|Blood pH & Athletic Performance
As you have probably read already, the Hauser
of five different animal diet types differing the amounts
of carbohydrates, protein, and fats, depending on the results
of your Diet Typing tests. The testing consists of glucose
tolerance testing, blood pH, and sometimes allergy profiles
and insulin levels. Figuring out whether you should eat like
a Lion (high protein and fat) or a Monkey (lower fat and
higher carbs) is key to enhancing your athletic performance.
One of the key variables related to the Hauser
Diet is blood pH— particularly for the athlete. You may recall
talking about pH in chemistry class in high school, but not
too many people think about it on a regular basis. The pH of
the blood is the level of acidity or alkalinity in the venous
blood. We have done a lot of research at Caring
how pH can affect a person’s overall well-being, as well
as their athletic performance. Our physicians utilize venous
blood pH as a means of testing basic metabolic physiology
in our patients. Interestingly enough, we have found that
subtle changes in blood pH can have profound effects on your
overall health, feeling of wellness, level of fatigue, pain,
weight, and yes, even athletic performance!
Why is Blood pH So Important?
Energy is required for a human being to function optimally.
The production and management of sustainable biological energy
resources is of vital concern for everyone. In most basic
terms, energy comes from the breakdown of the oxygen we breathe
and the food we eat.
Energy production takes place inside each cell of our bodies.
All cells must produce energy to survive. The energy factories
in our bodies are called mitochondria. Each one is like its
own power plant. Their primary function is to convert energy
found in nutrients (fat, protein, carbs) and store it in
the form of ATP, the energy-yielding molecule used by enzymes
to perform a wide range of cellular functions. We humans
cannot survive even for a second without a constant supply
of ATP. Enzymes increase the efficiency of energy production.
How does this relate to pH, you may
be thinking? Well, each
enzyme has an optimal temperature and pH range for its optimal
activity. The human body’s enzymes function optimally
at a temperature between 98.2-98.6 F and a venous blood pH
of 7.420-7.440. When the body temperature or blood pH moves
out of this range, enzyme activity declines. When the enzyme
activity is inhibited, so is energy production, both inside
the cells and in the body as a whole.
Without optimal energy, the body will become fatigued. For
many who do not eat according to their appropriate Diet
fatigue is often the first symptom of ill health the person
experiences. If eating habits do not change, chronic fatigue
results. Eventually mental fatigue develops. With this fatigue
comes a slowed metabolism which is the body’s response
to decreased energy. Because the person cannot do as much
as he/she used to do, feelings of being stressed or overwhelmed
often result. Many people will then start overeating due
to stress. Excess weight appears. Athletes’ sports
performances plummet. Because the body has reduced energy,
it subsequently develops an impaired immune and healing response,
consequently, illnesses can start to develop like upper respiratory
and sinus infections.
Often muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries do not heal
and the person develops various body aches. Because the body
does not have enough energy, detoxification processes are
hampered. The person may develop whole body aches and feel
fluish consistent with what some doctors call “fibromyalgia.” The
bowels may become leaky and then various allergies appear.
Do you see how this vicious cycle continues? It does not
take a genius to see that the body requires optimum energy
to function. Optimum energy can only occur if the enzyme
systems of the body are functioning at peak capacity if the
body’s temperature and pH levels are within the normal
range. This is why pH is so vital.
Many factors can change pH and affect how you should eat.
When the blood pH is acidic (low), you should be eating a
Lion or Otter Diet because protein and fat contained in these
diets raise the blood pH, moving the blood pH into the normal
When your blood pH is alkaline (high), you should be eating
more vegetarian, like the Monkey
or Giraffe Diets because
the carbohydrates contained in these diets lower the blood
pH, making it more normal.
A normal pH means you should be eating more of a balanced
diet, such as a Bear Diet, which is a balance of protein,
carbohydrates, and fat.
Foods that acidify the blood: coffee, fruit and fruit juices,
grains, pastas, rice, sugar-containing foods, alcohol, ascorbic
Foods that alkalinize the blood: meat, fats/oils, nuts,
Vegetables are somewhat neutral and can be eaten ad lib
for all diets.
As a runner, you really hate it when something stops you
from doing what you love to do – run! My running
was getting better and better. I completed three marathons
and a host of other races, including duathlons. But the
start of “running season” (March/April) was
starting to become something that I dreaded, instead of
anticipated. I was repeatedly getting “heat headaches” when
running during the summer months, but really in any temperatures
over 60 degrees. I had no problem running during the winter
and actually loved it!
What does pH have to do with the Weather?
With our research on pH and observing our patients (and
ourselves) over the last 15 years, we came to realize the
weather-pH connection. Hot weather heats up your body,
making it more alkaline. Running or any exercise also heats
up your body, which makes it again, makes it more alkaline.
Cold weather has the opposite effect—it decreases
pH, therefore, making it more acidic.
Back to my story—well, as an alkaline tendency person
(high blood pH), it only makes sense that I would feel better
running in the cold weather because the cold weather lowered
my alkaline blood pH; whereas the heat raised it even higher
than it already was, making me feel overheated, exhausted,
We tested our theory on five of our Ironman friends (is
this what friends do to each other?) We put each of them
in a hyperthermia chamber and monitored their blood pH levels
every 15 minutes, along with their symptoms. Sure enough,
along came the nausea, exhaustion, and overheated feeling
at the same time that their blood pH levels raised. Not only
were their blood pH levels elevated, but their body temperatures
heated up to over 102 degrees F.
So what? Well, the other aspect of Diet
Typing is glucose
tolerance testing. If you are a fast oxidizer of food, you
metabolize foods such as simple carbs (sugar, white bread,
pasta, rice, juices) very quickly. You will feel tired a
few hours after eating if you consume these foods. If you
are balanced or a slow oxidizer of food, you can eat carbs
with good energy resulting.
If you are a fast oxidizer with acidic blood, you have to
be careful about carb-loading before an event or for training.
Carbs do not give you good energy—just short-term
energy. You may actually bonk out earlier if you carb load
the night before an event and during breakfast on event morning.
People like you need to consume more protein, in addition
to your carbs.
So as you can see, knowing your Diet
Type, pH, and oxidation
rate can have profound effects on your athletic performance.
knowing your Diet Type and pH Tendencies Can Help an Athlete
1. Provides the optimal fuel for long races and workouts.
2. Helps enhance athlete performance during different weather
3. Improves endurance, preventing the “bonk.”
4. Helps normalize weight.
5. Maximizes energy during an event (and at home.)
6. Helps accelerate post-race/training healing.
7. Helps improve workout/race efficiency, thus improving race
8. Helps minimize commonly experienced workout and race problems
such as nausea, cramping, and exhaustion.
9. Allows the athlete to individualize their food consumption
according to the conditions.
10. Helps you realize your athletic and personal goals!
If you are interested in finding out your Diet
Type so that you
can maximize your performance, schedule an appointment today
with Dr. Hauser, 3-time Ironman finisher (soon to have a 4th!)
and accomplished athlete. He’ll help you determine what
fuels are best for your individual body during your events, as
well as pre- and post- race meals. As an athlete himself, he
knows what it takes! Come on in today! What are you waiting for?
Because remember, if you eat great, you’ll feel great!
Here is some more food for thought about the pH-athletic performance
connection from Dr. Hauser:
|Putting the 10 Reasons Athletes
Should Get Blood pH Testing into personal practice
by Ross A. Hauser,
M.D., Ironman Triathlete
1. Proper Blood pH
Will Enhance Athletic Performance During Priority “A” Races
Whether an athlete is doing a marathon for the first time or
trying to peak for an Ironman Triathlon, there are always races
that an athlete is training for. The most important ones are
called priority or “A” races. Having the right
blood pH at the beginning of a race can be the difference between
a “PR” (personal record) race and “PD” (personal
If the race weather is going to be hot, then an athlete’s
blood pH needs to be a little on the acidic side at the start
of the race. This translates to a blood pH level between 7.380
and 7.419 on our Caring
Medical pH meter. As temperature increases
the blood pH, the athlete wants to achieve a lower blood pH
at the beginning of the race, so during the race energy production
is enhanced as the blood pH rises. The longer the race, the
hotter the weather, the more important blood pH is in determining
ultimate outcome. For cold weather the opposite is true. The
athlete should start out the race slightly alkaline (higher
blood pH) because cold weather alkalinizes the blood. Of course,
in both cases, you must take into consideration your general
2. Proper Blood pH Will Enhance Training
Imagine if every time you trained you swam, biked, or ran faster
and longer than you currently do? Obviously, your sports
performance would be enhanced. If your blood pH remains out
of the normal range, you will not achieve optimum energy
production. Remember that the enzymes that control energy
production are sensitive to temperature and blood pH. If
the temperature of the blood or the pH of the blood fall
too high or too low, your energy plummets. If energy plummets,
so does sports performance, even in training. By having a
proper blood pH level during training, an athlete is able
to swim, bike, run farther and faster. Strength is also enhanced.
Something that all athletes want to achieve!
3. Proper Blood
pH Will Enhance Recovery
If an athlete can recover quickly even after very difficult
workouts, training is maximized. How many workouts do you
miss or cut short because you don’t feel like working
out? Are your muscles sore for a long time after workouts?
Do you wake up stiff? Do you need to take time off every
so often because you feel burnt out? All of these are signs
of poor recovery. Notice I said poor recovery not overtraining.
I feel most of these symptoms can be totally eliminated by
optimizing blood pH and nutritional/diet supplementation
without any decrease in sports training. Thus, the issue
is not an overtraining problem, but an under recovery problem!
One of the main reasons athletes don’t perform as well
as they should is because they don’t maximize recovery.
Athletes tend to emphasize training, but not recovery. When
an athlete has an optimum blood pH level, recovery is enhanced.
If an athlete feels refreshed and energized at the beginning
of the majority of their workouts, training will be enhanced.
If training is enhanced, you get be sure that great races or
competitions are soon to follow!!!
4. Athletes Need Maximum Energy to Live the Rest of
You thought this whole article was going to be about maximizing
sports performance didn’t you? Well, what happens when
you are wiped out from workouts and work and then are not able
to be totally there for your family? Correct, stress! Your
spouse gets mad because you just sit on the couch and watch
T.V.! The additional stress just makes you more and more tired
and obviously this will decrease your training intensity, distance,
or time. All of which will cause sports performance to plummet!
Do you want to know a better way? I thought you would.
The easiest way I know of to give you more energy to maximize
all areas of your life, is to keep your blood pH optimized.
The only way to do that is to know your level. It is a simple
blood test. Normal or optimum blood pH using the pH meter at
Caring Medical is 7.420 to 7.440. pH levels outside of these
levels will cause energy to plummet. Yes, you need energy for
athletics, but also for the rest of your life!
5. So Do You Really Know What To Eat?
If we athletes were really honest, we would say we really don’t
know what to eat! You try to eat healthy, but if you have acid
blood you should not be eating all those carbs that you think
will help you. Conversely, if your blood pH is alkaline (blood
pH over 7.440) you should not be eating all that protein that
you think is helping your muscles. Your muscles are hurting
because your blood pH is too high!
By routinely checking your blood pH levels, Caring
Medical can teach you how you need to eat to optimize sports performance,
training, and recovery. If you follow these guidelines, it
has been our experience with ourselves and our clients that
your sports performances will be enhanced.
6. So You Really Know How To Eat and Drink During Training
#5 above relates to how to eat outside of athletics. But do
you really know how to eat and drink during training and events?
You see if you are a Lion
or Otter Diet Type (have acid blood
pH), you need much more protein than the typical athlete. That
means more protein and fat in the morning and more protein/fat
during the athletic event. Yes, there are athletes that need
to make a concerted effort to get more protein and fat in their
diets and during training and events.
Take me, for example. I am an Otter
Diet Type. During the
Ironman I will get most of my calories for the day from protein
and fat, not from carbohydrates! How have the results been?
I have dropped my Ironman triathlon time from 14 hours to 12
hours, though I have another Ironman race in one month! Yikes!
Why am I writing this article? I should be training! Don’t
fret, I ran 18 miles in 2 hours 35 minutes up and down hills
that were filled with ice today! I thought that speed wasn’t
too bad considering the conditions and the temperature outside
was 28 degrees. But then again, I know about blood pH and how
to manipulate it for workouts and performance. But I digress…I
hope this is making sense to you…
7. So Your Future Sports Performance Will Not Be Affected
By the Weather
Everyone has an optimum temperature outside where they typically
perform their best. Most of us would love to perform our best—
irregardless of the weather conditions, right? If you knew
your baseline fasting blood pH at a certain time of year, it
would be possible to know how to eat at various times to optimize
sports performance for all weather conditions. Then you would
know what to do—in
Optimizing sports performance for a specific weather condition
is now under your control. If you hate the heat, blood pH can
help you love the heat! Hate cold weather? No worries, knowing
your blood pH can give you that “bring it on 25 degree” mental
edge! Don’t let your hard work go to waste by a bad weather
day for your “A” race. Blood pH holds the key!
8. To Get Rid of Sports Performance Limiters
You know what they are! You get nauseated in hot weather. Perhaps
your muscles cramp at mile 18. You just can’t finish
races well. What if you could have the edge over your competition
and your energy got better as the event went on? Would that
help you? What if your muscles didn’t cramp anymore?
What if your heat intolerance wasn’t a factor? What
would happen to your training or your “A” race
sports performances? You would be in “PR city” wouldn’t
you? I am telling you, blood pH is the key!
9. So the Rest of Your Health is Optimized
Got a scratchy throat, but have a lot of workouts planned
this weekend? That is how I was a few days ago. So what did
I do? Because of my knowledge of blood pH and access to getting
it tested, I tested my blood pH while I was feeling that
scratchy throat come on. My blood pH had gone from acid to
alkaline. To optimize my immunity, I needed to acidify my
blood, which I did. I did a few natural medicine treatments
and altered my supplements and in two days I was ready to
cycle like a mad man. You know how I ran today. Let’s
see 18 miles in 2 hours 35 minutes, lower than 9 minute miles.
Remember, 28 degrees and running on ice and hills, not bad.
It is now about 2 hours after my run and I am writing this.
How can I do it? Let’s recap. Sickish feeling on Thursday,
biked 2 ½ hours Saturday, and ran 18 miles today in
freezing cold conditions and then have enough energy to write
this article. How is it possible? It is blood pH, baby. It
is the secret.
You may have hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue,
stomach aches, terrible energy, muscle aching, poor concentration,
or a host of other health conditions bringing you down. For
many of these, the one key to feeling better is knowing your
baseline blood pH. If it is out of the normal range, getting
it back into the optimal range has got to help you feel better.
In our experience, it sure has. Imagine if you had 25% more
energy for your body to repair itself? You just might feel
good, right? Maybe your immune system would be enhanced? Healing
should be enhanced right? Well, what are you waiting for? Go
ahead and get your blood pH tested!
10. So the Athlete Has Fun!
Most of us forget sometimes that the reason we do athletics
is to have fun. Having a balanced blood pH will give the
athlete tons of fun. How will it do this? Well, sports training
will be enhanced. You will swim, bike, run, compete, and
perform with more energy, vitality, and intensity - won’t
that be fun? You won’t get injured and that will keep
the fun going! You will PR at your “A” race.
That will be a blast! You will recover great, so you can
workout the next day. That will be good for your friends
you workout with. So let’s not forget their fun! Your
stomach won’t become queasy while exercising, so that
will be fun. Those stupid side stitches or muscle cramps
will stop. That will be great! After workouts you will be
awake for your family and then you can have some fun with
your kids and your spouse! That will be tons of fun! You
may get a promotion at work because you’ll be able
to concentrate better and give 110%. Your boss will be so
impressed. That will be great! But mostly, you’ll just
be able to continue to exercise. You need it! It is your
outlet! Your time! Your psychotherapy! It is what you do
with your free time! It is how you and your friends have
fun together! Ultimately, it makes you the type of person
you desire to be and that kind of person is a lot of fun
to be around!