Can’t get your day started without a cup of coffee? Is coffee the first thing that you look for in the morning?
But wait, is coffee allowed on keto? We have bad news for you. Not all types of coffee are allowed on keto since some contain high amounts of sugar that may increase your blood sugar levels and interfere with ketosis. That’s why you may have to say bye-bye to your caramel macchiato!
However, we have good news for you too! When you choose the right type of coffee, you can enjoy your favorite drink while on a keto diet or a low carb diet!
But wait, there’s more! Getting your caffeine fix may even come with a few more perks. For one, there’s a rumor that coffee speed up ketosis!
How true is this, though? We’re about to find out!
Will Coffee Speed Up Ketosis?
We’ll get straight to the most crucial topic of this article. But before we do that, let us first explore the state of ketosis. Ketosis is the transition that your body goes through when shifting its energy source from glucose to fats.
During this transition, the immediate energy source that your body has is ketone bodies. You can say that you’ve reached the state of ketosis when there’s already enough level of ketones in your blood.
Now, this is where coffee comes in. According to certain studies, drinking coffee in the morning showed increased ketone biomarkers by around 88% to 116% within up to four hours upon consumption. (1)
This is because of the coffee that you consumed breaks down body fat. As a result, it increases the free fatty acids in your blood. These will be converted into ketones by the liver, boosting your ketones level in the process.
The higher your ketones level is, the faster you would reach ketosis. Because of this, we can say that.
Other Benefits You May Get from Caffeine on a Keto Diet
Besides boosting your ketone levels and helping your reach ketosis quicker, caffeine also offers other health benefits. That you should take advantage of when you’re on the ketogenic diet, here are some of the good effects that you may experience:
Increased insulin sensitivity
Caffeine will help increase insulin sensitivity. (2) This is beneficial for you since you’ll consume the sugar in your body more efficiently. This can also help reduce or eliminate your sugar cravings.
Improved physical performance.
Several studies have proven that caffeine can enhance the body’s response to endurance and strength exercises and workouts. (3) This is the reason why this is the go-to supplements of most active people.
This substance is generally considered an ergogenic aid, meaning it can enhance your body’s energy use. It positively affects the body’s recovery and production as well.
However, this is a double-edged sword. If you’re not used to drinking it, coffee consumption before physical activity may make you feel nauseous, anxious, nervous, or jittery.
Managed hunger pangs.
Coffee is also known to curb appetite and reduce hunger pangs. This is because it contains compounds called chlorogenic acids, which can control hunger and suppress appetite. These acids can also be found in certain fruits like blueberries, apples, pear,s and many more.
Boosted brain function
Ketone bodies can cross the blood-brain barrier. Because of this, it’s one of the best fuel sources for your brain cells. Since caffeine can boost ketone levels, your brain cells get more fuel so you can enjoy mental clarity, better cognitive function, and alertness.
Better fat burning effects during exercise
No, coffee doesn’t help you burn more calories while working out. Instead, it facilitates your calorie burn to use more body fat.
You already know that you burn calories while working out. However, most of us don’t understand that the calories you burn come from two sources—the stored carbohydrates or fats in your body. Between the two, your burn more carbs than fats during a workout.
Some studies show that drinking coffee can help you burn more fat than carbs during physical activity. (4) This occurrence is advantageous, especially for keto dieters, since they can do more intense exercise without worrying that their carbohydrate fuel source won’t get depleted.
Let’s face it. Drinking coffee does more than just boost your energy levels—it uplifts your mood as well. This is why it feels as if the world suddenly becomes a happier and better place after drinking one coffee cup.
Potential Downside of Drinking Coffee on Keto
But of course, regular coffee can sometimes be your foe when on the ketogenic diet. It may offer some disadvantages on weight loss. Here are some of them:
There, we said it. Coffee is probably one of the most addictive drinks in the world. That’s why it’s so easy to develop a dependence on it. (5) If you’re a regular coffee drinker and you weren’t able to drink your coffee in the morning, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headache, vomiting, and nausea.
Aside from boosting your ketone levels, coffee increases the levels of cortisol in the body too. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. High levels of this hormone can make you feel jittery, anxious, and nervous. It can also increase your food consumption and appetite. Last but not least, this can also promote fat storage around your abdominal area.
Difficulty Falling Asleep
Caffeine can stimulate your central nervous system. This is the reason why you’re mentally alert and stimulated after drinking coffee. While this is good in the morning or during those times when you need to stay awake, it may not be one of the beneficial effects when you’re trying to catch some sleep at night.
To avoid these effects, it’s recommended that you refrain from scheduling your coffee consumption late in the day. Studies show that the results of coffee may last between 1.5 hours to 9 hours. (6)
Increased Sugar Consumption
As mentioned, not all types of coffee are suitable for a ketogenic diet. If you love Frappuccino, caramel macchiato, or any coffee that’s laden with sugar, you may have to avoid those on keto since the sugar content of these drinks may make up or even go beyond your keto carbohydrate restriction. As a result, it can increase your blood sugar levels and may even kick you out of ketosis in the process.
Even if you’re not on keto but just want to lose weight, the amount of sugar that these drinks have may prevent you from losing the weight you want.
Coffee is a diuretic. This means that it will cause you to pee frequently. As a result, you may become dehydrated. Additionally, specific vitamins and minerals in your body may get depleted as well. This may increase your risk of experiencing electrolyte imbalance, which is already a risk associated with the keto diet. (7)
The best way to avoid this is to limit your coffee consumption. You must assess how much coffee your body can tolerate and consume only what your body can handle.
Tips to Drink Coffee on a Keto Diet
As you may have already realized, caffeine can make or break your ketogenic diet. The difference lies in how you drink your coffee. If you want to take advantage of the benefits of caffeine on keto, here are some coffee-drinking tips that you should know about:
Stick to black.
As much as you can, drink black coffee. This is probably the simplest tip that we can give you. Since it doesn’t contain any sugar or cream, you can get all the benefits that it offers minus the fear that you’re going beyond your carbohydrate limits. This won’t also boost your calorie intake.
Use keto creamer alternatives.
If you can’t stand the thought of drinking pure coffee, the next best thing that you can do is mix keto creamer in your cup of Joe. This is the safe option if you wish to avoid higher blood sugar levels. Some of the keto-friendly alternatives you can use are almond milk, coconut milk, or heavy cream.
Use sugar-free sweeteners or syrups.
If you don’t like black coffee because of its strong taste and you must have sugar in your drinks, we recommend using non-sugar sweeteners and syrups like Stevia and many more.
Avoid drinking coffee in coffee shops or restaurants.
This is because you have no control over what goes into your coffee if you just order them from establishments. As a result, it can be difficult for you to monitor whether your sugar consumption is still in check.
Make your coffee instead.
The best way to ensure that your coffee is still keto-friendly is to make or mix your own. But as much as possible, avoid 3-in-1 coffees too since they already contain sugar. It will be challenging for you to eliminate it from your drink.
Meet the Bulletproof Coffee (aka the Keto Coffee)
If you’re still unsure which type of coffee is safe for ketogenic diet, you may want to try the one they call keto coffee. This is also known as butter coffee or bulletproof coffee. It’s made up of three main ingredients—coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil or coconut oil.
Here are some of the steps to take when preparing it:
- Prepare your coffee. You can prepare it using instant coffee or any coffee of your choice (except for ones that contain sugar and creamer).
- Once your coffee is prepared, add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of MCT oil or coconut oil.
- Mix everything using a frother until you’ve created a smooth mixture.
- Serve and enjoy!
The main reason why bulletproof coffee is the best coffee for the ketogenic diet is MCT oil and grass-fed butter. Both contain a good amount of healthy fats and medium-chain triglycerides. Studies show that consuming these types of fats may lead to great body fat and weight loss.
Not only that, but MCTs are also known to be great instant energy sources on the ketogenic diet. So drinking this coffee will provide you the energy boost that you need too.
Finally, it can help promote better digestion since its coconut oil component may function as a laxative. This is because it lubricates your digestive system so your stool can easily pass through. This may help in address the digestive issues you may feel when on keto.
The answer is pretty clear, drinking coffee can help you reach ketosis faster. Additionally, this can help you get the boost that you need, both physically and mentally. It can even help you lose weight faster.
However, you shouldn’t forget about the fact this may cause negative effects on your diet too. That’s why you must choose the type of coffee you drink wisely and, as much as possible, consume caffeine only in moderation.
If you want to go through your ketogenic diet as smooth sailing as possible, you must familiarize yourself with the keto supplements you need to make the most out of your keto journey. You can discover what these are in this buying guide.