pH can be measured using a simple at-home test that checks the acidity of your urine (first-morning urine is the one to measure). The pH paper used to test acid/alkaline levels is available in our Alkaline Shop. Instructions on how to use this paper are simple and easy to understand, and we recommend testing your pH as you begin the process of switching to an alkaline diet.
Steps to getting an accurate urine pH reading
The first step in establishing an alkaline diet is to assess your current pH. A good approximation of tissue pH is easily obtained by testing the pH of your first-morning urine. Follow these simple steps to test your pH at home.
1. Obtain and become familiar with pH test paper. This paper measures the acid/alkaline state of any liquid. Readings at the low end of the scale indicate an acidic state, and those on the higher end, a more alkaline state.
2. First thing in the morning, after at least 6 hours of sleep or rest without urinating if possible, get a test strip or tear off a three-inch piece of paper from the roll. It is alright if you need to get up in the middle of the night to urinate. Just do not eat anything or be active. In all cases simply measure your urine when you get up to stay. Either urinate directly on the paper, or collect urine in a cup and dip the paper into the urine in the cup.
3. As the test paper is moistened, it will take on a color. The color relates to the acid or alkaline state of your urine and ranges from yellow to dark blue. Match the color of your test strip with the chart provided on the package. A number below 7 means that your urine is on the acid side. The lower the number, the more acidic the condition. Seven indicates a neutral state, neither acid nor alkaline.
4. Keep track of your pH levels for a few weeks. The ideal urine reading should fall between 6.5 and 7.5 with an occasional lower (more acidic) reading.
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FAQs on pH testing
Q. I'm eating everything alkaline and still can't seem to get into the range of 6.5 to 7.5?
A. This simply means that you do not yet have enough buffering mineral compounds to neutralize your acid load. Magnesium in alkalizing form is one of the key minerals you need. Try getting 3 or 4 capsules per day of the highly alkalizing ionized magnesium. If you want a full range of alkalizing minerals take 2 to 4 tabs of the Alkalizing mineral formula daily.
Q. I like to have a glass of wine at night and can't seem to get alkaline?
A. If your first-morning urine pH is generally 6.5 to 7.5, but dips when you have a glass of wine, then the solution is simple. At bedtime just take 2 or 3 of the Ionized Magnesium capsules and ½ teaspoon of Alkalini-C.
Q. What can I take as far as supplements to help me alkalize?
Q. Do alkaline waters work and which ones do you recommend?
A. The issue is not the pH of the water, but the mineral buffering components. We wrote an article on Alkaline Water vs. Alkalizing Water that explains this phenomenon and details which waters are truly alkalizing.
Q. My first-morning urine pH readings aren't consistent, so I'm going to give up.
A. Wide variation in first-morning urine pH readings indicates that at times you have sufficient buffering alkaline mineral reserves and other times you do not. For most people it takes some time to build alkaline reserves and fully rebalance body pH. The health benefits are numerous, so if you are struggling for consistency, increase your mineral intake from diet and high quality supplementation. Increasing high potassium foods and adding Alkalini C, Ionized Magnesium, or Alkalizing Minerals should do the trick.
Q. Can I have cheat days and eat other foods not on the alkaline list?
A. It is always a matter of balance. A real “ cheat day “ is when you eat way more acid-forming foods than alkalizing foods. This is OK once in a while, but not good as a regular habit. The “cheat day" remedy is on that day, add a bit more of the alkalizing mineral formulas we so often speak of such as Alkalini C, Ionized Magnesium, or Alkalizing Minerals.
Q. I'm vegan and plant based so I should be alkaline?
A. If one is consuming plentiful amounts of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds in their diet, they should be able to alkalize. However, we find that many vegans do not consume enough alkalizing minerals, which are often more concentrated in animal foods. Furthermore, many factors other than diet contribute to pH balance. These include stress, medications, allergic responses, and lifestyle. Just because you are eating plant-based does not guarantee optimum pH balance. You still want to test your first-morning urine and keep a log of your diet to see if you are getting enough alkalizing mineral compounds in the foods you are eating.
Q. Can I have coffee and still be alkaline?
A. Again this is a matter of balance. One cup of coffee a day should not be a problem. If you are consuming a lot of coffee you may need additional minerals to buffer that acid.
Q. Is green tea alkalizing instead of coffee?
A. Green tea is alkalizing as are many herbal teas. Green tea is also a great option as it has many antioxidant health promoting qualities.
Q. I can't eat that much in a day (2 cups of vegetables with meals).
A. Remember that vegetables in soups, stews, and smoothies also count. But, our genetically determined requirement for alkalizing vegetables is still often more than some people can consume. In this case, drinking apple cider vinegar or lemon water will help and most importantly consider using high quality alkalizing nutrients such as Alkalini C, Ionized Magnesiumand Alkalizing Minerals.
Q. Can I eat animal protein? Isn't it acidic?
A. It is always a matter of balance. You need protein in your diet. While animal-sourced protein is more acid forming than plant sources, you can easily stay in pH balance while eating small amounts of animal protein if you have adequate alkalizing minerals.
Q. Do I have to only eat foods on the Alkaline List?
A. As a rule, a person in good health can consume acid-forming foods for about 40% of their diet and alkaline-forming foods the other 60%. A person trying to recover health or improve health should aim at 20% acid-forming foods and 80% alkaline-forming foods.
Q. If I get up at 3 am to urinate should I test then?
A. Testing the urine pH after 6 hours or more of sleep is ideal. Not everyone can do this, however. If you wake at night to urinate, simply measure your pH first thing in the morning when you get up to stay. Also, if you go to bed at 10 and wake up at 4, you can measure your urine then at 4 after 6 hours of sleep, but this means turning on the light which might disrupt getting back to sleep.
Q. How come if I test my urine at different times of the day I will get different readings?
A. The pH of your urine changes throughout the day and is impacted by the food you eat and your activities. The only urine we are interested in is what we call an equilibrated first-morning urine. This first-morning urine reflects how well the kidneys have been able to buffer acids overnight and is a useful indicator of mineral adequacy. While some people like to watch how their urine pH changes during the day, this is not a useful measurement for assessing body pH balance.
Q. How come if I test my saliva and then my urine they are different?
A. It is the kidneys that buffer the metabolic acids and thus urine gives us the best indicator of our acid load. Saliva is a filtrate of the blood and it has a pH that influences oral and dental health. The saliva, however, is very influenced by bacteria food remnants and whatnot in the oral cavity, and saliva does not reveal as much about metabolic acid buffering.
Q. Do I have to test my pH every day for the rest of my life?
A. No, once you have a general understanding of how different foods affect your body, you can move to a less frequent testing schedule.
Q. Can I use the pH strips to test the water in my house?
A. Yes, but remember that just because the water may be alkaline on the pH scale (that is, about 7), it does not necessarily mean that the water is high-mineral water and thus alkalizing.
Q. If my blood is alkaline then my urine pH should be alkaline?
A. This is an interesting and complicated topic. To learn more about blood pH read our article. Also, remember different parts of the body have different pH. For example, the stomach has a high pH. We are interested in the cells having an adequate alkaline tilt, and this is influenced by even exceedingly small changes in blood pH.