Is Matcha Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

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Many drinks have surprising amounts of carbohydrates. Find out whether matcha is one of the few options that are completely keto-friendly.

Matcha is a form of green tea with a specific harvesting process that influences its nutrition content slightly. The most basic way to consume matcha is similar to green tea combined with water.

In turn, regular matcha will typically contain close to 0 grams of net carbs. That means you can definitely say that matcha is keto-friendly.

Something you do want to keep in mind is that recipes like matcha latte are popular too. Unfortunately, these tend to be not keto-friendly.

One cup of an example matcha latte with regular milk already contains 12.8 grams of net carbs. Potentially even more if you add sugar or other sweeteners.

Even if you try to go the more keto-friendly route with coconut milk, your matcha latte will contain 2 grams of net carbs without sugar or other sweeteners.

Does matcha have carbs?

To figure out whether matcha is keto-friendly and in what amounts, you want to find out how many carbs it contains in what portions.

Unfortunately, I did not find any good specific nutrition content about matcha specifically. However, when it comes to macronutrients (carbs, fats, protein) matcha should be very similar to green tea.

In this article, I will assume that the macronutrients in green tea and matcha are basically the same.

100 grams of brewed matcha contain the following amounts of carbs (1):

  • Total carbs: 0 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0 grams
  • Net carbs: 0 grams

In reality, there will likely be a tiny amount of carbohydrates but to a negligible extent. 100 grams of brewed matcha is keto-friendly for most, if not all, people.

One cup of brewed matcha is about 245 grams, and contains the following amounts of carbs:

  • Total carbs: 0 grams
  • Of which fiber: 0 grams
  • Net carbs: 0 grams

Similar to the 100 grams, one cup of brewed matcha should basically contain no carbohydrates and in turn, should be keto-friendly for most people.

The other foods in your diet will typically be a bigger factor in whether or not you stay in ketosis.

One thing to note is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends a maximum caffeine intake of about 400 mg a day (2). They do acknowledge that different individuals have different caffeine tolerance.

This amount of caffeine comes down to about 5.5 teaspoons of dry matcha a day (if you don’t consume other caffeine sources).

Additionally, keep in mind that drinking caffeine from matcha later in the day can reduce your sleep quality and duration.

Carbs in matcha latte

A different popular way to consume matcha at Starbucks or at home is in a matcha latte recipe. In its essence, this is matcha combined with some type of milk, some water, and potentially sweeteners like sugar.

One cup (244 g) of whole milk contains about 12.8 grams of net carbs (3).

If you use half a cup for your matcha latte that is already 6.4 grams extra which is not that keto-friendly. Especially because the example does not contain any sweeteners.

There is also a somewhat more low-carb version of matcha latte that uses coconut milk. Recipes like this contain around 8 grams of net carbs per cup (240 g) (4).

If you use half a cup of this you would consume 4 grams of net carbs.

This is still not that keto-friendly but better than the whole milk matcha latte.

Why matcha latte is often not keto-friendly

To understand why matcha latte is sometimes but often not keto-friendly going over the keto basics can be helpful. These will help you approach ketogenic diets in a smarter way.

Any way of eating where you get and stay in ketosis is a keto diet. Ketosis is a state where your body mainly uses fat as fuel (5). To achieve this, you need to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough.

Exactly how low can vary from person to person and depends on details like body weight, muscle mass, activity levels, etc.

That being said, there are general recommendations that give you somewhat of an idea.

A typical guideline is that you want to get 55%-60% of your calories from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates to get and stay in ketosis.

If you do the calculations, you will likely conclude that you eat somewhere around 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day. These amounts exclude the fiber category because your body uses these carbs in a keto-friendly way.

With this, it should become clear that only one cup of matcha latte can take up a lot of your daily carbs. Since you likely want to eat other food too, matcha latte is typically not keto-friendly.

On the flip side, if you don’t mind getting out of ketosis, matcha latte can still be decent for weight loss and health.

Substitutes for matcha on keto

Matcha is not the only way you can drink something besides water on a ketogenic diet.

You may prefer some of the keto-friendly substitutes below anyway or want to add some variety to what you drink:

  • Regular green or black tea
  • Black coffee
  • Herbal teas
  • Sparkling water
  • Low-carb flavored waters

With some of these matcha substitutes like coffee, you still want to keep the caffeine content in mind. Consuming these too close to bedtime can mess with your sleep.

Does matcha have carbs?

Regular matcha tends to have close-to-zero carbs.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.