Testing Ketone Levels With Keto Sticks After Taking Exogenous Ketones
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Testing Ketone Levels With Keto Sticks After Taking Exogenous Ketones

Are you taking exogenous ketones but wondering why you aren’t seeing any weight loss? If so, the question to ask yourself is: Am I testing my ketone levels with keto sticks or other methods? And am I doing so correctly?

Testing your ketone levels after taking exogenous ketones is crucial to determine if these supplements are working for you. Many keto dieters may not know that ketone testing is the single best way to learn if they need to make adjustments.

There’s a lot of confusion around the “whys” and “hows” of ketone testing, especially if you’re using exogenous ketones to raise your ketone levels and enter ketosis.

If you’re on the ketogenic diet and you can’t seem to lose weight, using keto strips (also known as ketone strips or keto sticks) can be a helpful way to check your ketone levels.

Testing Ketone Levels

There are three main methods you can use to test your ketone levels: blood, urine, and breath. While each of these methods can be useful, blood testing will always provide the most accurate view of your ketone levels. Keep reading to find out why using a urine test or breath test to measure your ketone levels isn’t as accurate as a blood test.

How to test your ketone levels with keto sticks, blood testing, and breath testing

Urine Ketone Testing With Keto Sticks

Urine ketone testing is simple. You pee on the stick, tap off any excess urine, wait a bit, and then read the urine stick to see if any levels of ketones have been detected in your urine.

Sounds simple enough, but the truth is that keto urine tests are unreliable because they measure the unused ketones in your body that are spilling over into your urine. OK, so what’s the problem with that?

Well, the problem is that your body becomes more adapted to ketosis the longer you’re on keto and using ketones. As such, the ketones might not show up as much on keto sticks — even if you’re deeply into ketosis.

For example, there have been plenty of times when someone’s blood levels have shown ketosis but there’s been nothing on the pee strip.

With this in mind, understand that urinalysis can be a good option at the beginning of your journey into ketosis — but not so much the longer you stay keto.

Breath Ketone Tests

You can test ketones on your breath by using a Ketonix meter. You blow into and it shows a reading based on the detected level of acetone, which is the ketone that shows up on your breath.

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Breath testing is more reliable than pee testing, but it’s still not ideal for clearly discerning your level of ketosis.

That’s because, as mentioned above, the ketones that show up on your breath are acetone, and what you want to focus on most is beta-hydroxybutyrate, or BHB, which is measured in the blood.

While you might get a general idea of your ketone levels, obviously that’s not a precise way to measure ketones.

Blood Ketone Tests With Keto Strips

The blood testing method is simple, direct, and the most accurate way to best determine your levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) — which is the primary ketone your body can make and ultimately convert to energy. BHB is also what provides the “clean” energy ketones found in Perfect Keto products.

Blood testing involves a small prick of the finger with a blood meter, which measures BHB levels in the blood. You will read your levels on some ketone test strips. The color chart is similar to the one used on the urine test. There are also quite a few products out there that test blood glucose and ketone levels at the same time.

Testing your ketone levels through blood is the most accurate method because there aren’t factors that can dilute the results — for example, drinking water could dilute urine results.

Analyzing Your Ketone Levels

keto sticks

Another reason to track your ketone levels diligently after taking exogenous ketones is that different factors can affect how your body reacts on a ketogenic diet.

Common Factors That Affect Ketone Levels

When you’re on a low-carb diet, the type of food you eat, the amount you eat, and the type and duration of exercise can change your ketone levels.

Test your ketone levels often to get a good idea of how your body is reacting to different factors like diet and physical activity. This is especially helpful when you’re just starting out on a keto diet. It can also help you gauge the number of exogenous ketones you need and when it’s best to take them for optimal results.

Testing Ketone Levels Often Is Vital

You should test regularly if you want to get the most out of taking exogenous ketones.

Every method covered here — whether it’s a urine test with keto sticks, using a blood ketone meter, or checking your breath — can be done in the privacy of your own home, so there’s no need to go to a clinic, lab, or any pricey place.

Keep in mind that taking exogenous ketones and then not testing your level of ketones is a shot in the dark, and it can be a waste of your time and money.

Reaching the metabolic state of ketosis should put your body into fat-burning mode. If you notice that you’ve stopped losing weight, measure your ketones to determine if your body is actually in ketosis.

If you don’t want to test with blood, urine, or breath ketone measurements, then at least keep a journal of how you feel and your body measurements on the days you use exogenous ketones.

Patience is a virtue, too. It might take some time to get used to testing your ketone levels regularly, and it might take a bit before you find the right balance of macronutrients, exercise, and supplementing that’s just right for you to get into and stay in ketosis.

Use this handy guide on common ketosis mistakes so you can avoid potential pitfalls and set yourself up for success.

Plus, the amount of ketones that are right for you depends on your specific goals — and the only way to make sure you’re hitting that amount consistently and seeing real and accurate results over time is by testing regularly.

When to Take Exogenous Ketones

To optimize your use of exogenous ketones, here are some of the best times to take them:

  • Before you exercise
  • When you wake up in the morning
  • After a carb-laden meal when you’re trying to get back into ketosis
  • When you want to suppress hunger during a fast or on an empty stomach
  • To enhance ketone levels when you need a daily energy boost

If you’re worried your ketone levels aren’t raised after taking exogenous ketones, be sure you’re using a reliable method for testing as well as testing often. Don’t just rely on a feeling or the assumption that you’re in ketosis because you’re following a keto diet or simply taking ketone supplements.

It’s not just about following the diet and using the products — reaching ketosis is also about being smart with your testing and monitoring. Now that you know about the different testing methods that are available to you, you can take the necessary steps to get the results you want.

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32 thoughts on “Testing Ketone Levels With Keto Sticks After Taking Exogenous Ketones

  1. This will be my first try of exogenous ketones! Thanks to Louise Hendon and KetoSummit for all they do and for directing me to Perfect Keto. May your new enterprise be amazingly successful and beneficial to all. ROB

  2. is there any research that indicates that taking exogenous ketones actually increases level of ketosis / fat burning or just falsely raises your level (blood testing)

  3. It is in point of fact a great and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that you simply shared this helpful
    info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Just wondering about breath measurements. Does taking PerfectKeto not impact the readings on that at all then? Or it should? Thanks.

  5. Can I presume that the BHB in Perfect KETO is an equal amount of the “d” and “l” isomer? If so, are you investigating the production of a d only isomer product? THX!

    P.S. I LOVE your product and find it particularly beneficial before my morning workouts. And your website has been super helpful in elucidating why I want to use YOUR product. Again, thanks!

    1. Hey Christopher, it’s actually about 70D and 30L and L can actually act as a signaling molecule to decrease inflammation and then convert to D after that. Thanks for the awesome review 🙂

  6. When I take exogenous ketones, I see the level go up to a moderate or high level, but later in the day it goes back to small, but still ketosis. Is this okay?

  7. How long will my blood bob level remain elevated after taking 1 scoop of the vanilla powder? I took 1 scoop before hiking at 2pm, been in nutritional ketosis for only two weeks now, and had a small carb up meal this evening (home made green curry with butternut squash and bittersweet chocolate after). I tested my level at 8:40pm a couple hours after eating and was surprised to get bhb 2.4 and BG 67. I’ve been running between 0.8 to 1.8. Do you think it could still be the exogenous ketones in my blood? Or maybe this is a sign that I am getting fat adapted?
    I guess if I’m low I will take more in the morning to help with the transition back into keto. I LOVE your products. It is so nice having the keto base as a tool during this first few weeks. I will continue to use the pre workout once I am fat adapted and need a boost. And will always use the MCT powder blended in my coffee with a plug in high power milk frothier. Thank you for everything you guys do!

  8. Why is it that my ketone levels drop way down after a work out – I take perfect keto salt “chocolate” before & during my work out I use blood to test & prior to work keton levels are say 3.00mmoL then after my work out wil drop to 0.5mmoL is that normal or I am I missing something??
    TIA
    Love from to all from down under “Melbourne Australia”

  9. Hello,
    I have a Breath Ketone machine but I have asthma so I have an aversion to breathing all the way out. I received a Ketone Meter for Christmas. I have been having a perfect Keto drink for breakfast with my Bulletproof Coffee. Then I have Lunch. Two Free Range Organic Fed Chicken Eggs and 3 pieces (1 serving) of Bacon and a very small Avocado. After a desk job I go to exercise and then immediately go home and check my Ketos. My numbers are all over the place. Then eat 2oz meat and a big green leafy salad with 1 oz of cheese. Every day to track. What am I doing wrong?
    I am DM I and take Novolog 6 units and AMYLIN – 45 units with food and Levemir 16 units at night. I have plateaued at 180. What else can I do to lose an additional 35 to 40 lbs. Labs are great by the way.

    1. Careful with bacon. It is very difficult to find bacon that has not been cured with some sweetener like cane sugar, maple or honey.

      Try half of the avocado and eliminate the cheese* (* for now. Watch Joe Rogan with Dom D’agostino where he says that fat loss was better when taking out the dairy.

      As for the meter. If you can breath all the way out (I know it’s trying sometimes) great. Otherwise, try to breathe the same way everytime using it meter. I have a Ketonix and it regularly shows 4 green flashes during the first week of induction.

      Make sure that your macros line up with a well formed ketogenic or modified atkins diet. (read up on atkins induction rules)

      Make sure you’re eating enough, and skip the cheat days

      Good luck
      and enjoy your new body

  10. I’ve been taking extogenous ketones with a keto diet for over a month, and have not felt or seen any effect. Today I blood tested 2.5 hrs after drinking them & my levels were too low to even register! 2 days ago I tested 40 minutes after drinking them, .4. I drink them fastest; what could be causing me to not get fat adapted or into ketosis!? My macros are excellent, calories around 1200 a day (female, 5’6”, 168 lbs after gaining almost 5 pounds when I switched to a keto diet). Help!

    1. Take a closer look at the food you are eating.
      Something in there has a sugar or starch that is causing you to not get into ketosis.
      Usually this is going to be some kind of corn derivative: maltodextrin, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose … etc (48 different names for corn alone)
      Take a closer look at the ingredients in all the things that you are eating.

      For me: I can be in very deep ketosis and lick a candy and be out of ketosis in 20 minutes!

      Make sure you are following a well formulated ketogenic diet like Atkins induction phase.
      NO MORE than 20 carbohydrates per day and no sugars, fruits, starches, potatoes, breads pastas.

      What you drink must also be considered. Wine, alcohol, juices, etc all contain enough sugars and starches to prevent ketosis.

      what are your macros?
      What does your typical day look like, meal, drink wise?

  11. This is all very useful information. I know a lot of people who think they are on a keto diet however they are eating things that have carbohydrates and they don’t even realize it. Sugar = Carbs!!

  12. I just received your test strips and used one. I’ve looked everywhere and can’t find what the levels SHOULD be, or rather what the optimum level is that we should be striving for. My strip said I’m at moderate level. Should I be striving for higher or lower?

  13. I test for ketosis with pee strips. The color is close to the moderate to stronger but the color is very light. Does the depth of color matter or just the shade of the color, more blue than pink . Is it better to be more tworks the strongest ketosis or is moderate detosis just as good for weight loss?

    1. Are you using Perfect Keto’s test strips? If you are, the color doesn’t have to be an exact match; but generally, when you are first starting keto, you want to be on the darker end of the spectrum (closer to the dark purple). This means that a high amount of ketone bodies are registering on the strips.

  14. I’ve been on the Keto diet for two weeks, along with fasting (can only eat from 11-4:00). I use the urine test strips daily and have stayed at the large 8.0 mmol, but the girl helping me says I have to be at the very extreme larger 16.0 mmol in order to be in ketosis. Is this correct? Or have I reached ketosis with the 8.0 mmol? I’m not sure what the numbers mean. I have been at this for a week and a half and can’t get it to the “larger” one on the test strip.

    1. The optimal ketone level is not known since it is likely different for everyone and varies depending on how long you have been keto for and what your goal is. Most importantly, if you are experiencing the benefits of ketosis then you have reached your optimal ketone range @Tiffany

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