It’s 10 am on your second day of the ketogenic diet. You’re slightly fatigued and a little sweaty. That’s ok. You’re not in full ketosis yet. I know how frustrating it can be to sit around and wonder when you’ll get there; when you’ll have killer brain power, unreal energy, and no sweet cravings! But you don’t want to rely only on your good feels to think you’re in ketosis when maybe you’re not even completely there.
With everything wonderful, comes more wonderful things. And with the ketogenic diet came keto testers. These meters and strips help detect ketones in your blood, breath, or urine, helping you finally know the truth- are you in ketosis or not?
In this article, I’m going to give you all the details on the most popular forms of ketone testing and tell you which ones work and which ones are bogus. But first, let’s remember why we want to reach ketosis in the first place.
Why we want to reach ketosis in the first place
When you reach ketosis and are fully fat-adapted, your body will be a fat burning machine! Basically, your body will be using fat for fuel and you’ll notice an increase in energy and brain power and a decrease in pants size. Not to mention the keto diet is scientifically proven to prevent cancer cell growth. Research has also found that a high-fat, low-carb, and moderate protein diet reduces insulin sensitivity and inflammation (1).
When you are fat adapted your blood sugar will be under 80 ml/dl and your HgA1C will be between 4.5 and 5.2. You’ll kick hunger and cravings, have tons of energy, mental clarity, and low inflammatory levels. But wait. There’s more. Because keto helps balance hormones you’ll have a stable mood and a healthy stress response! This is why we want to be in ketosis.
How Do You Know If You’re In Ketosis?
So how do you know if you’ve reached ketosis? If you have super bad breath that kind of smells like nail polish remover– that’s a sure-fire sign. But if you want a reliable source other than your significant other telling you to gargle some mouthwash then you might want to try a keto tester.
Measuring ketosis with a keto detector or ketone strips are reliable ways to know if your body has entered ketosis. If you’re interested in getting some hard evidence that your diet is on the right track then read on to discover the best keto testers. I’ll explain the complexity of how they work and give you a list of the best reviewed detectors.
How does a keto tester work?
There are three types of ketone bodies that help us measure ketones.
This is the ketone released through your breath, which explains that nail polish remover like smell coming out of your mouth. To test for this ketone you’ll use a ketone breath detector.
This ketone body can be found in your urine. For testing Acetoacetate you would use a ketone strip to test your urine levels. I don’t recommend this method for reasons you’ll read below.
- Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB)
BHB is found in your bloodstream, it is the ketone that cells use for energy— and the ketone your body is using the most of. Testing BHB levels in your blood with a blood ketone meter is a super reliable method (if you can get past the pricks).
Different types of Ketone testers
Blood Ketone Meter
A blood ketone meter is the most common detector used for testing ketone levels and it’s also considered the gold standard throughout the keto world. A blood ketone meter will be the most reliable and accurate way to find out if you are in ketosis.
One of the downsides to measuring your blood levels is that it’s invasive. If you can get past a small prick and a tiny bit of blood– then a blood ketone meter may be a good option for you. Possibly another con of a blood ketone detector is that they are relatively expensive in the long run. The testers range from $30-$50 dollars but the strips are sold separately for a couple of dollars each. So if you’re looking to test yourself daily, it may get expensive.
Precision Xtra is a Blood Ketone meter that works in 10 seconds! Its large display with a backlight makes it easy to use and read. The best part about the Precision Xtra is that it holds a memory with dates and times so you can look back at your history. With this blood ketone meter, you’ll get precise readings for only $30, the only bummer is that the strips are sold separately.
Like the Precision Xtra, the Keto Mojo is another reliable tester with accurate results. It’s easy to use and has great reviews by keto experts everywhere. The Keto Mojo’s screen is easy to read and stores up to 1,000 tests. It’s also portable! So bring your keto tester everywhere for trustworthy results on the go. If you’re not afraid of a little pinch than the Keto Mojo costs $50 with strips at 99 cents each (less than the current Precision Xtra strips).
Ketone Breath Meter
If you can’t get past the prick (I can’t blame you) than a breath meter is another reliable ketone testing method. It’s non-invasive and cost-friendly. With a one-time purchase of around $200, you’ll get an accurate measurement of the acetones in your breath. A ketone breath meter is super easy to use and you can test your ketones forever without having to worry about purchasing strips.
Ketonix Acetone Breathalyzer
The Ketonix Acetone Breathalyzer is relatively inexpensive because you can test as much as you want at a one time cost. This acetone ketone reader is as easy as downloading a program to your computer, creating a profile, and connecting the meter to a USB port. When the light turns blue, you are ready to gently blow for 10-20 seconds. After 30 seconds you’ll have your reading.
The LED result lights range from lowest nutritional ketosis (blue) to the highest nutritional ketosis (red).
- Blue: 0-150 nmol/L you’re still in sugar burning mode
- Green: 150-400 nmol/L low-mild ketosis
- Yellow: 400-930 nmol/L moderate nutritional ketosis
- Read: >930 nmol/L high levels of nutritional ketosis
When measuring for ketosis with a Ketonix Breathalyzer you want to be in the yellow to red range.
Urine Keto Strips
A Urine Keto Strip test kit that comes with 150 strips can be found in the drug store for $9. Ketone strips measure the ketone acetoacetate simply but ineffectively. The problem with a urine test is that when you are in ketosis your cells are using ketones not excreting them. If you use urine ketone strips, high ketone levels found in your urine may mean you are dehydrated. While its the most commonly used method due to its simplicity and affordability, it’s not the best option if you want accurate results.
Now that you have all the ketone testing details, decide which method is best for you! Comment below and let me know which you chose and why/why not you like it! If you’re using a different device that you find yourself obsessed with, I would love to hear about it!
- Keto. “Is It Ketosis? Read These 10 Signs of Ketosis to Find Out.” Kiss My Keto, Kiss My Keto, www.kissmyketo.com/blogs/science-ketosis/is-it-ketosis-read-these-10-signs-of-ketosis-to-find-out.