Ketosis refers to the process by which your body begins to burn fat as a fuel source instead of carbohydrates. In a healthy adult, ketosis is the result of a decreased availability of glucose because of a low-carb diet. It also is an incredibly effective way to shed some fat.
The keto diet was first introduced in the 1920s to treat epilepsy. In recent years, however, it has gained a massive following for its ability to enhance your weight-loss program. Other recorded benefits of the keto diet include enhanced athletic performance and mental clarity, in addition to improved cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels.
Part of maintaining ketosis is checking your ketone levels regularly, which you can accomplish easily using ketosis strips that check your urine. But with the ever-burgeoning popularity of the keto diet, there is a horde of ketone test strips available on the market today, and all keto strips are not created equal.
In this review, we hope to help you identify the best keto strips out there, so you can measure your ketone levels quickly and accurately, thus remaining in ketosis and burning fat fast.
Why Do You Need To Measure Ketones?
The main factors influencing ketone levels is your balance of protein and carbohydrate intake and your level of physical activity. Even at rest, your body and brain need some form of energy to keep functioning. This level is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR. When your body has low levels of carbs available for energy, it will turn to another source to keep going.
Reaching ketosis will increase your body’s production of ketone bodies to provide fat as your alternative energy source. High levels of ketones in your blood, therefore, are an indicator that your body has begun burning fat as its primary fuel source.
Higher levels of carbohydrate consumption will reduce blood-ketone levels and take you back out of ketosis. Your body naturally favors glucose over fat for energy because it’s easier to metabolize, so your body will always burn carbohydrates before burning fat.
Testing your ketone levels regularly with ketone test strips will allow you to make any necessary dietary adjustments to remain in ketosis . So, regular testing can prevent your ketone levels from dropping too low.
Ketone testing your urine might sound more technical than just jumping on the scales to measure weight loss. But there is a difference between weight loss and fat loss, and your scale only measures total weight. It doesn’t account for water retention and the weight of muscle over fatty tissue. Water is heavy, and water retention alone can cause you to lose or gain as much as 3 pounds in a day. Similarly, muscle tissue is far denser and heavier than fatty tissue and will affect your overall weight.
The best keto strips will give you a clear indication of whether you have high ketone levels in your blood. Keeping them high guarantees that your body is burning fat.
Are Keto Strips Accurate?
There are multiple ways to measure blood ketone levels. The best method for you will depend on how often you want to check them, as well as your budget and personal preference.
It’s worth noting that keto urine strips measure levels or ketones in your urine during the past few hours rather than providing up-to-the-minute accuracy. Even so, the best keto strips boast accuracy and are the simplest way to check ketone levels over the day or week.
What is the Best Time to Measure Ketones?
You can use a ketone strip to check ketone levels in your urine at any time of day. Anecdotal evidence suggests that results tend to be better just before lunch or dinner, at least two or three hours after consuming any food or drink, except water. It’s crucial to ensure optimum hydration levels when you’re on a keto diet. Carbohydrates retain three times the water molecules than protein or fats. If you are depleted of carbs, your body will not be able to store as much water. It is, therefore, essential to maintain adequate water intake.
The results of a study published in 2016, however, indicate that participants with stable ketosis had the highest levels of ketones in their urine (ketonuria) in the early morning and directly after dinner. Developing a routine of testing for ketones first thing in the morning, therefore, might give you the most reliable results.
What is the Optimal Ketone Level for Weight Loss?
If your main aim is to promote health, balanced blood glucose, and weight loss through fat-burning, experts recommend starting with light nutritional ketosis. The levels on the strips for this should read 0.5 mmol/L-1.0 mol/L. Once you have established this safely, you can aim for optimal or full nutritional ketosis, with levels on the strips displaying between 1.0 mmol/L-3.0 mmol/L.
- Light nutritional ketosis:5 mmol/L-1.0 mmol/L
- Optimal ketosis: 1.0 mmol/L-3.0 mmol/L.
What Are The Signs of Ketosis?
In addition to regular urine testing with keto strips, several signs indicate you’re in a state of ketosis:
With all this information at hand, let’s take a look at some of what we believe are the best keto strips on the market today to check your levels.
6 Best Keto Strips
- Strips made specifically for keto
- Accurate and quick test results
- Each packet contains 100 strips
- Simple-to-follow guidelines
- Lab-grade quality
- Developed by medical professionals
Perfect Keto is a company that caters to all aspects of ketogenic monitoring, from great-tasting supplements to urine ketone test strips. Products include collage, MCT oils, and delicious nut butters to kickstart your keto journey and keep your taste buds delighted. Trusted in the world of keto, Perfect Keto aims to bring top-quality, lab-grade products to you at an accessible price.
Perfect Keto Strips were developed by medical professionals, specifically for ketogenic diets. These ketone strips will give you accurate results in only 40 seconds. Each pack contains 100 strips to last you about three months with daily monitoring. Instructions are easy to follow for anybody new to the world of keto monitoring.
Perfect Keto is reliable, quick, and incredibly simple to use – and definitely one of the best keto strips on the market.
- Professional grade strips
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Lifetime product guarantee
- Comes with a free eBook
- Comes in packs of 150 strips
One Earth Health is an American company that takes a holistic approach to health, nutrition, and lifestyle. Its products range from air purifiers to mineral supplements specifically designed for those on a ketogenic diet.
If you’re looking to buy American, you’ll be happy to know that One Earth Health ketogenic strips are manufactured right here in the U.S. These professional-grade urine strips come with a lifetime guarantee to ensure total customer satisfaction.
To offer a well-rounded experience, this product comes with a handy, free eBook introducing the basics of a keto diet. The company also provides some helpful meal-plan ideas to kickstart you on your keto-journey and helps you stay motivated.
These ketone strips come in packs of 150. Standard pack sizes from most companies include 100 strips, so you gain a cost advantage in this regard. Suitable for everyday use, you can expect to get up to four and a half months out of a single pack.
- Strips suit ketogenic, Paleo and Atkins diets
- The pack contains 100 strips
- Motivational resources are available
- Lifetime product guarantee
Starting with its brand name, SmackFat gets right to the point. With products designed to eliminate fat fast, the SmackFat range includes keto-friendly pre-workouts, BCAA’s (a group of three essential amino acids that prevent the loss of muscle mass), and test strips.
Simple, accurate, and fast-acting, these urine strips are explicitly designed for keto and will let you know if you’re where you need to be with your nutrition plans.
Designed primarily for those on ketogenic diets, SmackFat also is suitable for Atkins and Paleo diets. SmackFat keto strips will not only determine your urine keto levels but will also help keep you on track with motivational resources. SmackFat offers a video demonstration and educational links to make sure you start your keto journey fully informed and motivated.
Customer support ranks at the top of the list for SmackFat, with its urine strips backed by a lifetime guarantee.
- Fast results
- Easy-to-use strips
Probably a name with which you’re familiar, Precision Xtra offers a range of products dedicated to blood-sugar and ketone monitoring. Precision Xtra products are designed both for medical and nutritional purposes, ranging from simple urine testing strips to a high-end blood glucose monitoring device.
Urine strips come in a pack of 100, which is pretty standard across brands. You may find, however, that Precision Xtra strips usually come in at a slightly higher price than other strips because they are FDA-approved and used for medical purposes. With the increased cost comes extra reassurance of a fast and accurate result. Simply measure it against the color chart and trust the results.
- Urine strips explicitly made for ketogenic diets
- Simple and accurate
- The pack contains 100 strips
As the name suggests, Keto Bars is a company initially focused on bringing a variety of mouth-watering flavors to anybody on a ketogenic or low-carb diet. Keto Bars come in a range of flavors, from dark chocolate to coconut almond, peanut butter, and strawberry to help keep your keto enthusiasm on track.
The Keto Bars more recently began offering keto strips as part of its catalog. Suitable for testing ketones both in a medical environment and for nutritional purposes, Keto Bars strips work fast and deliver accurate results.
These testing strips are excellent quality and come from the people who know all about keto. Stick to the plan and indulge in some high-flavor keto-friendly bars along the way to get the results you want from these keto urine strips.
- Available in a package with Keto Jump
- Made in the U.S.
- Manufactured at FDA-approved laboratories
- Includes information about testing and diet
Nurse Hatty offers professional-grade urine strips that are primarily marketed to the medical industry. Reliable results make them a favorite of hospitals and pharmacies. They also are over-the-counter approved, CE-marked (European approved), and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) – waived. With Nurse Hatty, you can rest assured that your product is FDA-approved and highly accurate.
These ketone testing strips also can be sold as part of a package with Chocolate KetoJump. The informative starter pack includes a guide to ketosis, a fat-loss program, detox diets, and a full nine-week diet plan.
On a more practical note, the urine testing sticks in Nurse Hatty products are 4.2 inches long. This ensures a tidy and hygienic process, with less chance of any unwanted spills when you hold it against the color chart.
Nurse Hatty is a well-rounded brand that offers a broad range of medical devices and products for everyday use and in medical settings. You can expect high-quality and accurate results with this one.
So, those are what we consider to be the six best ketone strips on the market. The majority of these are quite similar in terms of design and use. You will experience variations in the price between brands. For example, more well-known or medical-grade testing strips usually will come in at a slightly higher price. Other things to consider are any bonus features, such as information packs or bulk-buy subscription discounts.
Choosing to make the change to ketogenic is not just a nutritional adaptation. It’s a whole new way of life. Like all things worth doing, adaptation takes time, and you might experience some challenges in the early days. Investing in a trustworthy product or device can make all the difference in keeping your ketone testing simple, accurate, and effective. This ultimately can have a positive impact on your long-term diet and health goals.
Ketosis is not your body’s natural state, and it prefers to use glucose over fat as a fuel source because it’s an easier and more fuel-efficient way to keep your engine going. It can be a difficult process, therefore, to put your body into a state of ketosis, while still maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.
The primary way to trigger ketosis is to restrict carbohydrate intake. The level of restriction required will vary between individuals. This will depend on your age, weight, activity levels, insulin sensitivity and, of course, the all-important genetic influences. On average, however, ketosis will occur if you’re consuming less than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day for a minimum of three days.
Once you achieve a state of ketosis, maintaining it can be your next challenge. This is where regularly testing your urine with ketone urine strips can make things a bit simpler. Each individual will have unique reactions to food intakes and energy output. Personal monitoring of ketone levels in urine is the only way to measure which lifestyle and nutritional choices are working best for you.
If regular urine monitoring indicates that you’re struggling to maintain ketosis, you can make nutritional or exercise adjustments to help. Here are a few tips to help get back into the ketosis sweet spot.
Tips to Maintain Ketosis:
This article is not intended as a substitute for professional nutritional advice. Before making any changes to your diet, we recommend consulting a qualified dietary professional.