Atkins Diet and Coffee

No matter what, we just seem to need that cup of jo in the morning. Without it, we can feel completely disconnected from the world and more like a zombie than a human. Deep down, we know that coffee is not good for us. Really strong coffees will make the heart race, our skin sweaty, and sometimes when we get ahold of the really good stuff??make our hands jittery. But coffee is especially bad for people who are also on the Atkins diet because it causes dehydration.

Coffee contains caffeine which many of us know to be a natural stimulant and it is found in numerous beverages and energy pills. Stimulants, however, cause the body to speed up. The increased speed will require additional energy and the body responds modifying blood sugar levels which in turn cause the release of insulin. In addition, the body will use more water trying to keep up with the increased level of activity. In the end, caffeine functions as a diuretic.

When ketosis is taking place, the body will also use more fluids. So when it is working correctly, the Atkins diet will also act like a diuretic. The combination of coffee and the Atkins diet is only possible when you use decaffeinated coffee. You have to be careful because a lot of decaffeinated coffees will still have some level of caffeine in their product.

Some may be tempted to think that they can keep their caffeinated coffee by simply drinking more water. It is possible to increase water intake to account for the diuretic effects of coffee and the Atkins diet. Unfortunately, this is also going to overtax your kidneys as they try and process and purify the additional water. In time and with enough coffee overload, you risk severe kidney damage. Normal coffee intake needs to be offset by additional water intake already, so your kidneys have been under additional strain ever since you introduced caffeine into your diet. But add to the normal strain of caffeinated coffee the additional diuretic effects of the Atkins diet??and you seriously increase chances for major problems with your kidneys in the years to come.

One of the myths that people try to believe that it is the cream or sugar that makes coffee incompatible with the Atkins diet. While sugar is clearly not approved by the Atkins diet, cream is on the acceptable list of dairy products??thus, the worst offenders only cut out the sugar and keep the cream in their daily coffee routine. But as we have seen, only caffeinated coffee should be used with the Atkins diet but be careful about the creamer??many products on the market have carbs in them so be sure to read the label carefully. Even if you do not drink coffee or any of those ??energy drinks?, many of our favorite soft drinks are loaded with caffeine as well. The Atkins diet will require increased fluid intake anyway, so be sure to avoid caffeine and other diuretics that will further tax your kidneys and lead to potential health problems down the road.

2 Responses to “Atkins Diet and Coffee”

  1. **But as we have seen, only caffeinated coffee should be used with the Atkins diet but be careful about the creamerâ??**

    Isn’t this a typo? Should it not say only DEcaffeinated coffee should be used? Or have I misunderstood the article?

  2. ausgirl says:

    Can you tell me if you are “allowed” to have coffee on the Induction phase of Atkins?I know it’s not the ideal drink, but as I’m trying to wean myself off many other high carb addictions, I thought I’d have one cup of decaf coffee with cream instead of milk. Is this ok, or will I ruin everything at this stage???

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