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pH

Updated: Mar 15

What is pH?

Urinary pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of urine. It reflects the concentration of hydrogen ions in urine, with lower pH values indicating greater acidity and higher pH values indicating greater alkalinity.



How can the levels be affected?

Urinary pH levels can be affected by physical activity in several ways:

  1. Dehydration: During exercise, especially when it's intense and prolonged, you can lose a significant amount of fluids through sweat. Dehydration can lead to concentrated urine, which may become more acidic.

  2. High lactic acid production: When you exercise, your body produces lactic acid in response to the effort. This lactic acid then enters the bloodstream and is filtered by the kidneys into the urine.

  3. Deep and rapid breathing: During intense exercise, you tend to breathe more deeply and rapidly to supply more oxygen to your muscles. This can lead to an accumulation of carbon dioxide in the blood, which can acidify the blood's pH and potentially the urine's pH.

  4. Diet and supplements: Certain diets high in proteins or acidic foods (mainly of animal origin) can also influence urinary pH. Taking certain supplements, like protein supplements or energy drinks, can affect the body's acid-base balance and, therefore, the pH of urine.

  5. Oxidative stress: Exercise can lead to the production of free radicals (reactive molecules that can interact with proteins and lipids). An accumulation of these free radicals can induce cellular damage or oxidative stress in the body, which can influence the acid-base balance. High levels of free radicals produced during physical activity can make the urine more acidic.

  6. Duration and intensity of exercise: Longer and more intense workout sessions can have a more significant impact on urinary pH levels than lighter or moderate exercises. It's important to note that temporary variations in urinary pH due to exercise are generally normal and temporary. It's always recommended to maintain adequate hydration during exercise and follow a balanced diet to promote optimal urinary pH.


It is important to note that temporary variations in urinary pH due to exercise are generally normal and temporary. It is always advisable to maintain adequate hydration during exercise and to follow a balanced diet to promote optimal urinary pH.


How can I maintain an optimal rate?

To maintain optimal urinary pH, consider applying the following advice:

  • Stay well-hydrated: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps maintain optimal pH levels. Try to drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water per day, or more if you're physically active or if it's hot.

  • Proper warm-up and recovery: Incorporate warm-up sessions before training and recovery periods after training. This can help reduce oxidative stress and maintain the body's acid-base balance.

  • Variety in physical activities: Engage in a variety of physical activities to avoid overloading certain muscle groups and reduce the risk of excessive fatigue, which can disrupt the acid-base balance.

  • Balanced diet: Adopt a diet rich in antioxidant foods:

Fruits and Vegetables

Dried Fruits

Nuts and Seeds

Legumes

-  Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries…)

-  Citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, grapefruits…)

-  Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli…)

-  Colorful vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes…)

-  Dried fruits (raisins, prunes, dates, figs…)

-  Nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds…)

-  Legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils…)

 These foods tend to have an alkalizing effect on the body and can help maintain optimal urinary pH. Limit the consumption of acidic foods and beverages such as processed foods, sodas, coffee, and alcohol.

  • Monitor protein intake: High-protein diets can increase urine acidity. While proteins are important for muscle repair and growth, excessive consumption can lead to acidic urinary pH. Aim for a moderate protein intake 2 to 3 times per week.


By tailoring your exercise program according to these tips, you can help maintain optimal urinary pH to support peak athletic performance.

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