Alkaline Diet Q&A #1 – How Long Does It Take To Get Alkaline?


Alkaline Diet Q&A – How Long Does It Take to Get Alkaline?


Thanks for your email Ross. I’ve always been interested food as a main player in good health but never stuck to it. I weigh 104 kgs (I’ve lost 2kgs in 2 days) and IO have diabetes and arthritis. I have never taken medication for the arthritis diagnosed around five years ago but have stuck mainly to high protein diets and cinnamon as a supplement and my glucose has always stayed even at around 6.1 although my cholesterol is getting higher and in April was 5.7. I cannot drive and love long distance walking so when I was recently diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my knees – I decided it was time to creak into old age without my walking OR do something about it for real this time.

So here I am on day 4 eating 100% alkaline diet and drinking about 4 litres of water each day.

My problems are going to the loo constantly but I guess that is only to be expected eh? I also sleep very lightly for most of the night and would prefer to sleep more deeply. Enough of the the preamble here are my questions:

1) How long will it take for a worn out body to become well again; i.e. how long does it take to get alkaline?
2) I am walking from Calais to Rome in July. I am taking chlorella, wheat grass and spirulina with me and also turmeric, ginger and cinnamon and pink salt. I will eat mainly from shops in rural France, Switzerland and Italy. l have thought about taking a bottle of oil in my rucksack but not only must I travel light but the oil will get heated in the sun so that will probably not work.

Do you have any other tips for me?


1. This really is a ‘how long is a piece of string’ type question.

If you’re coming from quite an acid-forming background you may feel a little worse before you feel better. It also depends on HOW you alkalize as well as how dedicated you are. Some people think they’re going great but are making one or two little mistakes that are costing them. More on this below.

If you’ve been on a high protein diet I would expect that it has been quite acid-forming for a few years. Many people are in this position.

You have two options when first starting out:

Option One: you can go on an ‘Alkaline Cleanse’ which is essentially an alkaline detox where you consume only raw alkaline soups, alkaline juices and smoothies and get plenty of good quality water for anything between 3-10 days.

Option Two: you can transition more gently onto the alkaline approach by hitting the main stuff first (lots of greens, hydration, oils, alkaline minerals, exercise) and then work on perfecting it over time.

My concern is that going 100% full time, long-term from the word go as you have often ends in people finding it too much of a change and they give up after a few days or weeks (or hours!).

If you’re going to go with option one definitely look out for the next time I open up my Alkaline Reset Cleanse program! You can certainly go it alone in the meantime and if you do – try to stick to it for at least 3 days before going onto option two. If you’re going to go with option two then I’d definitely download my Beginners Guide to the Alkaline Diet & Alkaline Food Charts which you can access from my homepage.

So how long does it take to get alkaline…?

Well, if you go with option 1 – the alkaline cleanse you will see a CHANGE very quickly, and if you’ve come from an acidic diet you’ll probably feel pretty crappy for a few days, but after you break through that you’ll feel sensational.

If you go with option 2 and follow my suggestions then you’ll definitely start to see a turnaround pretty quickly. I guess it depends on what you consider to be ‘success’. You should start to feel clearer in your head and have more energy pretty quickly – within 48 hours, and will start to drop body fat and get that more restful sleep within a week.

Note: with option 2 I definitely recommend ‘getting the good in’ before worrying about ‘cutting the bad out’. The thing with focusing on the good stuff is that the more you eat, the less room you’ll have for the bad stuff. PLUS the more good you eat and drink the less you’ll crave the bad stuff because your body will start to realise how much better you feel without it – you’ll start to realise it’s not worth it!

2. I would definitely persevere with the oil – it’s so important, especially if you’re burning lots of calories each day. Go for oil in dark capsules and a dark bottle and keep in a cool area of your bag each day. Even if you can only take enough supply for one or two caps per day this is WAY better than none at all. And of course, if you get the chance have plenty of oils on your salads etc.

Now – when you’re first staring out here are some pitfalls that can catch people out:

1) Oils. Sounds like you’re doing ok on this front – but just make sure that you’re getting 3 spoons of omega 3 each day.

2) Eating ENOUGH – when people go hardcore alkaline from their previous diet they struggle for recipes that give them enough calories each day – you can find a heap of my alkaline diet recipes here – and also check out some of the suggestions in this article I wrote about alkaline diet and muscle

3) Water quality – are you filtering your water or having any means of making it more alkaline-forming?

4) Getting enough leafy greens – people tend to stick to veggies, pulses and the low sugar fruits – all of which are great but you do need to get lots of leafy greens, especially when in ‘repair’ – a simple tip is to have a side salad with each lunch and dinner.

I go into this more in my Beginners Guide to the Alkaline Diet – which is a free 3-part video series you can access by signing up on my home page here

Check these out and let me know if you have any questions at all!


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


  1. Winters Reply

    I am day 3 of eating a vegan alkaline diet with non-GMO foods and no processed foods, working off Dr Sebi’s food list. All foods are alkaline and a complete molecular structure, unlike GM foods.

    I was beginning to experience arthritis along with a few other upsets, so I thought it would be best to go alkaline for a while and leave the acidic food behind.

    Day 3 and I feel hungry most of the time but the pain from my arthritis is lifting. It feels more numb than anything.
    I do have a lot of lime juice to pull out the acid in the joints, as well as Irish Sea moss and bladderwrack to flush out the excess acidic mucus in the joints. Slow and steady.

    I’d recommend this approach for anyone with health complaints. A little dedication to your health will only benefit you in the long run.

    I think it’s great to see people looking into this.

  2. Jayne Reply

    Hi Ross,
    I’ve just been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. I’ve since found out my Aunt had Graves Disease 5 years ago which was caused by a leaky gut. I am 50 years old, menopausal and had a very bad, sugar rich diet. I drank coca cola every day and ate a LOT of chocolate. I have radically changed my diet, which as we are in Lockdown has been a both good and bad. Good as I am at home and no longer stressed with my job and have time to look after my health. Bad as I can’t visit my local health food shop and similar places which could help.
    I have to avoid gluten, dairy, sugar and processed foods in order to try to repair my gut and stop my body attacking itself.
    I am eating a lot of green veg, nuts, bananas, avocados and beans. I am taking vitamin d, calcium and B complex vitamins. Also turmeric tea and apple cider vinegar.
    Do you recommend anything else? I can only buy things at the supermarket and cannot get anything by post during lockdown
    Best regards

  3. Mk Reply

    Hi Ross,

    HELP- please
    So, I have really bad arthritis-RA, I’m young and it’s in my hands lately REALLY bad!

    1. Can you tell me the quickest way and simplest as I have no time to really cook and I don’t know how to cook, to get alkaline and get this awful inflammation out of my body? What are main staples?

    2. Can I take these oils you are talking about in pill form? Also what all do you suggest and by brand with mg?

    3. Alkaline water, I buy essentia but found that Whole Foods and Walmart is less, are they just as good?

    I appreciate your help!!!!!!!! I really need it!

  4. Eric Reply

    Hi, great article. Where do the nuts belong on pH food scale? ( I just read something else the nurs are acidic food.). Thanks in advance for your answer.

    • ross Reply

      Almost all nuts – the exceptions being peanuts – are alkaline 🙂

  5. Les Stockwell Reply

    Hello Ross, I have just been advised to check my urine PH levels after a uric acid kidney stone removal.
    I am finding this quite a challenge it does not help that I am impatient and stress about getting it corrected as at this time my urine ph averages around 5.5. What advice can you offer? How long does it take to correct as I have been advised to try and aim for 6 to 6.5. Thanks Les.

  6. James Reply

    Hi Ross,

    I’m a 29 year old guy who’s mostly lived off a high protein diet most of his life. My anual physicals all show optimal results though. I’m trying the Alkaline diet as I’m trying to rid of HPV (warts). I really want a strict approach to my diet, which I have been, ever since I started exactly two weeks ago. My pH testing strips still show levels under 7 and not much has changed (though once it did reach close 8 on the scale). The only thing that I have added to my diet which can be in the neutral/acidic scale is filtered water, 3-4 strawberries in my AM smoothies, and eat berries sometimes, and dates, and my first week I ate oatmeal. Besides that I’ve been really dillegent to eat high -medium alkaline foods.

    I wonder if I should get even more strict and eleminate ALL (even) low acidic fruits likes berries AND buy alkaline water which I know has a pH of 7.4.

    I understand it varies, but do you think I need to be more patient until I see my pH levels to rise?

    Is there anything else I should do or change for maximum impact?

    Thank you.

  7. Suzanne Kitto Reply

    Hi I’m struggling at the moment with a chronic health issue regarding bad bacteria and my urine ph is very acidic.. it is a long story but for now I am desperate to get well and have today been out and bought lots of your suggestions to get my body alkaline.. I haven’t really eaten for a month other than maybe one slice of sourdough bread so I am going to try now really hard to eat well and get my body healthy again.
    If there is an opportunity to explain my situation more fully that would be most welcome and any advice you could offer would be very gratefully received.
    I do live in the UK and have signed up for your online study next Tuesday
    Kind Regards

    • ross Reply

      Hey Suzanne

      I think you’ll really like the session next week – it is great to get you going!


  8. Nancy Reply

    I have GERD and went off my medication for it because I got 2 fractures and was told I had osteoporosis so I went on a alkaline diet with lots of water and citrus but I am having bad heartburn/ acid reflex. I think I’ve tried every natural thing out there. Does it ever stop I’m worried I’m damaging my esophagus

    • ross Reply

      Hey Nancy

      With the water & citrus do you mean that you’re squeezing lemon/lime into the water to drink? Are there any other changes you’ve made to your diet?


  9. Des Reply

    I have a history of chronic alcohol abuse and I have gone back and forth with it. I have an otherwise healthy diet, with the exception of that. I DID do a gut repair protocol with a nutritionist that was mostly meat based and ate that way for a couple of years. Other than that I eat a heavily plant based diet, limit refined sugars, and drink herbal teas and water with lemon in it. I have been very clean like this for 3 and a half months. I am still getting ph readings of 5.5. How long does this take? What else can I do?

    • Des Reply

      I would like to add that I no longer drink any alcohol.

  10. Sean Hooks Reply

    I’m just starting out. I need help with the menu. What to buy at the grocery store. 3 meals a day with enough calories. I can eat the same three meals over and over until I learn to expand the menue. Please help me to get started.

  11. Christal Reply

    How long will it take to reduce pain drastically
    following the alkaline diet?

    • ross Reply

      I feel you might benefit from reading the guide above.

  12. Parris Reply

    How would a weight lifter/bodybuilder be able to up ph level and still maintain his/her size? As you are aware we are consuming LARGE amounts of protein in a day.

    • ross Reply

      Hi Parris

      Depends on your goals. True, competitive size and a consistently alkaline pH concurrently are going to be hard to achieve as you’re right, the level of protein consumed would make this challenging. But if you’re not competitive levels of size/growth/cutting/bulking/cycling etc. they can happen in harmony.

      I’d recommend making sure you are getting THE HIGHEST quality of protein you can get – both food source and supplement source. I recommend a plant-based protein to be closer to alkaline, but I know you might want to stick with whey. If so, check out Tim Ferriss’ suggestions on whey protein – I can’t remember the name but at the time I did research it and the manufacturing quality looked exceptional. If you’re not vegan, which I am guessing you’re not, also look into hydrolyzed collagen too. The Great Lakes brand is solid.

      You will prob already be doing it – but lots of omega 3 and coconut oil is a must.

      THEN from an alkaline perspective MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS DAILY:

      – up to 4 litres of water a day – filtered
      – a green juice or smoothie daily (no compromise)
      – at least 5-7 serves of leafy greens a day (some will be in the smoothie)
      – alkaline mineral supplement daily – I like pH Miracle pHour Salts or Alkamind Daily Minerals

      I’m being hardline with those four things as they are necessary to support your pH *especially* given the protein and stress of resistance training so consistently.

      If I was going to go further I’d suggest mindfulness meditation, yoga, breathing exercises too… 🙂 but you can start with those four!


    • Who cares Reply

      Broccoli.Cauliflower and legumes and nuts all of which contains protine alkaline diet is 80 / 20 for healthy balance so add eggs to the mix.
      Cauliflower has more protein than broccoli and has slightly more benefits
      Every thing listed in this comment is alkaline and has great protien content with a little research you can find more foods with better results than just protien… Look at the muscle mass on horses and cows ….think about it..

  13. Tracy Gipson Reply

    Can you have all fruits on this cleanse

    • ross Reply

      If you’re on my alkaline cleanse protocol you should have no fruits. Outside of a specific cleanse, fruit is fine in moderation – whole, 1-2 pieces per day.

  14. Joan Restall Reply

    Hi Ross, over 30 years ago I was diagnosed with a severe hearing loss with a lot of my high frequency nerves not working plus I have tinnutis. Would alkanising my diet regenerate my nerves eventually? Thanks for your time Ross.

  15. Larry Floyd Reply

    Hello I’ve been reading your helpful tips on the Alkaline diet,,I’ve got rumetory arthritis and I’ve been drinking 9.5 kagen water for several months I check my p h levels with test strips and normaly stay over 7.0 ph but my question is it safe to drink 9.5 forever and would it neutralize the vitiam c supplements I’m taking for a artery cleanse .thanks,Larry

  16. Maryann Reply

    I had cancer when I was 17 and as a result had hysterectomy. I am now 65 and have been dealing with osteoporosis for last 24 years. I was on fosamax for the first 12 years, but stopped and have been eating a more alkaline diet. This February I had some irregularities in the results from my blood test which showed BUN was high and GFR was too low and creatin 1.0. I’ve seen a kidney doctor and he feels I have nothing to worry about.

    A few days ago I woke in the middle of night with an acid stomach. When I tested my urine and saliva they were both at 8.25. Since I’ve recently added Hawaiian 1tsp spirulina, collagen protein powder, and aloe Vera juice to my smoothie, I decided to remove those to see if there was a change. That first day after my saliva remains at 8.25 all day long and my urine pH fluctuates from 5.0 to 8.25. I can give you more accurate readings at times of day and food intake if that will help, but I am wondering what may be going on since my urine pH reads mostly acidic all day until before bedtime when it hits 8.25. Should I reduce the Spirulina?

  17. Sophie Reply

    How can I get your alkaline cleanse?
    How long will that take to get to me?

  18. Susan Sweet Reply

    Why do I get conflicting information on many of the charts for acid and alkaline foods? One says eggs are alkalizing and another says they are acidifying. One says Beans are Ok while another says they are acidifying unless sprouted. I feel like my only option is to copy 10 lists and only trust things I see repeated over and over.

  19. Lynne nightingale Reply

    I feel awful am I detoxing how long will I feel awful if I’m doing everything right

  20. Juliet Jackson Reply

    What is the best oils to use in an alkaline diet?

    • ross Reply

      Omega 3s (flax, fish, krill etc), coconut oil (for healthy saturated fats – see more here), and an assortment of other PUFAs such as olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, chia, green leafy vegetables, deep sea fish and so on.


  21. Natalie Reply

    I drink a green juice every morning I have for moths now I also try to have vegetables every night for tea am I going enough to have a alkaline body?

  22. Shannon McGeorge Reply

    Hello, I have been feeling horrible for at least 6 months now. My bones are very achy and was diagnosed with moderate to severe arthritis in my spine about 8 years ago. I’m also persistently ill with colds, sore throats, (doc said I need my tonsils out, but I haven’t succumbed yet), sinus infections, asthma, yeast infections, etc. I always feel fatigued and never sleep well. I buy and eat just about everything organic, grass fed meats, butter, etc. and avoid carbs and sweets. I also take about 30+ supplements and extracts daily. I recently read about acidosis and feel that this seems to be the answer to what I am experiencing. I’m not eating the right balance of foods and also have been drinking ACV (Bragg’s) water twice daily. So much so that it is probably about a cup a day.
    What do you recommend to begin changing my body from acidic to alkaline? I’ve been eating this way for many years.
    Thank you very much in advance for your answer!

  23. esther Reply

    Can a 78yr old man be taken alkaline water? How often?

  24. Michelle Stewart Reply

    Hi Ross,

    I’ve been struggling with eczema on my hands and shins for years now (5) and its now reached it peak where i couldn’t take it anymore so i decided to try reading up on your blog because i know that the more acidic your body, the more likely you are to have eczema flare ups. I quit drinking coffee, tea, and alcohol. I only now drink water with lemon. Its day 4 for me. The only time i eat any meat is supper time. I did cave and have a boiled egg for supper this morning because i felt like i needed protein. I noticed my flare ups have decreased a little which is great, but my itching is still there. Any suggestions?

  25. John Reply

    I went Hardcore. Now my stomach is irritated and I can’t eat nothing. For the las five day’s. Can you help me.

  26. Kimberly Grenier Reply

    Hello, just recently, for the last three weeks, I have been eating more alkaline foods in an attempt to improve my eating habits. I now have terrible acid reflux in the upper part of my esophagus. I had this problem once before and had to quit a stressful job to make it stop. My mother died because her esophagus tore open so it scares me when mine burns like this. I’ve heard that being on the acidic side, things will get worse before better after going on an alkaline diet. Is there anything I can do to get past this more quickly. It has been really bad for the past week.
    Please let me know.
    thank you,

    • Angela Reply

      Hey Kim I hope you get this reply before it’s too late I use pantoprazole to control my acid Reflux. But the only pill that works is the yellow oval shaped pill and they only sell it at Walgreens pharmacy So please get a prescription And let them know that you won’t the oval shaped yellow pill. The number on the pill is h126. I hope this helps God bless you

  27. Teresa Reply

    Hello! I too have been alkalizing my body however, I feel like I am not doing it often enough? I take either ACV or baking soda shots in the morning and at night. Then watch what i eat, but I want to make sure my body doesn’t have time to go back to being acidic before it gets another shot. My Question is…should I be doing it more often so they overlap a bit? Like every two hours or something? I just am trying to keep my ph levels up? Thanks for your help!!! Teresa

  28. Clare Reply

    I have a brain tumour and have been doing a Ketogenic diet. I now want to switch to the alkaline diet as I have researched the benefits. I m so hungry all the time. And so sluggish and tired. Any advice?

  29. Terry Morant Reply

    How often should we alkalize our body using home remedy?

  30. Jessica Reply

    So long story short. I’ve been feeling scrappy the last few months and my doctors couldn’t figure it out. My bloodwork came back pretty great except two days ago another run of bloodwork tested my PH and the doc said I have acidosis. My symptoms are tingly feelings in my hands and feet and scalp that come and go but the last few days my lower legs, ankles and knees have been feeling tight and heavy. I assume this is because of the acidosis. I’ve been drinking a lot of water and it’s helped a little bit I haven’t changed my diet yet. I see you be had.some good advise on here with how to quickly change your PH. Just figured I’d ask you about it. Thanks man.


  31. Graham Reply

    Hi, I have the same question, which you didn’t really answer here. How long is “pretty quickly”? I have followed a Cleanse for 3 days, then introduced a few vegetable solids but still 100% alkaline for a further 3 days. I used PH strips to test my urine – it stared at 6, and is still at 6 six days later. No change at all. Is it because my urine is still flushing out large amounts of acid toxins, or should it have changed by now?

    • ross Reply

      Hi Graham

      I’d first recommend that you’re testing your pH using my outline here:

      Now supposing that you are – be mindful that you could be heading in exactly the right direction, and your body is detoxifying and expelling acids – exactly as you’ve said – and this will change over time.

      The more important questions are:

      – how do you feel
      – what’s your energy like
      – how do you look in the mirror (skin, eyes, tongue, body shape etc)


  32. MARGARET Reply


  33. Kim Galley Reply

    Hey Ross, I have a question. I have been trying to do this program for months now and everytime, about 5 days in to it, I develop visual disturbances that drive me nuts. My eyes get weepy and red and I start rubbing them. My vision goes blurry and then I get double vision. I thought perhaps I was allergic to soy but this time I was very careful not to have any and the symptoms still came. This never happens when I eat the regular acidic diet I grew up on. I had my eyes tested and they are normal, my prescription hasn’t changed in years. The symptoms happen just when I start to test alkaine with my pH paper. Everything else improves just like you say, improved energy, better sleep, weight loss, fluid loss, decreasing BP, less acne, etc. I am taking fish oil, phour salts, B vitamins, using your recipe book and one from the pH Miracle. I have a Chanson water machine. I drink my green drinks, make green juice with my juicer and do my very best to follow the program. I enjoy the food and feeling better. I have thyroid disease and take a BP pill.I know this is the right thing to do! I have been studying it for years now. I am just very frustrated with this eye stuff. I can barely see the screen on which I am typing, my eyes are burning like crazy, I am squinting in order to type. So, all that said, have you ever heard of such a thing? Could it just be detox that will go away if I persevere? I did read something once about visual disturbances associated with thyroid. I realize that you don’t give medical advice and I am hoping that you might know something about this. Surely I am not the only person that has had this happen to them? Maybe I am doing something wrong on the program. I would appreciate any thoughts, ideas and input. Thanks so much, Kim

    • nobody Reply

      I heard artificial alkaline water from iondizers can cause problems. Maybe that is it. Saka water is a good company for natural alkaline water bottled in bpa free bottles.

  34. Pingback: Adventures and Misadventures in Alkalinity « Good Clean Food

  35. Claire Seals Reply

    Is it possible to have the Beginners Guide in written form?
    Communication Bandwidth here is not good.

  36. zarina Reply

    Also as I can’t have oils, (brings on a gallbladder attack), I dont use any oils in my diet, apart from cold pressed extra virgin olive oil in my salads, and my knees and back are in alot of pain recently, If I cook an alkalising vegetable curry I add a tblsp. Of olive oil that one can use for cooking, but stll get pain. Any tips on oils please for people with gallbladder disease. Thanks, would be very grateful if you could reply. : )

  37. zarina Reply

    Hi Ross, I have been following your blog for quite a while now, I bought a juicer and have been having delicious green vegetables juices and also make a wonderful salad. I was diagnosed with gallstones last year, and since then it’s been quite a journey changing to healthy eating. I followed your alkalise diet plan, and lost so much weight, my skin feels wonderful , and the extreme acidic environment in my stomach reduced dramatically, no acid reflux or pain any more. However, I find anything I eat that is cooked, even though it’s an alkaline recipe sets off the pain in my gallbladder, I mostly have salads and raw juices, any tips and recipes for people like myself, as I crave hot cooked food that is wholesome and satisfiying.