How to Test Ketone Levels

How to Test Ketone Levels

So you’ve been restricting your carb count and eating keto, but you may still be uncertain whether or not you’re actually in ketosis.  If this sounds like you, you probably want to test whether your body is producing any ketones.

There’s 3 key methods of testing ketones (your blood, your breath, and your urine) but not all are created equal!  Here’s the low-down on each option  and the pros/cons of each:

 

(1) URINE STRIPSThis is a cheap and easy method for testing ketone levels. You simply pee on a stick and read the results.   While this test provides a quick indication of whether or not you’re in ketosis, it doesn’t always tell the full story.  Urine ketosis strips are known to show inaccurate readings for a couple reasons:

  • Ketone urine strips only provide an indication of unused ketones excreted in your waste.  As you become more fat adapted, your body learns how to burn ketones more efficiently – and therefore fewer ketones are wasted through urine.
  • Your body’s hydration level may also impact readings, with someone drinking extreme amounts of water showing diluted (low) ketone readings vs. someone who is extremely dehydrated showing inflated (high) levels of ketone.

I like the SmackFat Ketone Test Strips if you decide to go this route.

 

 

(2) BLOOD METER TESTING – This measures how many ketones are circulating in your bloodstream, a method which is far more accurate compared to urine strip tests.  It’s also relatively quick/easy; you’ll just prick your finger to grab a very small drop of blood for the strip, and the meter will display your ketone reading in seconds.  Nutritional ketosis begins at 0.5 mmol/L but aim for the optimal zone which is between 1.0 and 3 mmol/L.  The one downside of this method…cost!  Ketone test strips average about $1 a test.

My preferred blood meter is KetoMojo which tests both ketone and glucose levels.  The Ketone readings confirms whether or not you’re in ketosis, while the glucose readings are helpful for those with insulin resistance or diabetes who want to monitor how keto improves their blood sugar levels.  I was amazed at how quickly my blood sugar levels stabilized after just a short time on keto. 

The other great feature of the KetoMojo meter is its ability to track historical measurements and averages.

I own the KetoMojo Blood Ketone and Glucose Testing Kit which includes everything you need to get started.

Compare the numerical results on your Blood meter against the chart below to confirm whether you’re in Ketosis.  Remember you want to target the optimal range; with Ketones MORE does not represent BETTER.

 

(3) BREATH KETONE ANALYZERS – This third method involves breathing into a breathalyzer and waiting a few seconds to check results.  The breath meter essentially tests the levels of acetone in your breath, which is used as a byproduct of being in ketosis.  For those who’ve experienced a metallic or fruity ‘keto breath’, this is simply the smell of acetone on your breath.

The pros of breath analyzers are you don’t need to purchase strips so they’re fairly affordable (after your initial investment, you can test an unlimited times at no cost), and they’re super convenient.

The cons are the potential for inaccurate readings.  Additionally, if you’ve drank any alcohol in the last 24 hours, you’ll have more acetone in your system and it can skew results towards higher ketone levels.

I’ve never tried a breath Ketone meter so I can’t vouch for them personally but this Ketone Breath Analyzer  seems to get decent reviews.  I’d recommend doing some additional research before you go this route.

 

SIGNS YOU’RE IN KETOSIS WITHOUT TESTING

OK so you’ve read this post, but don’t have the budget to spend to test your ketone levels? If that’s the case, you can also consider whether your body is displaying any active signs of ketosis.  This includes short-term effects like:

Longer-term (once you’ve become Fat-adapted) you may also notice the following signs that you’re in ketosis: 

  • Weight loss
  • Reduced appetite
  • Increased focused
  • Increased energy.

That’s everything you need to know about How to Test Ketone Levels!

But before you go, make sure you check out my Recipes page for some easy beginner Keto meals. 

keto tuna melt

Or return to my Keto Beginner’s Guide here

Having trouble remembering all these Keto rules?  Get your Keto ‘Cheat Sheet’  now at KetoHealing’s Etsy Shop.  

Keto Diet Quick Reference     Keto Diet Quick Reference- Fridge Size


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