices at the market.   We started substituting low-fat products for our homemade treats featuring real food ingredients like butter and eggs, not realizing these store bought desserts had way more sugar and artificial crap.     We started drinking diet soda thinking it was only the sugar in regular soda that was bad for us.  We started using energy drinks in place of coffee not knowing that coffee can actually good for us, especially the cold-brewed, lower acid varieties becoming more widely available.  We were advertised to and educated by food companies who knew very little about real nutrition and were focused solely on winning us over with health claims and making more money. The good news is that now more than ever, we have the ability to educate ourselves and make better choices that will ultimately lead to a disease free lifestyle.  Fit 4 Maui is dedicated to educating our readers about how simple changes in your daily routine can add major health benefits to you and your loved one’s lives. 

If you have an Egg McMuffin from McDonalds for breakfast and wash it down with a Coke once or twice a year, it won’t necessarily have a huge impact on your overall health.  However, if this is a morning ritual for you, NOW you have a problem.  It many ways, this is just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes because of the huge amount of toxins you are ingesting every single day.  It’s vital to stop and analyze those foods and beverages that are a daily occurrence for you and weed out the ones that are harming your miraculous machine, the human body. 

While you may have an idea which foods are “bad” or “good” it’s just as important to know WHY.  

This helps you make good decisions about what you are putting in your body.  For instance, most everyone knows that drinking soda daily is not good for health.  When I ask many of my clients why soda is bad they almost always reply with “it’s full of sugar.”  This is why so many people, in an effort to make the healthier choice falsely believe that diet soda or sugar free energy drinks are the way to go.  The purpose of this post is to educate my readers about the silent killer and health stealer…..ACIDOSIS.  

Just for fun, here is a chart showing the acid levels of some popular sodas and energy drinks.  Eliminating soda and “energy” drinks from your every day life will dramatically improve your health by eliminating excess chemicals (artificial colors & sweeteners) and/or sugar.  Whether you buy into the acid foods = bad health therory or not, there is no doubt that consuming soda, energy drinks, artificially colored and flavored drinks, especially in place of ample water is NOT doing your body any favors.  

Most people are not educated about the relationship between your body’s pH Level and health.

“The healthiest pH is one that is slightly alkaline. Optimally, we want a pH of 7.365. This number will fluctuate throughout the day, but the normal range is between 6 and 7.5.” – Dr Axe 

Soda and energy drinks like Red Bull, are highly acidic and should be used extremely sparingly as they tax your organs making them scramble to restore homeostasis.  How does your body do this? 

“Normally, the kidneys maintain our electrolyte levels, those of calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. When we are exposed to acidic substances, these electrolytes are used to combat acidity. High degrees of acidity force our bodies to rob minerals from the bones, cells, organs and tissues.” – Dr. Axe

 Can you imagine how hard our bodies must work to police a system dealing with soda, processed and refined foods, alcohol, chemicals, food colorings and preservatives just to name a few? 

“Red bull has an acidic pH of about 2.80, about the same as Coke. If you drink Red Bull, alkaline water can help balance out some of that acidity. In the lab, we found out that it takes about NINE 8 ounce glasses of alkaline water with a pH of 10.8 to completely neutralize the acidity in one can of Red Bull to a neutral pH of 7.”  – Life Ionizer Blog. 

Not all health care professionals agree that alkaline water is the answer to acidic foods in the diet.  The amount of information available on this subject alone is staggering, and so are all the products that reportedly help you neutralize acidity in the body. I tend to agree that drinking a high-alkaline water is not sufficient “damage control” for a poor diet, nor will it restore proper pH on it’s own.  

 “For the kidneys to be able to flush this acid, they need clean water that’s free of chlorine and fluoride. It also helps if the water is slightly alkaline. Alkaline water is created when it contains alkaline minerals like calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. (SIDENOTE: Please don’t fall for the scam that alkaline water can be created by ionizing it with electrolysis. If you want to throw away $2,000 on an alkaline water machine, I got a bridge you should buy first. This water does not maintain alkalinity but rather buffers your stomach acid, creating more metabolic dysfunction.) –   

The answer to a healthy pH balance involves removing the junk in your diet and adding fresh healthy organic “real” food.

I have been guilty of reaching for a Red Bull or a Coca Cola at times knowing it wasn’t the best option, but figuring one or two wouldn’t make or break me.  I still believe this.  The key to putting anything that is less than healthy into our bodies is that word we all hate MODERATION. What does that even mean? It means that foods like soda, processed & packaged foods, fast foods, refined sugar & grains, alcohol, RX medications etc put extra strain on our bodies and should be used sparingly and with caution.  Here is where education and awareness about how the body works becomes vital.   It’s tough to knowingly damage someone or something you care for.  They problem is so many people have no idea what the foods and beverages they use regularly are doing to them, or they simply don’t care until it’s too late.

“Listen to the whispers so you don’t have to hear the screams.”

I now live a mostly soda and energy drink-free lifestyle because I am aware of how damaging they are and I want to treat my body well.  I choose beverages that help, not harm my health.  Weighing the risk vs reward (awareness) of what one of these beverages does to your system  (1 soda a day = 15lbs a year of body fat) , helps us choose (action) healthier beverages like unsweetened coconut water, herbal tea, and fresh juices,  If drinking pure water sounds boring, fortify your water with fresh lemon, cucumber slices, Lifeguard Greens, or other non-harmful, health enhancing products like flavored vitamin C powder to obtain the energy boost you were seeking from these health-robbing cans of crap.

 One other fun fact about acidic beverages: According to the Minnesota Dental Association, the threshold pH for teeth enamel dissolution is 5.5! 

Even though there are many sources of acidity and toxicity in our environments, the biggest contributor to unbalanced pH is our diet.

“What acidifies the body is eating nutritionally empty, refined foods that have a low mineral content, and the subsequent acids created by altered cellular metabolism. Refined foods act like a magnet, literally pulling the mineral content out of the body.” – Dr. Tim Weeks. 

Americans ingest most of their plant food quota in the form of processed corn or wheat.  Calcium-rich dairy products cause some of the highest rates of osteoporosis. That’s because they create acidity in the body!  When your blood stream becomes too acidic, it will steal calcium (a more alkaline substance) from the bones to try to balance out the pH level. So the best way to prevent osteoporosis is to eat lots of alkaline green leafy veggies.  Fruits and vegetables also contain potassium, a natural buffer to acidity.

“Two things happen as a result of consuming all these high-calorie, nutritionally empty foods:

  1. Our body has to give up the alkaline minerals to buffer the acidity of these foods.
  2. Our endocrine system (adrenals, pancreas, liver, thyroid, parathyroid, etc.) have to work extra hard to try keep our alkalinity and blood sugar in balance.

The body can only do this for a short time before the endocrine system begins to fail and we run out of minerals. This is when acidosis, cancer, low energy, weight gain and the entire family of metabolic diseases take hold . . . and when our saliva turns acidic.” – Dr. Tim Weeks

A word about water:  Most of us buy bottled water in an attempt to drink a better source – more pure, more minerals, less acidic. Check out this chart to see how your favorite bottled water rates. It may surprise you that two of the best selling brands, Dasani and Aquafina are made by Pepsi and Coca Cola and fall very low on the pH scale at 4.  Make an effort to drink pure water without fluoride and chlorine and preferably a neutral pH of 7 or higher from the minerals they contain.  Arrowhead and Fiji water are both good choices.  

Remember, it’s a two-part solution when it comes to maintaining a proper pH in the body:

  1. Improve your diet by including mineral-rich foods from organic and whole food sources
  2. Eliminate or use sparingly packaged refined foods that are high in sugar and artificial ingredients

For a complete Acid / Alkaline food chart, email us at contact@fit4maui.com