Caffeine and Ketosis – Is Coffee Ok on a Keto Diet?

Coffee, Caffeine and Ketosis
Coffee, Caffeine, and Ketosis

You know how it goes; you just can’t start the day without a good strong coffee to get you up and running.

But what about the interaction between caffeine and ketosis, does coffee have a negative effect on a ketogenic diet? Or any LCHF diet for that matter.

This is a good question not only for coffee but for other caffeinated beverages such as soda, energy drinks, and some supplements.

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The first thing I’d like to address is that there is no scientific study that points to any negative or positive interaction between caffeine and ketosis.

However, Dr. Atkins (for which the Atkins Diet is named) does make a point of advising that people consume caffeine in moderation and that caffeine has been shown to cause hypoglycemic reactions in people who consume large amounts of it.

Whether that reaction occurs in people who are on the Keto or other LCHF diets remains to be known.

How Much Coffee Can I Drink On Keto?

Debate rages about the amount of coffee we can drink on keto.

While many people load up on bulletproof coffees and espresso shots through the day, others can’t tolerate the stimulation at all.

The amount of coffee you can have on keto varies between individuals as it does for people who eat any kind of food.

Research has shown that caffeine increases metabolic rate and promotes body fat loss.

There also some suggestions that caffeine may increase ketone levels through it fat burning properties.

Personal Experience on Caffeine and Ketosis with my Keto Diet

From personal experience I see no negative impact on ketosis from consuming caffeinated beverages, I drink probably too much coffee, the odd energy drink, and caffeinated sodas from time to time and still maintain a state of ketosis.

The best way to know whether or not what you’re drinking or eating is throwing you out of ketosis is to test yourself with a blood ketone glucose meter like this one here about 45 minutes after consumption.

It must also be noted that one guy’s experience doesn’t form the basis of credible scientific research, that my friends would be “bro science.” So it’s for you to make the decision about what is best for you.

I drink coffee and sodas because I like them, caffeine certainly isn’t purposely put into my diet for any nutritional benefit, and if you can do life without it, I say, “good on you.”

What I can say for sure is, if you:

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  1. Add sugar or consume caffeinated beverages with sugar in them that they will throw you out of ketosis. So NO SUGAR. If you must sweeten your coffee, use a natural sweetener such as xylitol or stevia. You can read more about natural and artificial sweeteners here.
  2. NO MILK that means skim too, particularly if you have several coffees throughout the day as the carbs will add up. You can replace milk with unsweetened full fat cream, just enough to taste. Full fat cream will also provide energy in the form of fats.

Some Facts About Caffeine

  • Caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream within 45 minutes of consumption so wait until then to test caffeine and ketosis with a blood ketone meter  It takes around 12 hours for caffeine to be completely eliminated from the body
  • Caffeine withdrawal is listed as a real mental health condition in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5).

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