Bulletproof coffee was originally invented by Dave Asprey. A smart businessman that came up with the concept after he traveled to Tibet and drew his inspiration from the locals that added Yak butter to their tea. He was overweight & chronically fatigued all the time when in that period of his life. Upon consuming the tea however – he felt very energized, his mental functions were instantly improved and he had an overall sense of well-being. Dave then came up with the idea to add the same combination of ingredients to coffee instead – his own drink of choice.
Ever since its discovery a few years back a lot of athletes, CEO’s and even renowned celebrities all over the world have advocated for bulletproof coffee and its effects on physical and mental health.
After initially rising tremendously in popularity primarily in the United States for the last couple of years, it has since grown out to be a worldwide trend to consume butter coffee. Is it as healthy & delicious as is often claimed? Is it wise to consume on the ketogenic diet?
Bulletproof coffee on keto has also risen in popularity due to their supposedly similar effects. Keto definitely passes the test, but does this variant of coffee do so too?
Health hype or not? Let’s find out!
What is bulletproof coffee?
To put is simply: bulletproof coffee is regular American coffee with a serving of coconut oil (or MCT oil and) butter. It is claimed by many people that it will aid in your mental focus & help you shed body fat and suppress hunger. Because of the added butter and coconut oil it is rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
It contains zero carbohydrates, and provides the body with fat for fuel, which will keep your liver producing ketones – making it a golden match with the keto diet!
Is bulletproof coffee healthy, or a snack?
To start off bulletproof coffee is very high in fat content, making it an easy on-the-go meal on the keto diet. And will, depending on how much of the fatty ingredients you add, curb your appetite for several hours. Again, depending on how much fat you add the caloric value will range from 200 – 500 calories. Making it equivalent to a meal. Regular black coffee has 0 calories, making it a viable drink to consume throughout the day.(Even when fasting!)
Considering the healthy fatty acids it provides, along with suppressing hunger I would say it’s a good replacement meal to use occasionally if you are in a hurry that will keep you in ketosis. However, since it doesn’t provide a lot of minerals and vitamins I would not suggest you use bulletproof coffee as a meal replacement, like for instance, a keto meal replacement shake is. It also lacks the protein and fiber to act as a meal.
Which isn’t to say that it is a great complementation on your keto diet. Which it really is!
Is it tasty?
While it is very tempting to over consume this butter coffee(If you are a fan of coffee and cream in general!) the calories add up quickly. Monitor your intake carefully.
While tastes differ per individual – I can only give you my personal view on this… I absolutely love the flavor of bulletproof coffee!
It is creamy, fatty, smooth, combined with the rich dark flavor of your favorite blend of arabica beans. It really is a miraculous drink – both in effects and in taste alike.
I like to add a touch of cinnamon and cacao to add to the already very creamy nature of this coffee (I add these to almost anything, so no surprises there xD), whipped cream and a drop of vanilla extract to give it a sweet touch. The added cacao and cinnamon will also make it slightly more nutritious as they are rich in minerals such as (magnesium, iron, zinc and chrome) and cacao contains caffeine as well as theobromine which both amplify the stimulating effects bulletproof coffee itself already has.
For me, and thousands of persons along with me, it is an ideal breakfast replacement. Or it can also serve very well as an in-between meal if you are feeling hangry – but either don’t want to consume too much calories, or if you don’t have the time to prepare a full meal. As bulletproof coffee is fully prepped and ready to drink within several minutes.
The authentic way to make original bulletproof coffee
In order to get the creamy brain booster just right follow the steps below!
- Start by boiling water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit(100 degrees Celsius) and brewing your coffee from it.
- Add 1,5 tablespoon of Coconut oil/MCT/Brain octane oil.(15 grams)
- Add 1,5 tablespoon of grass fed butter or Ghee if you are lactose intolerant(15 grams)
This will bring the caloric value of 1 bulletproof coffee to around 260 calories and 30 grams of high quality, ketone producing fats to help you burn your fat!
I recommend that when you have combined the ingredients in your mug of coffee, you use the PowerLix frother to mix them all up without getting any lumps. Another benefit of using the frother is that when you add heavy or whipped cream(or a keto creamer) to your bulletproof coffee as well, it will create this delicious foamy layer on top!
Coffee beans – The heart of bulletproof coffee
At the core of every good bulletproof coffee, it is a requirement that you need good quality coffee beans. It will be responsible for the deep & dark flavor you know from your cup of arabica.
For the best flavor and nutritional properties I recommend you get the coffee beans from Bulletproof(the brand). They have their own line of coffee beans that is high quality 100% Arabica and very affordable. If you like your coffee strong, like me – I highly recommend these dark roast coffee beans.
It has a deep, pure & rich coffee flavor that will serve as the perfect foundation for your buttery cup of Joe.
MCT/Coconut/Brain octane oil – Instantly available fats for ketones
For fats(MCT’s) you can use either Coconut oil, MCT oil or Brain octane oil. All three will provide you with healthy omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. I will(try ;)) not get too deep into the details about the differences between the three, but one thing I will say is that MCT and brain octane oil are derived from the fats in coconut oil.
I will provide a short description of all three below. Each of them are viable to use for bulletproof coffee, however they are not equal when it comes to their own properties. I would say that in this case it really holds up the statement that you get what you pay for. Each of the below fat compounds differ in the way they are digested, the time they take to be ready as fuel, and not entirely unimportant – the costs!
Coconut Oil – Healthy, but slow!
The foundation on which both MCT oil and Brain octane oil are based on. While coconut oil is very healthy for a numerous amount of reasons, it as a bit less suitable for optimizing the benefits that bulletproof coffee was invented for. It contains healthy fats, but not ones that are quickly processed by your body by bypassing your digestive systems.
Coconut oil is fairly low on Medium Chain Triglycerides(MCT’s) – which are the medium long chains of fatty acids that are composed of 6-12 chains(Hence why they are C6-C12), or biochemical connections that are responsible for the quick and explosive energy burst that is associated with bulletproof coffee. Anything longer than 12 chains will be an LCT(Long chain triglycerides), which will be the majority of fats in your diet(They take longer to process) There are 4 MCT’s that are found in coconut oil:
- Caproic Acid(C6) – A rapidly available fat that may cause stomach upset when consumed in large quantities.
- Caprylic Acid(C8) – Anti fungal/bacterial, stabilizes blood pressure & helps fighting crohns disease provides ketones super fast.
- Capric Acid(C10) – Anti-viral, increases fat burning processes, decreases LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol & increases(healthy) HDL cholestorel
- Lauric Acid(C12)
From now on I will refer to the above listed fats mostly by their ‘C names’
The bulk of the fatty acids in coconut oil is from Lauric Acid(C12), around 55%. Lauric acid is a fatty chain that unlike C6, C8 & C10 first still has to undergo digestion via your stomach, to then proceed to your small intestine and only then go to your liver – and eventually your blood stream, Where it will finally be readily available as energy.
Don’t get me wrong! This doesn’t mean that Lauric Acid is less healthy than the other MCT’s. It is simply less suitable to provide you with the quick energy burst that we want are looking for in bulletproof coffee – that the other MCT’s will definitely provide, since they go directly to your liver to be broken down into ketones as energy.
MCT oil – Balanced source of MCT’s
MCT oil is an artificially derived oil (not a bad thing in this case!) that is based of off coconut oil. By manually removing Lauric acid(C12) from coconut oil we get MCT oil. Which means that MCT oil has the remaining Medium chain triglycerides(C6, C8, C10) as its contents, making it a very balanced oil for good quality fats that are quickly available as ketones.
C8 is definitely the MCT that will be absorbed at the fastest rate, and since MCT oil also has all three – including C6 and C10 it has all the health benefits of these medium long fatty chains but it will not absorb as rapidly(and thus deliver the energy burst) as brain octane oil will.
Brain octane oil – Ketone heaven, but with a price tag
Brain octane oil is composed solely, for a 100% of Caprylic acid.(C8) The only other commonly consumed sources that C8 is found in, albeit in lower quantities, are butter/ghee & coconut oil(around 8% of coconut oil is C8)
Because C8 skips the digestive systems and goes straight to the liver to be turned into ketones it is the ideal source of fat for your bulletproof coffee. It literally takes minutes(!) for your body to turn it into ketones as fuel, Which is record-breaking fast! Regular fats that are found in other sources, even those on the keto diet, will take up to several hours to be available for your body as an energy source.
Brain octane oil(C8) will instantly provide you with energy, mental clarity,(Making it an ideal kick starter for your mornings as breakfast!) deepen your state of ketosis(higher mmol/L) which will continue you burning your own fat reserves as fuel.
When compared to coconut oil, the consumption of brain octane oil increases your body’s ability to produce ketones by up to 450% due to the enormous concentration of C8 in brain octane oil.
Which one should I buy?
The bottom line, like I said before, is that you get what you pay for. Coconut oil is still a good option, as it does have MCT’s, but it definitely cuts way short on its ability to provide clean and instant energy in the form of ketones as MCT oil and Brain octane oil do. Because of the higher MCT content in the latter two they will also be more effective in burning your own body fat. Both directly because MCT’s speed up your metabolism, but also indirectly because of the increased ketone production that the ‘instant’ MCT’s provide(C6, C8 especially & C10)
I would personally recommend you to go for coconut oil if you want the majority of mental benefits and save you money. While it will save you quite a bit of your hard-earned cash, there is definitely an incentive to go for the more expensive oils. You definitely get what you pay for in this regard.
If you do choose to stick with coconut oil(which is fine!) Amazon’s own cold-pressed organic & unrefined virgin coconut oil is a brilliant choice in that case (much cheaper than the coconut oils it competes with! And it will serve as a solid source of MCT’s for your bulletproof coffee)
MCT is right in the middle. It has more of the faster processed MCT’s than coconut oil, but not as much C8(the quickest MCT) as brain octane oil. It is slightly more expensive than coconut oil, albeit cheaper than brain octane oil.
If you want the quick mental boost and instant energy than the brain octane oil is simply a no-brainer(pun intended)
Butter – The natural creamer
Any butter without additives will do fine. I would advise you to pick a grass fed butter as it is richer in vitamin K2 which will keep your heart healthy, and de-calcifies your arteries. I have good experiences with Kerry golds grass fed butter(Whipped cream is also a good substitute if you don’t have any butter at home!) Grass fed butter is rich on vitamins K, D and contains high amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
Another alternative to butter is ghee. Ghee is an originally Indian, clarified butter. Clarified butter means that the protein content that a normal butter has is no longer present, because the moisture and milk constituents have evaporated by heating it. This creates the beautiful golden substance that is Ghee. Ghee is both lactose and casein free.
Ghee is a super food for a couple of reasons:
- Ghee contains butyric acid – Which is very beneficial to cleaning up your digestive systems and is very effective at treating digestive issues and chronic diseases like crohns.
- Another source that is rich in MCT’s – Giving you quality energy fast and burning fat whilst doing so.
- Rich on vitamins A, D, E and K
The alternative to bulletproof coffee on keto
Not to the bulletproof part – but to coffee! Like the way Dave originally invented the drink. If you are not craving your (over) dose of Java all day like I am – you can add the butters to your tea or hot chocolate(or any other hot drink for that matter), making those drinks bulletproof as well, giving you the same results. You are after all, essentially just making your hot drink fatter, creamier & more nutritious!
Alternatively, if you like coffee but you aren’t a fan of the traditional bulletproof coffee flavor there are certain ingredients you can add to make it more appetizing.
Renowned keto expert Thomas Delauer also has a couple of amazing recipes for bulletproof coffee that you should try out. All four of them have different ingredients in them to your supply your body with the optimal nutrients it needs at that time of day. In the video below he will show you how to make a breakfast, protein lunch, a treat & finally a craving destroyer bulletproof coffee! They are all pretty easy to make as well!
A favorite of mine, next to my forever loved bulletproof coffee is the bulletproof craving killer – bulletproof matcha green tea, much like the recipe that Thomas describes above. This is not only crazy delicious, but it also provides both the fatty content of bulletproof – combine that with the fat burning and rejuvenating effects of green tea! A double whammy!
Does it live up to the hype?
Bulletproof coffee is the ultimate ketogenic drink to consume ample amounts of fat with to keep burning fat in ketosis. Because of the nutritious butters that are added through the coconut oil(or its derivatives) and butter – you take in plenty of healthy fats to keep your metabolism and fat burning processes optimized throughout the day, and even if you are not a fan of coffee you can add these ingredients to your favorite hot drink for the same results!
If you like coffee & fat separately on their own – Trust me, they mix well! it is a delight to consume on a regular basis!
I have personally found that it is an ideal breakfast replacement to get my day started without slowing my mind and body down with the processes of digesting, like a normal breakfast would. It also significantly upped my ketone levels and it curbed any cravings that I occasionally experienced every now and then before introducing the drink into my ketogenic lifestyle. .
Bulletproof coffee with normal servings of fat will on top of that even contain way fewer calories than any ordinary(even ketogenic) meal or breakfast. It will jump start your fat burning processes and your metabolism immensely – it is thé ideal drink for the ketogenic diet to keep you burning your own fat cells as your main source of fuel.
Please share your thoughts and/or experience with bulletproof coffee on keto – or your favorite blend of ingredients for your own fatty coffee below!
And as always – if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!