How To Test Your pH
How To Test Your Body pH
As you transition into an alkaline lifestyle, it is good practice to keep a relatively structured measure of the pH levels of your saliva and urine.
This will not only give you an indication as to whether you are on the right track, but will also serve as motivation as you see your pH levels steadily increasing over the duration of the course.
Undoubtedly, the most accurate way to test your pH level is through live blood analysis, however, this is very expensive and has to be undertaken by a live blood microscopist. Two tests, every day is not practical (unless you are a live blood microscopist yourself!).
While we do recommend going to see a microscopist at the beginning of your journey and then again after 3 to 6 months, this is not an option for the majority of us.
Therefore, the very best alternative is to test your saliva and urine, daily in a regimented way that will enable you to spot trends and progression. This is cheap, easy and really can be done by anyone, right away.
What is pH
But before we get into the nuts and bolts of it, here is a quick overview of what pH means and how it relates to our health.
pH stands for “potential hydrogen”, “power of hydrogen” and is a measure from 1 to 14 where 1 is the most acid and 14 is the most alkaline. One of the most important things to note is that the pH scale is logarithmic.
This basically means that to change a fluid from a pH of 5 to 6 it has to become 10 times more alkaline. In meaningful terms, you can imagine why it is not a good idea to consume a glass of cola with a pH of 3 and then to try to work your way back up this scale to maintain an alkaline balance at 7.365!
Testing your pH with Saliva or Urine
There are five rules to follow with pH testing:
- Test yourself every day, morning and night.
- Test yourself at the same time every day.
- Record your readings.
- Test 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
- Don’t get frustrated if your pH is not 7 or above – you are just looking for improvements – the readings from saliva and urine will not match that of the blood and so a reading of these is not reflective of your blood pH
When testing your saliva, it is a good idea to try to fill your mouth with saliva and then swallow. This helps remove any acidic bacteria that might be lurking. Do not try to wash your mouth out with anything else as this will simply record the alkalinity of the water/liquid you have just used.
For testing urine, let some urine flow before testing as this will give more of an average reading. We recommend testing 2-3 times in a day in order to get an average, as first thing in the morning the body has retained fluids over a long period of time and it will engage in different processes to remove acid wastes from the body throughout the day (depending on activity and diet).
Why the Differences and Fluctuations?
The reason that there is such a difference between your urine and saliva readings is that
a) your mouth is more likely to contain acidic bacteria throughout the day (if you brush your teeth it will show a very high alkaline reading due to the toothpaste so there is not much of a way around this) and
b) because your urine is more of a reflection of the processes the body is undertaking to remove acid from the body.
Both of these are therefore subject to fluctuations. I would recommend taking the average of several readings to gain a bigger picture of your progress rather than concentrating on each reading in isolation.
A reading of anywhere between 6.75-7.0+ is excellent for saliva as the saliva tends to be slightly more acidic. For the urine, a slightly higher pH level of 7.5 upwards is great, but remember that due to the kidney’s processing of toxins throughout the day, the urine can give a more erratic reading.
To put all of this into perspective, someone who eats a typical Western diet would be more likely to have a saliva pH average of about 5.5-6.0. This may not seem too much lower, but again, it is important to remember that the pH scale is logarithmic - meaning each step is ten times the previous i.e. 4.5 is 10 times more acidic than 5.5 which is 100 times more acidic than 6.5 and so on.
Ninja Path and FREE Downloadable pH Tracking Chart
On the Ninja Path, we recommend a pH Testing Schedule of 3 times per day, which you record in the downloadable pH tracking chart below.
You will be testing morning, afternoon and evening and the changes in your pH level will be noticeable over the days and weeks as you progress through the course. For testing purposes we highly recommend the pH Stix from pHion. We have found these to be easily the most accurate pH testing papers available on the market. If you have any questions, concerns or comments, do not hesitate to get in touch via our alkaline diet message board or via email.