Bulletproof Coffee: What Is It, How It Works, & Side Effects

Learn everything about this viral weight loss drink before making it a part of your routine.

Medically reviewed by Temple Stewart, RD, LDN Temple Stewart Temple StewartRD, LDN facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Sindhu Koganti BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Experience: 6 years
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Bulletproof coffee is the newest weight loss drink with lots of butter! Yes, you heard that right. It was made popular by Dave Asprey, who lost a lot of weight by drinking this coffee while on the Keto dieti  A low-carbohydrate dietary plan consisting of an increased fat intake and adequate protein supply. . Also, he felt more energetic with increased focus and better memory after having the bulletproof coffee. Mr.Asprey says, “It’s a gateway drug for taking control of your own biology.” Is that true?

Of late, serious concerns regarding the long-term effects of bulletproof coffee consumption have surfaced. Do you really need to drink bulletproof coffee to lose weight? Before saying yes or no, read this post to know what is bulletproof coffee and how it helps in weight loss to make an informed decision. Scroll down!

Highlights Of The Article

What Is Bulletproof Coffee?

Bulletproof coffee
Image: Shutterstock

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.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can use grass-fed ghee as a good substitute for butter.

Bulletproof Coffee Recipe

Bulletproof coffee recipe
Image: Shutterstock

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.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Start by adding 1 teaspoon of MCT oil to your coffee if you are not used to doing so, and work your way up to 1 tablespoon as your tolerance allows.

It is super quick and easy to make and tastes delicious. In addition to putting butter in coffee, you may also add a drop of vanilla extract, or a dash of cinnamon powder, cocoa powder, or turmeric powder.

Mikie, a YouTuber, discusses his daily consumption of Bulletproof coffee, emphasizing its positive impact on his well-being. He takes this beverage after a workout and says, “I tend to add a couple of these things [like] collagen protein for the building blocks; it’s gonna help me after my workout, [and] it kind of gives me this boost through this second part of my day (i).” He then mentions adding some more healthy ingredients to make his coffee taste good and healthier.

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 ketonesi  A type of acid processed in the liver from fats, which is released into the bloodstream to act as an energy source. . 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 functions and 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

Bulletproof coffee for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

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 metabolism 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 diseasei  A neurological condition where the brain cells shrink and eventually die, leading to memory loss and other mental issues. (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 antioxidant 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 epilepsyi  Abnormal neural activity in the brain that often leads to seizures, sensory disturbances, or convulsions. , 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

Side effects of bulletproof coffee
Image: Shutterstock

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 essential nutrient absorption into their systems. 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.

Cholesterol test result showing high bad cholesterol
Image: Shutterstock

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 hyperactivityi  Neurodevelopmental disorder common in children where the patient tends to move constantly and is impulsive. , insomniai  Common disorder where the individual has difficulty falling asleep or does not have a proper sleep cycle. , and palpitationi  Prominent sensation of racing or pounding of the heart, which can be felt against the chest, throat, or neck. .

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 BMIi  Also called Body Mass Index, a measure of body fat calculated by dividing the person’s mass (in kg) by the square of their height (in meters). over 30.

Infographic: All About Bulletproof Coffee

The world has recently been raving about bulletproof coffee and for all the right reasons. This trendy drink offers various benefits as shown above, one of which is weight loss. If you wish to burn those extra calories effortlessly, this coffee can push you to your goal. Check out the infographic below for its simple recipe and how it aids weight loss.

why is neem oil vital in hair care (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Bulletproof coffee is an upgraded type of butter coffee, an energy drink in Tibet. It is made by mixing butter, coffee, and MCT oil. If you are on a keto diet, bulletproof coffee can help you lose weight. However, one cannot lose weight simply by drinking bulletproof coffee. To get the most out of bulletproof coffee, you need to follow the keto principles, workout, and carb cycle in addition to a high-fat, low-carb diet. Use the facts carefully, consider your nutrition, and decide which matcha tea or bulletproof coffee is the best option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 and also helps with maintaining brain health and energy.

Can you make bulletproof coffee with regular coffee?

Yes, you can make bulletproof coffee with regular coffee.

Is it OK to drink bulletproof coffee every day?

Yes, drinking a cup of bulletproof coffee every day or while intermittent fasting is fine. However, exceeding a cup is not recommended as it is high in fat.

Is bulletproof coffee anti-inflammatory?

Yes, bulletproof coffee (or coffee, in general) has phenolic compounds that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties (14).

Can I drink bulletproof coffee at night?

No, it is not recommended to drink bulletproof coffee (or even coffee) at night as its high caffeine content can disrupt sleep.

Key Takeaways

  • Bulletproof coffee adds the goodness of MCT oil and butter to regular coffee.
  • It is an ideal beverage to have if you follow the keto diet, as it helps burn fat reserves.
  • However, the high amount of fat content, especially saturated fat, may negatively impact your health.
bulletproof coffee_illustration

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team


You can now start your day with a boost of energy and flavor. Watch the following video on how to make delicious, creamy bulletproof coffee to refresh your mornings.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  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
  14. Coffee Phenolics and Their Interaction with Other Food Phenolics: Antagonistic and Synergistic Effects.”, US National Library of Medicine
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Temple Stewart

Temple StewartRD, LDN

Temple Stewart is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Personal Trainer in St. Petersburg, FL. She sees clients all over the world through virtual nutrition services. Her passion is to teach her clients how to experience a healthier life by using effective nutrition education and counseling. She helps her clients find a life beyond dieting, treat their disease with food, and...read full bio

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