If you’re a caffeine fiend, that first coffee of the morning is likely one of the most important moments of your day – the roasting smell coming from the cafetiere, the brain-animating hit you get knocking back an espresso, the swirl of milk through a mug of instant.
How would you feel about it if it was laced with butter and oil though? Because that’s what’s involved with bulletproof coffee, and some people absolutely swear by it…
What is it?
A drinks trend kick-started by Bulletproof founder, CEO and self-styled ‘Father of Biohacking’ Dave Asprey, who in 2004 drank a cup of local yak butter tea while on a trek in Tibet. He says it made him feel better and instantly revived, even though he was incredibly low on energy. He returned to Silicon Valley and formulated his own version: Bulletproof coffee, as an alternative to breakfast.
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How is it made?
The basic recipe involves blending one mug of black coffee (your choice of brand/beans), with two tablespoons of unsalted butter, and a tablespoon of pure coconut oil, or MCT Oil (Medium-Chain Triglycerides), which you can get from health food stores. It should end up creamy.
What are the benefits?
According to Asprey and many of his disciples (apparently Jimmy Fallon, Ed Sheeran and Kim Kardashian are all fans), bulletproof coffee can boost focus, brain function, help with weight loss (and appetite suppression), and keep you feeling full – and full of energy – throughout the day. Plus, it’s a sugar-free breakfast option.
The caffeine in the coffee is there to trigger alertness – and comes with its own health benefits (one study suggests drinking coffee could have a favourable effect in the prevention of pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes). The butter (grass-fed is recommended) provides fat to help keep energy levels up, and is a source of vitamin A; while the MCT oil is thought to help your body with fat-burning, as it can aid digestion.
What are the concerns?
Some argue that bulletproof coffee is low in nutrients – especially compared to a nutritionally-balanced breakfast – and high in saturated fats, particularly in terms of the butter element. The latter can raise bad cholesterol in the blood stream, which in turn, can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
And while anecdotally, bulletproof coffee works for some people, and is often adopted by those following a ketogenic diet, of course, it may not work for everyone. Our bodies want and need different things.