How to Test Your pH: Are You Alkaline?
When you’re first starting on the alkaline diet there are two pieces of information that are absolutely critical to your success:
- Where you are NOW
- Whether what you’re doing is working
The easiest, most convenient and affordable way of tracking your progress with the alkaline diet is to do a simple, at-home test of your pH using your saliva and urine.
Doing a regular (I recommend daily for at least a month) pH test is absolutely fantastic because it allows you to REALLY take control of your health, track your progress and you can visibly see, on a daily basis how your food choices affect your body.
It is HIGHLY motivating!
How To Do the pH Test At Home
I first wrote a quick little pH testing guide about this back in 2005 and I have found myself constantly referencing it over the years. But since I wrote that (a whopping great EIGHT years ago now!) I have developed a much more foolproof, accurate and effective way of testing your pH.
Getting this information is a LOT easier than most people think, can be done at home on a daily basis and costs just pennies (or cents!).
But if you get it wrong…
An Inaccurate Test Is Worse Than…
Getting the wrong, or misleading, information is worse than no information at all. If you’re trying to get alkaline and are making mistakes, but your tests are inaccurately showing you’re getting more alkaline – then you’ll keep on making those mistakes forever. Or worse, you’ll step it up a notch to further increase your pH and be going even faster in the wrong direction.
People get this test wrong all of the time.
They buy their pH strips, and think it’s as simple as peeing on it. While it is simple, it’s not that simple.
Just today I spoke to a client who was rinsing their mouth with water before testing.
Sounds good, right? Nope.
This would at best give him his salivary gland’s instant reaction to the tap water, and at worst (and most likely) he simply got a read of the tap water.
The Definitive Guide to Testing Your pH
This is why I have created this guide. If you want to get right into the nuts and bolts of it, you can download the cheat sheet right here, right now.
How to Test Your pH
Testing your saliva and urine pH is a great, cheap and easy way to measure your progress – but it has to be done right!
Random testing throughout the day will only give you a measure of what you just ate or drank – it won’t tell you how you’re doing.
To get an accurate test, follow these steps for my Ultimate Guide to pH Testing!
3 Steps to Testing Your pH
Step One: The Sunrise Saliva Test
As soon as you wake up, before anything else, test your pH of your saliva. Note the pH (colour and number on your pH strip) and write it down.
Important: do this before you put anything else in your mouth! Don’t clean your teeth, drink, eat or anything else.
Step Two: The Upon-Rising-Urine Test
Now it’s time to test your urine and it’s important this is your first pee of the day. This is the measure of your body’s hard overnight work.
Again, note the colour and number on the pH strip and write it down.
Step Three: The Post-Hydration Test
Next you want to test your 2nd urine of the day. Do this before eating any food if possible. This will give you a different measure to the first urine. Note the colour and number.
Step Four: Repeat this Daily for 30 Days
pH testing with strips/sticks does not give any meaningful result in isolation, as a one-off test. To get true, measurable and meaningful results you need to track changes over time.
Commit to testing every day or every other day for 30+ days and track your movements over time. Remember, getting and staying healthy is something for the long-term, not a quick fix!
How to Interpret Your Results
Step One Result: The saliva tells us how effective your body is at dealing with the acidic foods you may have eaten the day and night before, and the overall ability of the body to respond to your lifestyle. It shows us how well the salivary glands (as well as the stomach, pancreas, gallbladder and liver are performing in dealing with excess acidity from diet.
GOAL pH: you want this pH to be at least 7.0 and ideally above pH 7.2
Step Two Result: The first urine of the day is the pee that has been stored in your bladder overnight and is a track record of the stored alkaline buffers you have that have been working while you sleep to neutralise the acids you’ve consumed and that your body has created overnight through bodily functions (such as metabolism).
GOAL pH: Your first urine should be at or above pH 7.0
If you are below pH 7.0 then you are low in alkaline buffers and need to follow some of the steps below.
If you are at pH 7.2 or above then you are doing great – you have the alkaline buffers needed to neutralise any acidity in your diet and lifestyle.
Step Three Result: now that the first urine has washed through the stored, overnight urine that contained the results of your overnight acidity/buffering, your second urine should show an improvement on the first.
If it doesn’t you’re definitely needing to follow the steps below!
GOAL pH: Your second urine should definitely be higher than pH 7.2
If the pH is lower than 7.2 then you are in overly acidic. This is what Robert Young (pH Miracle) refers to as “a state of latent tissue acidosis”. It means you are deficient in alkaline minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium (the four minerals that all alkaline foods have in abundance).
This can also suggest your diet is too high in protein, especially animal proteins, which lead to an increase in acids including nitric, sufuric, phosphoric and uric acid.
How to Increase Your pH
If the pH of your saliva is consistently below 7.2 and the pH of the urine is consistently below pH 7.0 then you need to take steps to change this as soon as possible.
Steps to Increase Alkalinity:
- Step One: Go Green – try to consume at least five serves of green foods each day. Salads and green vegetables are highly alkaline and full of alkaline minerals. Try the alkaline green juice and smoothie recipes here.
- Step Two: Super Hydrate – aim to drink at least 3-4 litres of filtered, alkaline water daily. This will do so much for your energy and skin and will massively support your body in getting rid of excess acidity. You can get my Definitive Guide to Alkaline Water here
- Step Three: Get Oiled Up – omega 3 oils are so critical, yet most of us are chronically deficient. Having sufficient omega 3 in your diet will buffer acids, promote cell health and alkalise your body quickly and for the long term. Here’s some more info on getting the right oils.
- Step Four: Re-Mineralise – the body needs alkaline minerals to buffer acids. While you will get lots of these from the alkaline foods you eat, it is smart to supplement with calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium bicarbonate. These four alkaline minerals are incredibly effective in buffering acids and maintaining the alkaline design of the body.Click here to see a heap of scientific research that shows the importance of alkaline minerals to our bodies.
A great starting place is my Beginner’s Guide to the Alkaline Diet you can access by signing up right below this post.
REMEMBER: Testing the pH level of your saliva or urine is only going to give you a general trend. Unfortunately, there is no way of determining the EXACT pH level of the blood without undergoing a live blood analysis. However, they can give a good indication – so test, test, test and take the average and then follow this trend over time noticing the difference any changes in your diet can make.
I sincerely hope that this is helpful – please feel free to ask if you have any questions.
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