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Coffee and Ketosis: How to Take Advantage of Caffeine

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The popularity of coffee cannot be underestimated, especially on a keto diet. Many people turn to Bulletproof or keto coffee every morning, while others rely on keto creamers instead.  

Despite the advantages, coffee remains somewhat controversial. The caffeine it contains is a stimulant, one that has positive and negative impacts on the body.

In this article, we’re looking at the relationship between coffee and ketosis, focusing on one interesting recent piece of recent research.

How Caffeine Affects Ketones

The study in question looked at the relationship between caffeine intake and ketone levels. Caffeine was provided in the form of crushed tablets during breakfast. 

Doses were 0 mg/kg, 2.5 mg/kg and 5.0 mg/kg (depending on the study day). These are equivalent to no coffee, 1.5 cups of coffee and 3 cups of coffee.

The study found the following outcomes:

  • Keto production was increased by 88% for the low dose and 116% for the high dose.
  • The result was dose-dependent, with the higher dose giving a better outcome.
  • Free fatty acid levels increased, suggesting that the caffeine was breaking down fats.

This information suggests that similar effects would occur when drinking coffee during breakfast.

If you wanted to follow this technique at home you would drink several cups of coffee at, or near breakfast.  

Implications of the Study

These outcomes show that, when consumed with breakfast, caffeine can significantly increase ketone levels. Caffeine also complements a keto diet in other ways:

  • Caffeine can help to lower hunger and promote weight loss (1,2).
  • It also helps decrease insulin sensitivity (3), which may reduce sugar cravings.
  • Caffeine has implications for energy balance too, helping to improve thermogenesis and fat oxidation (4).

The effects also suggests that you could see benefits by using caffeine supplements, including variations like L-theanine and caffeine. Just be sure to watch out for any fillers.

Of course, for many people, coffee will be the main source of caffeine.

Is Coffee Keto Friendly?

Coffee is an extremely good match for a keto diet. It won’t kick you out of ketosis (unless you’re loading it with carbs) and gives you a boost of energy first thing in the day.

In fact, coffee can be beneficial for a keto diet, especially if you’re adding in healthy fats.

  • Having fat in the morning helps you feel full and provides energy. This makes it easier to stick to your diet, while preventing blood sugar spikes.
  • The polyphenols in coffee can also help promote weight loss (5).
  • Many people drink Bulletproof coffee in the morning instead of breakfast, as a variation on intermittent fasting. This approach is easier on the body than a complete intermittent fast and offers most of the same benefits.

The authors also mentioned that combining caffeine with MCTs could help to increase ketosis levels further. The effect wasn’t considered in the study, but it suggests the importance of adding MCT oil to coffee.

For people who don’t normally consume breakfast, the addition of fat to coffee could help ensure that ketone benefits are still observed.

Why Some People Avoid Coffee

Despite the benefits, some people avoid coffee, for fear that it will kick them out of ketosis. Some studies do imply this, showing that coffee can increase blood sugar levels. But, that outcome strongly depends on the food that is served with the coffee.

The study highlighted here clearly shows that the overall result is increased ketones, along with more free fatty acids.

Besides, many keto dieters drink coffee daily while remaining in ketosis.

With how popular coffee is, if it forced people out of ketosis, we’d know about it by now.

Final Thoughts

There is much still to learn about coffee, caffeine and ketosis, but this study is an important step. It illustrates the benefits of caffeine first thing in the morning. That’s perfect for anyone who loves keto coffee, along with regular coffee drinkers.

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Coffee and Ketosis

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