Alkaline for Life®
Testing your pH: a pathway to alkaline balance
by Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD
It’s not easy to tell what condition your bones are in at any given time.
The only real outward signals that your bones may be weakening are receding gums,
weak or broken teeth, and muscle loss—and even those signs don’t necessarily
indicate how much bone you’ve lost, if any. So what can you do to assess how
healthy your bones are right now?
At the Center for Better Bones, we use various tools to help assess bone health
over time. One such tool that you may find useful is pH testing, which will give
you a sense of whether your body is tending toward acidity, or is in the balanced,
slightly alkaline state that’s necessary for healthy bones. This test is relatively
simple and can be done in your own home.
How to test your pH
Your pH can be measured using a simple at-home test that measures the acidity of
your urine (first of the day is best) or saliva. These tests are available at our
website or through other online resources. Instructions on how to use them come
with the test; they are simple and easy to understand, so we recommend them as you
begin the process of switching to an alkaline diet. The first step in establishing
an alkaline diet is to assess your current pH. A good approximation of tissue pH
is easily obtained by testing the pH of your saliva or first-morning urine. Follow
these simple steps to test your pH at home.
- Obtain and become familiar with the pH test paper
included in your kit. This paper measures the acid-alkaline state of any liquid.
Readings at the low end of the scale indicate an acidic state, and those on the
higher end a more alkaline state.
- First thing in the morning, preferably after 6 hours of sleep, get a test strip
or tear off a three-inch piece of paper from the roll.
a. Testing with urine: Either urinate directly on the paper or collect urine in
a cup and dip the paper into the urine in the cup. Please note that first morning
urine (after 6 hours of sleep without urinating) is the most valuable pH reading
according to our research.
b. Testing with saliva (if you can’t go 6 hours without urinating): Rinse
your mouth with water, spit it out into the sink, and spit again. Now, collect some
saliva in a spoon and moisten the paper in the saliva. Do not eat, drink or brush
your teeth before the test.
- As the test paper is moistened, it will take on a color. The color relates to the
acid or alkaline state of your urine or saliva and ranges from yellow to dark blue.
Match the color of your test strip with the chart provided on the back of your test
kit. A number below 7 means that your urine is on the acid side. The lower the number,
the more acidic the condition. Seven indicates a neutral state, neither acid nor
- The ideal urine reading should be between 6.5 to 7.5, and saliva readings should
be between 7.0 to 7.5, with an occasional lower (more acidic) reading. Below, we
give you tips on what to do if your reading is not in the ideal zone.
Readings below 6.5:
At first, most people will have low pH readings due to the acid-forming tendency
of the standard American diet. In this case, increase your intake of vegetables,
fruits, root crops, nuts, seeds and spices, striving to get 80% of your nutrition
from these alkalizing foods. For details on the acid or alkaline forming nature
of the various foods, see The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide
(Square One Publishers, 2006).
Readings above 7.5
A highly alkaline reading is likely due to catabolism, the process of breakdown
of body tissue which triggers excess nitrogen in the urine. If you are consistently
getting readings at 8.0, contact your health professional about how to stimulate
the repair state to reverse this catabolic cycle.
Be patient and persistent. Remember, your pH indicates your reserve of alkaline
minerals. It can take time to build up these reserves. Do not be discouraged with
a slow movement towards the ideal alkaline measurement. It may have taken decades
to get where you are; a few months to sustained repair and renewal are well worth
the effort and attention.
Monitor your pH over time
You do not have to measure your pH every day, but it is an excellent idea to keep
some record of your pH test results over time. At the Center for Better Bones we
use a Monthly pH Testing
Record. You might want to use this chart yourself. As you incorporate our
Alkaline for Life® Eating Program, and as you use supplements like ours which alkalize,
you will see your pH reading move into the desired range.
Our other articles on pH balance include:
The Better Bones Package: the approach I recommend for naturally strong bones.
At the Center for Better Bones we promote an all-natural approach to bone regeneration
and repair that includes nutrition, diet, exercise, lifestyle guidance, and support.
The Better Bones Package is a convenient,
at-home version of this approach that was developed with Women's Health Network, one of America's premiere on-line women's
health websites. Working together, we've developed the most comprehensive approach
to bones health available today, and based on the 25 years of Dr. Brown's leading-edge
research in the field.
Questions about the Better Bones Package? Call toll-free at
Original Publication Date: 01/01/2009
Principal Author: Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD