“It’s incredible, it just works!” he told me, pulling up a spreadsheet to show me his numbers.
“I lost 5kg within this timeframe.” he said.
“Interesting.” I thought to myself, although I wasn’t sure what to make of the numbers.
“But the coolest thing is, that it cleared my mind, I’m focused the entire morning now!”
“What’s the drink called exactly?” I asked him. “Bulletproof coffee” he said. That’s when I got intrigued.
What’s the hype about?
You might have heard of the newest trend in dieting, nutrition and the fitness space: bulletproof coffee and bulletproof tea. Albeit not entirely a new trend, it started to make waves here and it starts to become an interesting phenomenon.
But what is it all about? What are the ingredients? Is any coffee or tea bulletproof?
Essentially bulletproof tea and coffee is nothing else besides fat + the actual liquid. However, instead of milk or cream, you’d use coconut oil and butter or just one out of these two.
What sounds like nasty combination, can actually taste quite good, once you’re used to it.
But what else?
According to the creator, Dave Asprey, it’s not entirely enough. You’d also need the actual bulletproof coffee for it. Dave argues that the normal coffee you can buy and drink has mostly mold in it, because the roasting has already been done and the product has been sitting on the shelf, in the sun or in other sub-optimal places.
He argues that the main reason for your coffee crash is the mold and that you wouldn’t get all the side effects of coffee, if you had a “cleaner” (read: bulletproof) version of it.
Nutrition experts dismiss the idea that it can’t be that bad and the National Coffee Association argues that it would just make the coffee bitter.
Bulletproof or not, besides the coffee we should look at the other two ingredients: coconut oil and butter.
The reason you need fat
Fat, compared to the other macronutrients carbohydrates and proteins contains 9 calories in 1g, meaning it has the most energy per volume.
Satiation sets in way earlier when you eat fatty foods.
The human body needs fat for structural and metabolic functions and some, the body can’t produce by itself and these are called EFA, Essential Fatty Acids.
Now coconut oil has something interesting called MCT, which are Medium Chain Triglycerides. These are fatty acids of medium length.
“They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.” (Source)
The other interesting ingredient is butter. However, not any butter works! According to Asprey, you’d need grassfed butter.
The reason for this is simple: Grassfed means that the nutritional content of the butter is higher, because the cows ate grass and had more range and area to move in.
Butter also contains something called Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), which can help protect you against cancer. (Source)
What happens when you drink bulletproof coffee
Normally, the idea behind the bulletproof trend is that you fall into a state called ketosis. This is a state, where your body uses fat as the main energy source, versus carbohydrates in the normal case.
Besides the weight loss benefit, it’s a bit controversial and you typically don’t enter the keto-state before 48 hours of going without carbohydrates (or really low amounts).
However, the reason why bulletproof coffee could improve your energy levels and productivity in the morning is simple: Instead of eating a grain and gluten-filled pastry, which is converted into simple sugar and gives you a short energy boost, you get a continuing energy level throughout the morning, until you get hungry.
The main issue is that calorie-wise it’s quite intense: One cup of Bulletproof coffee has about 440 calories in it, which by itself is a lot. Add to that a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs and you’re looking at a cool 1000 calories only in the morning.
My suggestion would be to go with only the coffee in the morning and adjust as you go.
The fat and caffeine alone will help you to stay focused in the morning.
How to make bulletproof coffee
I thought I’d give this bulletproof coffee thing a try, also to let you readers now how to prepare it easily in the morning. I shot a quick video showing how I do it:
As you can see, bulletproof coffee can have certain benefits, especially if you’re a coffee lover and not a morning person. I’ve seen several people who reported increased focus in the morning.
Personally I think it’s a great way to ease into the day, without having to eat a huge breakfast and stay focused the entire morning. Alternatively I think fasting can be a great option if you want to be productive in the morning.