This test analyses the levels of ketones in your urine to see whether you are in a state of nutritional ketosis when following a ketogenic diet. Ketones are produced when carbohydrate intake is restricted, and fats and proteins are broken down to supply cellular energy instead. Without glucose from carbohydrates, the body needs to find alternative forms of fuel and uses up fats and proteins in a process called ketosis.
Low-carbohydrate-ketogenic diets (LCKD) have been shown to help reduce appetite, improve insulin resistance, and optimise blood sugar balance, which in turn can support healthy weight balance and optimal health. There are many versions of low-carb-ketogenic diets with varying amounts of carbohydrates recommended, though it is generally agreed that <20-50g of carbohydrate is consumed per day on a typical LCKD. This pushes the body to use fats and proteins for fuel instead. It can take several weeks to adapt to a ketogenic diet and to get used to being in nutritional ketosis, and it is important to keep monitoring the balance of your meals and your ketone levels.
This test analyses the acid/alkaline balance of your urine. A low pH (lower than 6) indicates acidic urine, and a higher pH (above 8) indicates alkaline urine. A score of 7 is neutral. Urine pH reflects the level of metabolic acids and alkalis that your kidneys are processing. One of the major factors affecting pH is the food we eat. A diet high in grains, refined sugary foods, and protein-rich animal products produces more acids whereas fruits and vegetables have an alkalising effect. Maintaining pH balance is essential for energy, physical performance, and optimal functioning of all body systems, especially the musculoskeletal system – our bones and muscles. Over a long period of time, high acidity can cause minerals like calcium to be leached from bone tissue in order to buffer the acidity. Long term diets high in animal proteins and phosphorus and lacking alkalising fruits and vegetables are linked to osteoporosis, hypertension, and insulin resistence.
This test analyses vitamin C levels. As humans, we cannot make our own vitamin C and must get it from our diet. It is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells against inflammation and damage by harmful molecules called free radicals. Vitamin C is needed for strong immunity, energy, wound healing, healthy vision, and coping with stress, and it is essential to eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin C to maintain your body’s requirements. Good options include watercress, berries, kiwi fruit, citrus fruit, broccoli, peas, parsley, and peppers. Vitamin C is water soluble and any that is left unused by the body is excreted in urine. This frequently happens when taking a multivitamin or a vitamin C supplement.
This test analyses your hydration level and looks at whether you are drinking enough fluid. In a normal healthy adult, water makes up around 55% of body weight in women and 60% in men. Your body uses water for many functions including digestion, brain function, cushioning joints, carrying nutrients into cells, and removing wastes, supporting normal blood pressure, regulating body temperature, and maintaining electrolyte balance. Good hydration is key to optimising everyday physical and mental performance.
Water requirements are highly individual, and vary according to activity level, seasonal temperature (we all need to drink more in hot weather), pregnancy, health conditions, and medications. On average, most adults require at least 1.2-1.6l of water per day – which equates to 6-8 x 200ml glasses. This amount increases in warmer weather, and when doing strenuous activity. Around 20% of this total can come from foods like soup, fruit, and salad. While many experts include tea, coffee and soft drinks in the total fluid intake amount, these drinks often contain sugar or artificial sweeteners, and caffeine which has a diuretic effect. Drinking 6 cups of tea, coffee or soft drinks does not provide the same net water gain as 6 glasses of water.
It is especially important to hydrate before exercise to support muscle function, circulation, and overall performance. A small-scale study of male and female recreational athletes investigated this issue and found that drinking 600ml of water 45mins before a training session enabled the athletes to arrive for training adequately hydrated rather than mildly dehydrated.
This test analyses the calcium levels in your urine. Calcium has many functions in the body. As an electrolyte mineral it works alongside potassium, sodium, and magnesium to conduct electricity in nerves and muscles, support pH levels, and maintain fluid levels inside and outside of every cell in the body. When electrolytes are out of balance due to illness, poor diet, or excessive hydration, energy production, muscle function, and physical performance are all affected.
High salt diets increase sodium levels (table salt contains sodium) which in turn increases calcium excretion and alters the overall balance of electrolytes. We do need some salt from our diets, but it is important to be mindful of hidden sources of salt that can be contributing to high sodium levels.
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