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.
That’s why a pH test is so important for bone health. Testing your body pH will give you a sense of whether your body is tending toward metabolic 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.
Want to read more about alkaline balance and your bones?
What is your pH?
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.
These tests are available here or through other online resources. Complete instructions on how to use them come with the test, but these are the simple steps to follow to test your pH at home.
Steps to test your pH
1. Obtain pH test paper. 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.
2. Test in the morning — two options. First thing in the morning, if possible after 6 hours of sleep without getting up to urinate, get a test strip or tear off a three-inch piece of paper from the roll.
- 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 is the most valuable pH reading according to our research. If you can’t go 6 hours without getting up to urinate, then just test the first urine in the morning when you get up for the day.
- Testing with saliva (this is a second, less-ideal measurement): 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.
3. Read the result color. 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.
- The ideal urine reading should be between 6.5- 7.5, and saliva readings should be between 7.0- 7.5.
Tips 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. You can find more details on the acid or alkaline forming nature of the various foods in The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide.
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.