Keto dieters have taken their love for coffee one step further with Keto Coffee, a powdered version of bulletproof coffee that claims to help keto dieters reach ketosis faster. But does it actually help you lose weight?
The short answer is not really. Simply adding Keto Coffee to a regular, non-keto diet will not lead to weight loss. In fact, it’ll do quite the opposite.
“I wouldn’t recommend Keto Coffee to the average person looking to lose weight,” Rachel Daniels, a registered dietitian and senior director of nutrition with Virtual Health Partners, told Healthline.
“The grass-fed butter is going to add extra saturated fat to the diet that is not going to work any weight loss miracles on its own. Adding fat without reducing carbohydrates will not put the body in ketosis.”
So what does Keto Coffee do?
Keto Coffee is based on the principle that a diet high in fats helps the body hit ketosis quicker. Ketosis is the metabolic state where the body burns fat for energy. It’s the goal of many keto dieters who hope to quickly drop pounds.
The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb, moderate protein diet. It forces the body to burn fat for fuel instead of glucose, the body’s go-to energy source produced from carbs.
When carbs are limited, as is the case with the keto diet, the body begins to break down fat stores while the liver produces ketones, an organic compound that can be used as a backup fuel source. As the body burns more and more fat to meet its daily energy needs, it begins to lose weight.
Keto Coffee is packed with butter and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil.
The liver produces ketones from these fats but only in periods of restricted carbohydrate intake. So, they aren’t necessarily immediately converted to ketones.
Additionally, those MCTs help dieters feel full and satiated longer, which can prevent overeating throughout the day.
“That, coupled with the caffeine in coffee, can make a keto dieter feel pretty great,” Kristen Mancinelli, a registered dietitian and author of ‘The Ketogenic Diet,’ said.
“Some of the results are mental clarity, greater alertness, more energy, less hunger, and greater ability to focus.”
It’s important to note that these changes are more the result of the caffeine in the coffee rather than the added fat.
But don’t think that a normal cup of joe and Keto Coffee can be interchangeable.
“Too much Keto Coffee might have the opposite effects, Mancinelli explained. Dieters should stick to one cup a day and drink it in place of a meal, not as a beverage to have alongside your breakfast.”
Technically speaking, a meal replacement should contain about 300 calories and have some other nutritional value.
Also, overconsumption of coffee with added fats may not only lead to weight gain, but also gastrointestinal distress.
Keep this information in mind and be sure to talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet to discuss any potential health risks.
Where you get your ketones from counts
Despite the fact that coffee is naturally a low-calorie metabolism booster, there’s nothing fundamentally “keto” about coffee.
It’s those added fats in Keto Coffee — the MCT oil and butter — that help keto dieters get the majority of their daily calories from fat and enter ketosis.
Even then, though, the quickest and most efficient way to reach ketosis is to fast or strictly limit carbohydrate intake.
“The whole point of ketogenic dieting for weight loss is to make ketones from your own body fat — not to just supply ketones from an exogenous source, like fat bombs or Keto Coffee or MCT oil,” Mancinelli noted.
Most dieters will make a point of getting ketones from both their body and dietary fats. Consuming too much fat can not only limit the amount of fat your body burns but increase your fat stores as well.
Should you give Keto Coffee a try?
According to Daniels, black coffee, with either low-fat milk or unsweetened nut milk, remains the best option for most people who are looking to shed some pounds.
However, if you’re adhering to a strict keto diet, Keto Coffee can do your body some good.
If consumed properly, fat-rich coffee can help certain dieters boost their fat intake and reach a deeper level of ketosis. Next time you brew up a pot of coffee, toss in some butter, MCT oil, or coconut oil. This’ll have the same overall effect as the powdered version.
Keep in mind, though, butter and coconut oil are considered sources of saturated fat. Current dietary guidelines still recommend limiting saturated fats in your diet for optimum health.
Regardless, no matter how much Keto Coffee you consume, it takes time to reach ketosis. This, along with the depth of ketosis, varies from person to person and is entirely dependent on:
- your genes
- fitness level
- physical activity
- how strictly you’re following the keto diet
Editor’s note: This story was originally reported by Julia Ries on June 27, 2018. Its current publication date reflects an update, which includes a medical review by Kathy W. Warwick, RD, CDE.