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Coffee on Keto: Can Caffeine Increase Ketone Levels?

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  Published on June 11th, 2020
  Reading time: 4 minutes
  Last modified January 25th, 2023
coffee on keto

It seems like nearly every ketogenic dieter likes to incorporate a nice cup of morning Joe into their routine, especially Joe loaded with fat! Coffee has many health benefits associated with it and in the ketogenic community, coffee is often consumed during the fasting period to increase energy and curb appetite.  This makes coffee almost a no brainer (you may have no brain without it) on the keto diet.
Despite all of the health benefits of coffee, are there other reasons for including coffee specifically into your ketogenic diet? 

Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee on Keto

Besides the obvious increase in energy you get from the caffeine in coffee, coffee can offer several other health benefits.

1) Increase Fiber

Coffee contains a little bit of fiber to contribute towards your total daily fiber goal, which may be important on a ketogenic diet.

2) Reduce Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

Research out of Sweden has found that consuming caffeine can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s Disease. [1]

3) Improve Cognition and Performance

Caffeine is often used to improve exercise performance, but it can also improve cognition and performance outside of the gym. [2]

4) Neuroprotection

Caffeine can help protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease due to a compound known as Trigonelline.  [3]
These are just some of the health benefits associated with consuming coffee.  There is also some research out reporting it can help reduce M.S., type 2 diabetes, liver cirrhosis, and even heart disease!

The Cons of Coffee

Despite all of the health benefits of coffee, there are also things you should be aware of when it comes to getting yourself a brew.
Coffee can be very dirty which can lead to many adverse health effects.  This is especially true to unfiltered coffee, which can contain many compounds that can be harmful to your overall health.
Additionally, ketogenic dieters should be away that the caffeine in coffee can act as a diuretic leading to frequent urination.  This can cause not only dehydration but also depletion of many water-soluble vitamins and minerals, including electrolytes, which are already at an increased risk of becoming depleted on a ketogenic diet. [4]
Coffee can also impair the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals which is why you probably should consume it with other vitamins and minerals. [4]
Obviously, caffeine in coffee can be an issue when consumed in excess.  For this reason, you should always assess your tolerance and know how much coffee is good for you.

Coffee on Keto

Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty on why you clicked this article: coffee on keto.  Can drinking coffee increase your ketone levels?

Many people speak about the fat-burning potential of caffeine but what about the ketone producing potential of caffeine?

A 2016 study set out to determine this by giving participants either 2.5 mg/kg of caffeine or 5 mg/kg of caffeine and testing blood levels of ketones and free fatty acids. They found that subjects consuming the lower dose of caffeine saw an 88% increase in ketones why the subjects consuming the higher dose saw a 118% increase! [5]

It is important to point out that subjects were fasted prior to having the caffeine and fasted the following consumption, during testing.  This means that some of the increase in ketones could be attributed to the extension of the fast.  However, the fact that the higher caffeine group had a greater increase in ketones leads to the belief that caffeine can play a role in ketone production!

How Can You Incorporate Coffee on Your Keto Diet?

You don’t have to drink plain, boring coffee on keto. Add in heavy cream and your favorite keto-friendly sweetener and you’ll have a delicious fatty coffee to enjoy. Not making coffee at home? Check out our in-depth article: Keto Starbucks Drinks: How to Stay Keto at Starbucks  (or how to order keto coffee from any coffee shop).

Want to make coffee at home instead of Starbucks? Check out some of our keto coffee recipes:

Conclusions About Drinking Coffee on Keto

Given what we know about caffeine and fat burning, it becomes a little more obvious that drinking coffee could lead to an increase in ketones.This could be an additional reason why ketogenic dieters may experience not only a nice boost in energy following their cup of coffee but also in their feelings of satiety.  Couple that with other ketone producing agents you can add to your coffee like MCT oil, coconut oil, or even heavy cream and you have yourself a ketone producing cocktail!

At ketogenic.com, we are committed to supporting, inspiring, and educating people on the benefits of living a ketogenic lifestyle. We do this by bringing together the top researchers, practitioners, and thought-leaders who provide resources, experience, and awareness associated around the Ketogenic diet. Utilizing the latest cutting-edge research along with practical experience, the team at ketogenic.com aims to foster awareness, understanding, and connectedness in helping others optimize their life on a ketogenic diet.



Yamada-Fowler, N., Fredrikson, M., & Söderkvist, P. (2014). Caffeine interaction with glutamate receptor gene GRIN2A: Parkinson’s disease in Swedish population. PloS one, 9(6), e99294. 


Cappelletti, S., Piacentino, D., Sani, G., & Aromatario, M. (2015). Caffeine: cognitive and physical performance enhancer or psychoactive drug?. Current neuropharmacology, 13(1), 71–88. 


Wierzejska R. (2017). Can coffee consumption lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease? A literature review. Archives of medical science : AMS, 13(3), 507–514. 


Armstrong LE, Pumerantz AC, Roti MW, et al. Fluid, electrolyte, and renal indices of hydration during 11 days of controlled caffeine consumption. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2005;15(3):252?265. 


Vandenberghe C, St-Pierre V, Courchesne-Loyer A, Hennebelle M, Castellano CA, Cunnane SC. Caffeine intake increases plasma ketones: an acute metabolic study in humans. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2017;95(4):455?458. 

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