Bulletproof Coffee: All You Want to Know
Bulletproof coffee - yum. This is one of my favourite beverages to consume (after water of course). Its creamy, frothy, delicious, and packs a punch. Seriously, super powered brain here I come. I consume this 2-7 times per week, and its one of my fave little rituals. For those of you who don't know, I worked for Starbucks for almost three years and one of my favourite parts of the job were coffee tastings. We would make french pressed coffee (the best IMO), and pair it with a pastry to taste it with. It was a little ritual all in itself. Smelling, discussing the notes, tasting on its own, tasting with a pastry to see how it brought out other flavours. There is a ritual around coffee. Now, I tend to try and not eat the pastries (but come on, sometimes) and instead have replaced the ritual with a healthier option.
I love to brew my cup of coffee, gather my ingredients, place them in my blender and listen to it whir while it whips up my frothy bevy. Ritual. I usually enjoy a cup first thing, and eat a breakfast several hours later or I have it as an afternoon pick me up. Now for the first common question: what is it? Well bulletproof coffee is simply coffee (I prefer to get an organic high quality coffee), 1-2 tbsp of ghee or grass-fed butter, 1 tsp - 2 tbsp of Bulletproof Brain Octane (a must have in my house), blended in a blender until it is frothy and looks like a latte. I love to add 1-2 tbsp of collagen peptides into the mix, but that is totally optional.
Why bulletproof coffee? Well the creator, Dave Asprey has done a load of research on this. He is his own guinea pig. But before I dive into this, I must say this: bulletproof coffee only works on individuals who are eating a lower carbohydrate diet, because your body starts using fat as fuel instead of the carbs. There is a lot of evidence to say that eating a high fat and high carb diet can cause weight gain, and a variety of other issues. For me, I honestly feel better higher fat, lower carbs, and loads of veggies. But each of us are totally different. That being said, Dave touts that the bulletproof coffee can do all of these things:
- coffee is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants (just watch out for high quality coffees), helps keep your brain sharp and has been shown to help protect you from neurodegenerative diseases
- grass fed butter or ghee is high in nutrients, and in particular the hard to get vitamin K, as well as omega-3's, beta-carotene, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and CLA. There is also a substance called butyrate found in grass fed butter or ghee that has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body
- brain octane oil is a purified form of MCT oil that is derived from coconuts and it has been shown to reduce hunger by suppressing the hunger hormone ghrelin, it helps your body produce ketones - which help you lose weight by having your body burn fat as fuel, and is a huge source of clean fuel for your brain (your brain loves fats)
I personally add the collagen for the extra protein, the loving on my joints, ligaments and gut, as well as the added benefits of stronger hair, glowing skin and strong nails. It also amps up the frothiness a bit too.
A HUGE question is won't drinking fat make you fat? Well, science is realizing that the very outdated research on fats and the low-fat propaganda that we have been fed for years is not exactly true. Our body needs and thrives on healthy fats: coconut oil, avocados, fish and fish oils, grass fed butter or ghee, olives, etc. They have actually found that eating adequate amounts of fat can alleviate cravings, boost energy, turn on your brain, balance your hormones, and help you lose weight. Not to mention, all the vitamins that need fat in order to be absorbable.
Consuming high quality fat also helps balance blood sugar levels, and gives you energy to get through your day. Balanced blood sugar is key for happy hormones, and a huge reason why I started drinking bulletproof coffee in the first place. It also helps keep you full longer, helping you stay on track with your nutrition goals.
Now, how did this all come to be? I have to share this story straight from the Bulletproof website:
Dave got the idea for Bulletproof Coffee after a trek in Tibet in 2004. At 18,000 above sea level and -10°F, his energy was plummeting – until he staggered into a guest house and a local handed him a creamy cup of yak butter tea.
The butter-infused drink is a necessity for the people in Tibet, who live and work in such rugged, high altitude terrain. The drink instantly rejuvenated Dave. It was like a flip was switched on in his brain and body.
The biohacker in him wondered why the tea made him feel so good, and he embarked on years of research into why the yak butter turned his brain on. Eventually, Dave substituted tea for mold-free coffee, and yak butter for regular old grass-fed cow’s butter. Brain Octane Oil was the final missing piece. Together, those three ingredients gave Dave the abundant energy and effortless mental clarity he felt in that hut in Tibet. That’s how Bulletproof Coffee was born.
It's pretty cool to me when people find out something that has been around for years and years, is the key to making them feel good. I honestly have had so much energy, no jitters when I have a cup of coffee like this, sharp focus (super brain over here), and less sugar cravings (which in itself is a win). And after reading through the comment section over on Bulletproof - I have to add this: you must do your own research and test things in YOUR BODY. Each of us have a different biochemical makeup, different lifestyles and different dietary needs. What might work for me, might not work for you.
I also want to point out that there was a heated debate on that comment board about what nutritional guidelines can be found in the bible .. just going to put this out there as someone who totally believes there is a higher power out there, but the bible was NOT written by god, but by men. And it is outdated, and not to be used as a source of nutritional advice. PLEASE consult scientific journals, articles, well established doctors, nutritionists, etc for advice instead. You can be religious and believe in a higher power or god, and understand that not everything in the bible is to be taken literally and also believe in science. Just saying.
At the end of the day, I have found through my own diet and lifestyle choices that a bulletproof coffee is a great additive into my day. It gives me the energy boost I need, boosts my focus and keeps me full longer. I use it to intermittent fast several days a week, which I suppose is another post all in itself, and to help me burn fat as my primary fuel source. If you are interested in trying it, I urge you to research a bit and try it yourself. And as an aside: if you are sensitive to dairy or even to ghee (which is grass-fed butter stripped of the dairy solids), feel free to opt out of it and just have the brain octane oil instead. I find no difference in the energy and hunger suppression effects when I don't add ghee.