“Test, don’t guess!”

If you’ve followed me at all over the years you know that “Test, don’t guess!” is one of my favorite mantras. You can’t fix something if you don’t measure it. Once you have a number you can work with, you can make big or small changes that influence the outcome. 

For instance, stepping on the scale gives you some indication about how much you weigh compared to a goal. Testing your eyesight helps you know which glasses you need in order to achieve 20/20 vision.

If you want to know how healthy you are, one way to measure it is to determine how alkaline or acidic your urine is. In general it’s healthier to be at least a little alkaline. And because your kidneys and lungs are supposed to eliminate most excess acidity, if your urine leans toward being acidic, you know you have room for improvement in terms of becoming more alkaline.

Why we measure urine pH

Back in high school chemistry you learned about the “power of hydrogen” or pH. Researchers measure the hydrogen ion concentration in a solution by referring to its pH. 

The scale to measure pH ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Anything higher than 7 is considered alkaline or base. Anything lower than 7 is acidic. 

The ocean pH is about 8.1, so it’s alkaline. The optimal pH for a pool is 7.4, about the same pH as human eyes and your mucous membranes. Unless you’re quite ill or dying, human blood is stable at 7.4, so it is also alkaline. 

Different systems and organs of your body require different pH levels in order to function optimally. Your skin has a pH below 5 while your vagina is 3.8-4.4. Because your stomach needs to break down food and kill any pathogens that you may ingest, its pH is less than 3. Your saliva has a pH of 6.5-7.5

You can measure cellular health by measuring your urine pH. It is an indication of what sorts of foods and minerals you’ve been ingesting, as well as what sort of lifestyle you lead. When you measure your urine pH you can make minor - or major - adjustments that can have profound impacts on your health!

Low-grade acidosis

When the balance of acids and bases in your blood get thrown off, it can lead to having chronic low-grade acidosis. If you have this condition it means your body is either making too much acid, not getting rid of enough acid, or isn’t alkaline enough to offset a normal amount of acid. 

Eating too many acidic foods results in your body’s overall pH load becoming acidic. Over time minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium and bicarbonate become low, which is unhealthy and can cause a variety of problems for your body, including bone loss.

Foods that are acidic include:

  • Meat
  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Unsprouted beans
  • Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • Nuts 
  • Carbonated drinks like sodas (which have a pH of 2.5)
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee and other caffeinated drinks
  • Sweeteners
  • Refined table salt
Roasted herbs and vegetables

A healthy, balanced diet

While you don’t want to completely avoid acidic foods, you do want to put a greater emphasis on foods that counteract the effects of excess acid in your body. These are mostly fruits and vegetables that have a high mineral content. Balance a good alkalized diet with healthy acidic foods, such as proteins that are organic and grass-fed.

When you’re trying to stay alkaline - which you can easily measure with my test strips - you want to look at the acid-base balance. I recommend using the 80/20 rule, such that 80% of what you eat is vegetables and fruits (alkaline) and 20% is proteins and healthy fats (acidic). In my programs I help women visualize an actual plate with the healthiest proportions of proteins, healthy carbs in the form of veggies, and healthy fats. 

Lifestyle affects alkalinity

What you put into your body dramatically affects how alkaline your body becomes. But it’s not the only factor. If you experience chronic stress, or are regularly exposed to environmental toxins, or don’t get enough sleep, your body will lean toward acidity. Unresolved negative emotions also contribute to your body’s acidic state. 

Measuring ketones

In addition to measuring the alkaline/acidic state of your urine, it is worthwhile to measure your urine for ketones. 

When you are on a ketogenic diet or fasting, your body produces ketones, putting you in ketosis. Instead of burning glucose, being in ketosis forces your body to burn fat for energy, which helps you with weight management. Other health benefits of being in ketosis include preventing your body from becoming insulin resistant (by balancing your blood sugar), reducing inflammation, and even supporting brain health and anti-aging processes.

Test strips

Because ketosis and alkalinity can both be urine-tested, I put them together on my Keto-pH Urine Test Strips. You can get lots of useful information from knowing the acid/alkaline state of your urine, as well as ketone measurement. 

Because getting alkaline may mean you don’t get enough protein, measuring both helps you fine-tune both your lifestyle and your diet so you can optimally increase your energy while controlling your weight (and experiencing fewer cravings), and managing your hormones! 

The problem with a keto diet is your body becomes too acidic. The result is chronic inflammation that forces your body to hold onto fat stores. The Keto-Green Diet helps with fat loss because your body is forced to use fat for fuel while staying alkaline. The test strips help you identify exactly how you’re doing in staying alkaline and getting into ketosis.

Use the test strips to get alkaline first by reducing acidic foods and activities. Once you’re ready, you can begin eating a mostly keto-based diet and measure that as well.

Stepping on the scale

The scale doesn’t tell you enough

Many women use the number on the scale to determine how they are doing as they work toward a weight goal. The problem is, the scale doesn’t tell you what to do about the number you see! Sure, maybe you need to lose another 14 pounds to get to the weight your doctor recommends, but if you’ve been doing the same things for a while and you’re not making progress, what do you do? 

The test strips don’t lie; if your urine is acidic, you know exactly what you need to do to start getting more alkaline. And the number you see on the ketone part of the strip lets you know if you’re on the right track to fat loss.

The Keto-pH Urine Test Strips are the best way to “test, don’t guess!”


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Dr. Anna Cabeca

Dr. Anna Cabeca

Certified OB/GYN, Anti-Aging and Integrative Medicine expert and founder of The Girlfriend Doctor. During Dr. Anna’s health journey, she turned to research to create products to help thousands of women through menopause, hormones, and sexual health. She is the author of best-selling The Hormone Fix, and Keto-Green 16 and MenuPause.

Learn more about my scientific advisory board.