So, how do you know if you are still in ketosis and should you be testing your ketone levels? Let’s have a look…
Starting out on keto can be an interesting journey. There is a lot of immediate benefits people experience such as increased energy and mental clarity. Then there are the not-so-cool side effects like keto breath. Keto breath is a distinctive fruity smell in your breath and sometimes found it in your urine too. Both of these signs are good indicators of being in ketosis. The smelly breath is excess ketones your body expels through your lungs, but the smelly breath does not last forever. Thankfully!
3 Methods Of Testing Your Ketone Levels: Including Pros & Cons
Ketone Urine Testing
#1 – Urine Testing– When ketone levels in your body increase past a useful point, they get excreted through urine. You can easily measure this excess amounts of ketones with a urine strip.
- Pros: It’s easy to test at home. It’s inexpensive and quick.
- Cons: Not entirely reliable in the long run.
Blood Monitor Testing
#2 Blood Testing– By pricking a finger with a lancet and squeezing a drop of blood onto a test stick using a Keto Monitor, you can effortlessly test the number of ketones called Beta-Hydroxybutyrate in your blood.
- Pros: The most reliable and accurate method of testing ketones in your body.
- Cons: If you are afraid of needles, pricking your finger can be intimidating. Ketone strips can be expensive; however, we have done our best to offer the most inexpensive strips available in South Africa.
Breath Ketone Monitor
#3 Breath Testing– You can measure the amount of acetone in your breath using a breath meter. The Ketonix Breath Ketone Analyser is a well-known breath meter, but unfortunately, it is not available in South Africa yet.
- Pros: It’s quick and easy to test at home.
- Cons: Not entirely reliable method of testing.
What Level Of Ketones Indicates Ketosis
Following a low carb diet and reducing your carbohydrate intake below 30-20g of carbs per day, is usually low enough for a person’s body to start producing ketones. This is called Nutritional Ketosis. Blood ketone tests measure the amount of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) in millimolar concentration. If your ketone levels are between 0.5 and 3.0 mmol, then your body is in a state of ketosis. Measuring the ketone concentration with the urine strips are not really possible or accurate. The strips do show light to darker purple, indicating more or fewer ketones, but it is difficult to say precisely.
At the start of your keto diet, you may want to test your ketone levels to see if you are in ketosis. Using the ketone urine strips is an inexpensive and quick way to test. The ketone test strips come with 100 urine test strips in a bottle so you can test as many times as you like a day. As you progress on your keto diet, depending on your goal for following a ketogenic diet, you may want to try testing your blood ketone levels.
A deeper level of ketosis, measured through the blood ketone monitor, can be beneficial if you are trying to measure your ketone levels for weight loss and therapeutic ketosis. Although I don’t advise people chasing ketone levels, a deeper state of ketosis is considered better for weight loss and necessary for therapeutic reasons. Your ketone levels in urine will not be a good indication of the level of ketosis and therefore the blood ketone monitor is the best indicator when you want to achieve specific results.