A Fine Balance
How pH balance affects your health and athletic performance
The adage goes, you are what you eat. But what does it really mean? Is someone who eats fresh fruit ...
Photo by Duane Raleigh
The adage goes, you are what you eat. But what does it really mean? Is someone who eats fresh fruit and oatmeal for breakfast healthier than someone who has a double espresso and jumbo chocolate-chip muffin? And does your body really know the difference between a post-run meal of a burger and fries or steamed kale and tofu?
The experts say yes. And the reason lies in food's chemistry. Everything we eat and drink causes the formation of either acids or bases in the body, which influences everything from the effects of aging and stress to our ability to fight diseases including cancer.
Athletes can manipulate their body chemistry for optimal performance, as did professional Ironman triathlete, Brendan Brazier, 34, of Beverly Hills, California. He studied the training habits of his sport's top contenders to learn what set them apart. "It turned out that it's not training that separates top athletes; it's their rate of recovery," says Brazier. Those who ate a wholesome diet low in refined foods, animal products and sugar were simply able to train more frequently at high intensity.