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Bulletproof Coffee – What Is It, How To Prepare, Benefits, And Side Effects

by
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition
Bulletproof Coffee – What Is It, How To Prepare, Benefits, And Side Effects September 28, 2018

Bulletproof coffee is a trending weight loss drink. It is promoted by Dave Asprey, a biohacker and entrepreneur who lost an enormous amount of weight, felt more energetic, and experienced increased focus and better memory after having the coffee. According to Mr.Asprey, “It’s a gateway drug for taking control of your own biology.” But is it really?

Some serious concerns regarding the long-term health effects of bulletproof coffee have been surfacing of late. So, should you drink bulletproof coffee? Before you say “yes” or “no”, give this post a read. It will help you make an informed decision. Swipe up!

Highlights Of The Article

What Is Bulletproof Coffee?
Bulletproof Coffee Recipe
How Bulletproof Coffee Works
How Bulletproof Coffee Aids Weight Loss
5 Reasons Bulletproof Coffee May Be Bad For You
Who Should Avoid Bulletproof Coffee?

What Is Bulletproof Coffee?

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Bulletproof coffee is a coffee made by mixing coffee, butter, and MCT oil. It is the new and upgraded version of butter coffee or butter (yak butter) tea that is a popular energy drink in Tibet.

In fact, the practice of taking coffee with butter or any other source of fat was around even before coffee was consumed as a beverage. Somewhere around 575-850 CE, the nomadic mountain warriors of the Galla tribe, Ethiopia, combined crushed coffee beans with animal fat and consumed them as a snack and a source of energy during warfare and long treks. So, it is not really a new concept.

Small groups of people all around the world already knew about it, but now, the entire world is aware of the existence of this fatty drink that supposedly has many health benefits. Before we get into the benefits or side effects of bulletproof coffee, let me tell you how to prepare bulletproof coffee at home in 5 minutes.

Bulletproof Coffee Recipe

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Here’s how you can make bulletproof coffee:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • 1 tablespoon MCT oil or coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed, unsalted butter
How To Prepare
  1. Toss all the ingredients into a blender.
  2. Blend well until it becomes slightly frothy.
  3. Serve immediately.

It is super quick and easy to make and tastes delicious. But what makes bulletproof coffee such a magical addition to your diet? How does it work? Let’s find out!

How Bulletproof Coffee Works

Bulletproof coffee works by pushing the body into the fat burning mode. It does so by prompting the body to convert stored fat and dietary fat into ketones. This process is called ketosis.

It occurs when you have restricted consuming carbs long enough, and your carb or glucose reserves are empty (1). As a result, your body uses ketones as a source of fuel instead of glucose (sugar), and you start burning fat, and your hunger is reduced (2).

Animal studies found that ketosis might increase longevity (3). Ketosis may also improve memory and cognitive abilities (4), (5). But is it the butter or the MCT oil that’s helping in burning the fat? Let’s find out which magic ingredient is helping millions of dieters shed the pounds.

How Bulletproof Coffee Aids Weight Loss

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Bulletproof coffee aids weight loss in many different ways. And the secret lies in the ingredients used to make the coffee. Let me break down how each ingredient works to aid weight loss:
Coffee – Coffee is a storehouse of caffeine. And caffeine may aid weight loss by boosting energy and suppressing hunger (6). Scientists have found that caffeine may increase plasma ketones, which causes ketosis (7).

  • MCT Oil – MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. MCTs are absorbed quicker and converted into energy more efficiently as compared to long-chain triglycerides. This results in less fat gain, increased satiety, and increased production of ketones (8).

Researchers also found evidence that ketones from MCT may help enhance memory in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (9).

There are a few types of MCTs – C6, C8, C10, and C12 – named in terms of the chain length. The shorter the chain, the quicker it gets converted to ketones. For optimum ketosis without upsetting your stomach, consume MCTs with a mix of C8 and C10.

  • Grass-Fed Butter – Grass-fed butter is a great source of vitamins A, K2, and E. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and contains the antioxidants glutathione and superoxide dismutase (10), (11).

But even as we go on about how ketosis and bulletproof coffee are good for weight loss and treating diseases like epilepsy, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, there is another side to the story. Scroll down to know why bulletproof coffee might be a bad idea.

5 Reasons Bulletproof Coffee May Be Bad For You

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The ingredients in bulletproof coffee, like butter and medium-chain triglycerides, were thought to be our enemies for a long time – which is not completely true. We need a certain amount of saturated fats and medium-chain triglycerides for our bodies to function properly. Here are the reasons bulletproof coffee might be something that you may not want to have:

1. Bulletproof coffee is not nutritionally sound.

Bulletproof coffee switches your body to the fat burning mode, but that does not necessarily mean what you are consuming is nutrient-dense. Many dieters drink bulletproof coffee as a meal replacement, and this may prevent them from getting all the essential nutrients into their system. Bulletproof coffee does not contain enough vitamins, minerals, and other macro and micronutrients that help the body function normally.

2. It does not suit people on Paleo or Mediterranean diet.

Bulletproof coffee only works for people on high-fat, low-carb diets, like the ketogenic diet. People on other diets like Mediterranean and Paleo are used to consuming more carbs (good carbs from veggies, fruits, and whole grains). A high-fat, high-carb diet never works for weight loss.

3. Excessive amounts of fat may be detrimental to your health.

Consuming the required amount of butter and saturated fat is required for the normal functioning of the body. Consuming too much of saturated fats from processed foods like oils and butter is similar to consuming fruit sugar from fruits and refined sugar. The sources of nutrients matter, and the more whole foods you consume, the better.

4. Increases bad cholesterol levels.

There are many studies that show that a high-fat diet can increase the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol (12), (13). So, if you decide to be on a high-fat diet for more than a month for weight loss, you should get your blood lipid profile done on a regular basis to keep a check on your cholesterol levels.

5. You may not tolerate caffeine.

If you are unable to tolerate caffeine, consuming bulletproof coffee may not be a good idea. You may experience hyperactivity, insomnia, and palpitation.

To summarize, here’s who should avoid bulletproof coffee.

Who Should Avoid Bulletproof Coffee?

Avoid bulletproof coffee if:

  • You follow a low-fat, low-carb, and moderate protein diet.
  • You are on the Paleo or Mediterranean diet.
  • You have any medical condition that prevents you from being on a high-fat diet.
  • You have a BMI over 30.

Conclusion

Bulletproof coffee can work wonders if you are on a ketogenic diet. But not if you are on any other diet.

Simply drinking bulletproof coffee will not help you lose weight. Along with a high-fat, low-carb diet, you must stick to the keto rules, workout, and do carb cycling to get the best of bulletproof coffee. Use the information carefully, look at your lifestyle and diet, and decide what’s best for you – bulletproof coffee or matcha tea. Take care!

FAQs
Is bulletproof coffee a meal replacement?
Yes, you can consume bulletproof coffee as breakfast.
How many calories are there in bulletproof coffee?
Bulletproof coffee contains about 441 calories.
Is MCT oil good for you?
Yes, MCT oil is good for your health, especially if you are on a high-fat, low-carb diet. It helps convert triglycerides and stored body fat into ketones.
Can you make bulletproof coffee with regular coffee?
Yes, you can make bulletproof coffee with regular coffee.

References
1. “Ketone bodies: a review of physiology, pathophysiology and application of monitoring to diabetes.”, US National Library of Medicine
2. “Ketosis, ketogenic diet and food intake control: a complex relationship”, US National Library of Medicine
3. “A Ketogenic Diet Extends Longevity and Healthspan in Adult Mice.”, US National Library of Medicine
4. “Dietary ketosis enhances memory in mild cognitive impairment”, US National Library of Medicine
5. “The effects of the ketogenic diet on behavior and cognition”, US National Library of Medicine
6. “Caffeine intake is related to successful weight loss maintenance.”, US National Library of Medicine
7. “Caffeine intake increases plasma ketones: an acute metabolic study in humans.”, US National Library of Medicine
8. “Effects of diet high in medium-chain triglyceride on plasma ketone, glucose, and insulin concentrations in enterectomized and normal rats.”, US National Library of Medicine
9. “Nutrition and prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia”, US National Library of Medicine
10. “A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef”, US National Library of Medicine
11. “Increased concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in milk and platelet rich plasma of grass-fed cows.”, US National Library of Medicine
12. “Effect of high-fat diet on cholesterol distribution in plasma lipoproteins, cholesterol esterifying activity in leucocytes, and erythrocyte membrane components studied: importance of body weight.”, US National Library of Medicine
13. “Effect of short-term low- and high-fat diets on low-density lipoprotein particle size in normolipidemic subjects.”, US National Library of Medicine

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