Perhaps you’ve heard something about this bulletproof coffee trend? So what’s all the hype? And what, exactly, is Bulletproof Coffee?
(Disclosure: I have been following the Bulletproof Diet for nearly 2 years and I’m working toward my Bulletproof Coaching certification.)
It can be a bit confusing. Here’s the official definition from the creator himself, Dave Asprey:
“a blended drink made of Upgraded Coffee blended together with grass-fed unsalted butter and Brain Octane Oil (see recipe below).”
I would say that what you see above is the official, strict definition. What other definitions exist?
Coffee and Butter. Many people believe that Bulletproof Coffee is simply a combination of coffee with butter. I agree with this definition, as long as you do the following:
- Use high quality coffee that’s mostly free of mold toxins – so that you don’t get that bad feeling in your head (eg, brain fog) or your stomach;
- Use butter from grass fed cows (like Kerrygold) – otherwise you have butter with oxidized fats potentially causing cell damage, inflammation, and so on…;
- Sufficiently blend the coffee and butter together (otherwise you have butter on top of your coffee rather than in your coffee).
Coconut Oil. Above we have the coffee and butter more or less sorted. I know a lot of people who really like the coconut flavor in coconut oil thus, if you’re in this camp (like me), it seems to make sense to add that to your coffee. However, I’ve anecdotally heard from friends and family that, without changing anything else in their diets, they have gained weight from the coconut oil coffee. Here are my recommendations:
- Use the most effective, clean source of coconut oil extract that you can find. Ideally this will contain primarily C8 MCTs that will be the most effective for brain function, energy, and potentially staving off parkinson’s, alzheimer’s, and cancer. I use Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil.
- If you like the coconut flavor, take it easy on the coconut oil. Moderation is key. Perhaps even better, use an MCT oil that has the coconut flavor. I’ve had it before but offhand I don’t remember the brand – nor do I know if it’s safe or effective and thus warrants more research.
Other Bulletproof-like Variations. People who don’t drink coffee or prefer other brews often use various ingredients such as teas, chocolates and much, much more.
- Tea. You can use any mix of teas. Tim Ferris’ morning tea cocktail consists of aged pu-erh tea, sencha tea, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, turmeric and ginger.
- Dark Chocolate. If you want to skip the tea and coffee entirely and you’re a fan of dark chocolate, you can simply substitute your tea or coffee with dark chocolate.
- Yerba Mate. I often drink yerba mate brewed in a french press and blended with coconut oil and/or butter. With teas I often like to add chocolate.
- Herbs and Spices and More. You often get additional benefits when adding herbs and spices. Here are just a few:
- Turmeric. For anti-inflammatory benefits.
- L-theanine. A green tea extract that calms and is a great way to balance out the caffeine high.
- Cinnamon. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Cinnamon can be used to help treat muscle spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, infections, the common cold, loss of appetite, and erectile dysfunction.
- Kimera Koffee. “Packed with premium-grade Nootropics – like Alpha-GPC, taurine, L-theanine, and DMAE – and proven to help you increase focus, power output and cognition.”
Shit to Avoid. Can you put other stuff in your coffee? Sure, but do so at your own risk.
- Sugar (including honey). No! Bad! Just don’t do it. Fat and sugar just don’t mix. It’s a recipe for health disaster. If you must have sweetener, use an alternative like Stevia or Xylitol – especially if you tend to get plugged up. The coffee, oil and xylitol will make a person like me sprint to the bathroom faster than Usain Bolt.
- Milk or Cream. Again, this is a no-no. As with sugar, you’ll lose the benefits of better brain function, increased energy, and normalized weight because they change insulin response, stop autophagy, and cause inflammation leading to a foggy brain, hunger, and fat gain. Stay away!
I think I’ve discovered only the tip of the iceberg in terms of coffee and its effects – especially when combined with other ingredients. I think that the true gem that has come out of Bulletproof Coffee is in the powerful effects of C8 MCT oil (Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil). If you haven’t already, you’ll be hearing more and more about its benefits. I think the evidence and science behind it will get stronger and we’ll see just how powerful it can be. We’ll also inevitably uncover any of its downsides.
Stay tuned…and let me know:
How do you like your coffee?