Testing Your Ketones
You may have heard that a Ketogenic Diet is less then 50g of Carbohydrates per day, however while this is a good rule of thumb, it’s not a one size fits all rule! The truth is a ketogenic diet is a diet that puts your into KETOSIS, and this will be different for everyone, the only real way of finding out your individual requirements is through ketone testing. The good news is, it’s not that hard or expensive.
There are 3 types of Ketones you can test
- Acetoacetate (Urine Ketone)
This can be a good INITIAL indicator, but after a few weeks of ketosis your body will start converting Acetoacetate to BHB (the blood ketone)
- Acetone (Breath Ketone)
- Beta – hydroxybutyrate (Blood Ketone)
How to test your ketones?
We’re going to recommend testing the BHB (The Blood Ketone) – as this will give us the best indicator of what level of ketosis you will be in We recommend using the Optium Freestyle Neo ($59) which can test both blood glucose, and blood ketones, depending on the strips that you purchase. Here are the stages of ketosis:
- < 0.2 (not in Ketosis)
- 0.2 – 0.5 Slight or mild Ketosis
- 0.5 – 3.0 Nutritional Ketosis – the sweet spot)
- 3.0 – 6.0 Fasting Ketosis
- 15 – 25 Ketoacidosis
Things that will affect your Blood Ketone Levels
- High Intensity Training will lower your Ketone Levels
- Low Intensity Aerobic Training (where your heart rate is strictly monitored at 180 – Age) will increase the level of Ketones in your blood
- Dehydration will increase the level of Ketones
- Hydration will decrease the level of Ketones.
It’s easy to get caught up want to test ALL the time. However we find that the most valuable time to test is in the morning at a consistent time. As this will give you an indicator of how your food choices have affected your ketone production.
Working out YOUR individual carbohydrate / protein tolerance
Determining your carbohydrate level is key to getting into ketosis. Start your carbohydrate intake at 20 grams daily, then raise it by 5 – 10 grams daily for one week. When Ketones drop return to the previous level of carb intake. If there is no ketone production at 20 grams, drop carbs and protein in take. Make sure you’re watching processed and refined food sources, as there may be hidden sources of sugars that you’re not aware of.