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Coffee and Keto: All You Need to Know

Coffee and Keto: All You Need to Know

Clark Clark
6 minute read

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Keto embraces coffee consumption. So if you’re thinking about trying keto, rest assured that your morning coffee is safe from sacrifice. Note: certain coffee drinks are better than others for keto.

Is coffee keto-friendly? Yes, coffee is keto-friendly. Coffee has no net carbs and won’t throw off your macros. Also, an 8oz cup of coffee without additives is less than 5 calories which is a nice bonus for those counting calories.

What is keto?

Keto, or the ketogenic diet, is an extremely low-carb diet that has recently gained popularity. The goal of keto is to drastically decrease the number of carbohydrates consumed (some go so far as to fastfrom carbs). In short, keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet that aims to maximize the metabolism of stored fat. 

Here’s how it works: Usually, the body processes carbs first because they are the simplest form of energy. During keto, carbs are replaced with healthy fat and protein. When the body senses the lack of carbs, it starts burning a new energy source: fat. Once the body enters the metabolic state of ketosis, ketones are released to begin fat burning. This is why ketosis lends itself well to weight loss.

One perk of keto is that it helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Keto aids in increasing insulin sensitivity which means cells in the body are better able to absorb glucose and process it. In fact, keto is often recommended for people with type 2 diabetes. 

All too often in the typical high net carb American diet, our systems are overwhelmed with sugar and it ends up being stored as fat before it can be used. Keto can help do away with those unhealthy sugar spike cycles.

How much coffee can you drink a day on keto?There are no set limits for coffee on the keto diet. The FDA recommends no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day on any diet, which equates to about 4 cups of coffee.

Some keto coffees can be calorically dense. For instance, if you add cream or butter to your coffee to stay in ketosis, you would want to watch your coffee intake more carefully.

Does coffee breakketosis?No, coffee does not break ketosis. Typically, eating more than 50 grams of carbs is what stops ketosis in its tracks.

Caffeine and Ketogenesis

Coffee’s most recognized compound is caffeine. While caffeine gains its fame from giving a quick energy boost, it could also aid in ketogenesis. As its name suggests, ketogenesis is the start of the biochemical process which produces ketone bodies. These ketones help break down fatty acids.

A 2017 study found that caffeine helped increase ketone production. 

What does caffeine do to you?Caffeine is a stimulant that primarily affects the central nervous system. Once processed, caffeine travels to the brain and blocks adenosine receptors. Adenosine is responsible for making the body relax and grow tired. Not only does caffeine prevent fatigue from setting in, but it also puts the body on alert by

  • Increasing heart rate
  • Enhancing focus
  • Improving mood
  • Increasing metabolism

It stands to reason that caffeine via coffee could prove beneficial to a keto diet.

5 Ways to Enjoy Coffee on Keto

Certain types of coffee are more conducive to keto. Unless you order coffee black, steer clear of coffee chains like Starbucks, as their drinks tend to include loads of added sugar. 

Caffeine isn’t the only benefit you’ll get from coffee on the keto diet. There are several keto coffee recipes to bulk up your cup with added fat and protein. Here are the best ways to drink coffee on keto:

1. Black Coffee

Unsweetened black coffee is always a safe bet. This way, you get the health benefits of coffee without compromising your keto diet.

2. Add MCT Oil

MCTs, or medium-chain triglycerides, are fats that are easier to digest. They also aid in the production of ketones. The best sources of MCT oil include coconut oil and palm oil.

If you’re concerned about how MCT oil will affect your cup of coffee, fear not! MCT oil is odorless and flavorless, so it will blend into the background of your brew. MCT oil has several other health benefits, including:

  • Suppressing appetite
  • Jump starting metabolism
  • Enhancing physical performance while exercising
  • Helping sustain a state of ketosis

3. Try Heavy Cream or Keto Creamer

If black coffee is a bit too intense or if you’re looking to smooth out the flavor of your coffee, adding whipping cream could help.

While whole milk is permitted in the keto diet; however, it’s somewhat discouraged because of its carb content. You might try alternative milks like almond milk or coconut milk as they contain far fewer carbs than dairy.

Craving some flavor? Adding keto coffee creamers boosts the flavor AND the fat content of your coffee. Win-win.

4. Check Out Sugar-Free Sweeteners

While artificial sweeteners like erythritol and aspartame can sweeten without sugar, do some research before adding them, as some can be addictive.

Instead, opt for natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit extract. These are generally healthier ways to sweeten coffee.

5. Just Add Butter

Butter coffee is a rich drink that many keto dieters use to replace breakfast. Proponents of butter coffee claim that it increases satiety and releases energy throughout the day as fat tends to slow digestion.

You can flavor grass-fed butter or ghee with cinnamon or vanilla for a richer taste.

6. Add Protein

Because keto emphasizes fats and proteins instead of carbs, many keto dieters mix protein powder into their coffee. This helps them maintain the macronutrient balance necessary to stay in ketosis.

7. Spice It Up

You might consider adding cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to spice up your cup of joe. Turmeric coffee is increasingly popular for a reason. Not only does turmeric add flavor, it has been linked to health benefits like reducing risk of inflammation and heart disease.

The Best Keto Coffee

Which coffee is best for keto?The best coffee for keto is unsweetened coffee with MCT oil and grass-fed butter or ghee. Many people add cinnamon for a richer flavor.

Want that in recipe form? We got you. You’ll need:

  • 10-12oz hot brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 tablespoon MCT oil
  • Cinnamon (or any herb/spice you like) to your taste
  • Pinch of sea salt (optional)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth, then pour and enjoy!

As always, Golden Ratio is here to offer you an excellent coffee experience. Our original gold can help you craft the perfect keto cup of coffee.


  1. Caffeine intake increases plasma ketones: an acute metabolic study in humans.

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