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Weight Loss Made Practical » Dieting » Is Matcha Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

Is Matcha Keto-Friendly? (& Substitutes)

On the ketogenic diet the goal is to keep your carbohydrate intake low enough. What about matcha, is it keto-friendly?

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

The net amount of carbs, which comes down to total carbs minus carbs from fiber, in green tea and in turn this basic form of matcha is basically 0 grams.

On the other hand, recipes like matcha latte with regular milk can contain up to 10 grams of net carbs and even more if you add sugar or other sweeteners.

Even one example recipe of matcha latte with coconut milk contains 2 grams of net carbs without sugar or other sweeteners.

So while it ultimately depends on the rest of your diet, matcha is generally keto-friendly on its own. Your choice of ingredients to combine with matcha will generally matter more.

If you are not the biggest fan of this drink there are substitutes that can also be consumed in reasonable amounts while staying in ketosis.

When is a food keto-friendly

The goal of the ketogenic diet is to put your body into ketosis, a state where it starts mainly burning fat as a fuel (1). This comes down to more or less getting 55%-60% of your macronutrients from fat, 30%-35% from protein, and 5%-10% from carbohydrates.

For most people this comes down to eating around 20g – 50g of carbohydrates a day.

In reality, this number is different depending on a lot of factors. For example, people who exercise a lot may be able to consume more carbohydrates before getting kicked out of ketosis.

That being said that daily amount can be a good general guideline.

It is also common to exclude fiber from this amount since it doesn’t get absorbed into your body the same way as regular carbohydrates.

Carbs in matcha

It is currently hard to find any good specific nutrition content about matcha specifically. That being said, when it comes to the macronutrients (carbs, fats, protein) it should be very similar to green tea.

This article assumes that the macronutrients in green tea and matcha are basically the same.

100 grams of brewed matcha contains the following amounts of carbs (2):

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

There is likely a tiny amount of carbohydrates in matcha but this will be negligible. 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, be keto-friendly for most people. Different areas of your diet will play a bigger role.

That being said, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends a maximum caffeine intake of about 400 mg a day (3). 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 late in the day can reduce your sleep quality and duration.

Carbs in matcha latte

A different popular way to consume matcha is in a matcha latte recipe. From a high-level view, 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 (4). If you use half a cup for your matcha latte that is already 6.4 grams extra which is not that keto-friendly. Especially for a drink and without any sweeteners.

Something that is a bit more keto-friendly is coconut milk. This contains 8 grams of net carbs per cup (240 g) (5). 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.

How to avoid drinking too much matcha latte

You generally should be able to fit regular matcha into your keto diet. Even so, in some situations you may have to exercise some portion control for other reasons like caffeine control.

Another option is that want to consume these less keto-friendly matcha recipes. Preparing a big pot of matcha latte and hoping that you don’t drink too much is not the ideal way to do this.

You can avoid eating too much matcha in any form with some of the following tips:

  • Plan ahead, how much matcha (latte) will you drink?
  • Put the planned amount in a cup and leave the rest of the matcha out of sight
  • Don’t drink during other activities like watching TV
  • Consider not preparing or buying matcha latte ingredients if you crave it too much

If you notice you get out of ketosis you may need to reduce the amount of matcha latte you drink.

Substitutes for matcha on keto

Matcha is not the only option when you want to drink something different from regular water on the ketogenic diet. Some of the following substitutes can also be an option on the keto diet:

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

If you don’t like matcha that much but still want to drink something that is not water, some of these drinks can be good choices.

What is your goal with keto?

Even a small portion of matcha latte added to certain daily diets could potentially put you just over the net carbs border, out of ketosis. Depending on the goal you have with keto this may or may not be a problem.

If your goal is to stay strictly in ketosis 24/7 you want to be careful about your carbohydrate intake.

If your goal is to lose weight and become healthier, matcha latte can be a decent drink option even if it potentially puts you at a carbohydrate level slightly above your ketosis level.

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Matt Claes

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.

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