Urine consists of salts, water, and waste products from the kidneys. Urine pH is a quantitative measure for assessing the acidity or basicity of a person’s urine. A normal urine pH range is between 4.5-8. Any urine pH below 7 is considered acidic, and any pH above 7 is considered basic or alkaline. Urine pH tests are performed as part of a urinalysis.
How Do High-Protein Diets Affect Urine?
What you eat has a direct effect on your urine pH. Eating enough protein ensures that your body can maintain basic biological processes so that it can function. When your body works to break down the protein you eat, your body produces uric acid, which means that the consumption of protein-rich foods contributes to increased uric acid in the body. This uric acid, in turn, makes your urine acidic. Because of this, frequently eating protein-rich foods like meat, fish, and poultry lowers the pH of your urine, making it more acidic.
High-protein diets work for some people, but it's important to weigh the benefits and risks of any diet before making any dietary changes.
High-protein diets are characterized by a high intake of protein and fat. For example, high-fat animal-based foods such as meat, eggs, and cheese form the basis of a high-protein diet. High-protein diets typically allow eating all types of protein and fat, including fish, eggs, meat, poultry, butter, oil, and cheese. At the same time, however, this diet generally limits carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, fruit, milk, alcohol, and starchy vegetables such as potatoes and peas.
One high-protein diet is the ketogenic diet (keto for short). The keto diet means increasing your intake of protein and healthy fats and reducing your consumption of carbohydrates to less than 50 grams per day. Since high-protein, animal-derived foods are common in the keto diet, it is inevitable that the keto diet makes your urine more acidic in general.
The high animal protein content of high-protein diets like the keto diet increases urine acidity. This can be harmful to the kidneys and bones, while high-fat content is harmful to the heart. Considering this, increasing your consumption of vegetable-based sources or protein sources can help optimize your urine pH.
In summary, a diet high in vegetables, fruits, and legumes can increase urine pH, while a diet high in meat products, fish, or cheese can lower urine pH. Because of this, having a balanced high-protein diet that includes both animal and vegetable-based sources of protein can help you achieve and maintain a neutral pH.
A Balanced High-Protein Daily Menu Sample
Scrambled eggs + Avocado + Toast + Peanut butter
Green Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Lentils + Greek Yogurt
Roasted Salmon and Asparagus + Leafy Greens
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