Here's an article on the "sticks" and ketosis you might find interesting:

The color of the stick shows how concentrated the ketones are in your urine. So, if you drink lots of water, the stick will be light, and if you don't drink, it will be dark.


This is not the way ketosis works, but is a myth that continues to be perpetuated because it logically sounds like it should be true. Ketones are only present in the urine if there are excess ketones in the bloodstream, and then these excess ketones "spill over" into the urine. This can happen at various times during the day. Your level of blood ketosis fluctuates all day long depending on what you eat, and there may or may not be an excess amount to spill into the urine at any given time. The amount of ketones is not static in either the bloodstream or the urine, and their presence in the urine is simply excess that spill over once the blood ketosis level reaches a certain level. A dark reading indicates nothing more than the fact that the bloodstream happened to contain a lot of ketones at that moment, and spilled a lot of them into the urine at that moment. This is why even if you read negative at certain times during the day it doesn't mean you are out of ketosis, it just means that your bloodstream isn't making excess ketones at that moment. You don't go in and out of ketosis all day depending on your stick reading, even though you can test positive at one point, and ten minutes later be negative, or vice versa.

It's also important to know this -- even though the stick is dark and reads "large," this does not indicate a "large" amount of ketones for our healthy kidneys to handle. Don't be scare by that "large" label. Don't forget, these sticks were originally made for diabetics, not dieters, and a "large" reading to them indicates something completely different than it does for us dieters. In general, these stix are also meant for screening purposes and not to make any definitive diagnoses. If a stick turns up a positive reading of any kind, it's a signal for a doctor to do further testing.

Drink lots of water, yes, as this diet is a diuretic and you need to replace fluids...but don't do it simply to change your ketostix color from dark purple.

--Nancy Eaton (who formerly was a clinical consultant for Ames, which is now Bayer, who makes Ketostix and many other kinds of diagnostic test strips and equipment)