I think we should start at the beginning...sport, and health. What do we do in sport that makes it different than everything else we do on a day to day basis? The short answer is, we push. And we push hard. If you are running, swimming, cycling, rock climbing, cross country skiing...we are always pushing harder to go faster, climb higher, or win. This means taking our bodies to their maximum ability. What is it that we are pushing? Our limits.
Our limits are our barriers to progress. Limits are the parameters that are dictated to us moment to moment by our minds and bodies. These, of course, change. We train to become stronger, we break it down to build it back up better than before. We eat right, lose weight, go to bed early, all in an effort to give ourselves the best chance possible to become as strong as possible.
Not enough food, you bonk and the race is lost. Not enough hydration, you cramp and loose again. Building and fueling our bodies has become a true science, and a lot of us have become masters at understanding which fuels work and which ones don't. Oatmeal and bananas instead of pizza and cheese burgers. But what if there was another aspect of our metabolism that has been over looked? Your ph health IS that aspect of your metabolism that could very well be being neglected by your current training regime.
When you push hard, it hurts...so good. But that pain and burn and dehydration are all greatly affected by your body's ph balance. When you are exerting yourself, your body's metabolism goes into overdrive. The waste products in the cell (where energy production takes place) are acidic. Your body will keep you alkaline by whatever means necessary, at any cost. This is good, because it keeps you from pushing yourself into full blown, potentially dangerous, metabolic acidosis. This sport induced metabolic acidosis or exercise induced metabolic acidosis (EIMA) is greatly controlled by making you feel pain, causing you to back off...slow down...quit. The more fit we become, the farther we can push where that limit is, but the limit is stubborn, and never goes away completely. I think back to an old quote by Greg LeMond "it never hurts any less, you just go faster". Too true.
By making your body more alkaline, you can ride harder, go farther and climb higher because you are giving your body's own ph balancing mechanism a head start. This translates to less burn and more time to fatigue given the same effort...which gives you better performance.
This article is meant to whet your palate for what is to come in this blog. I'd like to continue to make available the discoveries we are making and the successes our riders and athletes are having. I hope that you will come to see that by incorporating an awareness of ph health into your training you will be able to achieve a new level of strength and health and push your workouts and competition to new levels!
Until next time,