A little pH refresher course


Hello Jalapeno!

I’ve written about pH many times but since proper pH (acid/alkaline balance) is the key to how I maintain a healthy life AND the foundation of our upcoming Adventure Cleanse Tune-up (aka ACT), I thought I’d revisit the topic once more.

Remember high school science class? Well, if you don’t, here’s a little refresher course. The body maintains a delicate pH balance.  Technically, pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration in solution.  Wha? Don’t worry I won’t get too technical.  For now all you really need to know is that the pH scale runs from 0-14.  Neutral pH is 7.0.  The higher the pH (greater than 7) the more alkaline, while a pH lower than 7 is acidic.

Proper pH varies throughout your body.  Saliva ranges between 6.8-7.4 while your urine is normally more acid, especially in the morning due to the metabolic process of preparing for elimination.  Health hint: when using pH strips to test your urine ignore the first morning pee reading – start with your next bathroom visit.  By far the most important measurement is blood pH and it has a very narrow range.  An understanding of how to keep your blood in an alkaline range is important for maintaining good health.  Your body doesn’t just “find” the balance it works extremely hard to create it. When you make poor lifestyle choices or are burdened by a toxic environment, your body has to work harder to create a peaceful homeostasis.

For good health our bodies need to be slightly alkaline (with a pH of between 7.365 and 7.45).  Sounds simple right?  But this is not mathematical scaled based on arithmetic, pH operates on a logarithmic scale with multiples of 10.  Therefore, it takes ten times the amount of alkalinity to neutralize an acid.  I wish I was a graph wizz, I’m not, so here’s my very basic attempt at explaining this…

0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14 (The pH Scale – neutral (7) is in red)

A jump from 7 to 6 doesn’t seem like a lot but in actuality it will take ten times the amount of alkalinity to neutralize.  7 to 5 = 100 times.  7 to 4 = 1000 times.  7 to 3 = 10,000 times. Get the picture?

Now think of the SAD diet.  Most folks are bathing their cells in an acid bath by making poor 3 or more times per day!

Breakfast: Coffee (with milk & splenda), juice, eggs, bacon, toast with I can’t believe it’s not butter (then what the heck is it?)
11am Crash: More coffee and a donut
Lunch: Hamburger, white bun, fries, cola
4 PM crash: Coffee or cola, candy bar
Dinner: Chicken, macaroni & cheese BOILED broccoli and ice tea
Dessert: Little Debbie Snack Cake, frozen yogurt (aka frozen chemicals and puss that create a mucus fandango!), etc

A menu like this keeps the body in panic mode all day every day .  Remember those “Where’s the Beef?” ads?  Well how about “Where’s the fiber, the water?”  One of the biggest causalities of the SAD—standard American diet—is the toll it takes on the body, especially the digestive system, liver, and kidneys. Inflammation, allergies, arthritis, skin problems, mood disorders, depression, constipation, bowel issues, stress (physical & mental) and chronic disease LOVE this diet.

How about enzymes?  When we feed our bodies nutrient-deficient foods, we exhaust our enzymatic reserves and mine minerals (like calcium, magnesium, potassium) from our bones, teeth, and organs. Hello Osteo!  We create free radicals that damage our cells and rob electrons from healthy tissue. As a result, our system weakens and basic functions begin to break down. In a nutshell, this is the premature aging process.  How can we press stop, rewind, and restart? Pull a garbage can up to your fridge and cupboards and treat yourself to a lifestyle makeover!

By eating a more alkaline diet (leafy greens, wheatgrass, veggies, sprouts, avocados, juicing, green smoothies, soups) as opposed to an acidic diet (high in animal products, processed carbs, refined sugar, and booze, cigs and coffee), we flood our bodies with chlorophyll, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and oxygen. Healthy food creates healthy cells and healthy thoughts. Conversely, junk goes in and junk comes out.


Look at your plate, peek in your glass. What direction are you moving in? On the pH scale, Soda = 2. Coffee = 4. Cucumber = 7. Get the picture? Burger, fries, diet cola, muffin, candy bar? Acid bath! Green drinks, salads, sprouts, wheatgrass? Alkaline super disco! Your goal is to make energy deposits instead of constant withdrawals.

Peace and pH!


Kris Carr

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28 responses to A little pH refresher course
  1. Kris – I am so excited for this cleanse. I’m bummed that I can’t make the next meetup. I loved the last one and continued to take Sandhi’s classes. I’m out of the city for six months, however. Any chance you guys will film the speakers and Q$A?? I’d totally pay a fee to watch it online. It’s a double win – info for us, mullah for CSL. Just a thought :) Thanks for sharing all this great info on your blog.


  2. Wooo, I’m excited to try someone else’s cleanse other than my own! 100% raw with juice fasting please!

    Casey x

  3. Thank you, Kris! This one’s a printer! I’m making a Healh Guru Kris Carr file filled with your glittering knowledge to inspire and inform me always, but especially during the cleanse! Can’t wait for the 11th!

  4. The QUEEN of GREEN has spoken! Amen, sister Kris, I’m ready to go and sharing all this info with anyone and everyone around who will listen =) I luv and so appreciate your love, support and constant encouragement! XOXOXOX

  5. Yeah! Yeah! When ya’ll say things like guru and queen I blush and squirm. I do LOVE encouraging you though…


  6. I am sooo excited about getting started on this cleanse! Even knowing it is coming has be being more mindful about my choices, just so I don’t have that much MORE to clean out!! And it is nicely translating over into my living space. I’ve been detoxing the entire house over the last week (cleaning out stuff I am not using, or things that someone else will love or benefit from more than I do), and will see if I can finish up before starting on my inner living space.
    Re: the aromatherapy bit of your post — a friend of mine, Jenny, over at Nectar Essences has created the most gorgeous blends and I know I will be spritz-spritz-spritzing myself all over the place during the cleanse. These things are made from pure essential oils and flower essences (from the dew that collects on the petals of flowers — can you imagine doing that for a living?!). Anyway, they are sort of like Bach remedies without taking them internally. I lo-o-o-ve the DeStress, which includes Jasmine, one of my faves. Highly recommend picking up a bottle for the cleanse. Wonderfully soothing/gently uplifting. Her website is and she is super-duper sweet.

    To the 11th and beyond!

  7. I am really thinking about doing this cleanse, although I am quite worried b/c I’ll be out of town staying w/ family for a lot of the time–and they are already so judgemental of my eating habits (no meat, no processed etc.), so I’m worried about their reactions.

    I have two questions. First, is there any need to get the ph strips for testing your urine. I know they are not as good as a blood test, but are the a little helpful or not worth it.

    Second, I don’t have a juicer or a good blender. If I had to get one, would it be better to invest in a juicer or a high powered blender?

    Thanks! I’m just trying to get myself set up for this if I do it.



  8. Hi Kris! I am looking forward to the new book! I would love to be able to try out this cleanse but I just got home from the hospital after my bone marrow transplant and since I am still having considerable nausea and infection issues, I guess I better hold off :( However, as soon as I am holding my own, I will definitely be giving this a try!

  9. Oh! And, I was so sorry to have misssed you in Halifax, NS! I was there in the hospital when you came. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us Canadians!

  10. Hi Kris,

    Thanks for all the helpful and inspiring information. I was wondering if you knew anything about a body being too alkaline? My pH is always 8+ anytime I test it, but I can’t seem to find answers anywhere as to whether or not this is as harmful as being too acidic and/or what I can do to change it. Anyone else out there in CSL land have this same issue?


  11. PH does indeed, Rule!
    for the record: I neither make nor endorse Little Debbie Snackcakes!!!
    I only make Little Debbie Rawcakes!
    love you juicy

  12. Hi Kris,
    Thanks for all of the helpful information!

  13. I am probably starting a little late to be completely off coffee by May 11th, but I am starting to drink my half cafe tommorrow morning!

  14. Kris,
    Was so excited to see your post.. This has all come at such a good time for me… NEW FOCUS, I love it! Have been slowly emptying the pantry and fridge and I’m ready to start stocking!
    Love from down under,
    ; )

  15. I just went out and bought a used juicer…I’m raring to get it goin’! I have a fear of kitchen gadgets…but I think I bought my new best buddy…food wise!

  16. Hey Kris

    Great overview. Well explained. I’m promo-ing your adventure cleanse on my blog this week – let me know if there is anything else I can do to help out.


  17. Thanks so much Kris!This is awesome!I’m very excited. Two questions though:
    1)I’m finishing a dissertation and the coffee feels necessary at the moment–Do you happen to know if it is possible to drink the juice of one lemon to balance out the coffee acid? My diet is very good but the coffee is still present and I was just wondering if you knew of Ph bargaining tools I can do until the 11th?
    2)Which level is cheapest? I live in France and organic produce is through the roof here. I’m trying to figure out the healthiest way to cleanse on a very tight budget. I’m feeling pretty angry lately about the state of the earth–ie how non-organic veggies have NO flavor. Also, as a former organic farmer how difficult it is to protect our bees and crops from chemical run-off of nearby industrial farms.
    3)Okay, three questions (and anyone reading is free to respond): I am doing bee therapy (pollen, jelly and propolis)–can I forego the spirulina/green powders, and if not should I focus on fresh green produce or a specific green supp?

    I am loving this forum and I am truly inspired that we will take over the world (protecting the earth as we protect ourselves). Since buying a juicer and switching to a very healthy diet the EXCELLENT news is that my internal rhythms have healed in the sense that I now wake up everyday around six-thirty! I had no idea how much my prior sleep issues were connected to poor diet, alcohol and lack of daily god pod exercise! Bonus! Yippee!!!

  18. Hi Jessica

    I’ll chip in while you’re waiting for Kris to reply!

    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.

    I’m not exactly sure of the pH of coffee, but if you have it with milk and sugar I would guess it would be around 4.

    So it takes a lot of alkaline to balance out something with a low pH.

    Having said that, having water with lemon squeezed in is a great start, so just try and do the good things while you’re doing the naughty ones!

    Importantly, stress and other negative emotions can also cause acidity in the body, so during this time of high pressure (I know what it is like to write a dissertation!) don’t deprive yourself too much. Maybe the coffee is cool for now! Just keep doing the right things and allow yourself the things you need while you need them!

    I would highly recommend a good green drink too to help with neutralizing the acid of the coffee (and any other treats 😉 ) – plus also to hydrate your body, boost your energy and bring you more mental clarity.

    We’re based in the UK so it is pointless me linking to our site, but check out perfectlyhealthy Mega Greens (google search it).

    It is a fantastic product.

    I hope this all helps!


  19. I’m also very excited, but I bought a juicer, and it is crap. I can’t afford the one that you have. Any suggestions for one that won’t break my bank? I’m in Canada, btw
    Thanks, luv and peace to you

  20. Great advice. Interestingly, I had hoped that a health issue related to high acidity would vanish upon my going without sugar, which is basically the only super acidic thing I was eating.
    The gout in my toe never disappeared like I had hoped. I eat a ton of fresh fruits and veggies and haven’t touched white sugar/corn syrup in over a year, but still…

    I love working on my pH but in this case it doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference. Hmmmm

  21. Oh my gosh, I just finished a physiology class where we learned all about this and it’s so fascinating! Of course, I already had been reading up on it beforehand, but it’s funny to actually have a class about this and learn it and realize that science knows the truth and yet people still ignore this knowledge! Love it…gonna print this and share with my family, for real…

  22. Amazing post. I’ve dug around a bit on this and have found lists of acid forming foods:
    and alkaline forming foods:
    Meat and dairy are all on the acid list. How come I never knew this before? Thank you Google!

  23. What about vinegar- it’s very acidic, but I’ve always thought it was a healthy condiment/ingredient? Thanks for any help you can provide!

  24. Kris, you are really an inspiration ! And very motivational…do you only do workshops on the east coast?

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  27. Thanks Kris, this is the most fun write-up on pH … I totally get it now. I want to be a part of the Alkaline super disco party.

  28. Elle said on May 28, 2015

    Hi Kris & other readers!
    Just wondering about Kombucha… With a PH of 3-4, is this something you endorse? It has some great reviews, but doesn’t seem to fit into an ‘alkalising’ diet?
    Cheers! Elle