Bulletproof coffee: to drink or not to drink?

Bulletproof coffee based on butter is getting more and more popular. Sasha KUZNETSOVA’s figured out what is the really healthy way to make it.

Bulletproof coffee is known as a favorite Silicon Valley’s drink. The star of Big Little Lie, Shailene Woodley, on the Jimmy Fallon Show tells US how wonderful is it to get juiced up with caffeine and fats in the morning. Bulletproof was born out of Tibetan traditional drink, and now IS served in many American cafes. But if bulletproof is not that popular in your area yet or you want to try to cook it yourself, here are some simple steps.

WHAT IS BULLETPROOF COFFEE?

It’s a coffee cooked with butter and MCT oil – oil consisted of triglycerides (fatty acids) with an average length of the chain. Tastes like a latte, but without milk and sugar.

WHO MADE UP TO MIX COFFEE AND BUTTER?

The drink became popular thanks to Dave Asprey, investor and “biohacker” from Silicon Valley. In 2004, Dave had a trip to Tibet, where he tried a national drink – the tea with the butter of yaks. After returning home, Asprey had been experimenting with the recipe to achieve the effect of “hot Frappuccino without milk and sugar”.

In 2009, he had reached the desired taste, published the recipe of coffee for 460 calories in the blog and suggested to drink it instead of eating breakfast. Nowadays the recipe still is free, but Asprey has built the “bulletproof empire” – launching series of products under the brand name Bulletproof.

Coffee, bars, dietary supplements and two types of MCT oil – Brain Octane oil (contains 8 carbon atoms) and XCT oil (the combination of 8 and 10 carbon chain triglycerides) are in the sale.

Since 2011, when his business was been launched, sales rose by 700%. In 2015, brand café Bulletproof Coffee, was launched in Los Angeles, CA. Now you can try a fatty drink or ice-cream in LA, Santa Monica and Seattle. This year $19 million was invested in Asprey’s fat-café in New York!

Olena Cilantro at Bulletproof coffee in Santa MonicaOlena Cilantro at Bulletproof coffee in Santa Monica

WHY DO I NEED BULLETPROOF?

It is tasty. It is a quick breakfast, and no need to wake up an hour early for it. If only the health benefits can be convincing arguments, then Bulletproof improves cognitive functions (Dave Asprey argues he increased IQ by 20 points because of the drink) and helps lose weight. It also can reduce cholesterol, because fatty acids with an average length of the chain have an anti-inflammatory effect. Properly cooked bulletproof coffee helps you to rich ketosis. MCT oil is metabolized in the ketones very quickly, that instantly gives the arrival of energy and the feeling of “clear head”.

SOUNDS GREAT. NO PITFALLS?

In spite of 460 calories for a cup of bulletproof coffee, you probably will feel the hunger before lunch. For instance, GQ.com editor Chris Gayomali felt hunger by 10-11 am after a cup of bulletproof coffee at 7 am. Fortunately, added liquid protein helped him to maintain the sense of satiety.

Naturopathic doctor Nadia Brito Pateguana calls bulletproof coffee “a treat” and says: “fats should come mainly from food, not drinks”. For any diet, “liquid calories” are one of the biggest reasons of gaining weight, keeping LCHF you do not have many chances for overeating, but still have a chance for “overedrinking”.

Many people drink coffee in the hope to speed up the metabolism. However, excess caffeine entails increase of cortisol, the stress hormone, which makes us eat more.

That is why bulletproof is a good option, when you do not have a possibility to eat, but have a time for a fatty drink. It also can be pleasurable if not consumed on a daily. 

CLASSICAL RECIPE

Dave Esprit pays great attention to the quality of the coffee beans. He insists on using a special purifier from toxins coffee. The original recipe includes organic grass fed butter, and Brain Octane or XCT oil.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ tsps coffee
  • a glass water
  • 1-2 tbsps Brain Octane Oil
  • 1-2 tbsps organic grass fed butter

ONLY ONE-STEP

Brew coffee. Add oil and butter. Use mixer or blender to mix the fats with the drink. Enjoy!

500 kcal and 50 grams of fat (and nothing else).

COCONUT COFFEE

This recipe can be attributed to the classics too: coconut oil/butter contains fatty acids with chains of medium length. MCT oil is made from coconut oil. With coconut oil/butter, the drink will have a distinct coconut flavour and taste, but it can be replaced by special supplements that offers Dave Asprey’s company.

The recipe and proportion are the same with the classic recipe, but instead of a special Brain Octane oil use coconut oil/butter.

Or you can use manna. The taste will be richer and slightly sweet. Manna melts slowly, and if you choose not to blend the drink in a blender, then with each sip of bulletproof, the taste will be more coconut-like.

Ingredients:

  • 1,5 tsps coffee
  • a glass water
  • 1-2 tbsps butter
  • 1-2 tbsps coconut butter

 

412 kcal, 1.3 g protein 41.3 g fat, 0.33 g of carbs

The amount of carbs in the drink depends on coconut product. No carbs in “oil”, some of them in butter and a little more – in manna.

COFFEE WITH GHEE

Ghee doesn’t containe lactose, but has a soft creamy nutty flavour. It is an ideal for frying and great in coffee.

Ingredients:

  • 1,5 tsps coffee
  •  a glass of water
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ghee

ONLY ONE-STEP

Brew coffee, add butter and oil, whisk in a blender until smooth. Enjoy!

448 kcal, 0.05 g protein, 50 g fat, 0g carbs

EGG COFFEE

When Chris Gayomali complained to Dave Asprey about a sudden hunger after drinking bulletproof, the father of fatty coffee advised him to add a raw egg into the drink. Chris didn’t dare, but you can try.

Drink it immediately. Cold coffee with an egg is not for everybody.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsps coffee
  • a glass water
  • an egg
  • erythritol for taste
  • 1-2 tbsps butter
  • 1-2 tbsps coconut butter or manna

STEP 1

Brew coffee. Add 1-2 tablespoons butter and 1-2 tablespoons of coconut butter or manna to coffee.

STEP 2

Separate the yolk from the white. Whisk the egg yolk. If you want, you can add 1-2 teaspoons powder erythritol to the yolk. Add the yolk into the coffee. Whisk the mass in a blender until smooth.

STEP 3

Whisk the whites in a solid foam (you need to add a pinch of salt and whip in a cold bowl). Add sweetener for taste. Put the egg whites cream on the top of the coffee.

Drink it immediately. Cold coffee with an egg is not for everybody.

You can cook it without whites, adding only the yolk. Coffee with yolk is delicious to cook without butter, but with cream and a pinch of chilli. 

482 calories, 9 g protein, 47.3 g fat, 0.75 g of carbs

COFFEE WITH OLIVE OIL

The idea of bulletproof coffee is to get portion of fatty acids with medium chain length with drink. Olive oil has the long chain, but it is healthier than any other vegetable oils. It gives coffee unusual taste, especially if you add herbs and spices. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tsps coffee
  • a glass water
  • ginger
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

STEP 1

Slice the ginger. You can recapture them with a knife if you like spicy.

STEP 2

Put the coffee on to brew in the coffee pot and add the sliced ginger. The less spicy drink you want, the later you need to add ginger. In brewed coffee, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Enjoy!

162 kcal, 0 g protein, 18 g fat, 0 g of carbs.

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