One of the best ways to know if you are in ketosis is by testing your ketones! Ketones can be measured in the urine, breath or blood. Here’s how to test for ketosis:
- Urine testing: Urine ketosis test kits typically check for the ketone called acetoacetate. This is thought to be the least accurate testing method since the urine only collects excess ketones that have spilled over and haven’t been metabolized. If you are fat-adapted and utilize your ketones efficiently, your urine levels may be low. Urine testing is the most affordable option since it only requires purchasing paper test strips. Follow the scale that comes with the ketone strips to interpret your results.
- Breath testing: A breath ketosis test kit checks for the ketone called acetone, which is responsible for the change in the smell of your breath while in ketosis. While this method is generally considered more accurate than urine testing, the breath meters can be rather costly. The interpretation scale can vary between different breath testing devices, so be sure to go with the guide that comes with your meter.
- Blood testing: A blood test checks for the ketone called beta-hydroxybutyrate and is the most reliable and accurate approach. When I am asked how best to test for ketosis, this is the testing method that I 100% recommend. It requires investing in a ketone meter and taking a small pinprick of blood that you apply to a test strip, much like some use to check their blood sugar. Keto-Mojo makes a high-quality meter that tests both ketones and blood sugar levels. A ketone blood meter is less expensive than a breath meter but does require the use of a new test strip for each test.
When assessing blood ketones, look for a range of 0.5-3.0 mmol/L to know if and to what extent you are in ketosis. I also recommend testing ketones in the morning in the fasted state for an accurate result that you can compare from day to day. This means checking ketones before you have MCT oil, drinking coffee or tea, eating your High Fiber Keto breakfast or exercising. You can also check your blood ketones at various points throughout the day to gather more information about how your body responds to different foods, exercise and even stress.
Whichever testing methods you choose, don’t be discouraged if numbers aren’t what you expect or desire. Keep collecting data until you have a better picture of what is going on and then you can make some adjustments and see what works for your unique body at this time in your life.
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