Today, I talk about hydrogen supplements with a twist. Specifically, I discovered that a unique combination of three products—Megahydrate, Active H2 Ultra, and pH ADJUST Alkalinizing Formula—provides surprising benefits. I put this combination, or concoction, into water to produce a hydrogen-infused drink with potent antioxidant quenching capacity that also rapidly alkalinizes the body (increasing pH levels and buffering acids), and provides the important minerals potassium and magnesium.
Combining hydrogen supplements with pH ADJUST creates a hydrogen-infused drink giving you benefits from 1) Two types of hydrogen, hydride (H-) and molecular hydrogen (H2) with antioxidant and energizing properties, 2) Increased pH levels (greater alkalinity) to balance pH levels, 3) Bicarbonates helping buffer acids and replenish bicarbonate reserves in the body, and 4) Essential minerals (potassium, magnesium) in bio-available forms.
In practical terms, this drink is energizing, anti-aging (party due to free-radical quenching effects), hydrating, and powerfully alkaline-forming! What this means for you might be a revolutionary drink that by giving your body all the antioxidant benefits of hydrogen plus increasing your pH levels turns can significantly improve multiple aspects of health.
By buffering acidity and making you alkaline, this drink can improve things like the strength of bones and teeth (via buffering and remineralization), supports kidney health (as kidneys are responsible for your bicarbonate reserves), boosts oxygenation (and thereby supports easier breathing) because alkaline cells hold more oxygen, and stops or reduces acid indigestion, acid reflux, and other acid-related problems. That could be just the beginning of the benefits you might receive because increasing your pH levels and normalizing alkaline conditions (i.e., pH 7.35–7.45) positively impacts many systems in the body.
WHY COMBINE pH ADJUST AND HYDROGEN SUPPLEMENTS?
pH Adjust, Megahydrate, and Active H2 Ultra are good supplements when used by themselves. That is, they work well as stand alone supplements. But I have found the combination of all three offers maximum antioxidant, alkalization, buffering, and mineralization benefits.
pH Adjust maximizes the effects of hydrogen supplements by boosting alkalinity and buffering capacity through the inclusion of effective, natural forms of important minerals and bicarbonates, including: potassium bicarbonate, magnesium carbonate, potassium glycinate, and sodium bicarbonate.
SYNERGY: HOW EACH PRODUCT CONTRIBUTES TO THE DRINK
There are potent synergistic effects to the combination of all three products. In particular, using both hydrogen negative ions (H-) or hydride and molecular hydrogen (H2) creates cascade effects in which hydrogen ions “recycle” themselves as antioxidants. The addition of pH Adjust brings its own set of benefits.
• MEGAHYDRATE provides hydride or hydrogen negative ions (H-), also known as anions, that act significantly as antioxidants. These hydrogen ions can last up to three weeks in water. In the body, after the H- has donated its electron, it becomes simply “H” and proceeds to pair with another hydrogen atom to form H2 (molecular hydrogen), thereby continuing to exert free-radical quenching action. This is a major benefit of consuming H- in the quantities provided by Megahydrate.
• ACTIVE H2 ULTRA provides molecular hydrogen (H2) directly into the body in significant amounts. Molecular hydrogen offers many benefits to the body, especially antioxidant benefits. Being an extremely small molecule, molecular hydrogen can enter into the smallest cellular compartments, including the nucleus of the cell, a place where most antioxidants are too large to enter) where it can exert its antioxidant capabilities. Molecular hydrogen actually provides a wide range of health benefits. (See the Molecular Hydrogen Institute (MHI) website for more information.)
• pH ADJUST Alkalinizing Formula provides effective alkalinizing and buffering functions, as well as minerals (like potassium and magnesium) and bicarbonates needed for health. It is a fluffy, white powder that mixes easily in water, teas, coffee, and other liquids. It is formulated to rapidly increase pH levels, and acts as a buffering agent to balance pH in the body.
pH Adjust was created by my father, Dr. Hank Liers, HPDI’s founder and formulator of all “Dr. Liers Original” supplements. Dr. Hank been designing effective nutritional supplements since before 1988, the year he founded HPDI.
ACID-BASE BALANCE CRITICAL FOR HEALTH
Acid-base balance is critical in the body, where a pH level of 7.35–7.45 must be maintained. Modern diets and lifestyles tend to be acidifying for the body. Diets high in animal foods that are not adequately balanced with vegetable foods lead to acidity. Other factors include overconsumption of grains, alcohol, and other acid-forming foods. Stress can also play a role due too the acidifying effects of stress hormones like cortisol.
Moreover, the aging process itself depletes bicarbonate reserves. As noted, pH Adjust contains bicarbonates that help replenish bicarbonate reserves necessary for buffering acids. Finally, a significant portion of the population has low intake of potassium and magnesium, which pH Adjust includes as part of its design.
pH Adjust also includes sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), which is a well known acidity buffer and alkalinizer. For users, advantages of pH Adjust over pure sodium bicarbonate include reduced sodium intake, improved taste, and the provision of potassium and magnesium.
POTASSIUM & MAGNESIUM FOR HEALTH
Potassium is critical in the body not only for alkalinity, but also for its role in the sodium-potassium pump which is important in the production of cellular energy (ATP) and for preventing too high levels of sodium from entering cells.
Magnesium is essential in the body and plays a role in wide range of functions, including cellular energy production, immune function, muscle and connective tissue health, and more than 400 enzyme reactions.
pH ADJUST is a highly effective buffering formula, which tends to bring pH levels (low or high) back into the optimal range (7.35-7.45). This buffering capacity means users can both avoid acidosis (high acidity) and alkalosis (high alkalinity).
MAKE THE DRINK
OPTIMIZE MEGAHYDRATE & ACTIVE H2 ULTRA BY ADDING pH ADJUST
Start with 8–16 ounces of fresh, purified water. Add 1–2 scoops of pH ADJUST, 1–2 capsules (or 1-2 scoops) of MEGAHYDRATE, and 1–2 ACTIVE H2 ULTRA tablets. Add the Active H2 Ultra tablets last, and let them effervesce completely (about 1 minute) before drinking.
This alkaline-forming, hydrogen-infused water is best taken on an empty stomach. It is ideal to drink in the morning or the afternoon (away from food). Allow at least 15–30 minutes before eating, or see what works for you. I sometimes eat light foods 10 minutes after taking this drink.
I recommend testing your pH levels (salivary and/or urinary) using pH test paper (litmus paper). pH test paper gives you a way to accurately track your pH levels. You can also use it to measure the pH of foods you consume, such as hydrogen-infused water and drinks containing pH Adjust.
Note: Many HPDI customers use pH Adjust in other drinks, including tea, coffee, and ketogenic coffee. Coffee can be acidic and acid-forming beverage, so adding pH Adjust helps buffer the acidity. Many users say pH Adjust tastes mild or good in coffee, and some say it adds a certain creaminess to it.
USE THIS ALKALINIZING HYDROGEN DRINK!
The only way you will know how beneficial hydrogen-infused water with pH Adjust can be—or how well it works for you—is to make it and use it! You will likely find yourself surprised by how energizing, alkalinizing, and mineralizing it truly is for you. And how good you feel when you drink it!
Consider testing the pH of your water first using pH test paper. Many people drink highly acidic water (pH 6 or less) without realizing it. Just because your water is filtered or purified does not necessarily mean it is alkaline. pH Adjust can “fix” this problem. Other people report that their water is highly alkaline (8.0+). Either way, pH Adjust can buffer the water to put it into the range slightly alkaline range of about 7.35–7.45. If you have extremely acidic water, you might need to use two servings of pH Adjust in 8–16 ounces of water. Play with it.
Let us know how this works out for you. We welcome your feedback and success stories!
MANY OTHER WAYS TO USE pH ADJUST
Hydrogen supplements and pH Adjust are made for each other, and create wonderfully alkalinizing hydrogen-infused water. But there are other ways to use pH Adjust. As I mentioned, you might like to read about making pH Adjust Coffee or Ketogenic Coffee using pH Adjust. Or watch my videos below. Also, did you know you can use pH Adjust in lemonade and other juices?
Today I show how to use pH ADJUST Alkalinizing Formula to make coffee alkaline. When pH Adjust is added to coffee, it rapidly changes from an acidic pH level to an alkaline pH level.
When you drink alkaline coffee, you are helping your body keep the healthy pH level of 7.34–7.45 it strives to maintain. Moreover, by changing to an alkaline state from an acidic state, you avoid health issues known to be associated with acidosis or ongoing, highly acidic pH levels.
pH ADJUST makes an already health-giving beverage into an alkaline-forming powerhouse supporting your best heath and brain performance. pH Adjust also effectively increases pH when used in water, juices, smoothies, or your favorite beverage.
pH ADJUST works by providing key minerals potassium (bicarbonate and glycinate) and magnesium (carbonate), as well as some sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) that act synergistically to boost pH levels in the body. HPDI recommends users measure pH using litmus paper to accurately test their pH levels.
Ideally your body pH is 7.35–7.45. Coffee itself is typically acidic with pH levels of about 5.0 to 6.0. pH Adjust therefore is an ideal supplement for adding into coffee to increase the pH of the coffee you drink and thereby increase your pH levels.
WHAT IS pH ADJUST?
pH ADJUST is an alkalinizing formula (powder) that is designed to increase pH levels in the body rapidly and effectively for good health.
Here is how we describe pH ADJUST on the label: “Alkalinizing Formula, 250 gm – Alkalinize with Potassium Bicarbonate, Magnesium Carbonate, Potassium Glycinate, and Sodium Bicarbonate”
pH ADJUST Features and Benefits
• Alkalinize with Potassium and Sodium Bicarbonate and Magnesium Carbonate
• Helps Counteract Overly Acidic Conditions; Increases pH Levels in the Body
• Balanced Supplemental Minerals; Unique 3:1 Potassium to Sodium Ratio Improves Taste and Reduces Salt Intake
• Tastes Good – Easy to Use Fluffy Powder
• 250 One-Gram Servings Per Container (250 grams)
• Suitable for Vegetarians & Vegans; Gluten-Free
pH ADJUST may be used to assist in overly acidic conditions in the digestive tract, blood, and kidneys; increase salivary and urinary pH to healthy levels; and to supplement the body with the minerals potassium, magnesium, and sodium.
INGREDIENTS:pH ADJUST contains (in powder form): potassium bicarbonate, magnesium carbonate, potassium glycinate, and sodium bicarbonate.
Each one gram serving (about ¼ tsp) contains about 300 mg of bicarbonate, 260 mg of carbonate, 133.4 mg of potassium ((from KHCO3 & glycinate), 99.1 mg of magnesium (from MgCO3), 48.1 mg of sodium (from NaHCO3) and 100 mg of glycine.
DIRECTIONS: As a dietary supplement, take ¼ tsp in 4–8 ounces of purified water preferably away from food, or as directed by a health care professional. For extremely acidic conditions, try 4–10 doses per day, depending on acidity level. Use pH paper to ensure pH levels remain balanced, and do not become too alkaline (alkalosis may occur above pH 8.2).
TEST pH LEVELS: The best way to test pH levels is to use litmus paper, which HPDI offers in rolls (Hydrion brand) for this purpose. You can test both salivary and urinary pH. Advantages of pH paper include rapid results, ease of use, and cost effectiveness.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT pH ADJUST
pH ADJUST is fluffy white powder that mixes into water, juices, other liquids, and foods. It acts rapidly to raise pH levels in the body. It is easy to use, mild-tasting, and highly effective for balancing pH levels. It is gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan/vegetarian, and contains no artificial ingredients.
NUTRITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS AND APPLICATIONS
The minerals potassium, sodium, and magnesium are key substances that are involved in many important functions in the body. When combined in bicarbonates (potassium & sodium), carbonates (magnesium), and glycinate (potassium) these chemicals can help to adjust and balance pH levels that are crucial to body function.
pH ADJUST provides a 3:1 ratio of potassium to sodium. This ratio keeps potassium levels relatively high with respect to sodium. The processed food diets with a high protein and low vegetable content consumed by many people in the US and elsewhere produce conditions in the body of acidity. This in turn leads to decreased oxygenation of our cells and a greater amount of anaerobic processes in metabolism. This, in turn, leads in inadequate ATP (energy) production and the presence of unwelcome anaerobic cells and organisms.
Bicarbonate is a major element in our body. Secreted by the stomach, it is necessary for digestion. When ingested, for example, with mineral water, it helps buffer lactic acid generated during exercise and additionally reduces the acidity of dietary components. Additionally, it has a preventive effect on dental cavities. Each ¼ tsp of pH ADJUST contains about 300 mg of bicarbonate.
Bicarbonate is present in all body fluids and organs and plays a major role in the acid-base balances in the human body. The first organ where food, beverages and water stay in our body is the stomach. The mucus membrane of the human stomach has 30 million glands which produce gastric juice containing not only acids, but also bicarbonate. The flow of bicarbonate in the stomach amounts from about 24 mg/hr for a basal output to about 73 mg/hr for a maximal output.
Thus, at least half a gram of bicarbonate is secreted daily in our stomach. This rate of gastric bicarbonate secretion is 2–10% of the maximum rate of acid secretion. In the stomach, bicarbonate participates in a mucus-bicarbonate barrier regarded as the first line of the protective and repair mechanisms. On neutralization by acid, carbon dioxide is produced from bicarbonate.
One serving (about ¼ tsp) of pH ADJUST contains about 300 mg of bicarbonate.
pH ADJUST contains about 260 mg of carbonate (and 99 mg of Mg) in the form of magnesium carbonate. Magnesium carbonate is used as an antacid that gets converted to Magnesium Chloride (MgCl) and CO2 by stomach acid. MgCl is a well absorbed form of magnesium.
TRY pH ADJUST IN YOUR COFFEE
We strongly recommend trying pH Adjust in your coffee (or ketogenic coffee) to help alkalinize the body rapidly. Many people gain major benefits from drinking this simple, easy-to-use formula that is highly effective for raising pH levels. Beyond coffee, it works well in other drinks! Like water, teas, juices, or smoothies. Try pH Adjust and see how effectively it can alkalinize you.
Summer is here. That means lemonade! As in the “Lemonade Diet” or “Master Cleanse.” The lemonade diet is famous since Stanley Burroughs wrote his classic, The Master Cleanser. Hollywood has used his lemonade diet for decades—for health and weight loss. In recent years, the lemonade diet has gone mainstream.
While safe, effective weight loss may be its “claim-to-fame,” the lemonade diet is useful as a kidney cleanser promoting the health of the kidneys and bladder system, including the entire urinary tract. The lemonade diet cleanses kidneys best when combined with kidney-specific herbs like Uva ursi, parsley, cornsilk, and juniper berry.
A major reason lemonade is beneficial for health is that it’s highly alkalinizing in the body. Lemonade itself is acidic on the pH scale. Yet, after it is in the body it acts as an alkalinizer! That might seem counterintuitive. But your health—and alkalinity—can count on lemonade to increase your pH levels.
Acid-alkaline balance is critical for health. Your body must maintain a pH of about 7.35–7.45. If you’re too acidic, then your body will find ways (even robbing your bones for minerals) to buffer acidity. Diets high in fruits and vegetables are more alkaline-forming, at least partly due to high potassium levels. High potassium levels drive higher alkalinity.
You can—and should—measure your pH using litmus paper. Once you’ve got a baseline of your pH levels, you can see for yourself how dietary changes—like the lemonade diet—help move your pH toward greater alkalinity and improved acid-alkaline balance.
Given that modern, Western diets high in meats and simple carbohydrates are acid-forming—often in the extreme—it makes sense that lemonade benefits anyone who needs to be more alkaline. Of course, I’m not talking about sugar-laden, or pre-mixed, artificially sweetened, fake lemonade drinks. I mean real lemonade—which is the only kind that works as a “master cleanser.”
I have written about the lemonade diet, as well about kidney & bladder cleansing. I often perform a 3–7 day summer kidney cleanse using kidney herbs—including tinctures and teas—and follow it with a few days of the lemonade diet.
Make lemonade: squeeze fresh lemons, add maple syrup and cayenne pepper
This summer, I totally reversed order. I started with a 15-day lemonade diet and followed it with a three-day kidney cleanse. You can gain huge alkalinizing (and kidney cleansing) benefits from lemonade alone.
The original recipe for the Lemonade Diet:*
2 Tbsp organic Lemon or Lime Juice 2 Tbsp organic Maple Syrup (dark color/robust taste) (Grade A) 8 ounces fresh water 1/4 tsp organic Cayenne Pepper (optional)
(* from The Complete Master Cleanse)
Modify the recipe to suit your taste. The original recipe can be strong and sweet. However, it provides sufficient calories (from maple syrup) to live on for days, weeks, or longer. Try using lime juice for a different flavor. I often use more water—up to 16 ounces or more—for this amount of ingredients.
Among the nutritional supplements that helps me while lemonade fasting—and especially on the longer fasts—is Rejuvenate! Original Greens superfood. It is highly energizing and nourishing. I recommend using a green superfood like Rejuvenate! Original Greens because it is highly energizing and nutritious, yet light in the body and supports detoxification. You can put it directly into your lemonade or take it separately. I prefer to stir it into my second or third serving of lemonade—so early in the day—but not in my first dose of lemonade.
Not only does Rejuvenate! Original Greens provide powerfully nutrition, including important vitamins and minerals, it also supports detoxification processes as it contains chlorella (40%) and dietary nucleic acids (dietary RNA and DNA). The cell wall of chlorella uniquely has the capacity to grab onto heavy metals, chemical contaminants, and toxins—and sequester them for removal from the body. Dietary nucleic acids are energizing and support detoxification processes.
I have used the “Lemonade Diet” for 20 years—in all seasons—at home and “on the road.” I typically go for one to three weeks. I have successfully completed longer lemonade diets, including several for six weeks and at least one for two months. I may not take Rejuvenate! every day during a lemonade diet, but this superfood provides benefits that help turn a “good” master cleanse in a “great” one.
MY LEMONADE DIET—AND A TWIST
After 15 days of lemonade, I feel lighter, leaner, and totally alkaline. In fact, I am more alkaline after this lemonade diet than ever before. Why? Because I did something different this year—I added a twist to my routine.
Instead of following my usual lemonade diet, I added a new alkalinizing supplement called pH Adjust. It is a pure, white powder that you can add to water or lemonade (or other liquid drinks) providing minerals formulated to boost alkalinity: potassium bicarbonate and glycinate, magnesium carbonate, and sodium bicarbonate.
I sometimes added pH Adjust to my lemonade. Other times I took it by itself in water. I started at one-quarter teaspoon (1/4 tsp) daily, and worked up to one teaspoon (1 tsp) daily over the course of my lemonade diet. Adding pH Adjust to my regimen made a significant difference in my overall alkalinity by increasing my pH levels. And I could feel the difference.
pH Adjust is formulated specifically to alkalinize your body. I believe it can be more alkalinizing than lemonade itself. Yet, lemonade and pH Adjust work well together to increase pH levels.
I test my pH levels daily using pH paper. I find that when compared to lemonade alone, adding pH Adjust boosts my alkalinity noticeably. I easily maintained an alkalinity between 7.4 and 8.0 for my entire 15-day lemonade diet. That is, I could more easily maintain a higher alkalinity than with lemonade alone.
Note: If I were to continue the lemonade diet longer than two or three weeks, I would recommend reducing or stopping use of pH Adjust. That’s because while you most likely want maintain a relatively higher pH level than you had before you started the lemonade diet, it is best not to maintain a pH of 8.0 for extended periods as you run the risk of too high pH. That won’t be a problem for most people, but testing your pH levels using litmus paper is important. Then you will know your pH levels—and can more readily balance your pH.
After you complete the lemonade diet and return to consuming solid foods, then it is advisable to use pH Adjust to maintain a balanced, but relatively alkaline pH of about 7.45—which is actually an optimal pH for health.
Keeping you alkaline is what pH Adjust is formulated to do…and it fulfills that promise—easily! Now it’s up to you to test your pH, get started on a more alkaline-forming diet, and feel the difference for yourself. Once you’re in the proper alkaline range, you won’t want to go back. And you’ll be better for it!
Editor’s note: HPDI’s sponsored pro cyclist Irena Ossola is a frequent contributor to our blog. Today she writes about her experience with adjusting and monitoring her pH levels using pH Adjust and pH test strips. ~
I have used HPDI’s pH Adjust alkalinizing formula for about two months, and my experience has been quite interesting. I can see how my body reacts on a chemical level to different stresses—such as racing, travel, training, rest, and different foods I eat. I consistently use pH paper to test my pH first thing when I wake up in order to have a more controlled test.
My primary finding is that after a race my body is quite acidic (pH of 6.3). While in contrast after a day of rest and/or dinner consisting of lots of vegetables and spinach my body is quite alkaline (pH of 7.5 to 8).
TESTING MY pH LEVELS FOR ALKALINITY
While in France and racing very hard, I noticed that taking pH Adjust every morning helped my body feel more balanced and avoid spikes of energy or tiredness. I could rest and sleep more deeply, and train with both greater quality and frequency.
Wearing my HPDI gear. Products like pH Adjust and Rejuvenate! superfoods keep in me in top condition.
After a month in France of hard racing and training, I began experiencing leg cramping due to the fatigue and travel. I remained consistent in my testing and taking pH Adjust through this difficult period. Initially, my tests were very acidic when the cramps began. Then as my diet consisted of just soup and salad (to hydrate and ease the burden on my digestion/kidneys) the pH test strips showed my pH to be more alkaline.
Also, I read that bicarbonate could help with cramping as it acts as a buffer in the body. So I continued to take the pH Adjust consistently and even increased my doses by adding an evening dose as well, if my afternoon/evening pH test showed my body was acidic (below pH 7).
DIET AND pH ADJUST KEEP ME ALKALINE
During the period of cramping I know pH Adjust helped to reestablish an alkaline environment in my body. This is important in order to heal from the cramping which creates a lot of lactic acid and fatigue in my muscles. I noticed the symptoms were reduced. During the cramping stage, I usually have cramping even when walking, but this time it was limited primarily to the bike. I recovered faster and felt better sooner, which I think is a result of the pH Adjust and the correct diet.
Testing pH levels with litmus paper guides my diet and use of pH Adjust.
Even after travel and during my return to harder training I will continue to take pH Adjust as part of my normal routine. There is nothing else available or on the market that acts so specifically to balance the pH within the body. This is so important as we introduce and put many stresses on our body that take it out of balance. Whether it is environmental or nutritional, these stresses can lead to further problems. So simply taking pH Adjust every morning can help protect against these variables. I feel the difference when I am consistent in taking it, and my body is under constant stresses due to my work as a professional cyclist.
pH Adjust helps me maintain optimal pH levels—there’s nothing else like it.
JUICE CLEANSE AND RECOVERY
Last month I returned from Europe where I was suffering from some leg cramping, so I decided to do a body cleanup. I was still taking pH Adjust in the morning and my normal supplements, but I also wanted to do a 3–5 day juice cleanse. This helped the recovery as it cleans out my kidneys and gives my digestion a rest. Whenever I return from travel or racing I try to do a juice cleanse to reboot my system.
Me and my bike!
The three day juice cleanse ended up being a great flush, and my legs were recovering very well after all the travel, racing, cramping, and stress.
I did notice some feelings of fogginess in my head during the cleanse. But I was told that this is not uncommon to feel as it could be either from the reduced amount of protein entering the body, or because the toxins are being cleaned out of the system, so the mind is also readjusting to this as well.
I have noticed that the more juice cleanses I do, the faster and easier my body adjusts to the fluid diet. I don’t feel hunger, but just craving for the juice and energy. As long as I have enough juice made and on hand, I don’t feel worried about my ability to nourish my body. Without intense training I really enjoy the cleanse and don’t feel the need or cravings for sugar or certain foods. It simplifies life, and allows me to focus on important things like training and my work as a pro cyclist.
Pro Tip: When going through lots of stress on the body like exercise, illness, surgery, polluted environments, etc., increase the amount of Rejuvenate! superfoods in your diet and eat sardines. Both of these nutritional components will help speed up recovery time, and battle any incoming hazards and risk factors to your body.
Pro Tip: Rejuvenate! superfoods support recovery after training and racing.
Well, no—you probably don’t get enough—and you’re not alone. Fewer than 2% of people do.
Experts say 4,700 milligrams (4.7 grams) of potassium is the minimum daily intake required for health and to reduce risk of chronic disease.
Yet, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reports the average potassium intake for Americans is 2,640 milligrams (2.6 g) daily. This low intake remains unchanged over decades! Most people get less than half the amount of potassium needed to meet “adequate” or minimum levels.
Given essential roles played by potassium in the body, and the known health benefits it confers, almost everyone — including you — can benefit from additional potassium. From where will it come?
That is to say, will the average person really meet recommended potassium intake from diet alone? I’m a huge advocate for increasing intake of dietary potassium, but long-term evidence suggests the answer is “no.” Supplementing with certain forms of potassium can be an effective adjunct to dietary intake.
It therefore can be highly beneficial to take a potassium-containing formula like pH Adjust, which provides potassium bicarbonate that boosts potassium levels and powerfully alkalinizes the body.
Bananas provide potassium (400–800 mg), but not if you don’t eat them!
THE “NEGLECTED” MINERAL?
For years, a parade of minerals—calcium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, and yes, sodium—have drawn attention from health professionals, consumers, and the media. Whither potassium?
Yet despite compelling scientific studies, articles, and books, potassium has not “caught on” among doctors, consumers, or health aficionados. Nevertheless, knowledgeable health professionals and a small number of health-consious individuals have known of its importance for decades and longer.
Potassium has become known as the “forgotten” or “neglected” mineral. It’s time to revisit what we thought we knew…or never knew. It’s time to recognize potassium as “first among equals” in the pantheon of macrominerals.
If you think you know potassium, prepare to think again.
A review from Nutrition 101…and some things you may not know:
The symbol for potassium is “K” in the periodic table. It is one of seven essential macrominerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, and sulfur.
• Regulates fluid balance in the body by means of the sodium-potassium pump (Na+/K+ pump)
• Controls electrical activity of cardiac muscle (heart) and other muscles
• Counters the effects of sodium and thereby maintains proper blood pressure
• Maintains proper acid-base balance in the body
BENEFITS OF HIGH (ADEQUATE) POTASSIUM:
• Decreases risk of dying from all causes (20%)
• Reduces risk of stroke
• Lowers blood pressure
• Protects against loss of muscle mass
• Preserves bone mineral density
• Reduces formation of kidney stones
POTASSIUM – NEEDED MORE THAN EVER?
Beyond the benefits you may take for granted that are provided by the mineral you don’t get enough of…there are many reasons why potassium is more important than ever.
One major reason potassium is needed more than ever: sodium.
Sodium is the essential macromineral no one seems to be lacking. Just the opposite! When people talk about sodium, it is usually about how to avoid it. Sodium is blamed for hypertension and adverse cardiovascular health. What is the connection between sodium and potassium?
It all starts at the level of the cell with the “sodium-potassium pump” (or N+/K+ pump). The sodium-potassium pump is responsible for keeping sodium out of cells and keeping potassium in. But it also a carrier for nutrients going into cells, and it is involved in the energy production.
The typical modern diet —low in potassium and high in sodium (and sugar)—is a major problem for cells because it compromises the function of the sodium-potassium pump. Optimal function of the sodium-potassium pump requires not only increasing potassium intake, but also reducing sodium intake.
The sodium-potassium pump expels 3 sodium ions and brings in 2 potassium ions per cycle
SODIUM – POTASSIUM RELATIONSHIP:
• Humans once consumed high levels of potassium (12 g or higher) and low levels of sodium (<2 g) daily. That 6:1 ratio in favor of potassium has radically shifted to a 2:1 or even 4:1 ratio in favor of sodium. Salt is everywhere in the food supply. The potassium to sodium ratio (K/Na ratio) is called the “K Factor.”
• High “K Factor”: During evolutionary history, humans consumed 5–10+ times more potassium than sodium. Because the prehistoric diet contained little sodium, the body developed means for conserving it through resorption. Conversely, our potassium supplies were higher, and therefore the body developed no system for conserving it—it is absorbed, filtered by the kidneys, and eliminated.
• Cellular imbalance between potassium and sodium can cause strokes and other damage without increasing blood pressure (K Factor xxix). An exclusive focus on decreasing blood pressure (whether through diet or drugs) that fails to take potassium into consideration may not produce desired results.
• The sodium-potassium (Na+/K+) pump is an important pump that exists in cells. Its job is to keep sodium levels low in cells (pump out sodium and wastes) and pump in potassium, glucose, and other nutrients. Sufficient potassium is critical for this all-important pump that keeps us healthy.
• When sodium (salt) levels are high and potassium levels are low, the pump does not function efficiently. Cells cannot prevent sodium from entering, causing them to swell from osmotic pressure, and causing metabolic blockage.
• The sodium-potassium pump uses sodium as a “carrier” to bring in potassium, glucose, and other nutrients. For every glucose molecule, two sodium molecules are pumped into a cell. With high sodium intakes, cells become overloaded with sodium, and the pump works far less efficiently.
• Low potassium creates greater imbalance preventing the pump from excreting sodium, and also preventing nutrients from entering cells. The cell produces less energy and enters a type of metabolic stasis.
• Studies show the greatest decreases in blood pressure occur not only when sodium intake decreases, but when potassium intake simultaneously increases.
The role of potassium in the sodium-potassium pump has implications for nearly every function in the human body. And potassium does a lot more.
MANY HEALTH BENEFITS
Potassium provides many benefits. These include known benefits for reducing hypertension, stroke, osteoporosis, and kidney stones, as well as supporting cardiovascular health, and stabilizing blood glucose. Many of potassium’s benefits relate to its role in the sodium-potassium pump. Other benefits relate to different aspects of potassium.
POTASSIUM ALKALINIZES YOUR BODY
Among the most significant features of potassium is its ability to alkalinize the body. Potassium neutralizes acids by itself and especially when combined with minerals such as bicarbonates.
I have recently posted several articles that discuss potassium’s role in keeping the body alkaline. Specifically, how consuming more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables remains the most important means for maintaining alkaline conditions in the body.
Potassium contributes mightily to acid-alkaline balance essential for health by boosting alkalinity. pH levels in the range of 7.35–7.45 provide many benefits. Because modern diets and lifestyles tend to produce acidic conditions (acidosis) in the body, it is important to recognize potassium’s role as “ultimate alkalinizer.”
Known benefits of ideal pH levels (slightly alkaline) include:
• Optimal function of enzymes
• Proper mineral retention, including electrolyte reserves
• Better tissue oxygenation
• Beneficial effects on microbiome
Consuming more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables can help maintain proper pH in the body.
The alkaline-forming minerals include potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium. They work together to keep you alkaline—all are important. Yet, in terms of what in your diet most drives alkalinity, potassium is the king. In fact, certain measures of pH indicate that alkalinity is a function of potassium intake. This means potassium intake most effectively creates alkaline conditions.
High dietary intake of potassium-rich, alkaline-forming fruits and vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables) and vegetable juices is the best way of supporting proper pH. This is a proven means for balancing the effects of acid-forming foods like meats, and most grains and starches (simple carbohydrates).
Known factors producing overly acidic conditions in the body include consuming meats, sugar, processed foods, and simple carbohydrates like wheat, corn, rice, and most pastas and breads.
IT’S REALLY ABOUT DIET?
TOO LITTLE POTASSIUM…TOO MUCH SODIUM
The human story behind potassium begins with dietary intake. Once upon a time, we “got plenty” of potassium in our diets. Now, not so much.
Indeed, humans have a long history of high potassium intake from foods. Our paleolithic ancestors ate a lot of vegetables, fruits, and nuts—all of which are high in potassium. This helped balance their intake of nutrients from animal foods, which are typically lower in potassium.
During the rise of agriculture (20,000–30,000 years ago) and settled communities, grains became a significant portion of our diet. Yet, grains contain relatively low levels of potassium.
In addition, salt was added to foods in larger quantities as a preservative and taste enhancer. A long, slow slide toward decreasing potassium levels— and simultaneously increasing sodium levels—was set in motion.
Sodium is an essential mineral for health—it is one of the alkalinizing minerals. But historically, humans obtained 5–10+ times as much potassium as sodium. We have now “successfully” reversed potassium preponderance by consuming 2–4 times as much sodium as potassium. This causes lots of problems, and is one of the major elements creating dysfunction in sodium-potassium pumps in cells (see above).
In our modern age, and especially since the later decades of the the 20th century, intake of fresh vegetables and fruits has fallen dramatically. And so has the dietary intake of potassium.
The 20th century witnessed an unprecedented and dramatic rise in consumption of processed, packaged, and “fast” foods — most of which are low in potassium and high in sodium.
Beyond the rise of processed foods, there are declines in nutrients (including potassium) in foods due to steadily poorer soil quality on farmland. And adverse impacts on nutrients in food crops relating to the rise of industrial agriculture—with its dependency on chemicals—and failure to replenish soils.
DIET REMAINS BEST TO INCREASE POTASSIUM INTAKE
Potassium remains high in vegetables and fruits, including dried fruits. And vegetable broths. The best solution to low intake of potassium in the diet is simply consuming higher levels of vegetables and fruits, especially those that are fresh and organic.
Got spinach? It provides 800 mg potassium per cup!
Leafy greens (raw or cooked) are among the very best sources. Beet greens contain 1,300 mg of potassium per cup and spinach about 800 mg per cup.
Fresh carrot juice is my favorite providing nearly 700 mg per cup. Even comfort foods like baked potatoes (or sweet potatoes) provide high levels (1,000 mg) with skin. Avocado lovers rejoice, as there are 400–500 mg per avocado.
Beans and nuts are good sources, too. Fruits like bananas (400 mg), cantaloupe (350 mg), and even fruit juices like orange juice (650 mg) are significant sources. Among animal foods, fish, chicken, and pork are highest in potassium.
Nutritionists frequently suggest a 80–20 rule: simply consume 80% alkaline-forming foods to 20% acid-forming foods.
With this simple 80–20 formula, nearly everyone can achieve high—or at least adequate—potassium intake through their dietary choices.
The question is: Will people CHOOSE high-potassium foods? Do you?
SOLUTIONS FOR INCREASING POTASSIUM AND REDUCING SODIUM
You can point a person to high-potassium foods, but you can’t make them eat them. Despite exhortations from all sides for greater consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other high-potassium foods, “potassium sufficiency” isn’t the reality for most people. Potassium intake has been steady for decades.
Regarding sodium, it is just as easy (and important) for most people to decrease sodium in the diet as it is to increase potassium intake. Reduce use of salt. Choose low-sodium options when possible. Sodium is now on the radar as a mineral that promotes hypertension, so low-sodium options are increasingly available.
But like eating more fruits and vegetables, getting more exercise—and other things we know we “should” do—reducing sodium requires a conscious effort. The first part is awareness on the part of the individual. That leads to greater responsibility.
Too much sodium and insufficient potassium in the diet describes modern life.
I also believe manufacturers, restaurants, and the food industry in general should voluntarily limit the amount of sodium they put in foods. That would go a long way toward making it easier to reduce salt.
Coming back to potassium, an interesting fact is that based on US research, Finland in the 1990s replaced their salt shakers with potassium shakers. It’s true. And among other benefits, the incidence of strokes and heart attacks decreased by 60%.
Much can be done by individuals to improve their lives by increasing their potassium intake. Unless and until people eat enough high-potassium foods (and/or the US replaces its salt shakers with potassium shakers—which actually would help solve two problems), another viable option is potassium supplements.
For individuals who do not (or will not) consume sufficient potassium in their diets—this includes the vast majority of people—potassium supplementation can be beneficial.
Even for those who often consume adequate potassium, but sometimes fall short, supplementation is a useful option because it allows for increased potassium intake during times when they need more of it. And who doesn’t?
There are various potassium supplements, typically either capsules or alternate “salts” comprised partly or wholly of potassium bicarbonate. This form of potassium found naturally in fruits and vegetables (versus potassium chloride), and therefore is considered safe. Even when taken in amounts beyond normal recommended daily values, excesses will typically be excreted.
A few caveats. Most nutritional supplements only provide small amounts (100 mg) due to government rules created to avert “hyperalkemia,” defined as too much potassium in the blood. Hyperalkemia can be caused by acute or chronic kidney failure, so if you suffer from kidney failure, please leave potassium supplements alone.
Hyperalkemia can also be caused by medications, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (taken for lowering high blood pressure, ironically), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), and blood thinners like heparin. It may also relate to alcoholism, diabetes (type 1), or excessive use of potassium supplements.
The “normal” range of potassium in blood is 3.6–4.8 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L).
On the reverse side: while most people get less than ideal amounts of potassium in their diets, deficiencies that would qualify as too little potassium (“hypoalkemia”) are not common. (Symptoms of hypoalkemia can include irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, cramping, mood changes, nausea, and vomiting. Severe deficiencies may lead to muscle paralysis and abnormal heart rhythms.)
Given that most people do not obtain sufficient potassium, eating more fruits and vegetables and perhaps taking a high-quality potassium supplement will help the average person. That is, most people benefit from more potassium—not less—which they can get from diet and/or supplements.
pH ADJUST & POTASSIUM
HPDI recently launched pH Adjust, which is probably the world’s most sophisticated alkalinizing formula. pH Adjust is not a potassium supplement, per se. Yet, it provides easily assimilated potassium as part of a synergistic formula (including other important macrominerals) that is exceptionally well designed for increasing pH levels in the body.
pH ADJUST provides potassium and sodium bicarbonates and magnesium carbonate for alkalinity.
pH Adjust is already popular because many people are overly acidic due to dietary and lifestyle choices, including—but not limited to—not consuming enough vegetables and fruits and over-consuming meats, grains, and other acid-forming foods.
pH Adjust is an excellent formula for those interested in safely and rapidly increasing their pH to overcome acidosis, and creating alkaline conditions in the body.
One gram (1/4 teaspoon) of pH Adjust provides 141.7 mg of potassium from potassium bicarbonate and potassium glycinate. This means that one teaspoon — which is the amount I take daily — gives me 567 mg (.567 g) of potassium. That is not a huge amount of potassium, perhaps as much as you would obtain from mid-sized banana. However, if you consider that pH Adjust is a dietary supplement, which in conjunction with improved diet (i.e., consuming more potassium-rich foods) can make a difference in your potassium intake.
And for the many individuals whose potassium intake is less than 2.6 g — recall that 2.6 g is the AVERAGE intake — a 1/2 gram increase in potassium can make a big difference (a 20% boost!) in terms of improving total intake.
Then consider the “healthy” person whose potassium intake may hover around 4 g, which is above average, but less than the suggested 4.7 g intake level. One teaspoon of pH Adjust will move them into the range where they will meet— or get much closer to—the recommended daily intake.
pH ADJUST: MINERALS FOR ALKALINITY
Taking one teaspoon of pH Adjust daily not only helps boost potassium intake, but represents a HUGE move toward being alkaline, which is a major benefit for health, as I wrote in my last blog article.
Equally important in terms of alkalinizing the body, the bicarbonate form of potassium in pH Adjust is hugely alkaline-forming. That is, while potassium itself neutralizes acids in the body, potassium bicarbonate is substantially more alkalizing because of the tremendous alkaline-forming power of bicarbonate.
That is why HPDI created pH Adjust—to rapidly and effectively create alkaline conditions in the body.
Other significant facts: pH Adjust contains magnesium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. Magnesium carbonate helps neutralizes stomach acids (hydrochloric acid) and then after it is absorbed (as magnesium ions) it continues to neutralize acids throughout the body. The sodium bicarbonate similarly splits: sodium neutralizes acids and bicarbonates alkalinize the body.
Moreover, it is known that without sufficient magnesium, cells cannot retain potassium. pH Adjust provides a significant amount (105 mg) of magnesium (from carbonate) per 1/4 teaspoon. Think about it—pH Adjust supplies more than 400 mg of easily assimilated magnesium in a single teaspoon! (This means you can reduce or drop your other magnesium supplements.)
pH Adjust provides a 3:1 ratio of potassium to sodium. This ratio is known to be ideal for optimal uptake of potassium.
pH Adjust provides 141.7 mg potassium and 105 mg magnesium per 1/4 teaspoon serving.
Potassium powers sodium-potassium pumps in your cells and keeps you alkaline. It supports proper blood pressure and cardiovascular function. It balances the effects of sodium and works synergistically with other macrominerals keeping you healthy.
Potassium loves you. Yet, you hardly know potassium—or how deficient you are.
Love potassium like it loves you. Eat more potassium-rich fruits, vegetables, and fresh juices. Take a potassium-containing formula like pH Adjust. Not only will it supply you with easily assimilated potassium, but also powerfully boost your alkalinity.
Eat less salt. For God’s sake, eat less salt. Do all these things. Then it’s likely your poor sodium-potassium pumps will revive themselves. I promise, you will feel it!