From the stay-home mom to the chief executive, this is your life saver on a hectic morning. It takes just five extra minutes in the morning to start your day off with this creamy coffee drink and keeps you full until lunch. We bet you already guess what it is, it's Bulletproof Coffee.
Bulletproof Coffee is also know as butter coffee. It’s coffee with butter and MCT oil, which is triple-distilled from coconut oil, blended into it (with a blender). It tastes like coffee with a LOT of milk and has a creamy texture. This coffee recipe was originally formulated by Bulletproof founder and biohacker Dave Asprey, but has been adopted (and adjusted) widely since. Here are some reasons why: it contains a high amount of healthy, well-sourced, saturated fat, and is highly beneficial for the brain. There are other benefits too: improved metabolism, weight loss, improved gut health, and increased mood and energy. Read on for the original Bulletproof Coffee recipe, why it works and what you should be aware of.
BULLETPROOF COFFEE RECIPE - THE ORIGINAL
Start to Finish: 5 minutes
If you’re new to MCT oil, start with 1 tsp. and build to the full serving size over several days.
- Brew 1 cup of coffee using NoordCode coffee beans or grounds.
- Add coffee, C8 MCT oil and butter or ghee to a blender.
- Blend 20-30 seconds until it looks like a creamy latte. Enjoy!
Makes: 1 cup
Adjust the amount of butter, ghee and MCT oil to find what works for you.
Why Bulletproof Coffee works
1. Lots of energy and concentration
In the short-term, the caffeine from the coffee will stimulate you mentally, providing mental clarity and high concentration.
The coconut oil provides energy in the form of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are rapidly taken up by the body since they are more water-soluble than longer-chained triglycerides. Also, MCTs are almost immediately converted into ketones by the liver! More on MCTs later.
In the longer term (say, a few hours), the body will have taken up some of the fats from the butter and remaining coconut oil. If you drink Bulletproof Coffee in the morning and have not eaten anything that raises your blood glucose levels, your body will preferentially burn fat. The body starts burning fat while you are sleeping and continues to do so after you wake up (unless you elevate your blood glucose levels).
By adding more fats in the morning, your body will continue to burn fats. Fats burn very gently and slowly (no energy spikes or dips like with carbs or protein), so your energy will remain constant as long as fats are available. Remember, it does not matter to your mitochondria whether you just ate the fats or if they come from your fat stores. Fat will be available until insulin sends it back into the adipose tissue for storage.
2. No hunger
Hunger is a way for your brain to tell you that it’s running low on fuel. It entices you to eat something to replenish your fuel supplies. Unlike what most people think, though, you technically don’t need to eat every single day at set meal times. Humans, in general, can go for days without food (not saying that you should want to, but it’s an option). Fasting or not eating regularly gets easier when your body is used to burning fats for fuel (keto-adapted). When you are keto-adapted and you have some fat stored, your body will simply use your stored fat for energy when you are fasting. In a keto-adapted state, eating is driven more by habit (regularly schedules meals) than by a ‘need’ to eat.
When the body relies on glucose as its primary fuel source, we feel like we need to eat every 2-3 hours, because the food we eat makes us hungry! That is, carbohydrates and protein make us hungry. Remember how insulin stores energy (making it not available to be burned)? This takes available energy out of the blood stream (be it glucose or fats). When the brain notices the decrease in energy, you get hungry. If you eat something that raises blood glucose, your body produces insulin. Insulin then decreases available energy… you get the picture.
However, by not raising insulin (by not eating or by eating just fats), your energy won’t be put into storage and will remain constant. Without a feeling of hunger, I commonly forget to eat my (previously) regularly scheduled meals. (There will be a routine feeling of hunger at first during your regular meal times, but this should pass after 15 minutes or so if you ignore it and decrease over time).
3. Weight loss (if your body has stored excess fat)
This benefit goes back to insulin again (or a lack thereof). As I mentioned earlier, insulin promotes storage of fats while it is present. When insulin is not around, this fat slowly gets released into the bloodstream to serve as energy for other tissues. If insulin is present for long periods of time, the fat input is constant but the output is blocked. Think of like a bath tub or sink: you can pour water in, but if the drain is open, the water can still pour out at about the same rate. Insulin acts like a clog that prevents water from draining away. But instead of overflowing like a bath would, the body expands the size of the bath to fit the incoming water. Result: you are getting fat. Not a great long-term solution.
Don’t think Bulletproof Coffee can perform miracles! It will still take several weeks to months for your body to drain away excess stored fat on a perfect ketogenic (fat-burning) diet. However, Bulletproof Coffee will make it easier to sustain your chosen dietary adjustments if losing weight is your goal.
Points of attention
In some cases, Bulletproof Coffee does not work and there are some things you should be mindful off before fully embracing Bulletproof Coffee. Like any new food, your body will need some time to adapt to it.
Lots of fat
Bulletproof Coffee is generally not something most people will be able to tolerate right away (at least, not the high-fat/high-MCT recipe as described here). This is because it contains a lot of fat. The body might not be used to dealing with this amount of fat at once and will react negatively to it. Your digestive tract will be displeased and may start to eliminate the offending foods in either direction. This is especially true for MCT oil, but more on that later.
Solution: take it slow. Start by adding 5-10 grams of butter and the same amount of coconut/MCT oil. You can increase the amount of fat slowly over the course of a week or two. Otherwise … well, you have been warned.
Lots of MCTs
MCTs or medium chain triglycerides are special, short fatty acids that are found in, for example, coconut and palm oil. MCT oils are made from purifying coconut or palm oils (by taking other fats out). Not all MCTs are created equal and some can cause distress when taken in large quantities without prior adjustment. Overdosing on MCT oil will likely cause a condition Dave calls ‘disaster pants’ (aka rapid onset diarrhea).
If your mental energy craters after an hour or so, you can safely assume that the ingredients you used were contaminated with something that triggered your body’s immune system. An acute immune response causes a fight or flight response (by releasing adrenaline), which takes a large part of your energy and diverts it to your muscles and heart. This is to make you act quickly to oncoming danger. Likely, there is no real oncoming danger (if you were able to enjoy your Bulletproof Coffee earlier), so your body just wasted perfectly good energy for no real reason. If you pay attention, you might even feel a slightly (or not so slightly) elevated heart rate 30 to 90 minutes after drinking the coffee.
The most likely source of contamination is the coffee. As a product in general, it has a very high rate of being contaminated with mold toxins (mycotoxins). These toxins will trigger your immune system to react and launch a fight or flight response. Contamination may occur due to the use of low-quality beans or bad processing. Sensitivity to mycotoxins may vary between people, but negative effects are almost guaranteed. There are much more reasons to avoid mycotoxins as much as possible, but that is beyond the scope of this blog post.
Take your Bulletproof Coffee to another level
Like any good biohack, you can personalize Bulletproof Coffee to a recipe that works for you. Learn more about mind blowing recipes to upgrade your Bulletproof coffee recipe by fine-tuning the variables coffee, butter, ghee, and MCT oil - or powder. And add extra upgrades, like collagen, adaptogens or spices.