Black coffee on carnivore diet


(Jon H ) #1

Hello I am new to the carnivore diet and found conflicting information on black coffee without the sugar and cream. Is it bad for you? I have mental health issues such as major depressive disorder, mood problems, and was wondering if coffee will affect my progress in those areas?


Hello Jon. Welcome to the chat.

A low carb ketogenic diet has been shown to help with mental health stabilisation. So eating a low carb carnivore diet with enough fat in the mix, either dietary or metabolic access to stored body fat, will help improve things. To get metabolic access to stored body fat a hormone in the body called insulin has to be kept at low levels.

Black coffee without sugar or cream is a correct way to take coffee for a ketogenic diet. The amount (the dose) of black coffee per day would be an important thing to know.

If a person takes many cups of coffee in a day, let’s say more than two, then the chemicals in the coffee can have effects in the body that may result in increased insulin release and the shutting off of ketone production. That would mean not reaching your goals.

If the goal is to get improvement in mental health disorders, then it is worthwhile monitoring some basic things with home tests to see what happens in your individual situation.

Monitoring blood ketone production by using a finger prick blood test is one method. If you are eating in a carnivore way of eating and the blood test shows that you are producing blood ketones for mental health improvement and you are drinking black coffee, then, for you it is all going OK.

The very, very start off point is to eat in a carnivore way of eating, drink the coffee that you need, and see how you feel each day. If there are not improvements, then something needs a tweak, and it might mean reducing coffee intake, or helping your body get into metabolic ketosis some other way.

(KM) #3

The caffeine in a large amount of coffee may not be the best for mental issues, either, causing jitters or uneasiness, or overstimulating, or interfering with sleep.

Interesting, @FrankoBear, I’ve never heard of black coffee interfering with ketogenesis, although I’ve heard it can interrupt autophagy during a fast.

(Jon H ) #4

Does coffee cause weight gain?

(Robin) #5

I’m not saying coffee is good for you. But I have 3-4 cups a day, with heavy whipping cream and lost 80 pounds. So… maybe I made up the difference elsewhere. I’m thankful I can still enjoy that one indulgence.


Here are some things I think I know. But I write them ready to learn.

Coffee is a complex mix of chemicals.

It has the potential to cause body fat loss or body fat gain depending on how it is used. That being how often it is drunk, at what strength it is made and dosed. And as was pointed out at the opening, what might be added to it that is more than fresh drinking water.

For example, commercial coffee chain convenience stores have a lot of coffee combinations and recipes that are bad for health.

Drinking the infusion of roasted ground coffee beans and water can aid in body fat loss through beneficial metabolic effects.


At the right dose coffee aids in body fat tissue healthy metabolism with a free flow of triglycerides as potential cellular energy is my understanding. I think Dr. Ben Bikman may have reported on that. But as you noted in the sentence about caffeine dosing and effects on sleep and mental health stability, excessive intake can lead to the stress response and release of stress hormones that result in increased circulating blood glucose and a subsequent insulin response. Then it switches off ketogenesis. Coffee is one of those biochemically active foods (dare-I-say like sugar) that is best taken within a beneficial dose range, if at all, and avoided in excess, I reckon.

(KM) #8

When I travel I buy my coffee from anywhere I can get it, black. I travel with my own small container of cream in my cooler, cuz the “creamer” offered at the average commercial establishment … Egads, cancer in a can.

(KM) #9

And I usually limit myself to one cup. :laughing:

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #10

Welcome to the forums!

The use of coffee and caffeine on carnivore seems to be an open question. There is evidence to suggest that coffee is helpful and evidence to suggest that it is not, and the issues involve more than just the caffeine content. (No one seems concerned about tea, and the objections to soft drinks/fizzy drinks/soda pops that contain caffeine are all for reasons other than their caffeine content.)

Many carnivores drink only water. Many carnivores drink coffee or tea. The carnivore community as a whole has decided that coffee and tea are acceptable on a carnivore diet. But whether an individual carnivore will drink either, or even herbal teas, is a matter of why they are on the diet.

Some people find that the caffeine and theobromine content of the coffee can have negative effects on them (though the methylxanthines as a class can help with broncho-dilation when it is needed). There is also the whole matter of oxalate toxicity, which many people wish to avoid. On the other hand, excessive oxalate dumping may need to be controled with tea or fruit intake, so again, the issues are entirely individual.

I do know from experience that cutting out all caffeine results in a couple of weeks of irritability and headaches, but after that point, one is fine. You can make the experiment of cutting out plant-based drinks and see how your body responds when you drink only water. This is an area where experience is so idiosyncratic that we just have to go with what works for us, using the science as only a general guideline.

You could put cream in your coffee and still be carnivore. Bear in mind, however, that while dairy is considered quite acceptable on a carnivore diet, many people have trouble with dairy foods other than butter. Again, it’s a matter of one’s individual response. Do what works best in your own individual case.

(Bean) #11

Caffeine tablets cause me less trouble (shoulder pain/ anxiety?) than coffee proper. I’ve been down to zero, then something happens (last week was an optical migraine complements of plug in air fresheners at an AirBnB).

I really do feel better when I can get to zero caffeine though. I taper slowly because I’m ADHD and I want to get rid of (off label script) Wellbutrin, as well as it being a potential problem for autoimmune stuff. Good luck!

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #12

For me, I don’t get migraines when my salt intake is high enough. Not sure how it works, but it could possibly have to do with the aldosterone-renin-angiotensin pathway.

(Alec) #13

I have been carni for 30 months now, and I drink a lot of coffee. I am similar to @robintemplin in that I have lost a lot of weight and kept it off despite drinking a lot of coffee… and I have cream in my coffee as well!

But given what you’ve said, my strong recommendation is to try 90 days of strict carnivore with no coffee and see how you feel. Plants (any plants) can have negative effects on people, and for some people those effects are really serious. I suspect your mental health is being affected by the toxins in plants, and therefore I would recommend you try a reasonable length of time with nothing but animal foods and see how you feel.

Carni is the ultimate elimination diet: our diet plays a more important role in all aspects our health than we have been taught. I would go at it hard and self monitor carefully to see what you can learn. I think you would not regret it.