WHAT DOES pH MEAN?
pH stands for "power of hydrogen." The "H" is capitalised because it is the hydrogen element symbol. pH is a measure of how acidic or basic/alkaline a liquid is.
“The pH scale, ranges from 0 (strongly acidic) to 14 (strongly basic or alkaline).
A pH of 7.0, in the middle of this scale, is neutral. Blood is normally slightly basic, with a normal pH range of 7.35 to 7.45. Usually the body maintains the pH of blood close to 7.40.”
The body self-regulates the pH of the blood. Going above or below its intended pH will result in death.
When you ingest overly acidic foods, the body self-regulates by manufacturing and secreting sodium bicarbonate to balance (or to alkalise) out the acids from the food ingested. This causes a loss in the alkaline mineral reserves in the body and increases the acid found in the stomach. These acids are taken up by the blood, which lowers blood plasma pH, meaning that the body has to work harder to self-regulate. So, it makes sense that the fresher and unprocessed the food, the more healthy or alkaline the body will be, because it doesn’t have to work as hard.
How do you feel when you eat a steak or overly processed junk food? I personally feel lethargic and want to go to sleep.
The root of all disease is inflammation and the root of inflammation is acidosis. Kibble & other processed foods for dogs, as well as too much meat and dairy are not ideal long-term. The result leads to tissue acidosis and degenerative disease. Alkaline minerals are stored mainly in your bones and organs. When someone has bone marrow cancer it can be argued that their body has become so acidic that they have used up all of its minerals.
Unlike the blood pH which the body self-regulates, the urine is your output and is a direct result of what you are putting in, just like poop. The urine's pH can vary depending on stress levels and what has been consumed and this includes medications.
Stress in general is a major contributor to forming acid. A healthy urine pH for people is between 6.5 – 7.5.
A healthy urine pH for dogs is between 6.5 – 7.
Below either of those values is too acidic and above may be too alkaline. In dogs if the urine pH is consistently below 6 or above 7 it is not ideal as it allows bacteria to thrive and this is also the range in which crystals and stones form.
Please take special notice to my use of the word “consistently”. Like all things it is about balance over time. You cannot always eat a balanced diet for example - we just have to eat a variety of foods with varying nutrients and pH levels. One high or low reading doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem so a urine test is something you might have to do a few times. You can discuss this with your doctor or veterinarian.
HOW TO DO A URINE pH TEST CORRECTLY
The urine sample needs to ideally be tested within the first 10-60 seconds.
Let it sit for 10 seconds and test within 60 seconds.
You want to test roughly the middle bit of the urine, also not the very first stream and not the last. You see, when you urinate everything comes out all at once but the longer you wait the elements start to separate and fall down to the bottom and prevents us from getting an accurate pH reading.
Leaving the urine out for too long (especially if it is acidic) may cause it to be affected by the environment. Naturally this also depends on how it is stored and for how long.
A very special shout out to Richard Ayoub aka The Water Guru from Alkaline World for his wisdom and guidance over the years. Richard first introduced me to pH testing many years ago when we were testing for truly healthy alkaline water. For any enquiries relating to water and water filters: https://alkalineworld.com.au