How Much Water Do You Have to Drink to “Undo” a Cola?

Living in the South during the summer, one of my favorite sites is the array of hydrangea bushes, from their deep, grape purples to their bright, festive pinks and the powdery blue periwinkles. I don’t know much about growing flowers, but I do know that there is a trick to changing the color of the hydrangea blossoms by changing the pH of the soil.

Thinking about this lead me to ponder the pH of our bodies and how it impacts the color of our health. Grasping pH is not the easiest subject, so I’ve done my best to explain it as simply as possible so that we can all take full advantage of nature’s healthful ways.



Inner body environment pH (a measurement of the concentration of hydrogen ions; pH = potential of Hydrogen) is important and, in fact, crucial to human life and wellbeing. The pH scale slides from zero to 14. Neutral is 7, higher than 7 is alkaline, lower than 7 is acidic. For optimal health our bodies need a pH between 7.365 and 7.45…just slightly alkaline.

Why and How?

An acidic pH (a low ability to attract Hydrogen ions) can occur from acid forming foods, emotional stress, toxic overload or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen. The body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, the energy production of the cells, the ability to repair damaged cells, and the ability to detox heavy metals will all decline in an acidic environment.

Tumor cells will thrive and the body will become more susceptible to fatigue, illness, bone weakness, increased rate of blood clotting, heart disease, and a suppressed immune response in an acidic environment. 

To restore and maintain optimal health with an alkalizing (a high ability to attract Hydrogen ions) diet, a minimum ratio of 80% alkalizing foods to 20% acid forming foods is ideal. The mineral content of a food is the primary determining factor as to whether the food produces an alkaline or an acidic reaction in the body. Here is a VERY simplified chart:

pH food chart

pH food chart

You are able to find many acid and alkalizing food charts online and they will vary to a degree as food and body interaction is not an exact science, however most charts will show that raw fruits and vegetables – foods naturally abundant with the alkalizing minerals calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium intact -and most waters fall under the 7-10 (alkaline) range. Most grains, processed sugar, animal foods, nuts, fruit juices, coffee, drugs and alcohol fall in the 6-0 (acidic) range.

Interesting Facts:

  • To neutralize a glass of cola with a pH of 2.5, it would take 32 glasses of alkaline water with a pH of 10.
  • Human blood has a pH between 7.35 and 7.45 and even a tenth of a variation outside this range can result in death.
  • Eating a diet high in meat creates an acidic internal environment. To alkalize the blood, the body will leach calcium from the bones, leaving the skeleton calcium deficient. Taking concentrated, isolated calcium in the form of supplements acidifies the blood and has been shown to increase heart attack risk.
  • Cancer cells thrive in an anaerobic environment, meaning one where oxygen content is very low. Cancer cells starve in an alkaline environment.

By the way, the 80/10/10 Diet is naturally an alkalizing diet. I hope I’ve explained the concept of pH well for you. Please leave comment below this post on the blog if you have any pH tidbits or stories to add. I’d love to hear what alkalizing foods you’ll be adding to (or acidic foods subtracting from) your diet after reading this post.

Carla Golden is a vegan nutritionist and a massage therapist in private practice specializing in therapeutic essential oils. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Holistic Health & Healing, she enjoys helping others discover the benefits and liberation inherent in a whole food, plant-based vegan diet. The Vegan Key™ is her newest online nutrition program based on tried and true methods which foster performance, vitality, and purpose. Join Carla in person at a Palmetto Plant Eaters Club meeting!

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