Written By Brent Totty - June 17 2019
By: Brent Totty
~ Edited: Joshua Brown
I am sure you know someone that has had success with Keto, I’m sure that you even know someone who told you how awesome Keto was this morning. The ketogenic diet is one of the top nutritional strategies for righting the wrongs that the standard American diet has bestowed upon the population for decades. When tens of thousands of people learn about a life changing strategy to upgrade their health, energy, physique and brain power, things tend to get lost in translation. We are here to help you understand the basics of keto and most importantly, how to Keto-fy your current coffee regimen.
What is keto?
Keto, or more scientifically known as ketosis, occurs when the body depletes its stored glycogen and begins to create ketone bodies to fuel itself in the absence of continuous carbohydrate intake. Our bodies are magical creatures, able to fuel themselves through a variety of different methods -- ketone bodies are no exception. In recent decades, the standard diet of many individuals all over the world has been carbohydrate dependent -- this is not necessarily a bad thing. However, when you combine perpetual carbohydrate intake with processed vegetable oils and highly concentrated forms of sweeteners,you have a recipe for disaster.
Ancestrally speaking, we evolved from a time where we didn’t always know when our next meal was coming. hus, we went through periods of feasting and fasting. Those periods of feasting were followed by long periods of fasting, which hardwired our bodies to create fuel sources when we didn’t have access to food. Now Caveman Joe wasn’t slamming bags of Doritos. However, as time went on and agricultural prowess developed over thousands of years, his access to carbohydrates increased exponentially.
So what does that have to do with Keto? As Caveman Joe roamed the plains looking for his next meal, his body ran out of whatever stored glucose he may have eaten in the form of vegetation. As that stored glucose ran out, his body began to produce ketone bodies to propel him on his hunt. Those ketone molecules were burned in conjunction with any body fat he had on him to take down that mammoth for his tribe.
You aren’t hunting down 2 ton mammoths, and you do have Doritos within fingers reach at all times -- but that doesn’t mean that you can’t leverage the almighty ketone to propel you towards a healthier metabolism, lowered cravings and increased brain performance.
What makes something Keto?
Something is keto friendly if it does not contribute to your stored glycogen -- meaning it does not have a significant amount of carbohydrates in its structure. I buried the lede, a sedentary individual carrying fifty extra pounds on them with a compromised metabolism is going to react to carbohydrates very differently than someone who is active and has a healthy metabolic system. This phenomena has to do with a little something called insulin sensitivity and is a huge indicator of overall health and well-being. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body is unable to utilize the insulin it creates to shuttle dietary carbohydrates into its cells for use. The bottom line -- based on your metabolic health and insulin sensitivity, something that allows you to stay in ketosis may kick the person next to you out of ketosis.
If keto friendly foods can help with shifting your body away from insulin resistance and towards sensitivity,it seems like a no brainer to identify ways in which we can enjoy the things we love, while helping our bodies maintain a healthy metabolism.
Is Coffee Keto?
So under the microscope of our previous test: does coffee contribute to stored glycogen? No, no it does not;coffee passes the keto test. However, that only applies to coffee in its natural state,without any additions. Coffee additives like sugar or milk change the macronutrient profile of our glorious black bean rocket fuel into a non keto-friendly beverage, but of course, the devil is in the details.
Adding sugar to your coffee is a surefire way to kick your body out of a ketogenic state. It is almost immediately converted into glucose, causing an insulin spike, then shuttled into your body’s glycogen stores. Individuals with high insulin sensitivity and highly active lifestyles may be able to get back into a ketogenic state faster than the other side of the spectrum, but they are nonetheless no longer producing ketones when their body is producing insulin to combat influx of glucose into the bloodstream. Adding milk or creamer is not much better, as the sugars in those additives are converted into glucose in a similar process. Now, that being said, there are certain sweeteners and creamers that are keto friendly. Ingredients like whole cream or coconut milk have a much lower amount of dietary sugar than your standard pour of milk, and the same goes for sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit or sugar alcohols like erythritol, xylitol, etc.
Top 5 Ways to Keto-fy Your Coffee
Drink it black
Black coffee has almost no calories, a miniscule amount of carbohydrates and causes a negligible insulin spike -- if you want to adhere to any sort of fasting protocol, black coffee is a keto friendly energy boost.
MCT + Butter/Ghee
Adding medium chain triglycerides combined with grass fed butter or ghee has become the cornerstone of habit formation for early stage keto adopters. Swapping your breakfast for a cup of high-fat, hunger-reducing coffee is a surefire way to kick start your morning. New to ketosis? Start here.
Iced Cold Brew + MCT
Summer is around the corner, and with that comes those hot afternoons that call for a refreshing, keto-friendly coffee. The kicker? MCT oil allows the body to create ketones, even in the presence of stored glucose. So if you are looking for a ketone boost on a hot day,look no further than our Caveman Nitro with a serving of MCT oil -- blend it up to make it extra frothy!
Heavy Cream Latte
Milk can cause an insulin spike, but if you opt for its higher fat cousin, you can regulate your body’s insulin response by pairing any trace carbohydrates with dietary fats to help blunt the effects.
Collagen, Egg yolk + MCT
As someone who cycles ketosis and is an avid exercise enthusiast, this is one of my favorite keto-friendly, post-workout beverages. This concoction adds healthy fat, and plenty of muscle, ligament and joint repairing proteins while keeping my ketone levels high. Collagen protein is one of the few heat stable proteins, making it a perfect pairing for your standard MCT coffee when you need that amino acid boost, post-workout. My secret sauce -- blend the coffee and the MCT oil first for 30 seconds, then add the collagen and yolk at the end for a quick 5 second pulse blend. In my experience, this yields the frothiest cup of muscle building joe you can find.
So, is your coffee keto? You now have the tools necessary to boost your ketones and arm your body with whatever it needs for the day ahead. Keto-fy your coffee if you are someone that wants a cognitive boost, a healthier metabolism and more energy throughout the day!