Validity of ketostix

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 26, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Hi All,

I've been trying to go keto for about four days for the first time. I think I'm there because I had a terrible headache the last two days combined with my ridiculously bad breath. I understand those to be the classic symptoms.

I ordered ketostix to be sure though and I just received them. When I tested myself the results indicated that there are no ketones in my urine. Is it common to get a false negative? I was reading that the ketones in your body spike post workout. I plan on hitting the gym after I get off work and testing again when I get home tonight.

Thoughts? Should I just ignore the strips?

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on February 27, 2013
at 12:51 AM

Ketostix are not very reliable. If you just drank a big glass of water, the ketones may be too dilute to show on the sticks. It takes a few days of fat burning to start spilling ketones, and once you get stable on a ketogenic diet you may not show on the sticks anymore because your body gets efficient at using the ketones instead of spilling them out of your kidneys.

The best way to measure ketones is with a blood ketone meter. The meters are inexpensive or free, but the strips are VERY expensive. For this reason, most people go by symptoms like the ones you are describing: dry mouth, bad breath, low appetite.

Your headache is probably due to the diuretic effect of reducing carbs. Be sure you're getting plenty of sodium and potassium. Drinking boullion or salted bone broth is good.


on February 27, 2013
at 04:31 PM

Thanks! I tested last night after the gym and again first thing this morning and both times I had a nice purple color. Looks like I'm doing it right!


on February 27, 2013
at 05:03 AM

I did a ketogenic diet a long time ago. They worked. Early morning would be the best time to detect the start of ketosis. Post-workout is hit or miss, I'd guess you'll get a spike more from being dehydrated since you'll be using ketones for energy during the work-out.

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