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Wholesome, low calorie drinks that alkalize

By Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD

The lowest calorie, most wholesome beverage is spring water with a high mineral content, such as the European “mineral waters.” Juices made of alkalizing vegetables like kale, collards, celery, bok choy, parsley, lettuces, cabbage, and the like are also potent alkalizers containing relatively few calories. In addition, the “acid-tasting” juices of lemons and limes are transformed through metabolism to alkalizing agents.

Thus, the juice of a whole lemon or a whole lime mixed in cold or hot water is an excellent beverage that aids in alkalizing. Equally, 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in water, with or without a bit of honey, helps to alkalize and improve digestion. Tea made from fresh ginger root is another favorite low-calorie alkalizing and detoxifying beverage.

You can try Dr. Brown’s comprehensive supplements in her at-home bone health program, developed with Women's Health Network. Get her exclusive formulations along with her detailed lifestyle and diet guidance, plus telephone support whenever you need it. Learn more about the Better Bones Health Package.

We created the Better Bones blog as our forum to express opinions and educate the public about natural means of supporting and improving bone health and overall wellness. As part of this forum, we sometimes discuss medical issues and medications, and their effects on bone health in general. However, we cannot advise readers about specific medical issues in this forum. If you wish to obtain advice from Susan E. Brown, PhD, about your specific bone health and nutritional concerns, please visit our Consultations page. Other specific medical questions should be referred to your healthcare provider.


August 6. 2009 16:03

I know sugar is acid forming but what about Stevia?


August 18. 2009 15:29

Why are some foods such as blueberries or oatmeal listed as alkaline on some lists on the internet or in books,but acidic on others?


August 25. 2009 13:30

Dear Sharon,

There are different methods of calculating the acid or base impact of foods, I explain these in my Acid Alkaline Food Guide Book. By my calculation oatmeal and blueberries are alkaline-forming, but the important issue is not anyone food but your individual result.  You want to alkalize so try different foods and see what happens.
Best, Susan

Susan E. Brown

January 18. 2010 10:07

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts

Barbara del monferrato

January 18. 2010 18:38

Stevia appears to be slightly acid-forming.  Sucanat or rice syrup are slightly alkalizing.  Susan E. Brown

Susan Brown

January 18. 2010 18:39

Thanks for the note, please share word of my blog with like-minded folks.  Best wishes, Susan

Susan Brown

January 27. 2010 18:29

Do diet, caffeine-free soft drinks increase symptoms of osteoporosis?  Is it the phosphate? Where do I read about other packaged/prepared foods that decrease or harm?


March 8. 2010 13:56

Are soft drinks bad for you if you have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis? I have heard the carbonation is bad for your bones. How about caffeine drinks? Or foods containing caffeine? Chocolate etc.


March 9. 2010 10:21

Hi Mary and Debbie and All Soda Drinkers:
Soft drinks are not wholesome beverages and the sugar, phosphates, caffeine and other additives can detract from bone health.  Currently the average American drinks more soda that water,and that is a sad statistic.  Other highly caffeinated drinks, such as coffee  are a concern if taken in excess. Green and black tea are lower in caffeine and contain important phytocompounds that may actually promote bone health.  So, why not think of wholesome drinks like fresh ginger root tea, lemon or lime water, green tea and fresh vegetable juices.  Wishing you great bone health, Susan Brown

Susan Brown

April 5. 2010 01:27

Thanks for the wonderful website. I am a 55 year old massage therapist. I feel i have good health and a good diet. however my weakness is the joints in my hands...i have calcification mostly in the joints close to my finger nails. Any suggestions would be very welcomed. I am concerned about how much longer I can continue with my profession...which i have loved. Thank you...david

David Conway

April 6. 2010 12:31

Hi David,
Your comment reminds us that while calcium placement in the bones is a good thing, calcification of the joints is not.  A common link seems to be Vitamin K which keeps calcium in the bones and out of the arteries and joints.  Also have adequate magnesium to balanced calcium is important for good joint health.  Some folks with such calcification actually do better on higher magnesium and much lower calcium.  Our Alkaline for Life Diet also promotes joint as well as bone health.   Something is a bit off, I might even look into the possibility of allergies.  If you would like me to develop a personal program for you, information on my consultations and be seen at http://www.betterbones.com/consultations/default.aspx.  Best wishes, Susan

Susan Brown

April 23. 2010 09:53

Hi I was just diagnosed with -2.5  osteroporosis in the lumbar spine and femur....I was shocked! I am 53, walk miles everyday (I am a dogwalker) I also get pleanty of vitamin D (I am also a boat captain) I ride my bike, ski, kayak....rollerblade (ON HOLD NOW!)  anyway, I had heard of the alkaline/acid PH recently, and I have test strips, I have quit drinking coffee (I substitute with INKA) it's great, I have made many more lifestyle changes since the diagnosis(last week)  My doctor also left a message on my ansewering machine " The bad news is you have osteroperosis, but if you want a prescription for Fosomax, give me a call")  I called back and let them know that there was NO WAY I was going to take drugs, went to the drug store and got a print out on Fosamax, and I know that my instincts were right. I have planned to follow the natural route, then all of a sudden I got your e-mail, my guardian angels are watching out for me!


May 5. 2010 20:49

Hi Maddie,
I wonder how much you weigh?  Thin, small boned folks have lower bone density readings to begin with.  Anyway, it would be wise to get a complete medical osteoporosis work-up to make sure there are not hidden causes of bone loss.  On this site I list the tests you need at http://www.betterbones.com/bonehealth/medicaltestingforosteoporosis.aspx.  Also take to heart our Better Bone Program and watch for our articles on bone loss during menopause.  If you are undergoing a rapid bone loss, you want to monitor it and make sure your approach is working.  Best wishes, Susan

Susan Brown

May 11. 2010 11:29

hot water, a squeeze of fresh lemon, a cube of fresh ginger, a pinch of cayenne, and a tiny drizzle of honey - better than anything else I've ever tried. Kind of like gingerale without the fizz, but it still has a bite (cayenne). Just don't rub your eyes after making it like I did... ouch.


June 8. 2010 21:41

Will being on a water pill (hydrochlorothyizade) because of excess calcium in the urine impact my urine's PH?  I have made some dietary changes but haven't seen my urine PH change yet. I am definitely too acid.


June 12. 2010 15:25

Hi Ruth,
The thiazide diuretic should actually help your bone density and reduce fracture risk.  It could cause a slight loss of minerals like potassium and magnesium, so you might want to make sure you have adequate intake of all 20 key bone nutrients and keep working on alkalizing.  To help withh your pH you might check out my Better Bones pH Test Kit http://www.betterbones.com/store/default.aspx.  Best wishes, Susan

Susan Brown

June 16. 2010 21:32

Just had my 1st dexascan after taking myself off Fosamax a year ago and my doctor called to tell me I had an 8% increase in bone mass! My question is about homeopathy and cell salts for osteoporosis - is this a step in the right direction? I already aim high at the alkaline diet but mostly register a 6.0.


September 17. 2010 10:00

I love to keep my body alkaline, lots of green veggies does the trick along with alkaline water.


October 22. 2010 20:22

Thanks Susan for all of your info. I followed your advise and was able to lower my T score from -2.7 to -2.4 ( a 4% decrease)in just one year of being on a level ph diet. Very rarely did I wake up to a alkaline state but the rest of the day I am able to be in the alkaline range. Thanks for all you do.


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