Alkalize Your pH Levels to Build Muscle & Burn Fat

Having a healthy pH is important. An incorrect – or acidic – pH blood level negatively effects protein synthesis. If you want to build muscle, burn fat, or have high energy levels, this article is an important read.

Life is about balance, true? I agree and disagree. To reach a goal I think we need to focus heavily on that one thing, neglecting other areas of our lives for the time being, until it is attained. When we set out to build muscle, we do this. We add more protein and carbs to our diets, and with good reason.

Protein helps us repair the muscle tissue we’ve broken down during weight training. Carbohydrates usher that protein to our muscles by spiking insulin, while also providing our bodies with a much needed fuel source. By adding in more carbs and protein sources, we tend to neglect other areas of our diet which, in turn, has a negative impact on how our bodies metabolize protein.

We start to think of our meals on a macronutrient level…

Fruits and vegetables are often the first thing to take a backseat to the slow or fast carb, or the lean or fatty protein source. The problem with this is that a high protein intake can negatively effect our body’s pH. That is, a high protein diet without fruits and vegetables can raise our bodies acidity level.

Why is this bad?

Well, it negates the entire point of having a high protein diet by stopping our body’s enzymes from functioning properly, which then effects protein synthesis (i.e. our body doesn’t produce protein like it should, so all of that extra protein we’re taking in isn’t being absorbed by our muscles, in effect, being rendered relatively useless).

Scary? Indeed. Protein is the be all end all for guys trying to build muscle, lose fat, or simply get in better shape. It takes precedents in our diets for good reason. Fruits and vegetables are just those pesky food groups that our parents force down our throats when we’re waiting for our balls to drop.

Low pH levels negative effect our fat loss, muscle gains, and our energy levels. You need an alkaline pH no matter what your goal is, this isn’t just for the muscle building crowd.

There are, however, ways to have both a high protein diet and a alkaline pH levels.

1. Neutralize the acid with glutamine.

A good glutamine supplement helps neutralize the acid that we produce from a high protein diet so the body doesn’t extract it from our muscles – resulting in muscle loss.

2. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

I add lemons to my water. I fill a glass container up with water and chopped lemons then pop it in the fridge. Citrus fruits are great for alkalining the body’s pH, as well as green vegetables, berries, grapes, watermelon and kiwis. Try and add a variety of fruits and veggies to your diet rather than just focusing on one alone.

3. Use a greens powder.

I call my greens powder my ‘cheat’. If I were left to my own devices I wouldn’t include enough variety in my diet when it comes to fruits and veggies.

Side note: the human race was at its healthiest about 10,000 years ago. Why? Because back then our diets focused on a wide variety of protein sources (animals and fish), as well as fruits and vegetables. With the relatively recent addition of grains, and the lack of variety of proteins, veggies, and fruits, our health has deteriorated – along with many, many other factors of course.

Humans are meant to eat a plethora of different foods. When most guys start building muscle or losing fat, they stick to the simple; they eat with less variety. This can lead to food alergies, and our bodies inability to absorb the same old nutrients from the same old foods. It can also lead to low pH.

Greens powder helps give us that variety we need in our diets. Look for powders that also include fruits.

Here’s the one I recommend: Genesis Greens Drink

Does this mean we need to lower our protein intake?

No! We need protein – and lots of it – to build lean muscle and burn fat. Don’t lower your animal protein sources, they’re high in amino acids that our bodies need to build muscle and burn fat. Just balance things out. Eat more fruits, take a supplement like glutamine, and think about getting a good greens powder in your body to start your day off right.

PS. I take my greens powder in the morning right after I drink 1 big glass of lemon-infused water. I also eat protein with every meal.

  • Scott

    Do you think a veggie drink like low sodium V8 would be beneficial for the purpose of alkalizing? I’ve recently started drinking that because it’s a cheap and easy way to take in some extra vegetables. Plus, it’s a healthy alternative to my beer habit.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Ya it’ll help. Lot’s of sodium in those, but it’s a great alternative to beer if it’s actually taking place of that habit.

  • moises

    great post! You reminded me that I was forgetting to do … good job! (sorry for my english … I’m from Brazil … rio de janeiro).

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Anytime Moises!

  • David Webb

    I have a greens powder.. Is it okay to take first thing in the morning when doing Intermittent fasting? I think it is 30 calories…

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      With IF protocol’s you want to maintain an empty stomach when fasting, so take it later in the day when you eat your first meal. It’ll have the same effect as taking it in the morning, I wouldn’t fret over the time too much.

      • http://www.facebook.com/djwwebb24 David Jeshua-Whitt Webb

        Thanks Chad, I appreciate it. I throw it in my post workout shake with protein, waxy maize, and Creatine. Figure my body is able to uptake the most nutrients at that point.

      • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

        That’s a great time to take it. Your body needs it most then as well.

  • brandon m

    Homeostasis, hit it right on the head Chad!

    We thrive in a PH of 7.35-7.45. As our respiratory rate increases we blow off more CO2 thus becoming more alkaline, and if we have suppressed breathing we become more acidic, this triggers our phrenic nerve to stimulate respiration’s to get rid of that excess CO2. The same thing happens metabolically when our blood becomes too acidic ( by way of unbalanced intake or output,) our renal system increases urine H+ concentration, and we can, as you mentioned also restore alkaloid stasis by increasing intake of alkaline foods, bicarb supplements, and calcium.

    Great read Chad.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Great info here Brandon, thanks for this as always!

  • nick

    Nice article Chad. Do you have any idea if a multi-vitamin alkalizes the body? I

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      It would help, but greens powders would be even more beneficial.