The body is a complex machine, with so much chemistry and physiology involved in its optimal performance (or lack thereof) the average person would be hard-pressed to comprehend it all, let alone apply certain practices related to such complexities. Body pH is one of those topics that is tempting to oversimplify and misunderstand. Let’s discuss some of the basic principles surrounding balancing body pH and how personal trainers might help guide their clients’ dietary choices to help keep it in balance.

Body pH

  • pH is a symbol for the degree of acidity or alkalinity in a solution. pH stands for “particles of Hydrogen” or “power of Hydrogen”. The maintenance of a stable hydrogen ion concentration in the body fluids is essential to life. Any substance with a pH lower than 7.0 is considered acidic, while a pH above 7.0 is considered alkaline.
  • Different body components and fluids require different pH conditions to operate optimally.
  • Gastric juices, for instance, maintain a very low, acidic environment with a pH between 1.3 and 3.5 to break down food.
  • The skin also has a more acidic pH to keep bacteria at bay.
  • Urine can vary from acidic to alkaline in it’s attempt to achieve homeostasis, and may be reflective of internal imbalances.
  • Idea pH for the blood should be neutral, between 6.8 and 7.2. Therefore, a pH above 7.2 is considered alkaline and lower than 6.8 is considered acidic.

When the Body’s pH Shifts

Alkalosis Symptoms
  • Breathing problems, light-headedness, confusion, numb or tingling face, numb or tingling scalp, numb or tingling hands and/or feet, fever, hand tremor, muscle twitching, nausea, vomiting, liver disease, poor concentration, brain fog, liver failure, prolonged muscle spasms, unconsciousness, coma, death.

Acidosis Symptoms

  • Palpitations, chest pain lung issues, headache, confusion, anxiety, lethargy, poor vision, abdominal pain, nausea, digestive disorders, muscle weakness, joint pain, joint swelling, gout, bone pain, bone fractures, seizures, unconsciousness, shock, coma, death.

pH Testing

Commonly accepted pH levels for saliva are 6.4-7.4; and for urine 6.8-8.0. Get a good supply of pH strips from your pharmacy; and, regularly confirm the acid/alkaline readings of your body.

  • Test your urine pH balance upon waking in the morning and 2 hours after meals.
  • Wait 2 hours after meals to test saliva pH. Saliva pH can also be checked upon rising in the morning. Swish your mouth with saliva and spit it out, then swish your mouth with saliva one more time and test.

Maintain a Body pH Level Within the Ideal Range [6.8-7.2]

Alkaline Forming Foods: Fruits, vegetables, Brazil nuts, coconut, almonds, soy, Lima beans, sprouted grains and seeds, honey, maple syrup, raisins. Raw fruits and vegetables are slightly more acidic, and are quickly transformed into energy and final alkaline residue excreted in the urine, saliva, stools, sweat, blood, tears, and mucous.

Benefits of dark leafy greens:

  • Blood purifier
  • Cancer prevention
  • Immune strengthener
  • Improve liver, gall bladder, and kidney function
  • Fight depression
  • Clear congestion, reduces mucus, improves circulation

Acid Forming Foods: Grains (unsprouted), dairy, poultry, fish, meats, eggs, sugar, syrup, (except honey), nuts, legumes, coffee, beer, soda, tea, flour-based products. The acidic waste from the aforementioned foods will build up over time if eaten in excess of non-acid forming foods mentioned above. Cancerous tumors will be found when the body pH is 6.5 or lower. Tumors feed on sugar and other after-digestion acids, allowing them to grow and mutate.

The Acidic Alkaline Diet

Acid-forming and mucus-forming food-types that can throw the body chemistry out of balance:

  • All pasteurized dairy products. Especially milk and cheese.
  • All fried foods. Especially deep-fried foods.
  • All types of pork. Especially sausage and bacon.
  • All types of processed meat. Especially lunch meat and hotdogs.
  • All flour-based bread. Especially white and wheat bread.
  • All salted foods.
  • All sugared foods.
  • All junk foods.
    • fast foods
    • processed foods
    • soft drinks
    • milk-chocolate and candy
    • artificially colored foods

The aforementioned foods/food types if ingested will cause acidic ash to accumulate in the body., Cancer is due to accumulations of acidic waste that builds in the body over time. Cancer is anaerobic, flourishing in oxygen-deprived low energy environments. Dr. Bezanis suggests in order to change the oxygen-deprived body environment use bell-peppers which are aerobic which will enrich the body with acids and aid in oxygen dispersal. [pH Madness, Dr. Roger Bezanis]


It is important to learn to read the signs of the body that tell us when it is out of balance. Urine and saliva pH can be used to determine if the body has imbalances of acid-ash. We can then feed weakened areas of the body with the foods that contain the nutrients necessary for good health. We must learn the foods to avoid.

Foods that will heal the body and improve the pH level of the body are raw fruits and raw vegetables which are acidic but form alkaline ash. These foods are a pH of 6.9 or less. Healthy alkaline urine is a pH of 6.8 to 8.0. If the urine is acidic, then use the proper foods [raw fruits and raw vegetables] to shift the pH into normal range.

Health cannot be sustained on the Standard American diet. Part (II) of Body pH will address the typical American Diet and the not-so-typical American diet; and, what is needed to obtain optimal health.

David Brancato

Dr. Brancato’s cumulative experience in nutrition, alternative medicine, chemistry, toxicology, physiology directed him to holistic approaches in human physiology to correct system imbalances. He maintains his professional certifications as a Naturopath from the American Naturopathic Medical Certification and Accreditation Board; the National Federation of Professional Trainers; Black belts in Kick Boxing and Kenpo.