Why do I need to be more alkaline?
Life can be stressful and our modern Western diets – even if they seem healthy – can be high in acid or become acid-producing in the body.
Stress can also cause acid-buildup. Over time, this can cause chronic, low-grade metabolic acidosis which can damage cells in your body, prematurely age us and predispose us to degenerative diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and weak bones. (ref 1)
High protein diets can also lead to metabolic acidosis and early signs of kidney damage (shown by a blood test from your doctor). So it’s important to monitor your pH if you are consuming a high protein (or low carb) diet, or any diet that restricts or modifies food intake.
What causes excess acidity in the body?
high protein/low carb diets (ketosis)
processed foods & refined carbohydrates
stress & anxiety
drinking coffee and black tea daily
chemicals (cleaning products etc)
dehydration/not drinking enough water
drugs & many medications
constipation/poor bowel health
weight loss (releases acids) and excess weight gain
What is alkalisation?
Alkalisation is the practice of administering highly alkalising foods or supplements for a short period, such as during a detox. Alkalising programs have been used for centuries and doctors traditionally used alkalisation to treat a range of health problems, including gout, salicylate poisoning (aspirin overdose) and heartburn. If you are following an alkalising program, it’s important to monitor your pH so you can stay within the recommended range for optimal health.
What are the health benefits of acid-alkaline balance?
Your body’s acid-alkaline balance is important for good health, and being consistently slightly alkaline (by eating the right foods) can help to:
create clear, healthy skin
brighten your eyes
reduce allergies and sensitivities
promote bone health
boost energy levels & mental clarity
promote healthy weight-loss
prevent candida albicans
improve immune system health
boost digestion & gut health
reduce premature skin ageing
improve gout & heartburn symptoms
prevent bad breath
reduce body odour, & more
Do I have to avoid all acidic foods to be healthy?
No. The healthy foods that exert an acid-producing effect (such as quality protein and wholegrain carbohydrates) can be enjoyed in moderation. You are striving for acid-alkaline balance, not a total alkaline diet that could be nutritionally incomplete. If you are avoiding food groups such as dairy, supplementation is important to prevent deficiencies.
About the Skin Friend pH kit:
Skin Friend pH contains 100 accurate wide-range pH strips to quickly and easily measure the pH of your saliva and urine (from pH 4.5 to pH 9.0). Test your pH at home, anytime, and monitor your acid-alkaline balance. It only takes 15 seconds.
What does pH mean?
The word pH means ‘potential of hydrogen' and the pH of 1.0 is highly acidic, a pH of 14 is highly alkaline, and 7.0 is neutral.
How to use the Skin Friend pH kit
First use: Using clean, dry hands, remove the pH strips from the plastic packaging and place them into the metal tin. Keep in a dry place away from moisture.
How often do I test my pH? Your acid and alkalinity levels fluctuate throughout the day depending on what you eat. So ideally, test your pH before eating or at least 30 minutes after eating. Initially – for a couple of weeks – you can do the test twice daily. For example, first thing in the morning (before food) and again in the afternoon before eating (or at least 30 minutes after eating). Then you can test once a day or when convenient. Record your results at the end of this PDF (see ‘pH Diary’).
TO TEST URINE
Briefly place the tip (coloured portion) of a pH strip into the urine stream. Remove, then wait 15 seconds and compare your results using the pH colour chart (on the base of the tin).
TO TEST SALIVA
Do not eat, drink or clean your teeth for at least 30 minutes before testing. Do not put the pH strip directly into your mouth. Briefly dip the coloured tip of a pH strip into saliva which has been placed onto a spoon. Wait 15 seconds then compare your results using the pH colour chart (see base of the tin).
Urine: For healthy people, the ideal pH for urine is between 6.75 and 7.25 (around neutral or slightly alkaline). However, if you have health problems associated with excess acids, such as eczema, skin problems, gout, arthritis, or salicylate- or chemical- sensitivity, aim for a urine pH of 7 to 7.5. Do not aim for higher. Tip: Aim for a healthy balance. If your reading is pH 8 or above, reduce the dosage of your alkalising supplements.
Saliva: aim for a reading between 7.0 to 7.5.
How to use and read the strips
Using the chart on the back of the tin (see image, above), hold your used test strip near the chart and check the colour strip results. If you are unsure of your results, or which square is most accurate, use the bottom indicator square for the reading.
If it indicates you are too acidic, take a dose of Skin Friend PM on an empty stomach and re-test in a few hours. As Skin Friend PM is highly alkaline, you can have it 30 minutes before food to improve your digestion and promote acid-alkaline balance. Find more about Skin Friend PM here.
About the author: For the past 19 years nutritionist and author Karen Fischer has specialised in eczema and skin health. For Karen's Eczema Diet and Eczema Detox programs and additive-free eczema supplements visit skinfriend.com or click on the images, below.
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1. Carnauba, R.A., Baptistella, A.B., Paschoal, V. and Hübscher, G.H., 2017. Diet-Induced low-grade metabolic acidosis and clinical outcomes: A review. Nutrients, 9(6), p.538.