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Everything you need to know about Bulletproof Coffee
What is Bulletproof Coffee?
Bulletproof Coffee is black coffee mixed with grass-fed butter and MCT oil. The Bulletproof Coffee recipe was created by Dave Asprey, founder of the Bulletproof Diet. The recipe is meant to replace your breakfast. So it's not something you can drink all day long! Having Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast has several advantages:
- You will ingest valuable nutrients, such as vitamin A, carotene, vitamin K2, vitamin D and vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids, CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) and antioxidants.
- The MCT oil is quickly converted into ketones that your brain can use immediately as fuel.
- You will be sharper in the morning, and you will diminish or even eradicate that dull feeling in your head (brain fog).
- It helps you reach a state of fat burning that will help you lose weight much more easily.
- It will make you feel satisfied for a long time, keeping your energy levels constant. You will no longer suffer from hunger pangs caused by a fluctuating blood sugar level. Many people who have tried Bulletproof coffee say they don't feel hungry until after lunchtime.
The recipe for Bulletproof Coffee contains three important ingredients: coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT Oil. Each of these three has its own function.
Coffee promotes brain function, cleans up free radicals and decreases the chance of illness. Coffee is a rich source of polyphenols (vegetal components with anti-oxidising and anti-inflammatory effects) and antioxidants. The caffeine in coffee can improve memory and glucose tolerance, promote weight loss and improve athletic performance.
Large amounts of caffeine, however, can cause problems such as a decreased sensitivity to insulin, bad brain function, anxiety, stomach complaints and decreased athletic performance. We, therefore, advise you drink coffee in moderation. We would also recommend not to drink coffee after 2 pm, because coffee can affect sleep adversely.
Grass-fed butter is made from milk from cows that are fed grass. This is in contrast to ordinary butter that is made from milk from cows that are primarily fed grain. Grass-fed butter contains more Omega-3 fatty acids, CLA, beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin D, vitamin E and antioxidants than ordinary butter. CLA stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acid. This is an essential fatty acid. Grass-fed butter is more yellow than ordinary butter. You can buy organic grass-fed butter at most health stores.
MCTs (Medium-Chain Triglycerides) are medium-chain fatty acids. These are fatty acids that are extracted from coconut oil and/or palm oil. The MCTs come in various forms: C6, C8, C10, and C12. The shorter the chain, the easier it is for your body to absorb it and convert it into ketones. Ketones are small molecules that your brain can use as fuel.
C6 doesn't taste nice so you probably would want to avoid it. It's, therefore, preferable to use C8 as much as you can. Bulletproof has created an MCT Oil with Upgraded Octane (Brain Octane) oil that consists exclusively of C8 molecules. Brain Octane has 18 times as many C8 molecules as coconut oil. The C8 immediately provides energy to give your brain optimum function. The XCT oil by the Bulletproof and Flowgrade brands consists of approximately 70% C8 and 30% C10. Since XCT oil has a large amount of C8, it makes for an excellent cheaper alternative to Brain Octane Oil. Brain Octane Oil is much more expensive because it has an expensive production process.
Some people use coconut oil as a (cheap) substitute for MCT oil. Coconut oil, however, consists primarily of C12 (lauric acid). It takes much longer to convert into fuel. That's not to say coconut oil isn't an excellent fat as part of the Bulletproof diet. We just don't recommend it for use in your Bulletproof Coffee.
The MCT oil in Bulletproof Coffee helps your body reach ketosis quicker than conventional fasting. Ketosis is a state in the body in which energy is retrieved from fat instead of glucose. It is a great way of burning excess fat. This is why Bulletproof Coffee fits well into a Ketogenic diet.
How do you make Bulletproof coffee?
To make a cup of Bulletproof Coffee, follow these steps:
- Make a cup of coffee with Upgraded Coffee, or use another brand of single estate organic coffee of excellent quality. I often use the Aeropress to make my coffee. It's a cheap and useful machine that makes excellent coffee. It's also easy to take travelling.
- Pre-heat a blender with hot water (otherwise, your coffee will cool down too quickly during mixing). If you don't have a blender at your disposal, you can also use a milk frother.
- Empty the blender and pour in the hot coffee.
- Add a teaspoon of MCT Oil, preferably Upgraded Octane. Most people need to gradually get used to MCT Oil. It's best, therefore, to start with a teaspoon and then slowly build up from there.
- Add a tablespoon of unsalted grass-fed butter, or a bit more or less according to your own taste and need. This can change over time.
- Add cinnamon, cocoa butter and/or vanilla powder to taste.
- Mix all these ingredients in a blender for 20 seconds until you have a beautifully thick layer of foam.
Simply double the amount for more coffee. You can download the Bulletproof Coffee recipe as a pdf.
In the video below I will show you how I make the perfect Bulletproof Coffee.
The result is a perfect, creamy coffee - like a latte, but better.
If you have never heard of adding butter to your coffee, you may find this sounds very strange. But you wouldn't be the first to be astonished by how delicious this coffee tastes. Many before you have tried it out of curiosity and never looked back.
Keep in mind that choosing the right coffee, butter and MCT oil for your Bulletproof Coffee is essential to achieve all health and energy advantages.
Bulletproof Coffee on the road
How can you get your Bulletproof Coffee when you're travelling? You can't buy Bulletproof Coffee when you're on the road (except at the Bulletproof Cafe in Los Angeles). This is why I always take my own Bulletproof Coffee travel kit.
You can make your own easily:
- The Aeropress Coffee Maker. You can make excellent filter coffee with this machine. You don't need electricity, just hot water. Most hotels provide electric kettles in their rooms.
- A sachet of ground coffee. I use two measuring spoons for one cup of coffee.
- A travel bottle filled with Brain Octane (to take with you on the plane). Make sure you can take the bottle through customs (max. 100 ml) and that it is completely sealed off to prevent leaking.
- A soap container filled with grass-fed butter. Make sure it can be completely sealed and that it is BPA-free.
- A milk frother
- A spoon for the butter
With these tools, you can make the perfect cup of Bulletproof Coffee in an instant. Even when you’re flying!
Last April we started selling Bulletproof Instamix. This is a mixture of grass-fed butter and Brain Octane Oil in single-serve packets. Using the Instamix is much more convenient, but it tastes less.
Bulletproof Coffee and "Intermittent Fasting"
What is Intermittent Fasting?
During intermittent fasting you restrict your food intake to a period of 6-8 hours. The other 18 hours you eat nothing and are therefore fasting. Intermittent fasting gives your body a signal to burn fat and build muscle. During fasting the body also gets a stimulus to recover. Most people choose to skip breakfast and to eat between 2 pm and 8 pm. The advantages of intermittent fasting include:
- Delays aging (anti-aging).
- Improves brain function.
- Helps regulate the blood sugar level and insulin levels.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Decreases risk of cardiovascular diseases and strokes.
- Improves cholesterol values.
Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting
Bulletproof Coffee is a brilliant choice for when you want to do "intermittent fasting". Most people find it unpleasant not to eat anything for a whole morning, especially people who lead very busy lives and need to perform mentally or physically at a high level. For those people, hunger can be too distracting. Bulletproof intermittent fasting is the solution. In the morning, you drink a cup of Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast. Technically, you are now doing a ketogenic fast or 'fat fast'. The MCTs are used immediately by your body as fuel. The MCT oil and butter will make you feel satisfied so you won't get hungry. I can function until 2 pm without any problem on 1 cup of Bulletproof Coffee.
Do keep in mind that Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting is the most effective when combined with the other components of the Bulletproof Diet. You shouldn't fast, drink Bulletproof Coffee and then consume unhealthy food for lunch and dinner. You would run the risk of gaining weight instead of experiencing the advantages.
Daily structure for Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting
A day according to the Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting protocol may look like this:
- Make sure you finish your dinner at 8 pm. Don't snack or ingest anything other than water after this time.
- In the morning, you drink Bulletproof Coffee.
- Stop fasting at 2 pm. At this point, you will have consumed nothing other than Bulletproof Coffee for the past 18 hours.
You can always start with a shorter fasting period if 18 hours is a bit too intense for you to start off with (for example at noon). If I'm at home, I would usually have a salad for lunch. When I'm on the road, I often take a green smoothie with me. This consists of celery, cucumber, ginger, blueberries, collagen and XCT Oil. In the evening, I usually have vegetables and meat or fish. Once a week I will have a protein-free day that I combine with an extra quantity of carbohydrates (refeed). You can read more about the Bulletproof diet in our free Bulletproof e-book.
In general: eat foods from the green zone of the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap. These will generally be unprocessed foods with the following calorific proportions: 70% healthy fats, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. Working out is optional, but important for building up muscle mass. Remember that, if you work out more, you will need more sleep.
Bulletproof Coffee is black coffee mixed with butter from grass-fed cows and the highest quality MCT Oil. By starting your day with a cup of Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast, you will consume healthy fats (MCT Oil & grass-fed butter) that give you energy and are good for your brain function and hormonal system. Healthy fats are also filling and won't give you sharp fluctuations in your blood sugar level the way processed carbohydrates do. If you regularly drink Bulletproof Coffee, you will have more energy, be mentally sharper and lose weight more easily. Coffee also accelerates your metabolism - ordinary fasting does not. When you consider all these factors, you will understand why Bulletproof Coffee is becoming increasingly popular. Bulletproof Coffee fits perfectly in a low-carb and ketogenic diet.
Click on the image to download an infographic comparing Bulletproof Coffee to ordinary coffee.