How to Test Your pH (The Alkaline Test)

ph test

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:

  1. Where you are NOW
  2. 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

the-ph-test-cheat-sheet-download-imageI 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 18 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. This PDF guide will tell you everything you need to know.

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!

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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.
  • 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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Ask Me a Question or Leave a Comment Here - I'd Love to Hear from You


  1. Peta Thomas Reply

    Hi Ross,
    If I have too much Alkalising minerals (magnesium in particular,I think) I get diarrhoea and lose all my nutrition (and weight, which I can’t afford to lose)
    Therefore I can’t take too much minerals and never get more than 6.8 on a good day.
    Also my saliva test is always very acidic. 5.5

    • ross Reply

      I’d suggest the intake of magnesium in supplement form, at the level your taking it is an issue – but mag from foods does not have this impact. I also recommend trying magnesium l-threonate as it’s more gentle on the digestive tract.

      • Peta Thomas Reply

        Thank you for replying. I don’t think I’ve heard of that sort of magnesium but I’ll have a look out for it.
        I have heard taking Choline Citrate helps with the diarrhoea. Would you agree?

  2. Jan Reply

    Ross, Here’s a quick question: Step 3 is called the “Post-hydration test” but you have not specified how much water to drink beforehand. Please let us know!

  3. Suzanne O'Dea Reply

    Hi there, where can I get the most reliable and not too dear litmus strips?
    Thank you,

  4. Jan Reply

    Quick question for Ross: Before doing Step 3 (Post-Hydration Test), how much water should I drink?
    Also, how much time should elapse between Step 2 and Step 3? Thanks for your help!

  5. Catherine Meade Reply

    Hi, I enjoyed your presentation very much but unsure if the alkaline diet can help with ibs & anxiety and if so how? Regards C

  6. Leon Reply

    That is good to know, but what do I use to test them with? And can you tell me we’re, to duy it

    • ross Reply

      It’s all in the guide.

    • Donna Casey Reply

      What ph strips do u recommend ? Are they all the same?

  7. Briana Jamshidi Reply

    It interests me that people assume everyone is too acidic. I worked with a ND and we found out I was too alkaline. I wish there were more resources regarding that. Yes, it is possible to be TOO alkaline. Extremes on either end are not good.

  8. Thelm a Schumacher Reply

    Has anyone ever been cured of cancer by using an alkaline diet, I am willing to go totally alkaline to preserve a good life of what is left.

  9. Kevin M Reply

    How much baking soda should I take daily? I drink 1to 2 tsp when my stomach acid goes up to my throat. I am taking famotidine 20mg twice daily, but does not always work.

    • ross Reply

      Hi again Kevin – you need to address reflux and digestive issues holistically – just using bicarb will not fix it alone. It might provide temporary relied and chip away at the problem, but you need to address your diet from top to bottom to fix it properly.

      • Homestead Reply

        How do you suggest addressing reflux holistically.. I have no idea where to start- not for me but for my little one. She runs acidic and has silent reflux. I started using alkaline water for her formula. What else can I do? We are avoiding meds for now. She get’s omegas. What about adding greens to her milk? She drinks raw goat milk.

        • Mazie House Reply


          My husband and I have been following an alkaline diet strictly for four weeks. We cannot get above 6.2 on the first morning urine. We are also losing an alarming amount of weight! 10 pounds in that time. My husband cannot afford to lose that amount. His appetite is weak and he finds many of the foods are difficult to eat. we supplement with protein/green shakes, but nothing changes. What should we do?

  10. Dianne Mittler Reply

    How to get all the B Vitamins incl B12. Is there a raw, wholefood, cert org source?

  11. Karin Reply

    Which test do you recommend to test alkalinity?
    Thank you, Ross!

  12. Stephanie Reply

    I always get up every 2 or 3 hours at night to use the restroom, I also drink a sip of water at those times,( my mouth is very dry at night.)
    What do you recommend is the best way for me to check my PH?

  13. John Allan Reply

    This looks like the best way to go forward with my health care

  14. Mary Rose Barry Reply

    I take sodium bicarbonate daily, but where
    should I get magnesium, cacium, and potassium supplements. The sodium bicarbonate that I take is baking soda that I put in water

  15. Marnik Reply

    Hi Ross,

    Thnx for all the wonderfull information, i;m getting on track except for 1 thing.
    i eat alkaline now for the past few weeks en during the day my ph of urine is in the good range between 7.1 – 7.4.
    But how long does it take to get 1st morning urine to get to 7? is this a slow process? it stays below 7, like 6,2 – 6,5. The 2nd mornning test is always alkaline btw.

    Thank for everything,

    • Renee Johnson Reply

      My Papa has just been told he has stage 4 lung cancer. We’re shocked as all his vitals, levels are perfect. He seems fine. This week we have started on the alkaline path…just read all your info on pH…. thank you… it’s very exciting.. natural is always better. Quality of life, not quantity…. again, thank you Renee Johnson

      • ross Reply

        Thanks Renee and I truly wish you and your family the best on this journey you’re on. Kudos to you for taking it into your own hands to research and educate yourself and your family. Your Papa is lucky to have you on his team. Best of luck. R

  16. jenny Collocott Reply

    I have read that if you’re suffering uric acid in the joints (commonly known as gout) and the acid/alkaline level reads 7.5 then you’re to increase this number to possibly read 8.5 but then it becomes dangerous to become too Acidic, as in having Acidosis? What is one to do in this case?

    • jenny Collocott Reply

      I am waiting for your reply.

    • jenny Collocott Reply

      I am waiting for your reply. Sorry I meant Alkalosis which is very dangerous.

    • jenny Collocott Reply

      “if, in fact, your uric acid level is above 7. This would indicate a much higher risk of heart disease” ……. Is the test using paper acid strips for acid alkaline testing the same as the test for uric acid or NOT?

  17. angelie stolle Reply

    Practical analysis ! I learned a lot from the info ! Does someone know where my business can get ahold of a fillable FL DFS-1A-26R copy to use ?

    • Fonda Sandor Reply

      I worked with a template FL DFS-1A-26R version using this

  18. Trudy Reply


    I drink distilled water. I believe it is acidic (I have tested it) what are the best minerals to add to the water to make it alkaline?



  19. Sally Reply

    I have been on a raw food diet for 7 weeks with a couple of meals out during that time. I am vegetarian, eat no meat or fish, don’t drink coffee or alcohol (maybe a rare glass of wine) and eat all the foods suggested, and no acid forming foods. I have tested my urine and saliva for 2 days out of interest and the result is 5-6, indicating acid. The colors (match 4) are the same every time and in fact the same colors as the strip before testing! So I tested tap water and lemon juice .. same result. I have no health problems and not on any medication. I am wondering whether testing at all is a waste of time and whether there is any substance in the acid/alkalinity test.

  20. Robert Loye Reply

    Hello, I know you can’t give out medical advice; however, maybe you have general information or can quote some studies. I just developed diabetes. I have not eaten junk for most of my life. I eat salads and vegetables mostly with little chicken and fish. Lately I am showing high keytones in my urine. I am aware what causes them; however from a food perspective do you know if eating alkalizing food will help that condition or do nothing.In addition, how will the consumption of fats effect the body PH and or the Keytones? I would appreciate any light you can shed on the issue.

    thank you.

  21. CV Ramana Reply

    Ross, most of the ingredients you specify in your recepies are local to USA and not easily available in India where I live. How do I substitute them with equivalents ? I am interested in following you but unable to get most of the stuff you mention in your recipies . Pls advise

  22. Herman Johnson Reply

    It seems that my body fell apart when I turned 70. I know it didn’t happen overnight, but it seems that I have gallstones, type 2 diabetes, lymphoma stage ?(non aggressive), COPD and emphysema. Those are the 5 main problems. I forgot, I have to go in this month for a Prostate biopsy.

  23. Sue Reply

    Hi there
    my urine test is above 8 during the day is that ok i eat green a lot .

    • ross Reply

      Hi Sue

      That is good – but be sure to follow the guidelines of this guide and keep all variables as close to the same as possible.


  24. Stacy Reply

    ive planned to start an alkaline diet- but measuring my urine has shown me to be 7.5-8
    I’m tested various times throughout the day- always coming between those numbers

  25. Jill Reply

    What if your urine is off the charts alkaline which mine seems to be.

    • ross Reply

      Hi Jill

      Are you testing that under the same conditions each day?


  26. Georgina Reply

    Thanks for sharing I truly appreciate it

    • Energise Ross Reply

      No worries Georgina. Hope you start seeing some good results from your ph testing 🙂

  27. Jenny Reply

    Thanks for this. However, I can’t see anywhere to click to download the cheat sheet….am I missing something?

    • Energise Ross Reply

      Hey Jenny – not sure why – try again now

  28. Eric Reply

    I was wondering if apple cider vinegar had the same effect on the body as lemon juice?

    • Ross Bridgeford Reply

      Hi – as it is fermented, ACV is acid forming I’m afraid.

  29. blanch Reply

    What about the dangers of becoming too Alkaline?

  30. Ann Reply

    Hi Ross,
    Does taking multivitamins have any effect on oh?

    • Ann Reply

      ph……spell check 🙂

  31. Petra Reply

    Dear Ross,
    Thanks a lot for your advices!
    Love, Petra

  32. Che Reply

    hello.. is pure honey alkaline or acidic? I’m confused. please help me

  33. cheryl Reply

    hi, is it true that cancer cannot live in an alkaline body?

    • Ross Bridgeford Reply

      Hi Cheryl

      I wont’ say definitively that this is or isn’t the case, but this was the research that Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for. His research did show this.