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Hydration, Alkalizing and Health


Poor hydration together with an over acidic body can underlie low energy levels, chronic fatigue, poor digestion, excess weight, foggy thinking, aches and pains as well as major disorders (1). Other associated factor includes unhealthy eating, intestinal dysbiosis (unhealthy intestinal microflora) and environmental pollution. (2).


The Biological Terrain

Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) established the germ theory of infection during the 1880s. At about the same time also in France, Claude Barnard (1813-78), the father of modern physiology, introduced a rival ‘milieu intérieur’ (biological terrain) theory of infection. He proposed that the biological terrain is of greater significance than contact or airborne transmitted infection. Pasteur eventually conceded to Barnard, with the remark,

“La bactérie n'est rien. C'est le terrain qui fait tout!"

(Germs are unimportant. It is the biological terrain that really matters!”).


Another Frenchman, Antoine Béchamp (1816-1908) was the first scientist to demonstrate the biological terrain theory of infection in a laboratory. He studied sterile living red blood cells on a slide under a microscope and observed that acidifying the preparation caused spontaneous development of pathogenic microforms. That is to say harmless microforms changed into pathogenic ones in response to acidifying the preparation. Béchamp’s finding was later confirmed with dark ground microscopy: when live blood is examined under a high-powered microscope, pathogenic microforms are observed in blood preparations of unhealthy people, particularly in in blood samples of cancer sufferers. Alkalizing the subjects causes subsequent blood samples to appear healthy and free of pathogenic microforms. This research provided a scientific rationale for alkalizing treatment in the management of chronic illness. 


Hydration and alkalizing

Drinking insufficient water and unhealthy eating can cause a buildup of toxic acidic waste products in the body tissues. The body’s acidity can be checked with pH sticks. A first and second morning urine pH of below 6.5 is unhealthily acidic. The aim of alkalizing treatment is to alkalise the body so that the first (and second) morning urine specimens have a pH of between 7 and 7.5 (1).


Dietary recommendations include drinking at least 1.5 litres (if you weigh about 50 kg) and 2.0L (about 70 Kg) of bottled or filtered and possibly alkalised (2) water daily, cutting down on acid forming foods, eating an alkalizing diet and taking alkalizing medication. Ceramic alkalising water filters and under the sink alkalising cartridges are available commercially (2). Water should mostly be drunk about half an hour before a meal (e.g. soon after waking up in the morning) and about two hours after meals so as not to interfere with digestion.


Alkalizing and nutrition

Any form of prolonged stress has an acidifying effect on the body as a side effect of increased stress hormone (corticosteroid) output. In view of this, alkalising may also involve stress reducing lifestyle changes. Unhealthy eating is liable to lead to dysbiosis with unhealthy intestinal microflora producing acidifying metabolic waste. Other factors, which contribute to an acidic biological terrain, include dental mercury (which causes dysbiosis), traffic fumes (which contain cadmium as well as petrochemical pollutants) and general environmental toxicity from chemicals and hormones in drinking water and food. 


Alkalising therefore can entail taking selected probiotic (healthy intestinal microflora) supplements, stress reduction and dietary changes, as well as taking selected alkalising supplements.

Acid forming foods to be avoided include meat, processed meat products, wheat, oats, rice, dairy products (cheese is particularly acidifying), sugar, artificial sweeteners (e.g. aspartate and saccharin), coffee, and alcoholic drinks. Raw honey, xylitol and stevia are acceptable substitutes for sugar. Once the pH is under reasonable control or if alkalising supplements are being taken, whole meal, sourdough and gluten free bread and modest portions of fish (not shellfish), organic chicken and organic lamb can be included in the diet. Alkalising foods should be fresh and organic (if possible) with plenty of fruit, salads (in summer) and raw or lightly cooked vegetables. Fresh fruits, possibly with coconut yoghurt and gluten free muesli make an ideal alkalising breakfast (3). Hot drinks can include green, mint and fruit teas. Quinoa, whole grain pasta, brown rice, lentils, chickpeas dried beans, nuts and seeds, hummus, oatcakes and rice cakes are fine. Sweet potato is preferable to potato (which is OK and only slightly alkaline). Coconut and almond drinks are alternatives to cow’s milk. Coconut oil and olive oil are suitable for frying. Eggs (provided they are well-tolerated) should be organic.


Himalayan Mountain Salt

This has many health promoting properties (2,3). It can be used as table salt and for cooking. Crystals can be put in a jar of water and dissolved to saturation. Most people would benefit from half a teaspoon daily. Some people with chronic health problem may need more (subject to vegatesting or muscle testing).


Essential Fatty Acids

These should be included in a healthy diet. Coconut oil and olive oil are suitable for frying, and flax and hemp seed and olive oil are suitable for salad dressing. Salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring are good fish sources. Walnuts, ground up flax seeds and chia seeds are good vegetarian sources.


Concentrated Green Superfoods

Raw powdered superfoods supplements help with nutrition, alkalising and with detoxification. In particular, the high chlorophyll content helps with haemoglobin (blood) production (2). One teaspoon of the green powder is taken in water up to three times a day. They are generally taken in conjunction with alkalising supplements.



Roddy MacDonald, the founder of Water For Health  used to be a scientist working in industrial water purification. He subsequently used his scientific background to develop and market state of the art alkalising supplements, alkalising water purification systems and freeze dried green food supplements. Additional information is available on his website (2).

1. The pH Miracle. Robert Young. Sphere 2007.

2. Roddy MacDonald. Simple Steps To Optimum Health Through Body Acid-Alkaline Balance. Water For Health Ltd (

3. WATER & SALT: THE ESSENCE OF LIFE By Peter Ferreira and Dr Barbara Hendel. Natural Resources. 2005.



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