How to do a ketone test on your urine
Simply collect a urine sample at any time of day. There is no need to wait for a first-morning sample or post meal, any time is good to start ketone testing. Collect the sample in any clean container, glass or plastic won’t affect the results. Open and remove an unused ketone test strip and immediately seal the pack. The colour on the pad should be a light fawn or beige tone which roughly matches the negative colour tone on the side of the bottle when dry, and should match the negative result immediately after wetting. Dip in the urine for 3 to 5 seconds, then remove and tap off any excess urine sample. If ketones are present in the sample, the pad will start to discolour towards a purple tone. ( the colour varies from brand to brand) Match the pad colour to the corresponding colour on the results chart at the specified read time and note the ketone level.
How do ketone test strips work
Ketone test strips use a simple chemical reaction that measures the level of one of the 3 ketone bodies, (bodies is a technical term for chemical structure type) produced when fats are being metabolised to produce energy. In healthy, non-dieting adults consuming a modern western diet energy is produced almost exclusively from glucose, with the excess being converted into glycogen or fat. Fat is hardly ever converted back to produce energy as there is almost always an excess of sugary carbohydrates being eaten.
What colour should ketone test strips be when in ketosis
A positive result for ketones in urine is shown by the pad on the strip changing colour. Most ketone test strips give a purple colour change and the degree of colour depth indicates the semi-quantitative level or amount of ketone in the urine. The higher the urine ketone level, the higher the blood ketone level when the urine was being produced by the kidneys.
How to tell if you’re in ketosis with strips
Ketosis in strict physiological terms is when the body is consuming and only burning fat as a primary source of energy. Ketone test strips only tell you when some fat is being used for energy. For most dieters this is all they need to know, it is a good indicator that the carbohydrate total calorie intake has been restricted to a level where the body has used all the available glucose and glycogen reserve and has switched to burning fat deposits. Getting into ketosis requires a much longer period of strict diet modification, moving to fat and protein as primary sources of energy.
Other signs you’re in ketosis
It is often described by dieters as ‘Ketone Flu’
Common symptoms include:
- Bad Breath
- Poor sleep
- Digestive upsets, most commonly constipation
- Reduced exercise tolerance
- Weight loss
- Appetite Suppression
Once some of the symptoms of “Ketone Flu” subside, the urine ketone level will normally reduce once the body has adjusted to ketosis and the symptoms will often subside. It is normal to only measure trace or moderate urinary ketones. This occurs as the liver enzymes increase which converts more of the ketone body measured in urine to the energy producing ketone body used in the Krebs cycle for energy.