When and how often should I test?

Updated 11 months ago by Erika

There are so many opinions out there about how often to test. We want to share with you information, resources, and some of our own practices so you can make an educated decision on what's best for you. 

Let's start here: The very best time to test is when it is convenient for you, especially since consistency is important. If you choose a time that's convenient for you to test daily,  you'll be more likely to continue testing on time, and thus be able to compare your results to prior days at the same time.

How often to test really depends on what you are looking to achieve; testing at least twice a day will give you a picture of an overall baseline of what is normal for you and what fluctuations are occurring.

 When We Test for Ketones and Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG)

  • An hour after waking (before drinking and eating). It's a good idea to wait an hour after waking due to the "dawn effect" (an abnormal early-morning increase in blood sugar/glucose) In the morning, glucose will be higher and ketones are generally at their lowest.
  • At noon, before a meal
  • Before an evening meal
  • Optional: before a meal and at 30, 60, and 120 minutes after eating to see how you are reacting to the foods you're eating. (We call this curiosity testing). Please note that glucose strips give better indications of food reactions because glucose fluctuates faster than ketones. For example, glucose reaches its peak one hour after eating, while ketones take much longer to generate. 

Reliable Resources
Below is a list of people and websites offering more insights and differing opinions on where, when, and why to test. If you start checking out these folks and search and join keto-centric Facebook groups, you'll have a great chance of finding all the information you're looking for.

Jason Fung, MD (fasting expert)
Andreas Eenfeldt, MD https://www.dietdoctor.com
Eric Sodicoff, MD
Domonic D'Agostino https://ketonutrition.org/
Professor Tim Noakes https://thenoakesfoundation.org/
Miriam Kalamian, CNS https://www.dietarytherapies.com/
Dave Feldman http://cholesterolcode.com/
Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD & Jeff Volek, PhD, RD https://www.virtahealth.com/

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