Over the last year or two, I have seen endless posts and reviews touting Bulletproof coffee, a.k.a “butta coffee”, as the next big thing in health fanatic circles. If you’re saying “WTF is that, Tina???”, here’s the skinny. Essentially, the recipe for this trendy concoction is fairly simple.
8-12 ounces of high quality coffee (we’ll get into more of this in a bit)
1-2 tablespoons of Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil (same, here)
1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee (yup, keep reading)
a dash of pure vanilla extract or cinnamon– optional
Mix in a blender until frothy
According to his website, Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof Executive, spent many years and a quarter of a million dollars learning to “hack his own biology”. Without counting calories, he managed to lose a 100 lbs, raise his IQ level by 20 points, AND did this while requiring less sleep. #goals… well, except that 100 lbs part ; )
Okay, Dave. You had me at less sleep. Sign a sista up.
If you don’t know me well, I am a very competitive person. I LOVE challenges, even if I’m not actually competing against anyone else. It’s just the idea, I suppose, of making something into a game of sorts that helps keep my attention, and drives my motivation to see a project through all the way. So, I decided to conduct a two week “Bulletproof-style coffee” Challenge with my husband. Poor guy. As you’ve probably noticed from earlier posts, this dude gets roped into all my crazy antics.
Before I reveal our thoughts on the experience, let’s touch on some back story of these ingredients.
Coffee- Dave Asprey really recommends drinking the coffee he has created, and touts it as the “lowest toxin, highest performance coffee there is”. His theory is centered around the notion that the coffee we purchase is contaminated with mycotoxins, a mold or fungus. Mycotoxins are commonly found on various crops (coffee beans included), and yes, can be toxic to our systems. But, some further research informed me that most quality coffee beans now go through “wet-processing” and roasting, and this highly reduces the levels of the mycotoxins we consume to a negligible amount. I will admit that this concept is relatively new to me, so I will continue to investigate and report back to y’all if my opinion on this topic changes. For the purpose of this challenge, I did not use the coffee from Bulletproof’s website. It is on my list of things to try though!
MCT oil- Okay, so here’s where my nerdy, science-y self goes into overdrive with excitement. Medium Chain Triglycerides are fatty acids, and are unique in their length of structure in that they carry less carbons than Long Chain Triglycerides. MCT oil is a purified form of these fatty acids, and is really easy for the brain to break down, and subsequently, convert to energy. The quick energy stems from the idea that our bodies process the MCTs in our liver, and produce ketones, which our brains use as fuel. Additionally, MCT oil has been linked to modest weight loss, and shown to be therapeutic in treating disorders that cause malabsorption. Given my history with gluten sensitivities, this makes me giddy. Coconut oil is comprised of approximately 62% MCTs, compared to MCT oil (or Bulletproof’s Brain Octane), specifically. If you are considering giving this experiment a try at home, and aren’t sure about forking over the extra cash for MCT oil, you may want to try substituting with coconut oil. There are some mixed reviews as to whether the coconut oil provides enough MCTs to get the full effect of boosted energy, but given that I quit my job a few months ago, we decided to try the coconut oil first ; ) You can check out a great transcript of a conversation about MCTs and ketones here.
Grass-fed butter- Grass fed butter is comprised of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), also a fatty acid. This is a type of trans fat, but it is actually a good one, opposed to those made in a lab and snuck into your processed donuts. It is produced naturally from the ruminants of grass fed cows’ digestive systems, and has been linked to reduced belly fat, stronger heart health, and even the suppression of tumors. Grass fed butter is also full of vitamins K and A. In fact, you will notice upon inspection, that this type of butter carries a slightly orange tint to it, and the reason is that it carries a signifiant amount of carotene (Vitamin A, and why your carrots are orange). Vitamin K2 is produced in the fermentation process of the ingested dark leafy greens, in the gut of grass fed cows. This important vitamin supports good arterial and bone health. Additionally, the butter than stems from grass-fed cows has an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 1:1 (WINNING), versus grain fed cows who produce a higher amount of omega 6 (NOT WINNING). We use the Kerrygold’s unsalted grass fed butter, and this can be purchased at most grocery stores.
Ladies and gentleman. If I may have your attention. Here are the results.
We’re sold. Like really, really sold. Like we may never drink coffee any other way again. Not only does this coffee taste divine, but we can both testify to a significant amount of increased energy and level of satiety. I was nervous I would be biased going into this experiment, given the research I had conducted prior to beginning. My husband knew nothing, however. So self-fulfilling prophecy can’t be the explanation for the txt I received last week after he skipped our “bulletproof style coffee”, in lieu of his regular joe. His txt? “I’m STARVING and SO TIRED”. One thing you might be wondering by this point- didn’t he eat breakfast? No. Bulletproof style coffee really serves as a meal replacement. I am the first person to preach about never skipping breakfast, but given that this style of coffee provides your body something (fat) to metabolize and use as energy, I’m down with it. That’s why this might be the PERFECT option for those peeps that do tend to forgo breaky in the a.m.! Also, I am anti stepping on bathroom scales on the reg (because that’s not fun), but for the purpose of this experiment, I weighed myself before and after. I did manage to lose 2 lbs, which was really not my intent. Was this coffee the cause? Who knows, but I thought it was worth reporting.
There ya have it, folks. If you’re considering giving it a try, you’ve got my vote.
Have a fabulous Thanksgiving and I’ll catch y’all next week!