Any Experience with blood ketone meters?

by (1987) Updated July 23, 2014 at 1:13 AM Created May 18, 2012 at 3:29 PM

I have never been able to change a keto stick so I decided to get a blood ketone meter and see how that would work. Does anyone know what reading would indicate ketosis?
The product insert is geared more towards "Danger diabetic! Get yourself to a hospital!" vs. "nah, you're ok". If anyone has any non diabetic experience with one of these devices I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have.

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8 Replies

4544 · May 19, 2012 at 2:05 PM

If anyone has any non diabetic experience with one of these devices I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have.

I've used them for years and recommend them. Here's an article I wrote about one particular ketone meter, the Precision Xtra:

Precision Xtra on Ketocure.com

Does anyone know what reading would indicate ketosis?

Ketosis is a matter of degree. It's something that gets higher and lower. Home blood ketone meters measure one of the three ketones that the body uses as fuel, beta-hydroxybutyrate (β-OHB). As shown in the first graph below, in average people, β-OHB can range from trace amounts to about 6 mmol/L. But the graph shows blood levels of β-OHB. Home meters show plasma levels. A blood level of 6 is equivalent to a higher plasma level.

In my own case, over two years of testing, my plasma β-OHB has ranged from 0.2 to 7.7. The 0.2 was on a normal (not ketogenic) diet. The 7.7 was on a 2000-calorie-per-day diet with 90% of calories from fat.


Source of first graph: Cahill, GF Jr. Fuel Metabolism in Starvation. Annual Review of Nutrition. 2006; 26: 1–22

355 · May 19, 2012 at 5:23 AM

Lucas Tarfur's comments here may be useful.

Also, RobS keeps his beta-hydroxybutyrate above 5.5 on the Johns Hopkins epilepsy ratio.

11157 · May 18, 2012 at 3:44 PM

I bought a blood ketone meter a couple of weeks ago, and have been testing my ketone levels every evening, as suggested by Volek & Phinney in "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance".

The process is similar to a regular blood glucose meter (in fact it is a regular glucose meter, but with special strips), although the ketone testing process requires a little more blood than a BG test.

The meter is very cheap but the strips are expensive, about $3-5 a test, even if you get them through ebay.

The process has been really illuminating for me as I think I've discovered that despite eating <20g of carbs a day, I'm pushing myself out of ketosis by sometimes eating too much protein. It's also interesting to see the lack of correlation between blood ketones and urine ketones (as measured by ketostix).

Jimmy Moore is also doing a similar 60 day n=1 experiment right now.

0 · July 23, 2014 at 1:13 AM

Hi Ketosistools here just letting all know that we sell

precision xtra ketone test strips at a very discounted price.

www.ketosistools.com or search ketosistools on the storenvy page.

0 · November 18, 2013 at 4:22 AM

@borofergie It's a great book isn't it! (phinney's)

Just wanted to let you know that I found the cheapest place online to buy test strips ; $1.59 per strip! I buy from them all the time... www.ketosistools.com

What are the macros you've found to work for you? (I'm a body builder and it's real tough when I have to eat a specific amount of protein to build/repair muscle...)


0 · October 28, 2013 at 6:40 AM

Nice to see your post, and welcome to turn to me for some advice when you need path of exile orbs the in your game. Have a nice day.

0 · September 09, 2012 at 8:13 AM

Hi all,

This is how I do it and it works well everytime...

I keep my protein between 75 - 100% of my lean body weight (lbw) and my carb is 50g or less at all times. Your calories goes up/down depend on your fat NOT protein/carb.


Name: Bob

170Ibs with 10% bodyfat = 153Ibs (lbw). He will eat between 112 - 153g of protein per day. Calories?... he will eat between 2,500 to 3,000 a day.

Exactly, how much protein will Bob need to eat? Easy, on the heavy training day, he will eat up to 153g, which is 100% of his lbw. Continue with 153g for the next 24 hours. After 24 hours, Bob will go back to 75% of lbw, which is 112g.

The only time your body demands approx 100% of your lbw in protein is on the heavy training day and it lasted up to 24 hours. After that, the body doesn't need as much and will not over-spill any carb from the protein.

So, on a normal day, doing things like walking, shopping, gardening, reading etc... 75% of your lbw in protein will be more than enough. The ONLY time you may eat up to 100% of your lbw in protein is on heavy day.


0 · May 18, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Do you mind posting an Amazon link to the meter you use? Thx

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