How to Read Ketone Test Strips

Do you know How to read ketone test strips? A ketone strip also referred to as keto strips or ketone test strips, is comprised of thin plastic strips with a little reactive pad at the top that detects ketone presence in urine.

How to Read Ketone Test Strips

Being in ketosis or following a low-carb diet for an extended period causes a measurable increase of ketones in blood and urine.

Keto strips are a low-commitment way to start testing the waters with the keto or Atkins diet. Read on to find out the way to read ketone strips easily and effectively!

Happens During Ketosis

Ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body primarily uses fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. This state is typically achieved through a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, such as the ketogenic diet. During ketosis, several physiological changes occur:

Reduced Carbohydrate Intake: When you significantly reduce your carbohydrate intake, your body’s primary source of energy (glucose) becomes limited.

Depletion of Glycogen Stores: The body stores glucose in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscles. When you reduce your carbohydrate intake, these glycogen stores are gradually depleted.

Increased Fat Breakdown: In the absence of sufficient carbohydrates, your body starts to break down fat into molecules called fatty acids and glycerol. Fatty acids can be used for energy production.

Production of Ketones: As fatty acids are broken down, the liver converts some of them into molecules called ketones (specifically, beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone). Ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier and serve as an alternative fuel source for the brain when glucose is scarce.

Shift in Fuel Source: Once ketone levels in the blood reach a certain threshold, your body begins to rely on them as a primary source of energy, along with fatty acids. This shift from glucose to ketones and fatty acids as the main energy sources characterizes the state of ketosis.

Appetite Suppression: Ketosis can lead to reduced appetite for some individuals, possibly due to the stabilizing effect of ketones on blood sugar levels and the influence of ketosis on hunger-regulating hormones.

Enhanced Fat Loss: Ketosis may lead to increased fat loss because the body is primarily burning fat for energy. This can be advantageous for individuals looking to lose weight.

How Accurate Are Keto Strips?

Learn About the Keto Diet if You Would Like Measurable Results

Most healthy people will not have significant levels of ketones in their bodies if they’re not following the diet. Read our ketogenic diet guide to find out more about keto so you’ll achieve ketosis, faster.

1. Pee into a cup

Most instructions tell you to let the merchandise sit during a cup of urine for a minimum of 40 seconds or more. But we’ve found most strips work even when just strategically placed in a stream of urine.

If you’d rather pee into a cup, disposable Dixie cups are a great option.

2. Wait up to a minute for the reagent and color to fully develop

Now is a good time to go and check that ‘gram.

3. Compare your results to the keto strip color chart

Hold your now incubated ketone strip on the brink of the color chart on the bottle to live your current ketone levels. Match it to the closest color to urge your best result.

4. Dispose of your strips after using

Don’t be a monster! Your spouse/roommates/friends will thank you.

Pro Tip: Find the best time to use your strips

Certain parts of the day, like within the early morning or after dinner were shown in an NIH study to possess the very best and most reliably detectable levels of ketones.

When Should You Test for Ketones?

It is advisable to check for ketones under the following conditions when:

1. Your blood glucose is higher than 240mg/dl

2. Feeling nauseated, throwing up, or having pains in your abdominal region

3. Have a cold or flu

4. Have general body fatigue

5. Feel thirsty or have a very dry mouth

6. Have flushed skin

7. Have a fruity breath or a hard time breathing

8. You feel perplexed or in fog

How to Read the Results and What Do They Mean?

Before diving into this, how do you use a ketone urine strip? All you’ve got to try to run your pee on the urine strip and then wait to ascertain what the color will change to or better still, urinate into a clean container and dip the test strip into the urine.

You read the results of your ketone test by watching out for what color the strip changes to. Hold your strip under the key, look for that color that matches your strip.

If the color is dark purple, it indicates that there’s a high level of ketone present in your urine. There are cases where the color that shows on your strip is lighter purple to pink areas consistently, so you’re fine.

Advantages of Reading Your Ketones Through a Strip

1. It is convenient

2. It is cheap

3. It is easy to see and read your levels of ketones

4. It is important to know whether your body is diving towards the state of diabetic ketoacidosis

5. The results are easy to understand

6. It is portable

Disadvantages of Reading Your Ketones Through a Strip

1. The urine sticks aren’t always accurate. They can give incorrect readings when testing. This can be due to ace inhibitors that can cause false positives when using urine tests that contain nitro presides.

Taking drugs to treat painful urinary infections turns urine purple and also provides a false reading. Using Depakote, medication can also have this effect.

A test is often inaccurate if urine has been sitting within the bladder for an elongated period.

2. Concentration of urine can also cause inaccurate results.

3. Ketone strips are not in the business of detail. They do not amount precisely to the number of ketones within the blood or urine. They do not measure all types of ketones.

4. Fluctuations might occur after waking up, eating, and after exercises

Tips for Measuring Ketones

1. Note that there are fluctuations that are caused by a change in hormonal level. This shouldn’t stop or discourage you from monitoring your ketone levels

2. The amount of fat in your diet also affects the level in your blood or urine. A higher concentration of ketones could also be tested after taking a meal that’s high in fat

3. It is generally believed that ketones have high concentrations in the evening and lower at night. Whichever time of the day you select to check your ketones, you want to be according to it

4. It is not advisable to measure ketones immediately after exercise. Ketone levels are likely to be lower while you have higher levels of glucose, this might affect your readings

5. To avoid unpleasant smells from ketogenic fruity breaths, drink much water, take mint tea, and ensure to consume foods high in electrolytes

6. Avoid chewing too many gums, as it may put you out of ketosis due to hidden carbohydrates which can affect your blood sugar

Other Ways to Measure Ketones

Blood Testing

The first way involves measuring blood BHB. As the name suggests, this test will offer you a reading of what proportion of beta-hydroxybutyrate is in your blood.

This test involves employing a BHB meter and provides the most accurate ketone measurement available.

For this test, you’ll need test strips alongside a BHB meter and a lancet device to prick your finger. You should also probably have some alcohol swabs around to clean the area before pricking your finger and after you have gotten your blood sample.

Get a drop of blood, place it on the strip, and feed the strip into the meter.

Advantages of blood testing include the accuracy of the measurement. Blood testing also gives you a quantitative reading of BHB.

Disadvantages of blood testing include the necessity to get a tool and therefore the strips, which may be costly. The test is additionally more invasive, requiring a fingerstick to urge the drop of blood. This could become bothersome to some people.

Breath Testing

The final measurement involves breath testing for acetone. This test device may be a newer sort of consumer product that measures the quantity of acetone excreted within the breath.

This involves the one-time purchase of a ketone breath meter from one among several companies that have made these devices available.

Advantages? You only have to purchase one device, and no strips are required. The disadvantage of this method is that you simply need a bigger handheld device that’s not as convenient as urine test strips.

Breath meters also are less accurate than blood or urine testing, and only measure acetone, instead of the 2 ketones most prominent within the circulation:

AcAc and BHB. Very few studies have been done to validate breath meters or confirm their accuracy. This area of ketone testing is in its early stages.


Q. What level of ketosis is ideal for weight loss?

A. Try to aim for 1.5 – 3 mmol/L for optimal ketosis. Anything but this amount is taken into account as a trace amount.

Q. How are keto strips accuracy?

A. Due to the variation of ketone presence depending on the time of day, we think ketone strips are a good way to measure whether or not you’re in ketosis.

Q. Not sure where to buy keto strips?

A. The easiest place to shop for sticks online is through a retailer like Amazon. However many companies sell keto sticks future to assist diabetics who are monitoring their ketone levels. Remember, availability will likely vary by store so call your store before heading over.

Final Words

To get a reading, pass the testing side of the strip through a urine stream, or dip the strip into a sample of urine and take it away immediately. After 15 seconds, match the top of the test strip to the ketone chart on the container.

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