Acid Alkaline Balance – Is It Hard to Get pH Balance?

Article by ross

acid alkaline balance woman

Acid Alkaline Balance Made Easy

Lots and lots of people are talking about the acid alkaline diet now. Most recently, and notably, rising star of the nutrition world Dr Nish Joshi has based his Holistic Detox book on the alkaline acid balance theory. In fact, the first chapter of his book talks about the importance of a correct acid alkaline balance and he goes on to list his favourite acid and alkaline foods, wheatgrass benefits and the benefits of juicing alkaline vegetables. This book is mainstream and so there are now hundred and thousands of people unknowingly following ‘The pH Miracle’ approach of originator, Robert Young without giving it a second thought! This is awesome!

The difference is this – when people read Robert Young’s book they rarely even try to follow his suggestions, but when people read Dr. Joshi’s book they give it a fair go. And this is all about how the acid alkaline diet is explained and whether it is explained in a realistic or impossible way!

I think that there is more to this than the fact that Dr. Joshi has got some high profile, celeb followers like Gwyneth Paltrow and Patsy Kensit. I actually think that getting a proper acid alkaline balance is pretty straightforward – and not that difficult. The two books have taken quite different approaches to presenting this information. Whether intentional or not, Dr. Young spent a lot of time discussing the whys and wherefores. Dozens of pages are spent talking about the colon, the intestines, blood, mucus and the actual science and background behind this theory. Without the backing of beautiful walking adverts (celebs) I think he had to do this to get people to believe and understand his approach.

However, this is a double edged sword. Yes, he does explain quite brilliantly about how and why this approach to diet works and makes sense. But I think within this he loses many people. Personally, I prefer this approach as I love to learn more and understand the workings behind things – but this is definitely not everyone’s bag. Maybe he would have been better off splitting it into two books – why and how.

On the other hand Dr. Joshi’s book is beautifully presented, with full colour pictures, lots of nice typography and most importantly – no science, just a how-to. This makes getting an acid alkaline balance very pleasing to follow!

Robert Young also doesn’t give enough attention to one essential fact – that it took him and his family quite a long time to get fully balanced. I think when people realise that it DOES take a while, you don’t have to be perfect from the start and that you can take it slowly.


Has the acid alkaline balance been explained badly so far?

Alkaline Recipe BookSo the question that this poses (in my opinion) is this – is an acid alkaline balance really that difficult to achieve, or has Robert Young (and to some degree Tony Robbins) made it seem more complicated than it really is?

I must admit, that for the first year or so after I first learned about this approach to health I thought it was complicated and tricky to adhere to. The process of setting up Energise with Callum et al writing loads of content for our resources section, widening my reading to many many other health authors, blogs and programs has allowed me time and the opportunity to look at this lifestyle with a new perspective.

To me achieving an acid alkaline balance is not actually that difficult or confusing. It just seems that way when you first start out, because of all of the scientific explanation, conflicting alkaline food charts and confusion over lemon water being alkaline, what to do with fruits and the simple question of what should I eat!.

I know that sounds lame but I really believe it. I’m not going to chicken out here either, I am going to explain what I mean.

My explanation of how the acid alkaline balance is easy to achieve relates quite nicely back to the post by Eugine that I pointed out earlier about mastering the fundamentals. If you get the fundamentals sorted so that you are getting the basics right day-in, day-out then you are 99.9% there.

So What Are the Fundamentals of Acid Alkaline Balance

The fundamentals of achieving an energy-boosting, life-giving acid alkaline balance are quite straightforward. I spent a lot of time researching and constructing this list of alkaline and acid foods which does simplyfy things a little – but I want to go a step further here.

Acid Alkaline Balance – Step One: Increase Alkalinity

dr young talks acid alkaline balancing act

  • Drink at least three litres of alkaline/pH neutral water mixed with Green Drink per day: drinking 3-5 litres of water per day will give your body the tools to flush toxins from your system, while the greens will give your body a real alkaline boost.
  • Drink at least 1 fresh vegetable juice per day: getting into the habit of juicing daily will give your body a real gift. Fresh, nutrient packed juices will also increase your alkalinity and provide you with the goodness of a gargantuan salad in a small glass. Brilliant.
  • Give your body ‘good fats’ daily: this is probably the easiest of all the fundamentals to stick to, but is probably one of the most important. Your body cannot make these fats by itself, but it needs them. Its why they are called essential fatty acids. I have waxed lyrical about EFAs heaps of times before, here and for more information have a look at Udo’s Site.
  • Have a salad as one of your meals every day: this is easier than it sounds and it will make a big difference to your energy levels and overall wellbeing. Don’t just think of a normal lame salad. Think of giant, colourful, varied salads. Think of avocado, spinach, pine nuts, almonds, chickpeas, red cabbage, roma tomatoes, cucumber, snowpeas, sprouts, kidney beans, green beans, radish, fig, sunflower seeds, beets, artichoke, watermelon and herbs, herbs, herbs! Now think of beautiful dressings with lemons, limes and olive oils. See? Lovely.
  • Exercise aerobically three times a week (again, at least): exercising aerobically increases alkalinity by helping to flush the body of toxins, cleansing the lymph system and increases your energy, clarity and wellbeing. C’mon, I don’t have to explain to you why it is essential that you must exercise regularly do I?
  • Just eat loads of green vegetables every single day! If you do this, you will feel the difference.

Acid Alkaline Balance – Step Two: Decrease Acidity
Stop eating these foods (don’t even contemplate it!):

  • Dairy – cheese, milk, yoghurt, cream etc. They are cloggers.
  • Meat – apart from some fish if necessary.
  • Sweets and Snacks – you know this already – chocolate, ice creams, lollies, crisps, biscuits: anything that you already know is bad for you and that you shouldnt keep eating. It just makes sense.
  • Sugary, unhealthy drinks – coffee, tea, coke, pepsi, lemonade etc: so, so much wrong with these drinks. If it isnt the caffeine (and the added milk and sugar we put in coffee and tea) it is the absurd amounts of sugar in fizzy drinks. This also includes packaged juice drinks, cordials and despite their best intentions ‘innocent’-type juices. Sugar-tastic. Just by cutting out tea and coffee when I first started out took approx one pint of milk and 15 teaspoons of sugar from my daily diet.
  • ‘Bad’ fats and oils – anything that is hydrogenated (partially or fully), saturated, solid (butter and marge), stored outside of a fridge and in a plastic/perspex container (light, air and heat make ALL oils toxic) or cooked. These fats are bad news.
  • Yeast – sadly that includes marmite and beer. Yeast is responsible for so many illnesses, diseases and symptoms of poor health including fatigue, indigestion, asthma, colds and flu, joint pain, bad breath, PMS, heartburn, lack of sex drive, hernia, headaches, lethargy, muscle aches, allergies, IBS, irratability, dry skin, infections, weight gain, multiple sclerosis, tumors, dizziness, food cravings, mood swings, depression…need I go on?

To conclude…

OK – not a stroll in the park, but it is hardly rocket science. Eat the things you already know are good for you and stay away from the things that you know are bad for you.

Of course, do not try to do everything all at once, it will never work. But perhaps this could be a good transition program for you. Over the next 12 weeks try to master each of these 12 fundamentals one at a time, week-by-week. Go on – I dare you!

If you have any questions – either comment below or refer to my acid alkaline balance resources below.

Alkaline Diet Recipe Book Banner


The Acid Alkaline Balance Diet Simplified: a simple explanation of how to achieve an acid alkaline balance
The 7 Most Alkaline Foods: getting an acid alkaline balance is easier when you eat the most alkaline foods!
Top 10 Acid Alkaline Balance Questions Answered: this is a MUST read for anyone who wants to get this balance

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


  1. Esther Cadreau Reply

    Is there such a thing as a Alkaline Cleanse?

    • Mickey Reply

      Question: Is there such a thing as a Alkaline Cleanse?
      Reply: Yes, vinegar – Recipe: 8 oz. water, 1-2 tsp. honey, 1-2 tsp. vinegar (2 times daily, after meals). Be careful if having pre-existing heart disease or on medication that effects potassium levels. NOTE: Afterwards, to protect tooth enamel, be sure to rinse mouth out with plenty of water.

  2. Cika Reply

    Is fat free milk OK or is it still bad? Also, if dairy is of limits, what are some alternative sources of calcium?

  3. Steve Arpo Reply

    I’ve just dropped into your web site and would like to say, without doubt, this is one of the most well done and informative sites of it’s kind I have ever seen. I am intersted in the kind of things you cover, having been a vegetarian for over twenty-five years. As a keen follower of nutrition and the science of nutrition I feel what you are promoting is way ahead of the general medical profession in the U.K. who lag lamely behind and sanction the most appalling standards of nutrition by not promoting proper eating and lifestyle. You only have to go into any large hospital and just inside the entrance will be a shop with shelves floor to ceiling selling the kind of salt sugar and bad fat that has put very many of patients in the hospital in the first place! Thanks for a terrific site. First class!

  4. judi Reply

    life is for living !
    we all have to die sometime.
    everything in moderation – meat included

  5. Fred Smith Reply

    Steve Apro wrapped it all up…very nice site w/a lot of great information. Well Done!

  6. renee Reply

    OK – I am in for alkalizing for the first time to support a family member w/ cancer but…. I love Diet coke – is it acidic or what. I don’t care about how bad nutrisuite or splenda is – I find that they carry a bad rap but I am ok w/ them… are they acidic or not? I am just trying to survive this diet and help the family w/ our member who has cancer and is trying to survive….

    Let me know pleeeeeze –

  7. Ross Reply

    Hi renee

    Good on you! And I send you all of the positive vibes and best wishes that I can.

    Diet Coke, unfortunately, I very acidic and I would try to give it up. With alkalising you shouldnt feel that you have to do everything at once – just try cutting down a day at a time!

    Good luck and all the best

  8. Michelle from Chicago Reply

    Ok my question is about the oils. I bought and read Dr Young’s book. And I went to the store and bought all of the oils he mentions to buy such as sesame, avacado, coconut, olive oil, and a few others I can’t remember off the top of my head. I don’t refrigerate them. Am I suppose to?

    And also one more thing. With the water thing. So you suggest drinking 3 liters of green drink plus 5 liters of alkaline water? So that makes 8 liters a day in total? 🙂 wow that’s a lot…


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  10. Erik Reply

    I did not notice anything about alcohol, aside from the mention of yeast in beer. Does alcohol by itself have any effect on pH?

  11. Joe Reply

    Diet Coke has a pH level of 2.97, more than 10,000 times more acidic than pH neutral water.

  12. Ross Reply

    Hi Erik & Joe

    Dr Young puts it best, and yep, Joe you are spot on:

    Beer is just another form of urine. That’s why it smells and some-what tastes like urine. The pH of beer is around 5 and the pH of coffee is around 5.5. The pH of pH Miracle Water is 9.5 which is 50,000 times more alkaline than beer or coffee. I am sure you are aware that you can keep a cancerous cell alive in beer or coffee indefinitely. They love an acidic pH because cancerous cells are acidic cells.

    Beer is 1000 times more alkaline than diet soda. Your own urine is 10,000 times more alkaline than diet soda. I am sure you’re not going to drink an acidic beer, let alone drink your own urine. Diet soda is an acidic poison in a bottle or can. It is full of acidic sugar, (artificial or natural) carbonic and phosphoric acid. Give up the acidic diet soda and have an alkaline day with alkaline water and green drinks!

    Have a great day

  13. Gordon Reply

    Hi Ross.I am yet another guy that likes a drink at the weekend,although I have cut down a lot lately.You mention beer,sodas,etc.However,you havent mentioned my tipple-cider.Just how bad for me is it?Ive looked on other sites as well,but they are mostly American,and cider doesnt get mentioned-perhaps they dont drink it over there.Also,I think the worst thing about booze is not so much the acid or yeast content,but the crap it makes you crave after youve had a few-chips,pizza,kebabs,etc

    • Ross Reply

      Hey Gordon

      To be honest, well, they are pretty bad – but moderation is a fine thing. Don’t totally change your life and I think a good social life that you’re happy with is important too. Did you know emotions & thoughts can be much more acidifying than any food or drink? So it is important that you don’t give up everything and get annoyed/angry/deprived by giving up EVERYTHING. Not straight away anyway. I find the healthier I get the less I want to drink or eat chocolate etc because I can really notice the effect it has on my body. So as long as you don’t go nuts and drink 12 pints, I think a little treat every now and then is cool.

      AND you’re totally right, one of the worst things is the munch it makes you crave afterwards. If not that then the crap you eat in desperation when you’re hungover!

      I hope this helps mate. Have a great day

  14. Pingback: Acid/Alkaline Balance | Prevent Secondary Cancer

  15. Maggie Webster Reply

    Hi Ross,
    You don,t mention Green Tea on your lists or wine
    Are these two better at least than the alternatives?
    Likewise, goats cheese?
    It just seems otherwise that so much has to be cut out!!
    Plese help.

  16. Maggie Webster Reply

    Hi Ross,
    Is green tea ok? You only mention real or fruit ones.
    Likewise you only mention beer and spirits. I know all alcohol is bad ,but is wine less so?
    Likewise goats cheese?
    Trying to find some options in a tough diet.

  17. Ian Timothy Reply

    The problem with the diet is..
    The body is already Ph balanced..if you vary between 7.2 and 7.4 (APPROX) you are already in deep trouble..if you want me to direct you toward actual facts please ask..

    • Ross Reply

      Hi Ian

      Go for it. Always happy to learn and debate.


  18. Linda Reply

    Hi, I have been living with a diet almost identical to yours for some years trying to rid myself of health problems and still have and getting more health problems (latest is Meniere’s this year). Went to a new naturopath last month who said I was TOO alkaline, causing more problems – could this be right or is he mad?? Your comment would be appreciated.

    • Ross Reply

      Hey Linda

      Scientifically it is possible to over-alkalise, but the body will never let it happen. So on one hand it is possible, but I would say he is still slightly mad.

      Your body HAS to keep the pH of your blood, cells and other fluids at just slightly alkaline (pH 7.365) and it will do ANYTHING it has to in order to maintain this pH balance.

      In 99.99% of people, the problem is that we usually put too much acid in and so to maintain this pH level your body calls upon its store of alkaline buffers, which it draws upon to neutralize the acids we ingest or create through bodily processes. This store of buffers is very easily depleted because most of us eat and drink such strong acids. To put this in context, the pH scale is logarithmic – so pH 6 is 10x more acidic than pH 7, meaning pH 5 is 100x times more acidic than pH 7 and pH 4 is 1000x more acidic. Coke has a pH of between 2 and 3. So you can see how a diet filled with meats, dairy, fizzy drinks, alcohol etc would quickly deplete these buffers.

      If you DID manage to over alkalise, the body would react in the same way and create acids to maintain this 7.365 pH level and the detriment would be similar to being over-acid. As most people are over acid most of the time I would doubt that it would be possible to be chronically over alkaline to the point that it causes issues!

      It really is almost impossible to over alkalise, but extremely easy to be over-acid. The body creates acids just through its daily processes (which is why we have this small alkaline buffer), and when we add environmental toxins and pollution, any sugars, any refined foods etc we rapidly get out of balance.

      Most simply, it is much harder to over alkalise than over acid. You don’t need to worry about it.


  19. Alex Reply

    great article very informative
    thanks for posting

  20. Caron Reply

    I don’t follow this diet permanently. However, if I have a cold, flu, bronchitis, constipation, gastro etc. I immediately alkalinise and am well within a day or two. This (to me anyway) is the proof in the pudding!

  21. truehealthbalance Reply

    I follow the diet and I love the benefits it returns. No sinus problems. No headaches. No stomach and back problem. More energy that a man my age should have.


  22. alkaline foods list Reply

    I bought and read Dr Young’s book. And I went to the store and bought all of the oils he mentions to buy such as sesame, avocado, coconut, olive oil, and a few others I can’t remember off the top of my head. I don’t refrigerate them. Am I suppose to?

  23. Bob Reply

    Love the site

    Well done – bags of useful information and recipes – I have bought various items from the excellent shop. Just one item I would like to get (i am in the UK) is Zip ( spice hunter) – it does not seem to have a UK distributor – it would be nice if it could be purchased from this website which i presume is UK based?

    Also I am following the diet with my partner Helaina – and we are testing our PH – it has move quite quickly from acidic to a ph of 7 to 7.25 – which raises the question – is there a target PH level – an optimum level for the body?

    This may be the wrong place to ask the question – so will try to find the answer elsewhere on the site.


  24. Nadene Reply

    I am sooooooo excited about all the info on this site, not to mention about the new ME that will result from changing to this new lifestyle! I have eczema on my hands (very painful) and stumbled upon your website in search for answers to cure my eczema. The strange thing is that this way of eating is not new to me – our church does a 3-week Daniel fast every year (no animal products of any sort, no luxury items / sweets / baked items / alcohol, etc) – and after 3 weeks I feel great, but have always gone back to eating our “normal” diet . I cook a meal every night that consists of a protein, starch and 3 vegies, and the rest of the day is fruits, salads, breads, pasta, etc. I am so guilty of feeding my family too much acidic foods. I just have a challenge – my husband is a meat, rice and potatoes man – he ate vegies for the 1st time in his life when he met me. Do you have any suggestions to help me here as I don’t want to be preparing several different meals every day. My kids are still small, so moving them to a new way of eating shouldn’t be too hard. Thanks for the wealth of information on this site !!!!!

  25. Stan Swarts Reply

    Where can I get sprout bread? Do you have a recipe in your book?

    • Ross Reply

      Hi Stan,

      You can get your sprout bread at your local health store. We do provide recipes on the blog as well.
      We have up to 113 recipes to date and there are many more that would come.

      Enjoy cooking!

  26. Bjorkish Reply

    I am disabled by M.E and starting to incorporate an alkaline diet to see if it helps as I want my life back, but can’t exercise, any tips? I have a lot of trouble with my lymphatic system, and am trying to get years of bulimia under control at last, will this diet help?

  27. Robbin Reply

    What about Nutrional Yeast?

  28. Alvin Sudiro Reply

    Hi Ross, I planning to follow this healthy diet but I still wonder is the diet really works, since it only focus on a bunch of veggies and other vegan base foods

    I read many sources that the diet doesn’t work just it promised, this one for example,

  29. Kim Reply

    ROSS!!! I need help!

    Question and Concern!!!

    I have been on the Alkaline diet for 11 days. I have cut out all sugar, all refined foods, no bread, no pasta and no grains. The only thing with sugar in it that I have consumed is a carrot juice mixed with my vegtable juice. So 3/4 Vegtables (Spinich and other leafy greens, broccoli, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Celery..Etc) to 1/4 carrot. I drink the juice about 4-6 times per day.
    Breakfast is a nutriblend- 50% leafy greens with a small carrot and usually a cucumber (I mix it sometimes) and some flax seed oil and usually some sunflower seeds and on occasion I will add 1 strawberry to knock of the bitter.
    I eat a salad every day for lunch (greens, cucumber, broccoli, avacado) and usually have a cup to cup and half of beans (usually white navy beans) every night for dinner. I consume about 2 to 3 cups of herbal tea ..mostly chamomile and on rare occasion if I am really tired I do a green tea in the morning, but it’s rare.
    My Ph (urine) is still a 6.0 after 11 days.
    I drink all water all day…… I am at loss of what to do.
    I am battling some serious cadida issues as well as possible throat cancer.
    Please Help !

  30. Someone who is not asleep Reply

    All food you eat immediately passes into your stomach containing a very strong acid which breaks the food down into a very acidic mush. Oops. Did I say too much?

    Next week someone will tell you not to eat any foods with a vowel in their name.


    • ross Reply

      Hi David

      Yes, the gut is supposed to be an acidic environment, but it’s not a pool of hydrochloric acid waiting for the food to drop in. The volume of HCl and corresponding sodium bicarbonate varies dependent on the foods/drink being consumed. The pH of the food/drink coming into the gut will have an impact on the digestive enzymes and juices called into action during the various stages of digestion.

      Remember the body has a different pH in different areas, (blood has to be slightly alkaline, the stomach approx pH 5, large intestine 6.5-7.5 and so on). In the various stages of digestion the pH changes dramatically depending on where you’re looking. In the first stage of digestion the pH can vary from 3 to 6 dependent on the food consumed, and therefore the triggering of varying degrees of hydrochloric acid and sodium bicarbonate.

      As the food passes through from the stomach to the intestines (the food is now called chyme) enzymes and juices are released by the pancreas, liver and kidneys which are all highly alkaline, altering the pH and bringing it up to the 6.5-7.5 for absorption, assimilation etc.

      Each of these substances has a different role to play and a different pH.

      It’s a complex process.

      Remember, the alkaline diet is not about making your body more alkaline. It’s about giving the body the tools it needs to maintain homeostasis – the delicate balance.

      When you eat alkaline foods, it doesn’t make the whole body alkaline. That’s not the point. When you eat alkaline foods, the stomach is able to release the appropriate amount of hydrochloric acid, and therefore the correct corresponding amount of sodium bicarbonate…and this means that when the food passes as chyme into the duodenum (this is where it goes before the intestines) the correct corresponding amounts of pancreatic enzymes are produced and released and so on.

      When you eat highly acidic food over and over, this imbalance starts in the stomach. Too much hydrochloric acid is released to break down the heavy foods, which leaves too much hydrochloric acid waste behind. Reflux is a common symptom of this. But more concerning, too much alkaline buffer (largely sodium bicarbonate as mentioned) is then needed which leaves the food passing through to the next stage of digestion in a state of imbalance and the body is playing catchup at each stage of digestion.

      The stress this causes to the body is one of the main dangers of an over-acidic diet. Another danger is the waste products the body produces doing this emergency catchup/balancing. And another danger is the imbalance and stress this causes to the very delicate balancing systems in the body and their capacity to create these enzymes, juices and substances to keep things in check.

      The body will do ANYTHING to maintain short term balance, even if it means long term (or medium term) damage.

      An example of this is with the pancreatic juices and enzymes which are controlled and triggered by the sympathetic nervous system – which strictly speaking is outside of the digestive system. The sympathetic nervous system also controls your adrenal glands and is heavily influenced by the thyroid.

      I hope from this you can see how:

      a) the gut is supposed to be acidic
      b) this is a goal of the alkaline diet – to maintain that acidic balance in the gut
      c) that each area of the digestive system has a different pH

      I hope this has helped you to wake up, and for the people you’re shouting at to wake up too.

      And yes, foods with a vowel in their name are slightly more acidic.

      Not really.