A conversation that I have seem to have more and more regularly goes something like this; ‘Hey … how is life going?’ ‘Great, I have just started this fantastic diet and have already lost … kgs!’ ‘Really? That is amazing! Which diet is it?’ ‘The Keto diet and guess what you can even drink coffee on it! And there is this amazing drink called Bulletproof coffee that is both delicious and really healthy …’
The last decade or so has seen a marked rise in the use of diets as a way to maintain health and lose weight. In fact, in America alone, the number of adults on diets has risen from 14% in 2017 to over 36% which equals out as more than a whopping 45 million people! Among the most popular of these are the Keto and Paleo diets which have led to the somewhat surprising rise of bulletproof coffee.
Bulletproof Coffee is the brainchild of eccentric ‘biohacker’ Dave Asprey and consists of a mixture of black coffee, butter, and MCT oil. Asprey came across this concoction while on a trek in Tibet of all places and claims that this seemingly unhealthy mixture may actually maximise some of the health benefits of coffee and even help you to lose weight!
So is he right? Is bulletproof coffee really healthy? Can it help you lose weight? How do you make it? Do you need to use the trademarked Bulletproof beans? This article will seek to answer these questions and to help you decide whether bulletproof coffee is a good idea for you.
What is Bulletproof coffee?
Bulletproof coffee is basically a rich, creamy coffee that is made from blending coffee with grass-fed butter and MCT oil. Now you might understandably be thinking ‘that sounds revolting!’ That is certainly what I thought when I first heard of it. But when I finally took the dive and ventured to order my first cup at a local cafe I was pleasantly surprised. The coffee wasn’t oily like I was expecting but instead creamy and smooth. When the different ingredients are blended together, the butter emulsifies, creating a creamy, frothy texture which is almost like a latte.
Why would you drink Bulletproof coffee?
So why would you chose to adopt this over other forms of coffee? And the somewhat contested answer is for health reasons. Advocates of bulletproof coffee claim that this drink:
The official website for Bulletproof Company Website claims that:
“ Bulletproof Coffee is breakfast — but without the added sugar that comes with some common morning staples like fruit juices, smoothies and bread.”
This is one of its most common uses as a substitute for a carb-heavy breakfast. Needless to say that having this alongside your cream cheese coated bagel will not produce the desired results!
Tip: Despite some of the lofty claims substituting coffee for a meal does not provide all the nutrients your body needs. If you are dieting we recommend you take a multivitamin supplement alongside.
Bulletproof Coffee Recipe
- Brew a fresh batch of coffee ideally using either French Press or Pour Over method
- Combine all ingredients in a pre-warmed blender
- Blend until smooth
- Serve immediately
Tip: If you are having MCT oil for the first time, we recommend that you start with a small amount of oil and work your way up. Sudden high doses taken without food can cause severe stomach cramps.
Wanting to spice it up?
Wanting to spice your Bulletproof coffee up a bit? Try adding these for extra flavour:
Now let’s have a closer look at each of the main ingredients…
Bulletproof coffee beans..?
Role: Coffee increases energy, enhances concentration, promotes fat burning and contains antioxidants (3)
Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof Coffee, recommends using their official coffee beans which are marketed as being mycotoxin free. Mycotoxins are basically mould toxins that are found on many coffee beans. When consumed in large quantities these Mycotoxins can be poisonous (however the levels found in coffee beans are far below the safety limit!). Mycotoxins are also present in various other foods such as wine, dark chocolate and peanut butter.
The long and short of it is that coffee beans normally do contain mycotoxins but the levels are low enough not to be concerned about. So it is absolutely fine and to be honest probably nicer to just use freshly ground beans from a local coffee roasters or ordered online.
Role: Grass-fed butter contains higher amounts of antioxidants as well as higher amounts of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, than regular butter (4)
The butter is what gives the coffee its creamy taste. Butter causes the energy to be released more slowly so you don’t get that caffeine crash. It is recommended to use grass-fed as opposed to grain-fed butter as grass-fed butter has more healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins, a better omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, and fewer toxins. Alternatively if you are lactose intolerant you could use grass-fed ghee which have all the same benefits of grass-fed butter. When getting butter make sure it is unsalted because who likes salty coffee?!
Role: MCT oil has been shown to promote weight loss and improve cholesterol levels (5)
MCT oil is a colourless, odourless oil. MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides, how is that for a mouthful! These triglycerides are fatty acids that are easily broken down and absorbed. This makes them a quick energy source and less likely to be stored as fat. They are broken down in the liver and used as energy or turned into ketones. The main MCTs are:
Ideally you want an oil that is high in C8 and C10.
Coconut oil is a rich source of MCTs, consisting of about 55% of it being MCTs, however only a small portion of those are C8 and C10. Given this it is far better to opt for an MCT oil. MCT oil is a highly concentrated source of MCTs that generally contain either 100% caprylic acid (C8), 100% capric acid (C10), or a mixture of the two.
So we recommend using an MCT oil rather than a supplement such as coconut oil in your bulletproof coffee. However, it is not necessary to use the official bulletproof brand. There are plenty of other good brands out there! Not sure what one to go for? Check out out top 3 picks below:
Health benefits of MCT oil
MCT oil does have many proven health benefits and not just to aid weight loss. If you are interested in a full list check out this article here. Some of these benefits include:
Pro Tips for making Bulletproof coffee
So is Bulletproof Coffee for You?
In conclusion, Bulletproof coffee is a mixture of black coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil. It is a creamy drink that is low in carbohydrates, but high in fat and calories. If you are on a low carbohydrate diet it can reduce hunger and cravings and aid in losing weight.
So should you drink it? Well to be completely honest, it would be healthier to just drink straight black coffee which has a lot less calories with most of the health benefits. However, Bulletproof coffee can be a helpful dietary addition to help reach and maintain ketosis. So if you are currently on a low carb diet and already have a coffee in place of breakfast then yea it might be worth a try. But do you need it to lose weight and succeed on your diet, no way! We hope this is helpful as you continue on your coffee (and perhaps weight loss!) journey.