Alkaline Diet & Muscle Building

Article by ross

alkaline diet & muscle buildingHey everyone

I recently received an email question that I get quite frequently and thought it would be a good idea to share it! It is on the subject of the alkaline diet and muscle growth.

Hi Ross

How are you? I’ve been using your alkaline Dr Young products and eating as much alkaline food as I can and have noticed good improvements in my energy levels in the past few weeks. I’m sleeping better and my skin has never been so clear. I have bought the Alkaline Recipe System but am waiting until I go back to London to get it underway.

I gather from a few of your posts that you go to the gym quite frequently. I am now getting back in to gym mode, and was wondering if you could advise me on the following..

In terms of building muscle, could you advise on the best way to do that using the alkaline lifestyle… for example – What supplements, if any, would you take before you go to the gym and what should I take after the gym? Any advice would be gratetfully appreciated!! One of my goals over the alkaline diet programme is to try and broaden my shoulders and get as strong as possible. I’m hoping that by going alkaline, it will help me achieve my target…

This is a subject that is close to my heart and has been an area of experimentation and research for me personally over the six years I’ve been alkalising.

Essentially, the fundamental rules for building muscle stay the same, but you have to stay within the parameters of being alkaline. This might seem like a harder road to follow but the benefits, to me, are:

1. You are eating clean, so when you bulk up you don’t put on fat like a lot of guys, and then need to cut – I don’t necessarily think this yo-yoing with healthy living is a good thing for your diet

2. You are eating lots of greens, rich in chlorophyll that help to build healthy red blood cells – one of the cornerstones of muscle growth

3. You maintain your energy, improved sleep, improved skin etc (all of the things I got out of alkalising too!) – eating like most gym goers will leave you feeling the opposite of this

4. Eating the way a lot of gym goers eat is incredibly unhealthy, especially when you are then putting your body under such stress.

Alkaline Diet Recipe Book BannerI have always been a believer that the hard work is done in the kitchen and the gym is the easy, enjoyable part and this should be true to everyone, not just those who are alkalising. I’ve interviewed a very, very good personal trainer called Scott Brady for the blog, and I definitely recommend you check it out here. He’s a great guy and gave some awesome advice.

But here are my general recommendations:

1. Lift big and focus on the fundamental exercises, squats, presses, pull ups etc. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in the past few years is to focus heaps more on my legs. By growing these large muscle groups the knock on effect it has had on the rest of my body has been really noticable.

2. Eat heaps, this is the same for everyone, but especially for us when we’re living alkaline. It is easier for others to get the short term gain of the crap food by stuffing carb-heavy, fat-heavy convenience food in. Sure this gives your body something to work with, but it is so short sighted because as soon as you’ve got the instant benefit of putting something in – all of the transfats and sugar will go and do the opposite to what you want. However, making sure you do eat enough is super-important. I find alkaline, veggie wraps with hummous are a great, quick snack. Keep up the nuts & seeds. Try to mix your proteins so that you get the full range of aminos. I also find making up large base salads with quinoa, beans, seeds etc is great. Keep it in the fridge and then you can just quickly chop in a heap of tomatoes, cucumber etc into it and dress it with omega oils and you’re good to go in two mins.

3. Make sure you have something good, clean and alkaline to eat as soon as you’ve finished at the gym. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but if it is 60-70% good then you’re sweet.

4. Drink enough! Staying hydrated is critical to muscle development. Get your 4 litres of alkaline water every day.

5. Get lots of omega oils. Go onto any bodybuilding forum and you’ll hear the same. Omega oils, especially omega 3 are so devoid in our modern lifestyle yet they are so critical to our health, energy and muscle growth. I strongly recommend Udo’s Choice

6. Protein is obviously necessary. The big debate is how much. I believe that if you are lifting and exercising regularly then you do need more than the average person and I aim for between 70-110g per day. I don’t obsess over it though and I do believe I get enough without it running my life! Tips I’d have to get this amount are:

1. I often put a scoop of organic sprouted protein into my green drinks. This probably adds between 20-40g per day to my diet.
2. I also put silken tofu into my alkaline shakes. Here is a pH boosting protein shake recipe I usually use.
3. I eat tofu a couple of times per week in dishes like this alkaline chilli lime steam fry.
4. I use Bragg Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce in a lot of dishes. Tastes great and does provide a nice mix of amino acids!
5. I eat a lot of beans and pulses like chick peas, kidney beans, aduki beans, cannelini beans etc. I tend to soak my own organic ones, but as a protein guide – a can is about 25g of protein. I would probably use a can sized amount in a salad for lunch.
6. Obviously I get untold amounts of protein-rich greens like spinach, broccoli etc every day.
7. Almond butter is pretty handy in place of peanut butter – peanut butter is insanely acid-forming.

7. Rest – make sure you get enough! It’s too easy to overdo!

I hope this helps buddy! Let me know if you have any questions or concerns or ideas! I’d love to hear how you get on. Just remember to eat enough, drink enough and set goals!

All the best, keep in touch

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  4. Richard W Reply

    You say to avoid carb-heavy foods, but do you not realize that plant-based foods like salads, and almost all fruit have caloric ratios of over 80-90% carbohydrates? And importantly, recent studies have concluded that increasing protein intake beyond a small amount will not impact your muscle gain, and in fact will only increase your risk of developing cancer.

    #1 is removing toxic products from diet and lifestyle. These interfere with nutrient absorption, and no amount of proper nutrient ingestion will be adequately absorbed until the toxins are flushed from the body. This includes minimizing or completely removing animal products, as they are disease-causing in a wide spectrum of manners.

    #2 is metabolism – while seeds and nuts and plant-based protein foods are far superior to animal-based protein sources, they are still very high in fat. While fat is not exactly a toxin, even small amounts will interfere with your body’s ability to absorb nutrients on a sub-cellular level, and thus will slow your metabolism. They are good for winter climates where lighter, more carb-heavy foods are not available. But otherwise they are not ideal for physical training.

    Fresh fruit providing simple carbs should comprise the bulk of one’s diet. No supplements required, as the body will already be functioning at peak performance, with perfect and quick nutrient absorption.

    • Ross Reply

      Hi Richard

      I agree with *almost* everything you’ve said here. But you’re getting into some pretty advanced stuff – which I generally don’t put out on the blog, because it’s too advanced or a step beyond where most people are at. But I do agree, in principle, with some of what you’re saying here.

      However, I disagree that ‘fresh fruit should compromise the bulk of ones diet’. This is a pretty acidic way to live and will not help at all. I definitely don’t agree with this statement.

      Most fruit (bananas, apples, oranges, pineapples, grapes etc) are high in sugar and are acid forming. My general rule of thumb is to eat one piece of in-season fruit per day and get the remainder of nutrients from vegetables, salads, oils etc.


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  8. Janet Reply

    Wow that’s all really confusing for a newbie to the alkaline diet. I am trying to find alkaline foods that will put on weight – not real interested in weight lifting etc. Can anyone give me a list of what to buy please?

    My partner has stage 4 cancer and whilst cutting acid from his diet is important, maintaining or increasing weight is equally important.

    Many thanks.

    • Donna brown Reply

      My mum also has cancer and has lost a lot of weight she was told basically to eat anything mainly the highly acid forms of food and not much veg as they said there are no calories in them (any idiot knows that is not the way to go) anyway I was also looking for foods that are alkaline but would also maintain her weight

  9. rosacea behandelen Reply

    Hi Ross, another excellent post! I didn’t know much about protein, but I already take Omega3. I like the Omega3 because of my rosacea and it really helps!

    Do you think I need to experiment with protein in my diet to get rid of redness and inflammation?

    Thanks! Miranda

  10. Sudhir Reply

    I would like to know how on the alkaline diet has built muscle mass. ie not previous mass built on acidic diet. Also aren’t gorillas and elephants genetically big in size?

  11. Ross Reply

    Hi Margot

    Sorry for the delay – by this he means consume a lot of omega 3 – this fat is critical for LOADS of functions in the body and most of us are very chronically deficient. Omega 3 is very very important in building new muscle tissue.

    Most people, when they first start at the gym, can see similar improvements to their muscle growth from proper omega 3 supplementation than they do from chugging protein shakes.


  12. John Carraway Reply

    Ross: Soybean products have been proven to be deleterious, you shouldn’t use them in any form, even tofu. Eat goat’s milk yogurt and cheeses instead, and use egg or whey protein powder with the hemp seed as you’ve mentioned. You’ll find that there are few foods that can match the nutrients in spirulina and chlorella algae, both of which should be added to your smoothies (add seaweed also). There are so many nutrients you can add to smoothies, and it’s the easiest way to get your fruits and veggies. However, you must remember that plant foods are only as good as the soil they’re grown in (that includes algae), so stick with organic foods as much as possible, but be aware that today’s produce is woefully lacking in minerals (even organic), which always leaves us with a sulfur deficiency. Be sure to take a good sulfur supplement –

    • John Carraway Reply

      Whoops, I gave you an email address instead of the website, I’m sorry. The correct address is Also one of the finest whey protein powders is available at, and is the source for the best whole-food (no synthetics) vitamins, etc., and food-grade diatomaceous earth is also highly recommended for body-building:

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  14. Margot Reply

    Hi Ross , could you please explain this part of comment # 1
    “Drink and alot of fat and alkalinity will do the trick” ??? Sadly I don’t get the joke.
    I am at 76 on the “alkalizing quest” myself and am passing all your valuable suggestions and insights on to my grandsons
    Thank you for your generosity in sharing your knowledge.

    • Ross Reply

      Hi Margot

      He just means get lots of hydration and lots of omega 3. Which I agree with.


  15. Russ Reply

    Cows and similar animals seem to build enough meat/muscle on just grass. Silverback gorillas are pretty strong too, not sure how much protein they get per day.

    Like Trygve, I though we only needed enough protein to replace the skin cells we brush off each day and the few hairs that fall out..

  16. Trygve Reply

    Great post.
    But remember your body produces around 70g protein a day, and even more if you weight lift. So you dont need as much protein as you think. Regular people need >5g of protein a day, and yes people who train need more but not more then around 20-30g max if you work out hard. I remember young posted about this aswell. Drink and alot of fat and alkalinity will do the trick 🙂