Using urine ketone testing sticks to measure ketosis.
Low-carbers have long relied on urine ketone test sticks (Ketostix) to detect the level of acetoacetate the body is excreting. Watching the sticks magically turn light pink to dark purple has always fascinated low carb dieters, myself included, making them feel they are doing something constructive. It feels like a reward for our low-carb efforts. Unfortunately, these pee sticks are inexact. Further, they don’t measure the specific kind of ketones your body can use as fuel. As I learned in the Performance book, it’s better to test your blood for
beta-hydroxybutyrate. This indicates whether or not you are keto-adapted, burning fat and ketones for fuel – the true essence of nutritional ketosis. You’re looking for a level between 0.5-3.0 millimolar for optimal fat loss and keto-adapted performance.
You’ll need a blood ketone meter like the Precision Xtra from Abbott. The test strips vary in cost from $1-6; for example you can get them for $3.50/strip from this Canadian pharmacy. The information gained from measuring blood ketones instead of urine ketones is solid gold for knowing how well you are doing on your healthy low carb lifestyle!