Athletes trying to perform at their best grapple with muscle fatigue almost constantly. Research suggests that intense exercise produces an acidic environment within the muscles that leads to fatigue. Alkaline water has been shown to help athletes resist acidic build up, and improve the muscle’s ability to use oxygen.
Most athletes believe that lactic acid build up in the muscles during exercise is the cause of muscle fatigue. However, science is not completely clear about the connection between lactic acid and muscle fatigue. What science does know is that in an acidic body environment, muscles can’t use oxygen as well as they can in an alkaline one. Research suggests that muscle fatigue results when lactic acid builds up in the muscles causing a drop in cellular pH that impairs the muscle’s ability to use oxygen.
Loss of Performance due to Body Acidosis
Research on the impact of body pH on athletic performance has tested exercise capacity after various combinations of low or high carbohydrate diets. High-protein acidic diets, particularly when combined with a low carbohydrate intake, were found to create an acidic environment in the body which reduced exercise capacity.
The loss of performance is believed to be caused by an increase in free fatty acids as well as increased concentrations of protein in the blood. This acidic environment reduces exercise capacity because the body is at a low pH prior to exercise. An acidic environment means body pH has less “distance to fall” before it reaches a point that is too low for athletic performance. Another problem is that the metabolic processes required to maintain the body’s pH balance are already being taxed by the body’s acidic environment, so the body can’t combat the fall in pH caused by the production of lactic acid.
The Alkaline Water Advantage
Efforts to improve athletic performance by raising body pH have shown great promise. Studies show that alkaline water and an alkaline diet can raise the body’s pH balance prior to exercise and create an environment more favorable for athletic performance. The benefits of alkalinity are most apparent in heavy anaerobic workouts such as sprinting and weight lifting, rather than endurance sports such as long distance running. Studies suggest that this is because alkalinity maintains the muscle’s ability to efficiently use oxygen longer during periods of high physical demand. Athletes who alkalize their bodies before exercise have reported these benefits:
- Improved Hydration
- Greater Endurance
- Faster Recovery
- More Energy
Professional athletes such as Baltimore Oriels first baseman Derek Lee swear by alkaline water, Lee states: ““Drinking the ionized alkaline mineral drinking water from my Life Ionizer™ has improved my recovery time; I have more energy and focus and I feel more hydrated.”.
The author of this article rides a bicycle every day to work here at Life Ionizers™ (a round trip of 24 miles) and has experienced the benefits described by Derek Lee firsthand. Author’s testimonial: “A big difference I noticed when I began drinking alkaline water was the improved hydration, I can drink lots of water while I’m riding my bike and not get stomach cramps like I do when I drink regular water. I also can pedal faster without my muscles getting as tired.”
Ionized alkaline water and athletic performance go together, the negative ionic charge of the water attracts positively charged lactic acid, which detoxifies the muscles at a cellular level and allows performance dampening acids to be flushed out of the body faster. Alkaline water’s higher pH levels helps the body maintain a proper pH level during exercise and resist the damaging effects of muscular acidosis.
Has the FDA evaluated alkaline water for athletic performance?
Not Yet. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.
Sutton, JR, NL Jones, and CJ Toews. “Effect of PH on muscle glycolysis during exercise.” PubMed. PubMed.gov. Web. 9 Jul 2013. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7261554>.
Heil, P, and J Seifert. “Influence of bottled water on rehydration following a dehydrating bout of cycling exercise..” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition Springerlink. n. page. Print. <http://www.springerlink.com/content/kn41764j65165u3x/fulltext.pdf>.