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