Ketonix ketone breathalyser – first impressions – Ash Simmonds

More information about the purpose of the device here.

Ketonix ketone meter ashsimmondsGot mine delivered this week, landed is about $100 bucks.

Interesting little device, it was only mid last year that the idea of such a thing becoming commercially available was really gaining traction – now all of a sudden there’s this one which seems to be first to market.

It has four LEDs, each one representing a range of acetone/ketones on your breath:

  • Blue – none or trace: 0-150 nmol/L
  • Green – low: 150-400 nmol/L
  • Yellow – medium: 400-930 nmol/L
  • Red – high: 930+ nmol/L


As of right now though there’s a dearth of data about breath ketones and the correlation with serum ketones, so throughout February I’m looking at doing my own extensive testing and recording to add a little N=1 anecdata to the shallow pool. I’ll do mostly strict keto (hell, might even lose a bit of flab :p), but will also mess around with the effects of protein/carbohydrate/alcohol levels – which is otherwise ridiculously expensive to do with blood testing.

When I first plugged it in it took over half an hour before it was ready to take a reading, I emailed the manufacturer and they said initial “burn in” time for the sensor can vary depending on stuff (climate/etc). Subsequent plug-ins have had the device ready to rock within a minute or so – often within 20 seconds.

This is what it looks like when you first plug it into the USB, it goes into disco mode and you basically just have to wait for it to calibrate – at which point it just glows Smurf blue:

Jacked up the contrast / saturation so you can see the LEDs in daylight
(also, spent the weekend drinking in the sun throughout South Australian vineyards)

For the moment I’m content with these coloured ranges, as when you test blood ketones you take that decimal number and end up just categorising it as low/med/high to yourself anyhoo. As the technology progresses I’d like to see actual numbers and perhaps if the correlation is strong enough – a rough estimate of blood ketones, or maybe breath ketones will become the new standard – who knows…

In the end it’s a cool little device for the biohacking geek – I did lots of blood testing a couple years ago and doing that frequently can cost $20 bucks a day, so this baby will pay for itself within a week.

I’ve been blowing a consistent green-yellow for the last couple days, except for today as last night we watched The Wolf Of Wall Street and I had some popcorn/prawn crackers/beer/wine so am currently not particularly ketogenic until my glucose/glycogen disspates again somewhat.

Here’s a vid of me blowing Ketonix:

Anyhoo, looking forward to comparing it with blood and urine ketone samples next month.

Ongoing discussion will be here between blog posts.