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Being a 400m sprinter, I know a lot about lactic acid.
Actually, acidosis or the increase of hydrogen H+ ions is the proper term.
Luckily, a good aerobic base and cool down after the workout will flush the lactic acid out. The better your circulation, red blood cells, and oxygen uptake, the better you clear it out. And you wonder why some World Class sprinters take EPO?
But acidosis has nothing to do with an acidic diet, which may confuse people.
Let’s change the topic.
Because the average North American diet is high in coffee, protein, dairy products, and grains… all of which attribute to an acidic diet.
Read Never Be Sick Again by Raymond Francis… in a way, I think he’s onto something with reducing and eliminating certain food groups. But giving up white bread and white flour pasta in Italy? I’ll be so unpopular.
The result from a long term acidic diet is low grade chronic metabolic acidosis, and it gets worse with age, probably from aging kidneys, as well as the other aging organs in your body… including that one!
The 2 big side effects from metabolic acidosis are:
- Osteoporosis from hypercalciuria (high concentrations of calcium in the urine). You guessed it, the calcium loss is coming from the bones!
- Proteolysis from negative nitrogen balance. You guessed it again, the glutamine loss is coming from the muscles!
What can you do about it?
- Add Glutamine. You could add 5 grams to your protein shakes or post recovery workout as an insurance policy.
- Add Baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) or simply take Tums or Rolaids after “acidic” meals. When you make Sunday morning pancakes, add an extra heaping of Cow Brand or Arm and Hammer to the mix.
- Add Salt (for sodium). Being in Rome, I am shocked to see how much salt they put in the water to boil pasta. Yes, pasta! But a diet high in sodium has its ill effects too, so it’s not recommended.
- Add more Fruits and Vegetables… they are the best acid-neutralizers foods out there! Make your Mother proud… eat more veggies. It will be better than any pill or powder out there!
I’m not saying the alkaline diet is the answer to long life or personal bests when to you reach the M65 age group, but an acidic diet can potentially cause more harm than good. The effects will vary from person to person.
As always, when in doubt, consult your physician first.