I had a stress fracture to the navicular bone in the foot when I was 15. I was in a boot for 8 weeks and then in rehab for 6 weeks. All athletes know that when you have an injury time slows down and weeks seem like months. I was told when they discovered this fracture that I had done it due to too much stress on the bones from pounding on the athletics track, basketball court and touch fields. This is somewhat true however I would like to introduce to you another reason why bones loose their structure, strength and resistance.
The potential of hydrogen or pH refers to the amount of H+ and OH- atoms present within a substance. pH ranges from 0-14, 0 being acidic (more H+ atoms present) and 14 being alkaline( more OH- atoms present). Water for example has a pH of 7, which is neutral as the number of H+ and OH- atoms are equal. The blood that circulates around our whole body must remain at a certain pH level, this being about 7.365. There is little room for change in blood pH and the body will do all that it can to maintain its adequate pH level. If the blood become too acidic (acidemia) and drops below 7, or rises too high (alkalemia) and gets greater than 7.8, death can quickly follow. Our body is way too smart to let us die like this under minor circumstances and so has an ongoing backup plan.
Our body is equipped with amazing little machinery wired into it to detect subtle changes in blood pH and therefore can adjust accordingly. But this can come at a price. If you are constantly consuming food that is acidic in nature i.e. processed food, dairy, meat, alcohol, caffeine, you are continuously placing a demand on the body to stabilise its blood pH. It does this by drawing alkaline stores of positive cations of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium out of the bones and breaking down muscles into the amino acid glutamine to balance out the electrochemical charge.
Our body will always look after the vital functions of our body first before it thinks about making us strong. The pH of the blood is an essential element that keeps us alive so it always takes preference over bone health.
If our bones are constantly being donnas to the blood and giving up their nutrients they are going to become weaker. Try and think of every organ and tissue in the body as a superhero and nutrients provide their incredible powers. So just like superman losses his powers by cryptonite, bones loose their power by giving up nutrients (The same goes for every other organ as well).
Okay so can you now understand how by the continuous consumption of acidic food can in turn lead to the loss of critical nutrients from our bones, ultimately making our bones weak and vulnerable to stress fractures and bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
Taking caution in what we eat and eating from nature can be of critical importance to maintaining efficient bone and muscle structure, preventing injury and increasing performance. So if you are prone to stress fractures or bone injuries reflect on what superpowers you are giving or taking from your bones with what you consume.
Acidic foods= Processed food, Dairy, Meat, Alcohol, Caffeine,
Alkaline Foods= Green leafy vegetables (especially kale and parsley), Lemons, watermelon, bananas, broccoli, avocado, celery, capsicum, cucumbers and most other foods from nature.