Bulletproof Coffee: My Review

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If you have been looking to lose weight since the beginning of the New Year, then there is a good chance that you have heard of Bulletproof Coffee or Butter Coffee as some people like to call it.

Many people swear by it, others call it yet another health fad, up there with kale shakes and juice fasts, but what does the evidence say, does butter and coffee together offer something unique for shedding the pounds?

bulletproof coffee

Now, what is Bulletproof Coffee?

Well, it is a blended drink of high-quality coffee, grass-fed butter, and either coconut oil or MCT oil.

The idea is to mimic the effects of intermittent fasting through the avoidance of proteins and carbohydrates, which both cause insulin secretion which can lead to fat storage. However intermittent fasting has benefits beyond weight control, studies show that it can in fact have a substantial impact on life expectancy.

So, the protocol goes that by consuming just fats in the morning you can combine the benefits of intermittent fasting while not getting hungry and losing productive hours, and apparently ideal combination for the busy but health-conscious person.

Now, this doesn’t mean adding a stick of butter into your instant coffee and mixing it, yea that is gross!

No, instead, you choose high-quality coffee low in mold toxins (Central American beans have the lowest levels), grass-fed butter, and MCT oil, then blend it using a high-power blender. pretty simple really.

But does it work?

bulletproof coffee

Well, yes it does. I am afraid this is a simple and easy one, in my experience and the research there cannot be much denying it.

It helps fat loss, turns off hunger for hours, is easy to make, and is steadily stimulating.

MCT oil which is derived from coconut oil stands for medium-chain triglycerides and are fatty acids, essentially it allows your body to quickly make ketones, a form of energy for the body. MCT’s are coming into widespread popularity because of their number of health benefits from fat loss to the recent research examining its effects on Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers. One of the key aspects is the very fast process in which the body can use it as energy in the form of ATP, there are only 3 metabolic steps compared to 26 for simple sugars making it ideal for long-lasting and steady energy without having to go on a very low carb ketogenic diet. By incorporating MCT into the diet you can access the benefits of ketones without the difficult and constraining limits of a ketogenic diet.

You can take this a step further if you have the budget and get hold of Brain Octane Oil, produced by Dave Asprey at the Bulletproof Executive who is responsible for developing Bulletproof Coffee. It is basically upgraded MCT, the strongest stuff on the market. While by no means necessary or essential, it is frankly a big level up. Asprey has distilled coconut oil to a much greater extent with a high proportion of caprylic acid or C8 which is the fastest metabolized fatty acid for the brain. According to Asprey, it is 18 times the strength of regular coconut oil. However, it isn’t cheap and if you aren’t willing to spend that bit more cash, by all means, stick to regular MCT oil.

What about the other stuff, specifically the type of coffee and the butter? After all, adding butter to coffee at first sounds gross and just plain weird!

Well, the butter, supplements the ketogenic effects due to it being saturated fat, and the absence of protein and carbohydrates allows the same effects of intermittent fasting without hunger.

However, it is important to keep it grass-fed and organic as industrial dairy is often full of antibiotics from the cows and pesticides and other chemicals from their food, plus their grain-fed diet harms the fatty acid profile and the vitamin levels. If you are intolerant to casein as some are, you can use ghee or clarified butter instead, I mix it up myself. Generally, lactose intolerance won’t be a problem as there is very little left in butter.

bulletproof coffee

Finally, the quality of the coffee is very important, you will want to avoid cheap instant varieties and go for a high-grade bean, you can see in the photos below I am using an organic whole bean from Peru. You don’t need to grind your own beans of course, but I find it helps keeping it fresh and retain the full rich taste.

Dave Asprey talks a lot about mold toxins in coffee and while he certainly is correct on his analysis of most coffee, he suffers far more than most with toxins issues, so I feel no need to purchase his own variety. This is also because, being based in the UK, all coffee has to meet much stricter regulations on mold toxins levels than in the USA. Essentially, a good bean, ideally from a single source Central American grower and ideally organic is going to be fine for the vast majority of people.

I add some other things in like L-Theanine to take the stimulating effect of caffeine down a notch as well as L-Carnitine and occasionally Maca, I won’t discuss this in length but they are all good additions, in fact, you could add many other things like some cocoa, collagen, other nootropics, and powders such as creatine for example. I do a lot of bodybuilding/powerlifting so frequently add in some of my supplements to the coffee.

So, what are the benefits overall then?

In short, here they are:

1) Fat loss. Mixed evidence but there is an overall correlation showing the increase in satiety and metabolic rate can help.

2) Sustained and steady energy supply. The caffeine combined with MCT’s gives a nice relaxed feeling of energy for hours without the crash associated with simple sugars and carbohydrates. This can be enhanced further by adding in the L-Theanine.

3) Easy and quick to make. You can put it in a thermos and take it with you plus the prep time is much less than a full meal so it is ideal for the busy and commuting person, and who isn’t busy these days!

4) Gut health. The polyphenols from the coffee plus the effects of the MCT are great for your gut flora. Research is mounting on the importance of gut health and the gut-brain axis. MCT has been shown to heal the gut lining and reduce gut permeability conditions in rats and in humans, due to the anti-fungal and anti-bacterial effects, it improves overall gut health.

bulletproof coffee

But what does any of this have to do with willpower?

Well, one of the most important factors about having high and sustained willpower, is our energy levels and overall health.

Bulletproof Coffee is one of many ways to enhance this through the steady and powerful energy supply and focus contributed by the caffeine. Furthermore, the health benefits of ketosis, keep us in good shape but most importantly maintain our brain health. A healthy brain is absolutely imperative for strong willpower and avoiding energy peaks and crashes as can happen from sugary foods, is incredibly helpful.

This is just part of my material on the importance and effects of nutrition for willpower, and if you found this helpful and/or interesting, please go and have a look at this article, outlining the role of nutrition for willpower.

I have attached a series of photos from my Bulletproof Coffee ritual, in the sequence of making it just to show you where I get the ingredients and all the equipment needed, it isn’t much and all the equipment can all be picked up on Amazon. A good and powerful blender is very important, mixing in the oil and butter will not taste good I assure you!

Where to Buy Bulletproof Coffee

No matter if you live in the UK, you can still buy all of the official Bulletproof products directly from the US Bulletproof online store.

(Top Tip: Check out if there is a current discount code).

The Bulletproof store can definitely can post to your UK, or most European addresses. For the full range of products you’ll need to buy from the US store, but you may need to pay some customs duty.

If you have had any personal experience with Bulletproof Coffee or even other fat-based beverages like the tea and butter combo that Tim Ferriss is a fan of, be sure to leave a comment below.

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