We know that living alkaline increases your energy, vitality and wellness, but I must admit that this recent news caught my eye. I had seen recent research showing that increasing alkalinity was improving the performance of athletes (speed-based sports in particular) but I must admit my surprise at finding that a huge number of athletes at the Beijing Olympics were turning to alkalising to increase their performance.
And that alkalising was more effective than performance enhancing drugs!
A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine (June 2008) has shown that by increasing the pH of the blood (with alkaline salts) elite swimmers were able to significantly improve their performance times.
The explanation for this sits exactly with the acid/alkaline balance theory in that by increasing the body’s alkaline buffer, the athlete’s body was able to more easily deal with the acid build up caused by the fast burst of energy consumption. Dr Folland, who led the study (alongside Dr’s Lindh, Peyrebrune, Ingham and Bailey) found that over 200m freestyle, the athletes who alkalised their blood with the salts took 1.5 seconds off their time.
In a second study, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise in May 2008 found that 800m runners benefitted ‘significantly‘, alongside ‘favorable blood changes and individual benefits‘.
This is really exciting news for me, because I love to see this theory receiving not only the focus it deserves in the scientific community (yes, actual proof for all of those who have been asking for peer reviewed research in accredited journals), but it also shows this spilling over into mainstream sports and nutrition.
And it all seems to be snowballing. During the past twelve months I have seen:
- We worked closely at the beginning of the year with a top sports nutritionist who represents Leicester Tigers, Bolton Wanderers and the UK Olympic Team who had been using green drinks and the alkaline principles to encourage peak performance.
- We also learned that Amir Khan has been using green drinks and alkalising principles as part of his nutrition and training programme!
Top football nutritionist, Antonio Escribano, has transformed the diets of football clubs including Tottenham and Spanish sides Sevilla, Xerez, Murcia and Deportivo La Coruna, as well as bullfighters, models, dancers, marathon, triathletes and many other sporting stars. His nutritional programme is based around juiced green vegetables and green smoothies, while cutting out simple carbs, sugar and other crap!
And these are just a few examples.
But the research that is starting to emerge around the benefits of maintaining an alkaline balance is really exciting. We’ve been hearing more and more about the benefits of alkaline salts for a while now and Dr Young has only recently created a specific alkaline salt product called pHour Salts.
As someone who runs, lifts and plays a bit of sport myself, it is great news to hear that this is getting mainstream attention!
What are you thoughts? Will you be alkalising your body and supplementing with salts before your next big game?