How Being Acidic Can Kill Your Precious Gains in the Gym

You’re doing everything right. You’re eating clean, following a workout program but you are plateauing.  You just can’t seem to get the results you are wanting.

There can be many a reason for this, but one such cause is little known and for the most part easy to overcome. Biochemical acidosis is a common disorder ailing a large portion of the population.  The easiest way to refer to this term is being too acidic.

Being acidic can be detrimental to testosterone production and subsequently muscle deposition resulting in you doing all the work but not seeing the results.

How do you know if you suffer from acidity?

The following are symptomatic of a pH imbalance in the body:

  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Premature aging
  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Accelerated free radical damage
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue [3]

The human body needs to be in balance in order to function adequately. The body will always try to maintain homeostasis, which it will attain by leaching minerals from the bones, joints and muscles. [4]

This can result in the muscles unable to restock their glycogen stores, thus will be unable to function at their maximum, as well as a subsequent plateau, which is actually your body’s way of saying “enough is enough”. [1]

The attempt to eliminate the acidity build up in the body can lead to additional problems which can result in you having to take more downtime from the gym that you intended.

The good news is simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference for you and we’ll discuss this in just a moment.

How to Know if You’re Acidic

A great way to know if you’re acidic is to take an at home PH test.  You can search the internet to find a testing kit for fairly cheap.

The PH Test Scale is from 1 to 14.  If you are above 7, that means your body is alkalized and you are health.

If you’re below 7, that means you’re acidic and need to make some changes to your lifestyle.  We’ll get to some thing you can do below in just a minute.

Besides the biochemical complications resulting from acidosis, being acidic can decrease testosterone levels. This has a direct impact on muscle gains. Testosterone governs the protein synthesis which is effectively how your body makes muscle. If testosterone is low, it lowers the rate of protein synthesis and subsequently lowers the ability of the body to build muscle, making your workouts pointless.[2]

The 4 Factors That Can Cause Your Body to Become Acidic & Kill Your Muscle Gains

There are however various steps one can take to reduce acidity and prevent this ailment from affecting your muscle gains. Most are quite simple and easy to implement.

#1: Diet

It is important to take into consideration what foods you put into your body. For your body to function optimally and build muscle effectively, you need to stay away from foods that are too acidic.

These are generally fried foods, junk food and carbonated drinks. To maintain an alkaline environment in the body, it is imperative consume fresh fruit and vegetables especially broccoli, cucumber, lettuce, apples and grapes. [1] 

Basically a majority of fruits or vegetables can help alkalize your body.

Also, don’t underestimate the importance of drinking enough water. The average person requires at least 8 glasses of water per day to maintain metabolism. If you’re into working out, it’s suggested that you drink more than 8 ounces of water due to the extreme stress you put your body under.

A good rule of thumb is to consume your body weight x .66 in ounces.  So for example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you would drink 200 X .66 = 132 ounces of water a day.

#2: Stress

Modern life has us hustling all day to try fit everything in our busy schedules.  This can result in an increase in the release of the stress hormone Cortisol, which breaks down and acidifies the body further. It is very important to control the stress in your life with various techniques.  Simple exercises such as meditation can remove stress. It is important to keep your stress at a manageable level to maintain your fitness and achieve your goals, as stress has effects on motivation and energy levels as well. [3]

#3: Rest

Sleep is as importance as exercise itself when you are trying to build muscle. Lack of sleep also results in increased Cortisol levels, which as discussed can cause acidity in the body with the accompanying difficulties. It is recommended that you get at least 7 hours a night to augment your training regime. [1]

Sleep is without a doubt one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to build muscle and get lean.  During sleep is the only time you can rebuild the muscle from your training session.

#4: Limit Alcohol

Besides alcohol itself being an acidifier of the body, overindulgence tends to result in binge eating and unhealthy food choices which result in acidosis. [3]

 Now, you can have an occasional drink every now and then.  However, limit your intake as alcohol can lower testosterone levels.

It is so importance for your body to remain in a homeostatic state. Being too acidic, as discussed can have detrimental effects on your fitness regime and muscle gains. It is not worth doing all the hard work in the gym and not seeing the results, or even actually putting your body at risk, because you are not eating correctly and your body has become acidic.


These four factors mentioned are just a few of the most important factors that can cause your body to become acidic and decrease your testosterone levels.  Luckily, the pH test is a simple one and testing strips can be purchased and most leading pharmacies. So, take the test, know your number and make the changes before it’s too late!

Want More Men’s Health Related Articles Like This One?  Check Out My Blog Below

  1. 7 Foods That Boost Testosterone
  2. What Vitamins Can You Take to Increase Testosterone Levels
  3. The Best Ways for Men to Lose Weight Fast
  4. Is There Such Thing as The Best Testosterone Booster?
  5. Do You Have Normal Testosterone Levels?



  2. Griggs RC,Kingston WJozefowicz RFHerr BEForbes GHalliday D: Effect of testosterone on muscle mass and muscle protein synthesis,J ApplPhysiol (1985)

Author Bio

Anthony Alayon is a best-selling fitness author who currently serves over 70,000 newsletter subscribers with his daily emails.  He’s also a Certified Sports Nutritionist, Certified Personal Trainer and Accountant.  His work has been featured on, (A NY Times Company), Labrada Nutrition, Critical Bench, Natural Muscle Magazine, Bliss Magazine and many more.

If you’d like more information like this from Anthony, please visit his web site at and follow him on Social Media at the link below:

About The Author


Lee Hayward is a former competitive bodybuilder and muscle building coach who has been online coaching people since 1997. His work has been featured in several international magazines such as: FLEX, Muscle Insider, Muscle Mag International, Testosterone, Ironmag, and Forbes. Lee's main focus right now is with helping men over 40 - who don't want to be fat anymore - lose the gut, build muscle, and get back in shape. If you're ready to "Start Again" for the last time and finally build a lean healthy body that you can be proud of, just e-mail Lee to discuss a realistic action plan that's right for you...

1 Comment

  • Jerren

    Thank god i came across this very helpful article. I’ve noticed some of these symptoms happening to me recently but i have been making some pretty good lean gains. Maybe it’s been from me messing around with my diet or changing up my supplementation. I used to use almost all of BSN supplements until I found out it was making my stomach hurt everyday. I’ve recently started using a new brand called Heroform and i’ve seen good gains and no side effects.