MEASURE KETONE BODIES - HOW AND WHEN?

Eating a ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, and experimenting with exogenous ketone supplements and MCT products are all ways to promote ketosis.Ketosis can have various health, performance, and longevity benefits. This is because ketones, the molecules responsible for ketosis, act as fuel sources in the brain and body. The question is, how do you know if your lifestyle is actually ketosis you?

The body gives you clues

Assess ketosis based on your body's symptoms. There are several signs and symptoms to look out for. Although they are not precise enough to determine your specific ketone levels, they are a good indicator if you do not have access to a blood, urine, or breath ketone test, which we will cover in a moment.
Several symptoms can help you determine whether you are in ketosis or not.

Decreased hunger


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When your body is Once accustomed to high ketone levels, he begins using fatty acids as the primary source of fuel to break down ketones. Since your body has a constant supply of energy, you will no longer crave food as much as when you are dependent on it, since the energy is taken from carbohydrate stores.

Clear mental state


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Your brain is consuming a significant amount of energy all the time. When you eat carbohydrates, you may notice energy drops that lead to fluctuations in mental performance. When you are in ketosis, the brain quickly depletes ketones for fuel by using your fat stores. If you follow the ketogenic diet properly, you will eat a lot of healthy, high-fat food, keep your fat stores full and always be able to think clearly.

More thirst and dry tissue


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As you get used to a ketogenic diet, your body uses up excess glycogen and you may experience frequent urination. If you do not add salt or electrolytes to your diet, you will likely experience some increased thirst and dry mucous membranes due to a lower level of hydration.

Increased energy


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About 90-120 minutes after you've eaten carbohydrates, the body has used up the available energy from the mitochondria in your cells. When you are in ketosis, your body can perform well on body fat, which is essentially an infinite source of fuel, and prevent a drop in energy.

How to test ketone levels with ketosis strips and other instruments


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There are three types of ketone bodies: acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). They each offer different advantages in ketosis and can be tested individually with ketone tests.
Ketone bodies can be measured in your breath, urine, or blood. You can buy most of these tests at your local pharmacy so that you can measure your ketone levels conveniently and easily at home.
Now learn more about the different ways to test ketone levels and how you can use these tests to achieve your goals:

Blood monitor


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The blood ketone test is the most accurate way to measure your BHB ketone bodies - the most common ketone in your blood.
This testing method is similar to the method people with diabetes use to test their blood sugar levels. You prick your finger, squeeze out a drop of blood, put it on a test strip, and the blood monitor will check your blood ketone level.
Measuring the level of ketones in the blood provides the most reliable test results. Your blood composition is highly regulated and should not be influenced by factors such as hydration, food consumption, or keto adaption if you are in ketosis for a long period of time.
If the thought of having to prick yourself with a needle makes you queasy, this may not be the best keto test for you. The strips are also quite expensive and cost around € 10 per test. That can add up, depending on how often you want to test your ketone levels.

How to read your blood ketone concentrations

To measure the level of ketosis precisely, you should purchase a high-quality blood ketone meter for measuring blood ketone levels, e.g. B. the Precision Xtra measuring device.
The blood ketone values are measured in mmol / L. For most people, the optimal ranges of BHB levels are between 1.5-3.0 mmol / L.

Test in urine with ketosis strips


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With the Ketostix test strips, you can measure your ketone levels in a few seconds using a urine test (also known as urinalysis).
And this is how it works: When you have excessive carbohydrate levels in your bloodstream, your body secretes insulin and then converts it to fat. On a ketogenic diet, you minimize your carbohydrate intake while increasing your protein and fat intake, which in turn increases your ketone levels.
When you start making more ketone bodies, the body needs to get rid of the excess and it is excreted in the urine. The excess ketones spill over into your urine, which can be detected on a ketone test strip.
Keep in mind, however, that these ketone strip test results are not the most accurate way of determining your ketone levels. The longer you are in a "keto-adapted" state, the more your body adapts to high ketone levels. Your body will optimize the use of excess ketone bodies, and even if you are clearly in ketosis, they may not be accurately recorded on a urine test strip.
  • But using urine ketone strips in the early stages of a keto diet can get you off to a good start. Key benefits of using a urine strip to test high urine ketone levels include:
  • Affordability: You can get a pack of Ketostix for less than 10 euros.
  • Easy to use: You just urinate on the test strip, tap off the excess urine and wait 45-60 seconds for the test results.
  • Availability: You don't have to go to a laboratory to test your ketone concentration.

Measure ketosis via breath tests


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Acetone, or acetate, is another ketone body that is created in the body during the ketogenic diet. Although acetate is not directly responsible for ketone metabolism, it is closely related to the level of ketone in your bloodstream.
Acetone is measured with a breath meter using breath acetone. Normally, the more acetone is found in your breath, the more advanced the ketosis is. You can measure acetone in your breath with a breath monitor, e.g. B. with a ketonic meter, which measures how much of the ketone is exhaled in the breath.

This is how you read the ketone levels in your breath

Connect the breath monitor to a USB port or to the supplied battery to read your ketone levels using a breath test. As soon as the device is ready, blow your breath into the device until it starts to flash. This indicates that it is measuring your breath acetone levels. Usually, a reading between 40 and 80 indicates that you are in ketosis.
The high cost is a disadvantage of monitoring ketone levels with a respiratory meter. However, since they are always reusable, it is a one-time investment.
Breath tests are considered less accurate than blood tests or ketosis strips, but they can be the best option if you don't want to deal with body fluids or want to keep buying test strips.

How often should you measure?

If you're following the ketogenic diet for anything other than medical reasons, it's really up to you. Soon after you've made a diet change, measuring is very useful to make sure you're doing everything right and getting into ketosis.
If you want to test how much you can increase your daily carbohydrate intake without getting kicked out of ketosis, the measurement is also very helpful.
For example, if you do a lot of high-intensity exercises, you can increase your carbohydrates even further. If you've been in ketosis for a while, measuring every few weeks is sufficient.
However, if you notice that you feel less energetic and tire more easily, then it would be time to measure again. We tend to get a little sloppy over time and subconsciously inject some hidden carbohydrates into our diet.

Conclusion

The goal of the keto diet is to get into a state of ketosis in which the body uses fat for fuel instead of glucose. While your body's symptoms can usually tell you whether you are in ketosis or not, keto dieters should test their ketone levels to be sure. And now you know what options there are and what you have to pay attention to with the various measurement options!

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