If you’re interested in dieting or healthy living, you might have heard of bulletproof coffee. Also known as butter coffee or keto coffee, this energizing beverage contains three key ingredients:
- Coconut oil
- Grass-fed butter
Keep in mind moving forward that coconut oil can be substituted for MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil, which is the type of fat that is extracted from coconut oil. It’s also not uncommon for bulletproof coffee drinkers to use ghee in place of butter. But why use these unconventional ingredients at all? And do they really make your cup of Joe healthier?
In this post, we’ll take a deeper look into what bulletproof coffee is and why people drink it. Let’s begin with a brief introduction to the beverage and how it came about.
What is Bulletproof Coffee?
The original bulletproof coffee recipe was formulated and protected by the now famous biohacker, Dave Asprey - hence why some people refer to the drink as Dave Asprey coffee. While other versions of high-fat, sugar-free coffees have come about in recent years, bulletproof coffee is where it all started.
It gained popularity for its ability to reduce appetite, provide energy and assist in ketosis, the metabolic state in which your body turns to fat for its energy burning needs. If you would like to prepare your own bulletproof coffee drink, you can easily do so at home with just a couple of ingredients.
There are packaged (instant) alternatives available on the market, but most drinkers recommend staying away from these and sticking to the natural formula. Aside from helping those on a ketogenic diet, the main draw of bulletproof coffee is that it enables you to feel full and energized for hours when taken with your morning breakfast.
It’s also a useful tool for jump-starting intermittent fasting sessions, thus making it a valuable component of any weight loss endeavor. There are additional factors to consider here that we’ll get into later on in the guide.
Health Benefits of Bulletproof Coffee
Before we go any further, we should touch on the key health benefits that come with drinking bulletproof coffee.
First, it might initially seem like putting butter and oil in your morning drink would have a negative effect on your weight, but studies have shown that quite the opposite is true. By using MCT oil, you can reap the metabolism boosting benefits that it provides, as well as feeling fuller throughout the day.
Coffee itself is also conducive to weight loss and drinking it before a workout allows you to burn more calories as you get moving. One thing to keep in mind is that bulletproof coffee does contain a fair number of calories. Depending on the quantity of each ingredient you use, you stand to gain between 200 and 400 calories per cup.
This is why Dave Asprey recommends using bulletproof coffee as a replacement for other high-calorie breakfast options. In other words, you can drink it in place of your morning bowl of oatmeal or lunchtime snack, especially if your primary goal is to lose weight.
We all know that coffee provides a considerable amount of energy. However, the bulletproof coffee recipe can deliver an even stronger energy boost that lasts longer than a conventional cup of coffee. This is because adding butter causes your body to digest the caffeine at a slower rate, thus pushing back the caffeine crash.
Coconut oil has a similar function, serving as a steady source of energy that activates quickly due to its fast digestion. This is thanks to the shorter chain triglycerides, which are broken down and sent into your bloodstream more quickly.
If you’re looking for something that will help you make the most of your workouts, bulletproof coffee is a suitable tool. It can increase your stamina by using MCT oil to reduce the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles. Lactic acid is responsible for causing the burning sensation that you feel when you start to get tired. Having less of it allows you to go further.
Researchers have also found that MCT oil has a significant effect on cholesterol levels. It lowers the total amount of the chemical in your body while simultaneously boosting the production of good cholesterol. This makes it a useful tool for those who want to decrease their risk of heart disease or improve their lipid profile.
There is a similar benefit with grass-fed butter. Since it contains healthy saturated fat, grass-fed butter is able to raise good cholesterol levels and convert bad cholesterol into its benign subtype, thus further improving heart health.
Finally, bulletproof coffee can be advantageous to your digestive system as well. This happens in two key ways. The first is by preventing leaky gut syndrome, while the second has to do with your gut microbiome.
If your gut lining becomes too permeable (leaky), bacteria and food particles have a higher chance of escaping into your bloodstream. This not only causes inflammation but can aid in the development of diseases such as diabetes. The risk of this happening is reduced by consuming MCT oil.
The same is true for your gut microbiome, as MCT oil has antimicrobial properties that enable it to reduce the presence of pathogenic bacteria in your digestive system, allowing healthy bacteria to thrive. The importance of this microbiome for overall health cannot be understated, so the benefits that bulletproof coffee provides it are certainly welcome.
Bulletproof Coffee Recipe
Now that we’ve established the reasons why people are attracted to bulletproof coffee, you’re probably wondering how to make it. It’s essential that you know how much oil and how much butter to put in coffee so that you have the right balance of ingredients. While personal preferences can vary, there is a standard recipe that we can look to for guidance.
Keep in mind that we’ll be using MCT oil for this recipe, and that you can use the same amount of either grass-fed butter or ghee. We’ll discuss whether it’s better to use coconut oil or MCT oil in the next section.
Standard Bulletproof Coffee Recipe
- 8-12 ounces brewed coffee
- 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil
- 1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter (unsalted) or ghee
Making the beverage is as simple as blending the ingredients together until you have the desired consistency. You can use a blender to speed up the process. The final product should have a creamer consistency than standard black coffee.
Coconut Oil vs MCT Oil
Put simply, MCT oil is derived from coconut oil but contains a higher concentration of those all-important medium-chain triglycerides. Among higher quality blends of MCT oil, you’ll find caprylic acid 8 (C8), which is metabolized much quicker by the body than the components that make up coconut oil.
It is said that MCT oil is around four times more effective than coconut oil when it comes to producing ketones. This is why many drinkers report that their mental focus is improved after consuming bulletproof coffee.
To sum it up, it’s for you to decide whether the advantages of pure MCT oil justify using it in place of coconut oil for your bulletproof coffee brews. You might end up preferring the unique taste of coconut oil or valuing the additional energy boosting benefits of MCT. Give both a try and see what works best for you.
Potential Drawbacks of Bulletproof Coffee
With all of these benefits, does bulletproof coffee have any noteworthy drawbacks? After all, there has to be a cost to these advantages. The short answer is that it depends, namely on exactly how much of each ingredient you use. It can also depend on when you drink it and what the rest of your diet looks like.
A standard cup of bulletproof coffee contains 230 calories, 25 grams of fat (23 grams of which are saturated) and no carbohydrates or protein. Besides that, bulletproof coffee does not contain much along the lines of nutrients, with the exception of small amounts of fat-soluble vitamin A, D and K.
Whether these nutritional facts are good or bad news depends on what you plan on replacing your cup of bulletproof coffee with. If you typically consume a healthy, nutrient-rich meal for breakfast, you might stand to gain less from the cup of coffee, as you won’t be getting essential components like fiber, protein, potassium, iron, and calcium.
Therefore, your best bet is to ensure that you still consume other meals from which you can derive the nutrients and minerals that bulletproof coffee is lacking. As long as you do that, you’ll gain more from the healthy beverage than you would from a standard cup of Joe.
As you can see, there are many reasons to consider giving bulletproof coffee a try. It will certainly be healthier than a conventional cup, especially when it means cutting out sugar. So, perhaps now is the time to pick up some grass-fed butter and coconut oil and brew up your first cup of bulletproof coffee