How alkaline water works and why it is good for the runner

e acids being discharged into our bloodstream. daily.

With a balanced and alkaline lifestyle we will make our performance much greater, recover faster and less frequent muscle aches and injuries.

Throughout this article I will give you one of the guidelines to get it, perhaps the most important, applying the concept of alkalinity to your lifestyle. At the time of writing this entry, I have been practicing the Alkaline lifestyle for over two years, during which I have traveled more than 10,000 km, with monthly averages over 400 km and without having suffered any injuries.

How alkaline water works and why it is good for the runner

Acidification and metabolic stress

The food we usually eat, according to the quality of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins that they give rise to, in greater or lesser measure, a condition of acidity or alkalinity to the organism.

Some foods are more acidic than others. Especially acidic are protein-rich meats and commercial isotonic drinks, with high sugar content.

It is easy to understand that if our body does not have enough capacity to eliminate all the acid waste that it generates through the lungs, skin and kidneys, little by little the concentration of toxins in our blood is increasing and with that it becomes acidifying, That is, it decreases its pH.

Our muscles will then have difficulty getting nutrients from an increasingly dirty and acidic blood that does not bring them what they need.

Self-regulation of the pH of our organism

The pH of blood, as we know, is one of the biological variables most closely controlled by the organism. As I mentioned in previous posts, the blood has a pH = 7,345 and range of oscillation is extremely small. So much so that very small variations mean big problems for our health, both excess and default.


If blood pH falls below 7.2, central nervous system depression occurs, with decreased cardiac contractility, decreased myocardial inotropic response to catecholamines, hyperkalemia, arrhythmias, and so on. If it is below 6.9 it is incompatible with life.


If on the contrary the pH in blood exceeds 7.55 causes serious disorders and above 7.8 leads to death. An excessive dose of bicarbonate, exposure to high altitudes that lowers oxygen partial pressure, or pulmonary hyperventilation caused by acute anxiety crises among other causes can produce alkalosis.

Regulatory systems or blood pH buffer systems

Our organism has several intracellular and extracellular systems, called buffers or buffers, that allow to maintain the constant pH in the blood. In this way it avoids that the concentration of hydrogen ions in the blood increases and therefore it avoids lowering its pH and becomes more acidic.

The systems that we have to regulate the pH in the blood are the following:

  • Carbonic acid / bicarbonate regulator system (53%)

It is the most effective system (blood) the extracellular fluid, because the relationship C0 3 H / H 2 CO 3 is 20/1. It provides high buffer capacity against acids also being an open system, whereby excess CO 2 can be removed by the lungs rapidly and HCO 3 by the kidneys.

H 2 O + CO 2 <==> H 2 CO 3 <==> HCO 3 + H +

<- In the presence of an acid moves leftward
in presence of a base is displaced to the right ->

  • Hemoglobin regulator system Hb (35%)

It is also a very efficient buffer. Hemoglobin can be considered as a monoprotic acid.

Acid form: HHb <==> Hb + H +
oxyhemoglobin: HHbO 2 <==> HbO 2 + H +

  • Protein regulatory system (7%)

It is important at the intracellular level. The negative charge of proteins gives it the ability to bind to protons.

  • Dihydrogen phosphate / hydrogenated phosphate buffer system (5%)

Phosphates can form part of organic and inorganic compounds. In the case of organic compounds, the phosphate regulator is very important at the intracellular level. Phosphates of inorganic compounds act at the extracellular level, on the interstitial fluid and renal tubules.

The first two regulators are the most important for us, since they have the maximum capacity to keep the pH balanced in the blood.

The hemoglobin regulator complements the action of the carbonic acid / bicarbonate regulator to control the concentration of bicarbonates in the blood.

In this article we will focus on the carbon / bicarbonate acid buffer system.

Carbonic acid / bicarbonate regulator system

Our blood has alkaline regulators and acid regulators that constantly monitor the pH of the same to keep it constant at pH = 7.345. When the blood becomes very alkaline, the acid regulator works to lower the pH and when the blood becomes very acidic. For its part, the alkaline regulator works to raise the pH.

The alkaline buffer is bicarbonate ion (HCO 3 ) associated with alkaline minerals. Some examples of alkaline regulators are sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, calcium bicarbonate and magnesium bicarbonate. Here the importance incorporate into our diet minerals through alkaline foods.

The acid buffer is mainly carbonic acid (H 2 CO 3 ) and the combination of water and carbon dioxide. The carbohydrate once metabolized, it is completely converted into carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and water (H 2 O).

Importance of bicarbonate ion (HCO 3 ) blood

Figure 1. How the bicarbonate ion acts in blood

In Figure 1, we can see how the bicarbonates in the blood plasma play a very important role in the short term in the alkalinization of blood. They react with hemoglobin within red blood cells or red blood cells, both in the lungs and muscle tissues, to achieve acid-base balance regulation, thereby reducing the acidity of blood.

The importance of the bicarbonate ion throughout the process leaves no doubt. Without the presence of this ion would be impossible oxygenation of tissues and removing part of carbonic acid (H 2 CO 3 ) as CO 2 .

We have all appreciated on some occasions how the faces and bodies of deep-end and deep-end athletes (and all those athletes who practice high intensity sports and duration) show great physical deterioration at an early age.

This is an unmistakable symptom of aging that produces an excess of acidity in our body if we do poor alkalinity management. That is, if we fail to raise the level of bicarbonates in blood.

Food and Hydration Alkaline

Alkaline foods

One of the most effective ways to feel the benefits of alkalinity increasing blood bicarbonates, is consuming forms alkaline foods. These foods are characterized by their rich content in minerals, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium and zinc mainly. Conversely phosphorus, sulfur, iron, iodine , and chlorine, typically found as part of both animal protein and vegetable are acidifiers.

Both types of foods, alkaline and acids, are necessary for our organism, we just have to try to manage their intake well. We need 80% of alkaline and 20% of acids, to get a healthy and correct diet.

So our diet should be based on a solid intake of alkaline foods and is also very important not to forget the intake of liquids with alkaline properties. Through the liquids we can influence much faster on the level of alkalinity of our organism helping to neutralize the acidity. And a very effective way is to drink alkaline water.

What is alkaline water

Electrolytic Alkaline Water Ionizing Vessel11

Alkaline Water is obtained by dissociating the neutral water molecules into anions and cations either by the electrolysis process or by the filtration process. In my case I use a ionizer electrolysis jar , because it is cheaper and does not require filters.

Alkaline water with its electrolytic parameters is very close to body fluids (blood, cell fluid, …). This is why it is quickly incorporated into the body’s vital activity, positively affecting its energy balance.

The activated (alkaline and acidic) water obtained by electrolysis has many properties:

  • For starters it is totally harmless
  • with a high content of active hydrogen (H + ), higher than normal water
  • Lower surface tension than normal water from faucets
  • Its structure is of clusters of 6 to 8 molecules, what makes it very moisturizing
  • Lower Redox potential (oxidation-reduction) than tap water, which increases its ability to block free radicals
  • A pH = 8.0-10 for alkaline water) and a pH = 2.5-5.5 for acid water, other than pH = 7 for normal water.

Now, all these properties change when activated water reaches the stomach and interacts with an acid stomach.

In fact, an objection frequently made to alkaline food is that when food or alkaline water reaches the stomach, it is neutralized by the acidity of the hydrochloric acid thereof. Whereupon arises that drinking alkaline water is useless.

However, alkaline water does have alkalizing effect on blood. To know why, it is necessary to understand how alkaline water acts upon reaching the stomach and intestine.

How to get alkaline water

You can read how to get alkaline water in this entry of my blog. You can also see it in this video of my Youtube channel.

How alkaline water acts in our body

In a laboratory, from sodium bicarbonate and hydrochloric acid we can obtain sodium chloride (salt), water and carbon dioxide, according to the following reaction:

HCl + NaHCO 3 ==> CO 2 + H 2 O + NaCl

This is a non-reversible reaction in the laboratory, which means that we can not get the reverse reaction, ie hydrochloric acid and bicarbonate from carbon dioxide, water and salt.

However, our body itself has the ability to produce hydrochloric acid in the stomach cells from carbon dioxide and salt water according to the following reversible reaction:

CO 2 + H 2 O + NaCl <==> HCl + NaHCO 3

This reaction, from left to right, is only possible in our stomach thanks to the help of an enzyme .

The stomach produces hydrochloric acid to maintain an acid pH, about 4.0. When we alkaline water with a high pH, as we have seen before, when the stomach pH low water and is neutralized, and as a result the stomach pH rises, depending on the quantity and pH of alkaline water is taken.

When the stomach pH rises above 4.5, the stomach will produce more hydrochloric acid to again place the stomach pH around 4.0.

As products of this reaction get hydrochloric acid (HCl) that is poured into the stomach to lower the pH, and sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO 3 ) that goes into the bloodstream, increasing the alkalinity.

Intake of alkaline water (pH> 8) is therefore very positive for our body and has the important effect of increasing the amount of bicarbonate ions in the blood.

The importance of bicarbonate in alkalinization

As we saw earlier, the sodium bicarbonate (resulting from this reaction) is the main alkaline buffer in our blood.

An insufficient amount of bicarbonates in the blood reduces our ability to neutralize and eliminate the acid that our body produces. As we know this is the main cause of premature aging, fatigue, slow recovery and many injuries in the corridors.

The 45 years is the average age when humans begin to lose alkaline regulators – bicarbonates – in the blood and that is when they start to show symptoms of diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis and many other degenerative diseases. Since we can not handle acids, we accumulate acidic wastes in the body. These wastes are shown as cholesterol, fatty acid, uric acid, urates, sulfates, phosphates, kidney stones, etc.

When we say that we alkalize our body, it does not necessarily mean that our saliva or urine pH will rise, but it does mean that the concentration of bicarbonates in the blood will rise.

Therefore, when consuming alkaline water, the pH of the blood does not change, but it increases the capacity of the same to neutralize the acids in the body.

The most important function of alkaline water is to increase bicarbonates in the blood.

When is it more effective to take alkaline water

The most effective is to consume alkaline water before playing sports and on an empty stomach. In this case two possible situations can occur:

Reaction in the stomach

As the amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach is small, a sufficient intake of alkaline water (pH> 8.5) will increase the pH of the stomach and will allow, through the above reaction, to incorporate more bicarbonates into the blood.

CO 2 + H 2 O + NaCl ==> HCl + NaHCO 3

Reaction in the intestine

If the stomach is empty, as there is no solid food to digest, the alkaline water can pass directly into the intestine, where it will be absorbed and incorporated into the bloodstream.

Just then come into play (H acid buffer 2 CO 3 ), interacting with alkaline water to lower the pH and leave it at pH = 7,345. The acid regulator at that time is transformed into an alkaline regulator.

H 2 O + CO 2 <==> H 2 CO 3 <==> HCO 3 + H +

In the presence of a base moves to the right ->

This would be the generic reaction. Now if the water used for alkaline water we drink is tap water, one of the most abundant minerals dissolved in it is the Calcium , along with other minerals are also found in smaller amounts.

This makes occurs inside the water ionizer, hydroxide aqueous calcium primarily, which will react with the acid buffer (H 2 CO 3 ) producing more bicarbonates according to the following reaction.

Ca (OH) 2 + 2 (H 2 CO 3 ) <==> Ca ++ ( HCO 3 ) 2 + 2 (H 2 O)

In this way we see how alkaline water increases the amount of bicarbonates in the bloodstream also by this way.

Why Alkalinity is Important for an Athlete

11When the acid spillage increases in our blood, both by the metabolic processes of degradation of proteins, and by those that happen inside our cells to obtain energy, our body becomes acidic and we need more bicarbonates to neutralize them.

If we properly replace bicarbonates from the blood, our body will stay healthy and vital and we will keep fatigue, fatigue and oxidation away from our body.

Sports activity and a change in eating habits contribute to increase bicarbonates in the blood, thereby increasing resistance to fatigue and reducing the risk of injury.

These eating habits include eating alkaline foods rich in minerals, replace artificial drinks full of sugar by alkaline water and other alkaline drinks, such as alkaline lime and soda drink .

It is clear that alkaline water, either alone or using it in other beverages such as teas, lemonades, beverage chia and drink Pinole , may be the best ally of the corridor in front of sugary commercial beverages, which although can help you win A career, can greatly reduce your most important career, that of your life.