Is Coffee Keto?

If you’re like the majority of people you need a strong hit of caffeine in the morning in order to get up and get going. But is that morning brew Keto-friendly? Is your coffee hurting your Keto or might it actually be helping it? The short answer is, yes, coffee is allowed on the Keto diet! Before you go off and make a pot read this article to get a better understanding of what coffee is best suited for Keto, what to avoid and how you can make your regular cup a joe even more beneficial for your Keto.

Keto and carbs

On the Keto diet, you’re attempting to keep your net carbs to 20g daily if you’re male and 25g daily if you’re female. Net carbs are the carbohydrates that your body can’t digest and turn into glucose. Fiber and sugar alcohols are both carbohydrates but your body can’t turn them into glucose so they’re subtracted from your total carb count. In order to find the net carbs of an item of food you simply find the total carbs and you subtract and carbs that come from fibre or sugar alcohols. For example, if your food contained 12g of total carbs and 1g of both fiber and sugar alcohols then you’d subtract the 2g of indigestible carbohydrates and be left with a net carb count of 10g.

The reason that Keto limits your carbs is based on how your body processes energy. High-carb diets rely on glucose for energy which is quick to produce but also quick to burn out which leaves you hungry and dealing with sugar highs and lows throughout your day. The Keto diet, on the other hand, allows your body to access your stored body fat and turn it into an energy source known as ketones. In order for your body to chose ketones as its energy source over glucose, you need to keep your net carbs low.

Is coffee Keto?

Yes! Black coffee is definitely Keto. The average cup of black coffee has no carbs and no calories. This means that black coffee isn’t an obstacle to your Keto diet. There are some factors to take into account when you’re trying to decide whether you should keep your morning cup a joe or replace it with something else. Caffeine content and additives such as sugar and milk need to be taken into consideration in order to make sure that your coffee is Keto-friendly.

Caffeine and the Keto diet

The research surrounding caffeine and Keo is a little hazy. The majority of researchers believe that a little bit of caffeine actually encourages your body to perform better in ketosis. Caffeine is known to speed up your metabolism and help you lose weight. The key is to only drink as much as you personally can handle. Everyone handles caffeine differently. Some people can guzzle a whole pot of coffee in a day without feeling any different while others find that the “wired” feeling that one cup of coffee gives them is too much to handle.

Are creamer and milk Keto?

Although dairy is allowed in moderation on Keto, you should avoid putting milk in your coffee if you can help it. Milk contains lactose, which is basically milk sugars. A glass of regular whole milk has 12g of net carbs. Obviously you’re not going to be putting a whole glass in your coffee; however, if you put a tablespoon in your coffee and you have multiple cups a day you can see how it could quickly add up! If you are going to be putting milk in your coffee try to only use a little and make it whole milk for the benefits you’ll get from the healthy fats.

Instead of cow’s milk, you can try to use Keto-friendly milk such as almond, coconut, flax, soy, macadamia, cashew or pea milk. Not all of these work well in coffee due to curdling but oat milk, almond milk, soy milk and coconut milk should all work well. Each milk has its own flavor and you need to be sure that you get the unsweetened variety to avoid any hidden sugars and carbs.

When it comes to creamers, the best bet is to say no. Their sugary sweetness comes from sugars that you can’t have on Keto. There are some plant and nut-based creamers that are Keto friendly but you need to be very careful that they don’t contain any hidden sugars or preservatives.

Can you add sugar or sugar substitutes to your coffee on Keto?

Sugar is something to be avoided at all costs on Keto. It spikes your glucose levels which throw you out of ketosis. This doesn’t mean that you have to drink your coffee without a hint of sweetness. If you’ve been considering switching to Keto but you’re concerned that you’ll miss your daily dash of sugar in your coffee then there are several Keto-friendly alternatives that you can consider.

There are a lot of companies that sell sugar replacements that are labelled as Keto-friendly. Don’t trust everything that’s advertised. In order for your sweetener to be Keto compatible it needs to be made from a natural source such as Stevia, monk fruit or erythritol. These sweeteners are naturally sourced and they won’t cause your blood sugar to skyrocket, kicking you out of ketosis.

Stevia is made from the leaves of the Stevia plant which is native to South America and has been used as a dietary supplement for a while. Erythritol is a carbohydrate, but it’s also a sugar alcohol. If you recall from above, your body can’t digest sugar alcohols and turn them into glucose so this makes Erythritol a safe sweetener to have on Keto. It’s often made from fermented plants such as corn. Monk fruit is made from the fruit of its name and it’s roughly 150 times sweeter than sugar meaning that a little goes a long way! There are no carbs, sugar or calories in monk fruit extract which makes it super Keto friendly.

Try to avoid any sweeteners made with chemicals and artificial ingredients that sound like they belong in a lab. If you’re worried it’s a good idea to stick with adding a few drops or sprinkles of Stevia, monk fruit or erythritol to your coffee in their pure form and skip the sugar replacement concoctions that are advertised to be Keto-friendly.

Bulletproof coffee

Bulletproof coffee is Keto’s personal version of coffee with a decidedly Keto twist. Bulletproof coffee has a healthy fat boost from butter, ghee, MCT oil or cream. This added fat helps you get your necessary fat calories while adding some flavor to your coffee. Generally, you would add a tablespoon of fat to each cup of coffee.

It’s important to note that a lot of the fat additions that you can add to your Keto coffee are actually higher in saturated fats which isn’t good for your heart or blood pressure. If you can stick to adding oils like coconut oil you’d be better off. You should also pay attention to your calories. Black coffee may have little to no calories but once you start adding oils, fats and creams then the calories start to add up quickly!

To make Bulletproof coffee you begin with a cup of your favorite black coffee and you add a tablespoon of your preferred oil or fat. It’s best to blend these in a blender or whip them by hand to help the oil incorporate into the coffee. After that, you can add in some spices such as cinnamon or vanilla and if you want you can add a dash of heavy cream to really up the flavor.

Alternatives to coffee on Keto

If you’re hunting for an alternative to coffee on Keto then there are plenty of options to chose from. You can start by looking for tea. Black, green, white and oolong tea all contain caffeine in various amounts. None of them has the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, but black tea comes pretty close. If you’re looking to get away from caffeine altogether then you can’t go wrong with an herbal tea such as peppermint, chamomile or lavender. The same rules apply with teas as with coffee: don’t add in any milk or sugar unless it’s a Keto approved substitute!

Matcha is a great Keto-friendly alternative to coffee. Matcha is basically powdered green tea. Instead of boiling water and letting your tea bags steep, matcha shortens the process by allowing you to simply pour boiling water over the powder, stir and enjoy. It contains more caffeine than green tea leaves, but less than coffee.

If you’re looking to replace your morning coffee with something that will give you an energy boost without the jitters then you might want to consider a breakfast smoothie or shake. You can make them with nut milk, protein powder and berries to give your body a gentle burst of energy in the morning. Adding in some flax seeds or chia seeds will give you some healthy fats along with a long-lasting energy source.


If you’re concerned with giving up your morning coffee you don’t have to worry. Keto allows for black coffee as well as the additions of some natural sweeteners, fats, spices and cream so you can add flavor to your morning beverage while sticking to your Keto meal plan. If you’re looking for an alternative, tea, matcha, shakes and smoothies can all deliver a boost of energy that rivals coffee.

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