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Bulletproof Coffee – Is It Really The Unicorn Fuel?

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You’ve probably heard about bulletproof coffee or butter coffee by now – it’s the trend that’s taken coffee to a whole new level. If you haven’t come across it yet, it’s made by blending black coffee with unsalted butter and an extract of coconut oil. It’s claimed to have multiple benefits, from improving mental focus and physical performance, increasing energy and speeding up fat loss. Bulletproof coffee is becoming increasingly popular and we’ve even noticed it popping up on the menu in several cafes.

Who came up with Bulletproof Coffee?

Dave Asprey, Silicon Valley investor, technology entrepreneur and self proclaimed ‘biohacker’, is the founder of The Bulletproof Executive. He first came across the idea of adding butter to a hot drink when he tried butter tea while hiking in -10 degrees in Tibet. This traditional drink is made from strong tea churned with yak butter and salt. Now, I have to say that I tried butter tea when I was hiking in Nepal, and I was not inspired to try it ever again. But, Asprey was ‘rejuvenated’ by the beverage and when he returned to the States began researching the benefits.

The official bulletproof coffee recipe includes black coffee, unsalted grass-fed butter and MCT oil (medium-chain-triglyceride oil, which is an extract of coconut oil and said to be 6 times more powerful than coconut oil). When blended in a high speed blender the butter emulsifies, creating a creamy, frothy drink.

What are the benefits of Bulletproof Coffee?

For many people coffee can have negative side effects – after the initial buzz there comes a crash, followed by the jitters, anxiety, an upset stomach and a disrupted sleep. According to Asprey, these negative side effects are caused by mycotoxins – harmful compounds created by moulds growing on the coffee beans. To avoid this, it’s important to use a good quality coffee (and if you want to go all out you can buy the official bulletproof ‘upgraded’ beans).

Additionally, the type of saturated fat in butter and coconut oil slow down the caffeine rush providing a more sustained release of caffeine.

The benefits of bulletproof coffee are said to be:

  • improved cognitive function (focus and memory)
  • improved physical performance
  • increased energy
  • suppressed food cravings (as the fats will keep you satiated)
  • fat loss

Next level Bulletproof Coffee

If you still can’t get your head around adding butter and coconut oil to coffee, wait until you hear some of the ways people are pimping their butter coffee. There are recipes out there with added vanilla, maca, cacao, gelatin!, protein powder, and spices such as cinnamon and turmeric. The Paleo Chef’s ‘Unicorn Fuel’ has become a hit, people are adding pumpkin puree and spices, and even bulletproofing their morning smoothies.

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If you’re not a coffee drinker, you can use tea instead. Try bulletproof chai tea  or bulletproof green tea with matcha.

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The verdict

We’ve tried butter coffee a few times, and sometimes just add a teaspoon of coconut oil to our long black. We find it does give a more gentle, even caffeine release without the usual coffee jitters. It is also really satiating, and you might find you are not hungry for several hours after having a cup.

Many people take bulletproof coffee instead of their breakfast or to replace one of their meals, and although we think that it’s a handy alternative fuel source that can be used for convenience during a busy day or during the intermittent fasting, we don’t think it should replace a regular high protein, satiating breakfast as you’d be missing out on an array of essential nutrients found in real, whole foods.

Do you drink bulletproof coffee or have you ever tried it? What do you think – did you notice any of the benefits? What do you add to pimp your butter coffee? Let us know in the comments below.

4.7 from 3 reviews
Bulletproof Coffee
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup black coffee (filter, plunger, french press)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (start with 1 teaspoon and slowly work your way up)
  • Optional - sweetener to taste (stevia, honey, rice malt syrup)
Instructions
  1. Brew coffee as normal
  2. While the coffee is brewing, preheat your blender jug by putting hot water in it (if using a stick blender preheat the jug)
  3. Empty the hot water form the preheated jug
  4. Place all ingredients in the jug and blend until there is a foamy layer on top
  5. Serve and enjoy

 

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12 Comments
  1. I’ve just started having my own version of bulletproof coffee and have it midmorning, so after a good breakfast and really am not hungry till 2 or 3 in the afternoon!

    I find espresso coffee from my machine the best!
    I add some hot water, 1 tbsp. grass*fed butter, 1 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil and a good dash of cream.
    I whip it together and have a delicious creamy, frothy, sustaining drink!

  2. Try blending an egg with your bullet proof coffee… Tasted really nice, and gives you a bit of protein at the same time. I add a bit of vanilla also.

  3. I love bulletproof coffee! I make mine with espresso rather than filtered coffee, and enjoy it with my breakfast of primal quiche with vegetables, and fruit-coconut cream-nut bowl. It’s one of my faovurite parts about primal eating!

    I agree, it shouldn’t be substituted for a protein-packed breakfast. And people shouldn’t knock it until they try it, not all of us have microwaves.

  4. On work days I use a mug and microwave to scramble an egg, with 2 Tbsp of cream whipped in with pepper and salt. It takes about 2 mins. I put a large knob of butter in just before I start to eat it.

    Why would I ruin a good cup of coffee when I can get my fat fix with an egg? They both taste better this way.

    Is bulletproof coffee for people who watch the Late show and cannot afford the 5 mins required to cook and eat a scrambled egg?

    1. Because the coffee tastes great that way ;) I guess if you like black coffee, it wouldn’t be so appealing though. I’m also anti-microwave so it’d take me longer to cook egg!

    2. You missed the point. Obviously, one can eat eggs separately. This is an alternative that is handy and very tasty- but to each his own!

  5. I got turned onto bulletproof coffee about 3 weeks ago..

    I usually have one after my morning run and it keeps me going both mentally and nutritionally (i.e I don’t feel hungry until mid afternoon)

    I use the best quality coffee I can find locally, MCT oil and Kerrygold unsalted organic butter

    At the beginning of October I weighed 110 KG now on November 7th I have just hit 102KG, I Put this down to 3 things.

    Walking/running 10kg each morning
    Drinking Bulletproof coffee
    Not drinking alcohol

    Inow fitter healthier and waaaayyyyyy more boring!

  6. MCT oil is much much better than coconut oil IMO. I have a BP coffee instead of breakfast a few times per week and it really keeps me energized and full the whole morning. I often add cinnamon and/or vanilla and/or collagen hydrolysate.

  7. I have been using it for about a month, maybe twice a week at most. As someone that is used to drinking long blacks or Americanos it is quite a contrast. It definitely is satiating, and I have managed to go from breakfast to lunch on one big cup. I must admit that adding coconut oil that is free from a strong taste/aroma helps, I also add a teaspoon of maple syrup although I am hopeful that this doesn’t cause too much of an insulin response!

  8. I’ve just started taking a homemade bulletproof coffee with coconut oil and organic (mostly pasture fed) butter – recently diagnosed with SIBO and no dairy (except butter) for me! I like it – and am keen to try some different variation.

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