Guide to Keto Bubble Tea for Weight Loss

Bubble tea or boba tea has many other names, such as pearl milk tea, bubble milk tea, and tapioca tea. The most distinguishing feature of this tea is a thick layer of super chewy, sweet tapioca balls. Other ingredients added to this delicious beverage are milk, added sugars (occasionally), and flavored syrups. For this reason, it can be high in carbs and calories. And, as you might have guessed, it is not for everyone.

Or is it?

Keto bubble tea is thought to be an alternative to traditional boba tea. As the name suggests, keto bubble tea comes with fewer carbs and may actually be an option for everyone, including people with extra body weight or those on a keto diet.

In theory, keto bubble tea won’t take you out of ketosis, meaning you can continue with this tasteful beverage while on a low-carb diet. To start creating your own keto bubble tea here are the best bubble tea kits.

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Ketosis - What Is It All About?

Ketosis is a process during which your body runs short on carbohydrates, meaning that it must burn fat to produce ketones, which serve as fuel for the body. The word ‘ketosis’ usually comes up during the discussion about fat loss or diabetes.

Now you may wonder about the connection between ketosis and the keto diet. The keto diet is widely reputed as a low-carb weight loss program [1]. Not only does it help you burn fat, but it also reduces your food cravings. It is a viable plan to preserve muscle mass. 

What Are the Health Benefits of Ketosis?

Many health experts agree that the keto diet may offer several health benefits. According to these experts, ketogenic diets may help reduce the risk of heart disease [2], as well as help people with the following health conditions:

Insulin resistance

Type 2 diabetes

Metabolic syndrome

Researchers have also been studying the effects of ketogenic diets on the following health concerns:


Nervous system diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and Lou Gehrig's disease

Polycystic ovary syndrome

How to Get into Ketosis

Ketosis is a natural metabolic process that can be triggered through nutritional adjustments. But let’s be clear; kickstarting ketosis is not as simple as cutting carbs. It requires adequate planning and work.

Here are the tips to help you get into the keto state.

Reduce your consumption of carbs: If you want to achieve ketosis, the foremost step you must take is to downsize your carbs consumption. Low carb intake reduces glycogen and insulin levels. As a result, fat stores in your body release fatty acids. These fatty acids are then converted into ketones by the liver for energy.

Add coconut oil to your diet: Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) - fats that get rapidly absorbed into the body and taken to the liver to get converted into ketones.

Get more physically active: Several studies suggest that ketosis may help improve athletic performance. Exercising deprives your body of glycogen, helping you enter the keto state [3]. You can retain this state by eating low-carb foods.

Increase your intake of healthy fats: You may find it surprising, but it’s a fact that some fats can actually help with weight loss [4]. These fats are generally termed healthy fats as they help trigger ketone production. However, ensure that you do not eat too many carbs when increasing your fat intake.

Eat more proteins: You can achieve ketosis by increasing your protein intake too. Like healthy fats, the intake of proteins should accompany a decrease in carb intake.

Is Keto Bubble Tea Truly Keto-Friendly?

Boba used in traditional bubble tea is usually very high in carbs and calories. So, one serving of it can take you out of ketosis. But it is so addictively delicious that you might not be able to resist having it.

The boba used in bubble tea is generally made of tapioca starch, which is very high in carbs. On top of that, traditional bubble tea is usually typically loaded with flavored syrups. And most of the time, milk is added to the tea.

Fortunately, keto bubble tea has emerged to be a great alternative to its traditional counterpart. The fewer carbs and calories in this drink will not affect your diet. All you have to do is replace those problematic ingredients with low-carb ones to ensure that you do not end up getting kicked out of your ketosis.

Here are some guidelines to keep your bubble tea from becoming a fattening treat.

Use Splenda, which is keto-friendly as this page explains, instead of sugar.

Use heavy whipping cream instead of milk.

Replace tapioca-based boba pearls with homemade gelatin bubbles.

Sometimes, you may find yourself in a situation when you hang out with your friends at a boba tea shop. So what to do?

Instead of being sorry for not being able to join the party with your friends, you can order a sugar-free version of the boba drink. And if you like it sweet, you may carry a pack of stevia sweeteners.

Keto Boba Tea Recipe

The good thing is you can reduce the carb and calorie content in your boba drink without making it less delicious. Here is a recipe for the keto version of your favorite boba tea.

Making Keto Boba Pearls

If you want to enjoy your bubble tea without getting too many carbs with your serving, the first thing you must do is replace your tapioca pearls with keto boba pearls. Gelatin is a viable alternative to tapioca pearls.

You will only need gelatin and coffee to prepare keto boba. To make pearls, you will need a dropper or a syringe.

Here are the instructions to prepare keto boba pearls:

In the first step, prepare regular black coffee.

Pour this coffee into a medium pot and introduce gelatin into it slowly.

Put this pot on a medium flame and stir the mixture. Continue stirring it until it boils and thickens.

Remove the pot from the flame and set it aside for four minutes.

Draw the mixture into a dropper or syringe and pour it into small, ball-shaped molds. Place it in a refrigerator for two hours.

The boba pearls are ready. You can add a sugar-free sweetener of your choice to these pearls if you want extra flavor. Besides keto bubble tea, you can use these pearls as a topping for your favorite keto dessert.

Nutritional Value

Each serving of keto boba pearls contains:

14 calories

3 grams of proteins

No fats

No carbs

No fiber

The gelatin used in these pearls contains glycine, an amino acid that promotes better sleep and improves cognitive functions [5].

How to Prepare Keto Bubble Tea

Once you have prepared the keto boba pearls, preparing the tea is a straightforward process. Here is the list of ingredients you will need to prepare one serving of this flavorful tea:

One tea bag

One cup of hot water

One tablespoon of brown swerve

Two tablespoons of heavy cream


Here are the instructions to prepare the tea:

Infuse one tea bag in a cup of hot water for about five minutes.

Mix brown swerve into the tea.

Pour one tablespoon of heavy cream into the tea and stir.

Drop an ice cube into the cup to cool the tea to room temperature.

Pour 2-4 tablespoons of boba pearls into an empty cup and fill it with the milk tea. Add some more ice to prepare cold tea.

There it is; the flavorful keto bubble tea is ready.

Benefits of Keto Bubble Tea

The purpose of keto bubble tea is to help you get your desired flavor without having to compromise on your hard-earned carb/calorie deficit. It is worth mentioning that one serving of non-keto boba milk tea is enough to end this calorie deficit.

Keto bubble tea, on the other hand, will help you keep running short on calories, thereby promoting the keto state. This is mainly because this tea replaces every problematic ingredient of a regular boba drink with its low-carb substitute.

For example, you won’t be getting those high-sugar and high-carb tapioca pearls, the primary ingredient of a boba milk tea cup. Instead, you will get zero-carb, zero-sugar gelatin-based pearls that come with numerous health benefits. Nonetheless, you will have to ensure that the gelatin comes from high-quality sources.

The keto version of boba tea also replaces milk with heavy cream and sugar with stevia or erythritol. This altered version of bubble tea is mainly designed to help you control your carbohydrate and sugar intake.

How to Remain in Ketosis at a Boba Cafe

Sure, it can be hard sometimes to resist having a cup of tea from a nearby boba cafe. This drink is so flavorful that even some keto enthusiasts would reserve this option for their cheat day. Still, you must keep in mind that a regular serving of boba milk tea may contain three ounces of boba, which translates into 360 calories and 77 grams of carbs.

So, if you want to remain on a calorie deficit, you have to ensure that you get no more than 1800 calories and 160 grams of carbs a day. This means that one serving of boba milk tea will leave you with 1440 calories and 83g of carbs to consume for the rest of the day. On top of that, one serving of bubble tea is not very satiating, which means you will need more sustenance in the day to remain energetic.

The key to making a dieting plan successful is to eat foods that are not only low-carb but also satiating. You do not want to starve at the end of the day just to avoid all those additional calories.

Therefore, if you want to enjoy boba milk tea from your favorite boba tea joint, here is how to prevent it from affecting your ketosis.

Go for a 25-50% Sugar Option

Most boba joints ask you for the amount of sugar you want to add to your order. This is an excellent option for individuals wanting to enjoy their favorite beverage without consuming a large quota of their daily sugar intake.

A regular cup of boba milk tea contains 60-70g of sugar, which is way more than what you get from a can of coke. So, going with the 25% sugar option will help you cut a significant 75% of sugar content from a regular boba drink. If you think it is a sacrifice on your beloved boba flavor, you can add liquid stevia to the glass. It will make your drink sweeter in a sugarless way.

Choose Mini Boba Pearls or Other Topping Options

Boba pearls available at tea joints contain 64 calories per ounce. All these calories come from sugars and carbs. Most boba joints use at least two ounces of boba per serving, meaning that you will be getting 128 calories straight from those chewy pearls.

But if you want to lose weight without giving up on your boba drink, you can go for the mini boba option. This option allows you to get 35 calories per ounce instead of 64 calories. To make it an even healthier option, you can ask the server to add one ounce of boba pearls. This means that the boba content in your drink will give only 35 calories instead of 128.

Avoid Milk Tea And Choose Green Or Black Tea

Even if you have reduced the amount of boba or chosen a low-calorie boba option, there will be another macronutrient to deal with: milk. Milk in a boba drink comes with a high content of fats, which get added to the mix of carbs and calories, making the drink more fattening.

Milk in a boba tea serving contains 11 grams of fat. This undoubtedly affects your ketosis as those fats get combined with all the undesirable calories. Thankfully, you can choose the milk-free option. This option is usually based on black or green tea.

The best thing about going milk-free with your bubble tea is that it reduces 90-100 calories from your drink. Don’t worry! The drink will still be delicious thanks to the syrup added to the mix.

Wrapping Up

Bubble milk tea is hard to resist for sure. Even if you are on a low-carb diet, you won’t find yourself ready to shun this savory drink and deprive your taste buds of the flavor they have been getting for so long.

So, the best option in this regard is to prepare your keto bubble tea at home. It is a highly customizable option that allows you to replace everything with excess carbs and calories with healthier alternatives. For instance, you can replace high-fat milk with low-fat cream, tapioca boba pearls with gelatin-based pearls, and sugar with other healthy sweeteners. This keto bubble tea will help reserve a significant quota of daily carbs and calories, allowing you to eat for fullness during the day.

If you are fond of the flavor of bubble tea at a boba joint or are not willing to prepare your keto bubble tea at home, you can customize your order to reduce carbs, calories, and fats by considering the steps mentioned above.


[1] David S Ludwig, The Ketogenic Diet: Evidence for Optimism but High-Quality Research Needed, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 150, Issue 6, June 2020, Pages 1354–1359,

[3] Cox, P.J., Clarke, K. Acute nutritional ketosis: implications for exercise performance and metabolism. Extrem Physiol Med 3, 17 (2014).

[4]  Beulen, Y., Martínez-González, M. A., van de Rest, O., Salas-Salvadó, J., Sorlí, J. V., Gómez-Gracia, E., Fiol, M., Estruch, R., Santos-Lozano, J. M., Schröder, H., Alonso-Gómez, A., Serra-Majem, L., Pintó, X., Ros, E., Becerra-Tomas, N., González, J. I., Fitó, M., Martínez, J. A., & Gea, A. (2018). Quality of Dietary Fat Intake and Body Weight and Obesity in a Mediterranean Population: Secondary Analyses within the PREDIMED Trial. Nutrients, 10(12), 2011.

[5] Bannai, M., & Kawai, N. (2012). New therapeutic strategy for amino acid medicine: glycine improves the quality of sleep. Journal of pharmacological sciences, 118(2), 145–148.

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