Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning I may get a commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you.
These days, everyone is a keto dieter, but very few actually know they’re in ketosis. Sure, you can follow the diet and take the supplements, but if it’s all predicated on reaching a certain metabolic condition, wouldn’t you want to know if you’ve achieved it?
Ketone strips fall into two distinct categories that dictate the accuracy of the test you are taking. These two categories are urine and blood.
The degree to which ketone strips help you to successfully monitor your blood ketone levels will be greatly affected by which of these you use. Think of a urinalysis as the book jacket version, and a blood test as the entire Moby Dick novel in regard to detail.
Depending where you are on the commitment scale, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right test for your needs. Below, we’ve listed the various types, brands, and benefits/detriments of each of the ketone strips. Check them out, and see which one suits your needs best, and most importantly, helps you remain in ketosis.
Ketone Strips: Urine Analysis
Using urinalysis to test for ketones is simply getting a “30,000 foot view” of the ketones in your system.
The body regularly emits anywhere from 3 to 15 milligrams of ketones a day. Increased amounts of ketones in the urine (acetoacetate) can show you that there is in fact an excess of ketones your system, however ketone strips that evaluate the urine will not report the amount of ketones in the blood – ketonaemia – which is where the real work is done.
The benefit of using the urinalysis ketone strips at the beginning of your ketogenic diet, is that you’ll save money of the bat in case you choose not to pursue the diet later on.
And, as your body initially gets into ketosis, you’ll find value in the measurements. But once your body adapts to ketosis, your readings will lessen, and it will be necessary to level up to blood testing.
In short, you’re going to get the amount of excess ketones your body isn’t using, but you’ll have no idea of what’s going on in your bloodstream.
How Ketosis Urine Strips Work
Ketosis strips are pretty straight forward. You take a strip, and while you’re going number one, you hold the strip in your stream of urine. After you’ve done the deed, wait about fifteen seconds, and check the strip for your results.
On the bottle containing the ketosis strips, you’ll find a key with a color spectrum ranging from beige to dark purple. Your ketosis strips will register one of the colors on the bottle, letting you know if you’re in ketosis or not.
Reading your results:
Holding your strip underneath the key, look for the color that matches your strip. Dark purple indicates the highest level of ketone presence in your urine, but you shouldn’t get hung up on always seeing purple!
Many Keto dieters get results in the lighter purple to pink areas consistently, and this is fine! There’s a number of reasons why someone would continuously show up in the lighter colors of the key. These reasons include:
- Time of day you take a test.
- Your body’s natural disposition.
- Ketones diluted by increased hydration.
- Athletic Activity can reduce ketone readings because your body is its ketone supply for food.
Remember, ketosis strips are a maintenance test. They help you stay on track with your diet by letting you know that there are ketone bodies in your blood. Don’t strive for a certain color every time you test, instead get a good “average” reading for yourself and try to continuously hit that result!
Why Ketosis Urine Strips Are Good
1) Cost: Ketosis strips are the most cost efficient way to test for ketones. Prices average around $10.00 for a bottle of 100 strips; so if you’re testing twice a day, they’ll last you fifty days! Not too shabby!
Compare this price to the price of a package of ketone blood test strips and you’ll see the difference. The average box of ketosis strips for blood tests can cost almost 10 times more than the urine strips. Ouch!
2) Usability: Using ketosis strips is very straight forward. Just stick them in your urine and wait fifteen seconds. No poking, no blood, and disposal is simple. This test is ideal for someone just starting out on their ketogenic journey. Sure, you could eventually move to blood testing, but the testing process will become more difficult and costly in terms of both time and money.
3) Portability: The bottle is no bigger than that of any other aspirin or ibuprofen bottle, so taking the strips to the gym or work is an easy task. Just head to the nearest bathroom stall to execute a test! No fuss, no worries. Now that’s keeping it simple!
Downsides of Ketosis Urine Strips
Ketosis strips that test urine are not in the business of detail, so if you’re looking for amounts of different ketone bodies – you might want to go with the blood test. Blood tests will also be able to pick up ketones faster and more effectively than urine ketosis strips.
However, due to cost and time, ketosis strips for blood are often reserved for the most hardcore keto dieters, and people who suffer from medical conditions that require them to keep a close eye on their ketone levels.
But for someone who’s looking to improve their health and lose weight, ketosis urine strip are perfect! And remember, you can always graduate to blood ketosis strips. I would advise to use the urine strips first to make sure that you can faithfully stick to testing!
Remember, you might be on the Ketogenic Diet, but you’ll never really know unless you test!
Ketosis strips offer you the psychological victory of knowing – which is huge. These little daily victories of seeing your hard work pay off can take you a long way when you aren’t feeling great about yourself, or your diet.
Staying honest with yourself by taking regular ketosis strip tests will only increase your performance on the ketogenic diet, and your results! So what are you waiting for? Order some ketosis strips today and press on into the Ketogenic lifestyle!
Brands/Types of Ketone strips for urinalysis
- Amazon’s most popular choice for urinalysis ketone strips.
- Getting very positive customer feedback.
- This brand of ketone strips has received solid reviews, and also comes with resources like an alkaline food chart and keto recipe ebook.
Blood Ketone Strips
Ketone strips for blood will give you the real-time, microscopic view of the makeup of your blood.
You will not only know how much acetoacetate is in your system, but you’ll discover how much BoHB is in your system – also known as β-hydroxybutyrate. Β-hydroxybutyrate is the important ketone body that your body converts from acetoacetate to fuel the muscles and brain.
To ensure consistent results, it’s important that you test at the same time each day. Many experts suggest that testing first thing in the morning – since you’re in a fasted state from sleeping – is the optimal time of day to check your ketone levels. If you’d like to see how your diet is affecting your ketone levels, however, it’s a great idea to also test before bed.
A successful test with blood ketone strips will look like this: results with “light” ketosis will read 0.5 – 1 mmol/L, while optimal ketosis will be somewhere in the 1.5 – 3 mmol/L range.
Brands/Types of Ketone strips for blood analysis:
- A great starter kit that comes with the Ketone Meter w Strip Ejection, 10 Ketone Blood Test Strips, 10 Lancets, Lancing Device, Carrying Case for Diabetics and Ketogenic, Paleo, Atkins Diet
- Kit includes 100 Test Strips, 100 Lancets, Lancing Device, Control Solution, Owners Logbook, Reference Guide and a Manual.
Getting serious about the ketogenic lifestyle involves the task of quantifying the chemical makeup of the energy your body is using.
You can’t know if your body is in ketosis by feel, or guessing. It’s essential to see what is going on inside of your veins with ketone strips. Depending on where you are in the ketogenic diet, and financially, you can make the choice of it you want to start with urinalysis or with blood testing. The important part is that you get started.
We hope that this article helps you understand what the various ketone tests can do for you, and that this information helps you on your journey to the ketogenic lifestyle.
About the Author Nate Arnold
I started this website because it was hard to find trustworthy, evidence-based information about the ketogenic diet. Information that was published and peer reviewed by respected scientific journals. After years of research, I'm sure you'll achieve great results in a healthy way following my advice. I do my best to translate scientific research jargon into plain English. Remember, it's always a good idea to consult a doctor before starting a new diet!