Baseline Keto Testing

In my day to day life as LCHF / Keto, I’m not a big ketone tester.  I am however a massive advocate in the advantages of testing from the standpoint of getting a baseline for you particular way of eating and some of these new habits that you may be forming.  Two years into Keto for me, I know from what I have been putting into my body if I am generating ketones or not.  To me its a bit like having a cadence feature on your road bike trip computer or Garmin; the first time you get it you may have a realisation that you are way under or way over on your cadence, but from that moment on, you have a pretty good idea of what speed your turn over is – an occasional check in is all you need to stay on track !  From a lifestyle perspective, what is important to me is that I am healthy, got my weight under control, and my inflammation is quelled.  If one or two days a week I’m not showing high ketone numbers, I’m not bothered that much.  From an endurance perspective, I am more concerned to get deep into ketosis as a big event comes up, so testing becomes more important for me, and whilst on this more intense path, I will learn more about what my body can tolerate and what it can’t.  This learning I can then plug in to my “normal” life be less obsessive with testing every day and night.

I discovered a while ago, that the urine ketone strips are for raw beginners only.  I’d probably go a step further and say they are more likely to cause frustration and false readings as your Keto journey advances – so I’d suggest going straight to a blood or breath meter for everyone.  I have been using the Keto Mojo meter for about 6 months now and am very happy with its simple operation and nice and big display.  I’d like to get the new bluetooth adaptor for it – as I am a gadget guy, but I really don’t need it !  If you were using this meter because of a health care problem, and having and accurate recording tracking all you measurements to show your health care professional was important – then getting the new toggle would be a big advantage. Here is a small clip of how the Keto Mojo works.

So knowing your baseline is important !  In some previous posts I’ve looked at the effect of various nutrition on my own ketogenic status.  In each of these posts I have said at the end of my experiments “now all thats left is to know the baseline – which is the effect of just the exercise alone – with zero nutritional intake”.  Today I did my first baseline experiment, or what affect exercise has on my Ketrogenic status.

To be 100% honest, my pre-conceived notion was that taking this baseline was a waste of time and would give me nothing extra to consider about being Keto and doing endurance sports.  How wrong I was !

Todays session was an 8 km interval run.  Aerobic 1 km warm up, then 500m pushing to tempo or top of Aerobic, then recover 500m in aerobic zone.  I am in a build phase of my training so I don’t have any need or desire to push hard in the tempo, I just wanted to “shift through the gears” and have a session that ticked my training schedule as well as something that could serve to test the impact of the session alone on my Ketogenic state.

I’d been up for about 2 hours, and had a bulletproof coffee pretty early upon getting out of bed.  Some of my previous tests I’ve looked at my BSL and been unhappy with how high they seem very early in the morning, but on reflection have put that down to “dawn phenomenon” – In an effort to contradict everything I’ve said above, some more testing of BSL in the hours after getting up I believe will show that for me, BSL stabilises an hour or so after my morning coffee – thus for a base line test waiting a few hours is prudent !

The above snip from Garmin Connect show my HR for the exercise session.  The pre-workout reading of Ketones was 2.0 and the post-workout reading was 0.6 – I know, staggering right !!!!  BSL was 98 pre and went up over 110 post!  Here is a clip of my testing.

My hypothesis is at this point, that given the relatively short exercise period, the changes in my hormones; perhaps cortisol?? are having an adverse effect on my BSL which is having a knock on to my ketone levels.  My hope is that in longer tests, these impacts will smooth out and be a non-issue in longer events – I guess it would be also interesting to see the same distance run, without the tempo sets even 500 m, so keeping it all low and slow !  My preliminary conclusions at this moment in time would be to be more prudent at the start of an endurance race to avoid anything that would impact BSL – perhaps the first hour could include something like Perfect Keto exogenous ketones !  So there’s at least 2 more baseline tests needed and another “product” test – I’ll need another tube of Keto-Mojo strips !!! #ketomojo


I’ll add more baseline tests to this post – so they are all in the one spot !


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