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!
Today HPDI launches a new product: pH Adjust. The new formula wascreated by Dr. Hank Liers, PhD. As its name implies, its primary application is to help balance pH levels in the body. That is, to support the creation of alkaline conditions — or alkalinization.
Because pH Adjust alkalinizes the body, it thereby may effectively counteract overly acidic conditions (acidosis), including acidic conditions in the digestive tract, blood, kidneys, and other organ systems.
Our newest product pH ADJUST
Given the fact that acidosis—including chronic, low-grade acidosis—is common among individuals living in industrialized nations consuming high-levels of processed foods and other acid-forming foods, pH Adjust represents a simple, yet powerful means for achieving a healthy acid-base balance in the body.
HPDI specializes in the formulation of nutritional supplements, including vitamin formulas such as multivitamins and other foundational supplements, advanced antioxidant formulas, high-RNA superfoods, and various mineral products, including magnesium. pH Adjust may be considered a mineral product. Yet, it is different than any other HPDI formula.
That is, pH Adjust is not primarily formulated to provide nutrients to meet nutritional needs. Rather, the formula supports optimal health by facilitating improved acid-alkaline balance in the body. It may be used to effectively neutralize acidic conditions, and help counteract the tendency toward acidosis that persists among many individuals.
THE IMPORTANCE OF pH BALANCE
Health experts know that pH balance is extremely important, and that acidosis in the body contributes to various states of less than optimal health. It is known that acidic conditions can lead to adverse effects in many bodily systems, including the circulatory system, immune system, skeletal system, excretory system, muscular system, and reproductive system.
Chemically, pH stands for hydrogen ion concentration. The pH scale runs from 7 to 14, and pH 7 is considered neutral. A pH value of less than 7 is considered acidic whereas a pH value of greater than 7 is considered basic or alkaline. In the body, the ideal pH is somewhat alkaline: 7.30 to 7.5.
For therapeutic purposes, individuals can for short periods of time (from a few days to a couple weeks) raise their pH levels to 8.0. That is, short-term increases in pH (to 8.0) can be useful for rapidly changing conditions in the body from acidic to basic (alkaline).
DIET AND pH (ACID-BASE) BALANCE
Herman Aihara (author of Acid & Alkaline) and others have contributed to our understanding of acid and alkaline states in the body, and the roles played by foods in creating either conditions of acidity or alkalinity. In general, protein foods are “acid-forming” foods whereas most vegetables are “alkaline-forming” foods. A table of acid and alkaline forming foods are on our website at Effect of Food on Body Chemistry.
Thus, proteins (containing more nitrogen) tend to form acids in the body whether or not they themselves are acid, and vegetables (containing more potassium) tend for form bases in the body whether or not they themselves are basic. This fact supports the importance of vegetables in the diet not only for nutrients, but also as a means for ensuring acid-base balance.
An excellent food that provides a high potassium content is Dr. Hank’s Vegetable Soup. This soup tastes great and can help to keep a healthy acid-base balance in the body.
An excellent article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1998 looked at the key factors that determine acid-base balance in the body. Their conclusion was: “In summary, the results of this study indicate that in normal humans eating ordinary whole-food diets, the major determinants of differences in NEAP rate (net endogenous acid production) among subjects are differences in the protein and potassium content of the diet and that the absolute rate of net endogenous acid production for a given diet can be predicted simply from knowledge of the diet’s protein and potassium content.”
Potassium-containing foods provide the body with potassium that it can use to create alkaline conditions. Sodium can also support alkaline conditions in the body. In fact, potassium and sodium work together in the sodium-potassium pump that pumps sodium ions out of cells and potassium ions into cells using ATP, and that performs many essential functions, including nutrient transport, cell-volume regulation, and nerve conduction.
Danish chemist Jens Christian Skou shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for having discovered this pump, i.e., the ion-transporting enzyme, Na+, K+ -ATPase in 1957 while at the University of Aarhus in Denmark.
It is notable that most individuals in Western societies obtain more than sufficient sodium and often less than sufficient potassium. Excessive sodium intake is associated with adverse effects on cardiovascular health.
In an interview with Dr. Richard Passwater in 2001, Dr. Richard Moore said: “When I looked at all the published data for both potassium and sodium in the diet—or in the urine which reflects the diet-and then looked at the incidence of hypertension, I could see that, as the K Factor (ratio of potassium to sodium in the diet) got above one or two, there was significantly less hypertension (high blood pressure). Actually a diet with a K Factor of three or above is not bad, but, for practical purposes, I think a K Factor above four is a better goal. Of course, even higher than that would be better in terms of general health. I say this based upon the fact that our ancestors had a K Factor of about 16 to 1 and we evolved having a K Factor something like that.”
Based upon this information, we have chosen a 3:1 ratio of potassium to sodium in the pH Adjust formula so that it consistent with a heart-healthy diet.
MEASURING pH LEVELS
The best way to measure pH levels is to use litmus paper. HPDI offers litmus paper in rolls (Hydrion brand) for this purpose providing about 100 tests per roll. You can test salivary or urinary pH. In order to test salivary pH, simply use a small strip of pH paper to dip into a small amount of saliva. Advantages of pH paper include rapid results, ease of use, and cost effectiveness.
Using pH paper is a fast, easy means to measure pH accurately
The color of the litmus paper indicates the pH level in saliva. Most litmus paper comes with an indicator chart showing colors corresponding to various pH levels. Alkaline states will generally produce a dark green, blue or purple color (most basic). Acidic states will range from yellow (most acidic) to light green.
Salivary pH and urinary pH are significantly affected by recent food consumption and other factors, so it it best to test pH hours after meals. We prefer to measure urinary pH since results are more consistent. Measuring urinary pH is a simple as placing a few drops of urine on the paper or dipping the paper into a sample cup.
It is best to measure your pH in the morning before consuming foods or drinks. Salivary and urinary pH are affected by recent food consumption, so re-test several hours after eating, and additionally throughout the day.
A consistent pH measurement of less than 7.0 indicates that you are too acidic (values less than 6.2 show extreme acidity). This indicates that you should consume more alkaline forming foods and/or take pH Adjust. A single dose of pH Adjust can change conditions in the body from acidic to alkaline within a few hours.
MINERALS: POTASSIUM, MAGNESIUM, AND SODIUM
As we mentioned, pH Adjust is not primarily formulated to provide minerals or other essential nutrients. HPDI has other products (like multivitamins and single-nutrient formulas) for that purpose.
However, pH Adjustis a mineral providing formula. That is, it provides potassium (in the forms of bicarbonate and glycinate), magnesium (in the form of carbonate), and sodium (in the form of bicarbonate).
And while the levels of potassium (141.6 mg or 4% daily value) and sodium (47.8 mg or 2% daily value) per dose of pH Adjust are relatively small, the level of magnesium is significant (105 mg or 26.3% daily value).
Moreover, the levels of these minerals in pH Adjust are balanced, so that sufficient potassium is obtained relative to sodium, and that sodium remains low in the formula (for reasons previously considered).
Note that the amounts of minerals listed (above) are obtained per dose, so additional doses will correspondingly increase the amounts of minerals. However, multiple doses should not significantly increase sodium levels. For example, more sodium may be obtained from a single salty snack than one or two doses of pH Adjust.
Supplements Facts table from pH Adjust product label.
One dose is 1/4 teaspoon. For extremely acidic conditions, you can take 4–10 doses per day, depending on the level of acidity and using pH paper as a guide to ensure that pH levels remain balanced. That is, the goal is to balance pH and to not become too alkaline (a condition of alkalosis may occur above pH 8.2).
INFORMATION FROM THE PRODUCT PAGE (INTEGRATEDHEALTH.COM)
pHADJUST may be used to increase salivary and urinary pH; counteract overly acidic conditions in the digestive tract, blood, and kidneys; and to supplement the body with the minerals potassium, magnesium, and sodium. The product contains (in powder form) potassium bicarbonate, magnesium carbonate, potassium glycinate, and sodium bicarbonate. Each serving (about ¼ tsp) contains about 300 mg of bicarbonate, 260 mg of carbonate, 142 mg of potassium, 105 mg of magnesium, 48 mg of sodium, and 100 mg of glycine.
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 that are crucial to body function.
The processed food diets with a high protein 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 use 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 prevention 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 24.4 mg/hr for a basal output to 73.2 mg/hr for a maximal output. Thus at least 500 mg 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.
Effects of ingested bicarbonate: For digestion, bicarbonate is naturally produced by the gastric membrane in the stomach. This production will be low in alkaline conditions and will rise in response to acidity. In healthy individuals this adaptive mechanism will control the pH perfectly. To modify this pH with exogenous doses of bicarbonate, some clinical experiments have been conducted with sodium bicarbonate loads as high as 6 g. Only a transient effect on pH has been obtained. It is quite possible that bicarbonate in water may play a buffering role in the case of people sensitive to gastric acidity. Thus bicarbonate may be helpful for digestion.
The most important effect of bicarbonate ingestion is the change in acid-base balance as well as blood pH and bicarbonate concentration in biological fluids. It has been studied particularly in physically active people. Among the types of acid produced, lactic acid generated during exercise is buffered by bicarbonate. In a study on sports, a dose of 0.3 g per kg of body weight of sodium bicarbonate was given (15.25 g bicarbonate for a man of 70 kg) to subjects before performing 30 minutes cycling. While blood pH was increased and then maintained constant with this bicarbonate load due to the changes in blood bicarbonate concentrations, increased acidity and decreased bicarbonate blood concentration were observed in controlled subjects.
Prevention of renal stones: Bicarbonate also reduces the acidity of dietary components such as proteins. As an example, adding sodium or potassium bicarbonate to subjects on a high protein diet known to acidify urine and leading to hypercalciuria (high level of calcium in urine) has been shown to greatly reduce calcium urinary excretion. The effect has been observed with 5.5 g of bicarbonate supplement received daily for two weeks. A recent study highlights that a bicarbonate-rich mineral water could be useful in the prevention of the recurrence of calcium oxalate and uric acid renal stones.
Controls water absorption: many oral hydration solutions contain bicarbonate showing the usefulness of bicarbonate to control water absorption in patients at risk of dehydration.
Maintains blood pressure: Sodium intake is restricted in patients with hypertension, but it is demonstrated that the accompanying anion, such as bicarbonate, plays an important role. It is now well established that sodium bicarbonate does not raise blood pressure to the same extent as do the corresponding amounts of sodium chloride.
Decreases dental plaque: Bicarbonate has been shown to decrease dental plaque acidity induced by sucrose and its buffering capacity is important to prevent dental cavities. Other studies have shown that bicarbonate inhibits plaque formation on teeth and, in addition, increases calcium uptake by dental enamel.
pH ADJUST contains about 260 mg of carbonate (and 105 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.
The functions of the key minerals in pH ADJUST are described below. Each serving (about ¼ tsp) of pH ADJUST contains 142 mg of potassium, 105 mg of magnesium, and 48 mg of sodium.
Resting cellular-membrane potential and the propagation of action potentials in neuronal, muscular, and cardiac tissue. Due to the electrostatic and chemical properties, K+ions are larger than Na+ions, and ion channels and pumps in cell membranes can differentiate between the two ions, actively pumping or passively passing one of the two ions while blocking the other.
Supports hormone secretion and action
Improves vascular tone
Regulates systemic blood pressure
Increases gastrointestinal motility
Required for acid–base homeostasis
Supports glucose and insulin metabolism
Plays role in mineralocorticoid action
Supports renal concentrating ability
Regulates fluid and electrolyte balance
Magnesium levels influence many physiological processes and functions. These include:
Increases energy by greater production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in cells
Supports production and function of over 300 enzyme systems in the body
Relaxes muscles / reduces muscle tension
Boosts vitality, endurance, and strength
Improves cardiovascular / heart health (relaxes cardiac muscle)
Relieves pain, including chronic pain
Ideal for arthritis / fibromyalgia / joint pain
Improves health of skin and mucous membranes
Eases headaches and migraine headaches
In sports medicine — replenishes Mg levels for energy (combats fatigue, and
soothes pain and sore muscles)
Improves mood and reduces stress
Increases memory and cognitive functions
Boosts immune system
Improves assimilation of calcium / builds stronger bones
INGREDIENTS: Potassium bicarbonate, magnesium carbonate, potassium glycinate, and sodium bicarbonate.
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 (pH consistently less than 6.2), try 4–10 doses per day, depending on acidity level. you may take multiple 1/4 tsp doses at once—we ourselves often take 1 tsp in a single dose. Use pH paper to ensure pH levels remain balanced, and do not become too alkaline (alkalosis may occur above pH 8.2).
DOES NOT CONTAIN: wheat, gluten, rye, barley, oats, corn, yeast, egg, dairy, soy, GMOs, sugar, wax, artificial preservatives, flavorings, or colorings.