Coffee. Butter. Oil. Individually, these ingredients are kitchen staples, but when combined, they transform into keto coffee— a frothy, energizing concoction that has gone from an underground favorite in fitness circles to a buzzword on nutrition blogs and social media feeds.
So, what’s behind the froth and fanfare? In this article, we’ll delve into the science and benefits of keto coffee, helping you determine if this beverage is right for your morning routine.
What Is Keto Coffee?
Keto coffee, often called “Bulletproof coffee” or “butter coffee,” is a beverage that combines traditional coffee with healthy fats, typically in the form of butter or ghee and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil.
This blend is thoroughly mixed—usually with a blender—until it becomes a creamy, frothy drink. While a regular cup of coffee might be paired with milk and sugar, keto coffee opts for fats as the main additive, which aligns with the low-carbohydrate, high-fat dietary principles of the keto diet.
Because it’s so high-calorie, keto coffee is meant to be a breakfast replacement—not something you drink alongside a traditional breakfast.
The History of Keto Coffee
While keto coffee may seem like a recent trend, adding high-fat substances to beverages has deep historical roots across various cultures.
For instance, the Sherpas in the Himalayas and the Gurage people in Ethiopia have consumed butter-infused coffee and tea for centuries. These high-fat drinks were not merely a culinary preference but also provided much-needed calories and energy. This was especially true for communities living in high-altitude regions, where the strenuous nature of daily life increased caloric needs.
The Science of Keto Coffee
Keto coffee is more than just a trendy beverage—it’s a lifestyle choice for many, embraced for its array of purported benefits. Below, we’ll delve into the science of this creamy drink, breaking down the key components and how they support the body and brain.
The Role of Coffee
Coffee isn’t just for waking you up in the morning. It’s a complex brew that offers a host of health benefits:
- Antioxidant properties: Coffee is rich in antioxidants, which fight free radicals in the body and contribute to overall health and disease prevention.[*]
- Cognitive benefits: Caffeine, a well-known stimulant, improves alertness, attention, and cognitive function. It acts by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain, thus preventing feelings of drowsiness.[*]
- Mood: Many studies have found that those who consume coffee daily have a reduced risk of depression.[*]
- Physical performance: Caffeine increases adrenaline levels, preparing your body for physical exertion, which can improve exercise performance.[*]
- Dementia prevention: Some studies suggest that regular coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, potentially offering some protective effects against dementia.[*][*]
- Type 2 diabetes prevention: Coffee may preserve the function of the beta cells in your pancreas, which produce insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. This may reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.[*]
The Role of Butter
Saturated fats, such as butter or ghee, not only add a creamy texture to the beverage, but also act as a long-lasting energy source. When you’re following a ketogenic diet, these fats align perfectly with your body’s need to stay in ketosis—a metabolic state in which the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
Consuming high-quality fats can support this metabolic switch, providing a sustained energy source that lasts far longer than the quick burst of energy gained from carbohydrates.
The Role of MCT Oil
Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is a type of saturated fatty acid that is easier to absorb and metabolize than long-chain triglycerides. It’s commonly derived from coconut oil or palm oil.
Some key benefits of MCT oil include:
- Quick energy: MCTs are quickly absorbed and converted into energy, offering a rapid and efficient fuel source.[*]
- Ketone production: MCT oil can assist in generating ketones, which serve as an alternative energy source for the brain and can be particularly beneficial when following a ketogenic diet.[*]
- Appetite control: Some research suggests that MCT oil can help suppress appetite, contributing to a feeling of fullness.[*]
- Cognitive function: Due to its role in ketone production, MCT oil may enhance cognitive clarity and mental function.
- Weight control: A review of 13 randomized controlled trials found that MCTs supported modest weight loss.[*]
How to Make Keto Coffee
Making keto coffee is simple and customizable according to your tastes and nutritional needs. To take your keto coffee to the next level, consider incorporating IQJOE, an instant coffee that promotes crash-free energy while improving cognitive performance and mood.
Easy Keto Coffee Recipe
- 8-12 oz hot water
- 1-2 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter or ghee
- 1 tablespoon MCT oil
- 1 stick IQJOE
- Add 8-12 oz of hot water to a blender.
- Add the remaining ingredients, including unsalted butter (or ghee), MCT oil, and a stick of IQJOE.
- Blend for 20-30 seconds or until the mixture becomes frothy and creamy.
- Pour the blended hot coffee into a coffee mug and enjoy!
When made with IQJOE, you’ll also reap the benefits of Magtein®, a clinically studied form of magnesium for cognition and mood, and super-concentrated lion’s mane, a functional mushroom that supports brain function.
The result? A brain-boosting, energizing, satiating, fat-burning cup of joe that supports your low-carb diet and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
☕️IQJOE is gluten-free and dairy-free, and contains only 4 grams of carbs per packet. Pick from these delicious IQJOE flavors: Original Black, Vanilla Spice, Toasted Hazelnut, or Caffè Mocha. Or try our IQJOE Variety Pack to find your favorites!
A Final Word on Keto Coffee
In a world overflowing with dietary options and health trends, keto coffee stands out for its unique combination of flavor and function. It’s more than just a morning pick-me-up or an afternoon treat. It’s a versatile beverage that aligns with a holistic approach to well-being.
So go ahead—blend up your new morning ritual. Here’s to elevating your day, one frothy, brain-boosting sip at a time!
Written by Katie Koschalk, a health and wellness writer, certified holistic nutritionist, and certified personal trainer based in California.