How do you get accurate readings of ketones? Which methods actually work?
These are common questions I going to help you with in this article.
Anyone interested in using the latest nutritional research to improve their health has likely heard of a ketogenic diet.
Ketogenic diets are a simple way to get your metabolism to prioritize the consumption of fatty acids, also known as ketones, when at rest or exercising.
While there is a wide body of research that confirms the benefits of this type of nutritional plan, for the average user at home – one big question remains.
Without an accurate method of ketosis measurement, you will never achieve an optimized LCHF or ketogenic diet.
However, it has not always been easy to measure your level of ketosis at home.
At least this concern is now a thing of the past, because there are many ways to measure ketone levels easily and accurately in the comfort of your own home.
Find out the very best method to test your level of nutritional ketosis that strikes the perfect balance of ease, price and quality.
Before getting too deep into the different methods for measuring ketosis, it is important to first look at exactly why measuring them is so important and to clarify some of the more complex scientific terms.
Ketone Testing Terminology
If you have decided to try a ketogenic diet to achieve nutritional ketosis, then finding an accurate way to measure your ketone levels is important.
You need to be able to maintain yourself in the optimal zone where fat is used as energy rather than glucose. Too little ketone and you will not see any positive effects. But higher levels give no real benefit and could indicate a serious problem with your diet.
Listen to ketone expert Dr Brianna Stubbs explain why measuring high ketone levels for weight loss can be misleading.
To get this balancing act right in the long term, it is necessary to get a clear and accurate measure of what your level of nutritional ketosis is.
Currently, there are three main ways to measure ketosis available to consumers:
- Blood testing kits
- Urine testing kits
- Breath testing devices
We’ll take a look at these 3 measurements in detail, but first, let’s clarify a few terms that you are going to come across while testing your ketones.
- Ketone bodies:
- This is the name given to the three compounds made by your liver to break down fatty compounds. It is the levels of ketone bodies that you want to measure to ensure optimal nutritional ketosis.
- This is the simplest of the ketonic bodies that your body can produce. It is acidic in nature and high levels of this compound can lead to imbalanced blood pH levels.
- Once acetoacetate has broken down, acetone is produced. For acetone to be turned back into useful ketonic compounds, it must be processed by the liver.
- β-Hydroxy Butyrate:
- This is the second ketonic compound that can be measured from home. It is readily made by your liver if you can achieve the right nutritional balance.
- Nutritional Ketosis:
- At the most basic level, nutritional ketosis is about getting your body into a metabolic state where it looks to burn fat, rather than glucose, as fuel.
Now that you have an understanding of these terms, it is time to take a closer look at the options for measuring ketone levels.
Blood Vs Urine vs Breath Ketones Analysis
In order to find out whether you have reached a level of optimal nutritional ketosis, you have to measure the exact level of ketone bodies present in your body.
While physical signs can be used as a rough gauge, the only reliable way to measure ketone levels is with a testing kit. Each type of kit has positives and negatives, so it is important to make an informed decision.
#1 Blood Tests
Blood readings are considered to be the number one, most accurate method of measuring ketone levels in your body.
The machine and strips needed for this type of measuring is the most expensive option compared to the other options. The cost goes up over time as you will need to purchase the testing strips on a regular basis. So this can add up over the course of months of testing.
However, if you are serious about achieving optimal nutritional ketosis, then you cannot beat the accuracy of blood readings.
A good choice to go with is the Precision Xtra with the specific ketone strips on Amazon.
One athlete who has been using a blood testing machine to detect ketosis levels for years comments that: ‘Although the cost of the machine itself and the strips can really add up, the accuracy of the results can’t be beat and really help me to optimise my performance.’
#2 Breath Tests
Breath tests for ketonic compounds are looking to detect and measure acetone, which can be smelled on the breath of those in a nutritional ketosis zone.
This method of measuring ketones is noninvasive and gives fairly accurate readings.
The only downside is it still not as accurate as blood measuring devices.
The best part is it is only a one time fee to buy the device and you can test as many times as you wish with no extra cost.
Check out my Ketonix review on the best ketone breath testing kit available.
I also interviewed Ketonix inventor Michel Lundell on episode 14 of the Biohackers Lab podcast.
By using any of the above methods, you will be able to discover your optimal zone of ketosis. Being aware of and altering your ketone levels will allow you to manage your weight, regulate blood sugar levels, think clearer and feel better.
#3 Urine Tests
Urine readings for ketone levels are by far the cheapest option available.
You can probably get a month’s supply of measuring strips for less than ten US dollars.
Unfortunately, because ketone bodies are predominately carried in the blood, and not urine, it is not as accurate as blood tests.
The urine strips detect excreted compounds from the kidneys to give their results and may not be completely accurate.
A good choice to go with are the One Earth Health urine test strips on Amazon.
Still, if you don’t need exact precision, then you can’t beat the price.
One user of these kits has commented that: ‘I found the urine tests to be cheap and accurate enough for my needs, since I am not too worried about complete accuracy’.
Recommended Ketone Test Kits to Buy
If you are ready to take your ketogenic diet to the next level, here are the best measuring kits in each of these categories.
Not every kit on the market for measuring ketones is created equally.
There are certain models of testing kits that stand out in each category as being clearly number one. By buying any of the kits detailed here, you will guarantee outstanding results and the best user experience.
These kits have been hand chosen by experts in the field. Don’t compromise and buy cheap imitations sold by other brands!
Precision Xtra Blood Ketone Test
If you are looking for a blood testing kit to monitor your ketone levels, then it is hard to go past the Precision Xtra blood ketone measuring device. Although it is certainly not the cheapest option, it is by far the best outside of hospital grade testing units.
One Earth Health Urine Test
Next on the list is the One Earth Health urine testing kit, which is seen by many in the industry as the best option for this type of ketone measuring. It has clear, easy-to-use instructions, maintains a reasonable level of accuracy, and is cheap.
You can affordably use this test to monitor your ketogenic diet daily.
Ketonix Breath Test
Lastly, you can opt for Ketonix breath testing kit to help monitor your ketone levels.
Striking a great balance between price, accuracy, and ease of use, this particular model is massively popular amongst amateur athletes and bodybuilders.
You are now on your way to having your very own measuring kit to monitor your ketogenic diet. With the accurate results from any of these kits, you can hit that perfect ketogenic zone sooner and achieve the results you have always desired.