On the ketogenic (keto) diet, beverages such as fruit juice, smoothies, energy drinks, sodas, and many types of alcohol aren’t allowed.
This is because these drinks contain high amounts of carbohydrates, and consuming too many of these can take you over your daily carbohydrate limit (which is relatively low when you’re on the keto diet).
Luckily for the caffeine lovers out there, coffee is not on the ‘banned beverages’ list of the keto diet. Coffee itself doesn’t contain many carbohydrates, so drinking it black with no added milk or sugar is suitable when you’re on a low-carb diet.
Even if you’re not very clued on the keto diet, you’ve probably heard about keto coffee. But if keto is already on the acceptable list of beverages for those following the keto diet, why is there a specific ‘keto coffee’? What is keto coffee, anyway?
In this article, you’ll learn what keto coffee is, why people drink it, and how to make keto coffee.
What is Keto Coffee?
Keto coffee is essentially coffee with added fat. Also known as bulletproof coffee, keto coffee is a cup of coffee that is made using high-fat ingredients, such as butter, MCT oil, or coconut oil.
As one of the few beverages that are allowed on the keto diet, keto coffee has gained popularity amongst those who are trying to follow this low-carb way of eating.
You add these high-fat substances instead of adding the usual ‘milk and two sugars’, which are full of carbohydrates. This way, you can create a delicious cup of hot coffee without increasing your carbohydrate intake too much.
Admittedly, adding butter to your coffee doesn’t sound like the most appealing thing to most people. But it’s not as bad as you might first think, and many people who are following the ketogenic diet swear by their morning cup of keto coffee.
What Does Keto Coffee Do?
To answer the question of ‘what does keto coffee do’, we need to first talk about what the ketogenic diet is and why people follow it.
The keto diet is a low-carbohydrate diet where you consume no more than 50 grams of carbs each day. You can consume a moderate amount of protein and a high amount of fat.
The idea behind eating a low number of carbs is to encourage your body to switch from burning glucose (sugar) for energy to burning fat for energy.
Normally, glucose is the preferred source of energy for the body but after just a few days of following the keto diet, your body will start to break down fat stores to continue functioning optimally.
When your body enters this fat-burning state, you are said to be in ketosis. The main benefits of ketosis are said to be increased weight loss and enhanced cognitive performance. Many people also say that they have mental clarity when they are following a keto diet.
So, cycling back to keto coffee…
Keto coffee provides little to no carbs, meaning it does not bring your body out of ketosis.
Therefore, if you drink a cup of bulletproof coffee in the mornings in place of your usual carb-containing breakfast, you can continue your fast for longer. You can keep your body in ketosis for a few more hours to reap the benefits of keto coffee and the ketogenic diet even more.
Whether you make your keto coffee with MCT oil, butter, ghee, or coconut oil, the fat content of keto coffee provides your body with energy. So, despite not eating any food, you will have energy for the day ahead.
Note that if you’re only just starting out on the keto diet, you might feel a little funny for the first few days. Your body takes around 3-4 days to get used to running on fats instead of carbs, and this can lead to fatigue and changes in mood.
This is known as the ‘keto flu’ and your symptoms should go within the first week of following your new low-carb diet. After this point, you will start to notice the physical and mental boost that bulletproof coffee and the ketogenic diet can provide.
If you’re apprehensive about switching over to a ketogenic diet, consult a doctor or dietitian who can guide you through the process. They will also be able to closely monitor your response to this new low-carb diet to ensure that it isn’t having any adverse effects on your health.
How to Make Keto Coffee
There are a few key things to know when it comes to making a cup of bulletproof coffee.
Firstly, you can’t use sugar or traditional cow’s milk. Both of these contain simple sugars, which will take your body out of a ketotic state.
Secondly, you can add any high-fat, low-carb substance to make your coffee taste better if you don’t enjoy drinking it black. Some popular fat sources include:
- MCT oil
- Butter (grass-fed)
- Coconut oil
- Some plant-based milk options, such as unsweetened almond and coconut milk
You may never have heard of MCT oil. MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, and MCT oil is the purest form of these triglycerides. MCTs have been shown to
The shorter structure of MCT oils means that they can be more easily absorbed through the intestinal wall. They, therefore, provide an immediate source of energy for the body to use.
MCT oil is said to reduce inflammation, boost physical and cognitive performance, and reduce symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
It’s the MCT oil content of keto coffee that is thought to be responsible for the many benefits of the drink.
The Best Keto Coffee Recipe
The best keto coffee recipe is simple and easy. It takes just a couple minutes to make using a Nespresso machine, so it’s perfect for those busy mornings or as a keto-friendly pre-workout snack.
Here is the recipe for you to try. The only equipment you need is a Nespresso compatible machine and milk frother.
Milk of your choice (recommended: Soy or Almond milk)
- Pout your milk into your milk frother and heat for a few minutes.
- Place the Nespresso compatible keto coffee pod in your Nespresso machine and press the espresso button (single shot).
- Once the milk is heated, pour into your coffee, serve the delicious frothy keto coffee and enjoy while it’s still hot
Keto tip - If you aren't vegan then full fat heavy cream or butter is great for a keto coffee.
This recipe contains around 250 calories and 25-30 grams of fat. The exact nutritional values depend on the fat sources that you use. If you’re tracking your macronutrient intake or daily calorie intake, make sure to take this into account and double-check the nutritional value of the specific combination of ingredients you’ve used.
You might need to play around with different combinations of fat sources. Some people prefer more MCT oil, others prefer more butter. You might enjoy adding ghee or cream to add extra flavour to your bulletproof coffee too. If you’re making a plant-based keto coffee, coconut oil is a suitable fat source to add instead of butter or ghee.
To add sweetness and flavor to your coffee, you can add extra keto-friendly ingredients, such as:
- Cocoa powder
- Vanilla extract
- Collagen protein
If you’re ready to give the keto diet a go or you’ve already been following it for a while, consider adding keto coffee into your morning routine. You’ll find that you feel energised and ready for the day ahead after you’ve finished a hot cup of frothy butter coffee.
If you’re looking to lose weight, bulletproof coffee can help to delay your first meal for several hours, which will make it easier for you to reduce your total daily calories. When your body to stay in a ketotic state for longer, you can maximize the benefits of the keto diet.