Keto sticks (ketone test strips)

Keto sticks

I’m often asked if it’s necessary to buy and use keto sticks. They’re small test strips that you dip in urine to see if your body is producing ketones (and therefore indicate if you’ve entered ketosis. I already wrote a post about how to tell if you’re in ketosis but I though this topic deserved a separate post. You can buy some here.

What’s a keto stick?

Like I said, it’s a small test strip and looks like this:

Keto sticks It comes in a small bottle that usually contains 50-100 strips depending on the type you choose. It’s very thin and on one end if it there’s a small square of paper (this is the end you dip in the urine). If there are ketones in your urine the little paper will change colour. The darker it is (light pink up to a purple colour) the more ketones are in your urine.

On the bottle there’s a picture you compare the colour of the paper to.

How do I use a keto stick?

It’s very easy:

  • First of all you pee in a clean and dry cup. For convenience you can buy single use plastic cups in a grocery store and keep them in your bathroom.
  • You take a keto stick out of the bottle and make sure you close it firmly again because any humidity can destroy the remaining sticks in the bottle. This is especially important if you store the bottle in your bathroom where there’s steam from the shower etc.
  • Follow the instructions on the bottle when you dip the stick in the urine. Usually you should only dip for 1 second and shake of the excess urine. Not violently though because you probably don’t want to get pee on your hands.
  • Again follow the instructions to see for how long you have to wait until you can read the results. It shouldn’t be long, probably 30-60 seconds.
  • Compare the colour of the stick to the colour on the bottle. Any shade of pink is usually a positive result.

Other tips

  • If your keto stick shows a negative result don’t worry about it. Just keep eating low carb and try again in a couple of days. If it still doesn’t change colour check and make sure you’re not eating hidden carbs by accident. Read labels, google ingredients/products etc.
  • If your keto stick shows a very dark purple colour, drink more water and make sure you’re getting enough minerals. It’s not “better” to be in the dark purple zone, it usually only suggests that you’re dehydrated!
  • To save money, cut your strips in half 😉
  • Here’s a link to keto sticks on Amazon.
  • There are also blood ketone meters that give a more specific result.



  1. Sam May 2, 2014
    • Lilja May 2, 2014
  2. Don January 18, 2017
  3. Rosie partridge January 20, 2018

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