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How Does Caffeine Affect a Keto Diet – Thomas DeLauer

Caffeine & Ketosis

A new study published in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology (2016) looked to see if caffeine enhanced ketosis or worked against it

In the study, entitled Caffeine intake increases plasma ketones: an acute metabolic study in humans, Canadian researchers evaluated the effects of caffeine consumption in a group of 10 volunteers

They fasted for 12 hours and then ate a breakfast that consisted of 85g carbs, 9.5g fats, 14g protein

These individuals were then given either no caffeine, the equivalent of about a cup and a half of coffee, or a caffeine equivalent of 3 cups of coffee

*Looked at caffeine consumption in its purest form; black coffee without any additives*

Blood samples were then taken to evaluate not only the caffeine levels over a four hour period of time, but also the levels of ketones that were manufactured in the liver from the liberation of body fat

Higher doses of caffeine in the 10 healthy adults dramatically increased bHB, one of the most studied ketones as it relates to powering the brain

Specifically, consuming breakfast with caffeine dosages of 2.5 mg per kg body weight and 5.0 mg per kg body weight increased blood ketone levels by 88% and 116%, respectively, compared to having breakfast without caffeine – about 170-340 mg of caffeine for a person weighing 150 pounds

The researchers found that the increase in blood ketones brought on by caffeine consumption was twice that observed after an overnight fast


Levels of bHB after 4 hours:

No caffeine = roughly 300 u mol/L
2.5 mg/kg = roughly 410 u mol/L
5.0 mg/kg = 600 u mol/L


Researchers concluded that the increase in plasma ketones obtained with these does of caffeine could at least transiently contribute to 5-6% of brain energy needs

And caffeine at doses of 2.5 & 5.0 mg/kg stimulated safe and mild ketonemia in healthy adults to a ketone level twice that seen after an overnight fast



2) Vandenberghe C , et al. (n.d.). Caffeine intake increases plasma ketones: an acute metabolic study in humans. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from

3) Caffeine on a Ketogenic Diet: Friend or Foe? | The KetoDiet Blog. (2017, December 15). Retrieved from

4) Caffeine intake increases plasma ketones: an acute metabolic study in humans – Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. (2016, November 25). Retrieved from

5) Caffeine & Ketosis: Friend or Foe? (n.d.). Retrieved from

6) Caffeine and Ketosis | Garden of Life. (2018, January 24). Retrieved from

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