If you practice intermittent fasting, consume a low-carbohydrate diet, or if you are simply not much of a breakfast eater, this AM beverage may be for you! Bulletproof coffee has been an up-and-coming trend amongst many people, especially coffee lovers. Simply put, the “original” blend combines 1 cup of brewed coffee using pure and clean beans, 1-2 tablespoons of MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil, and 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted, grass-fed butter or grass-fed ghee (for a lactose-free option). Did I lose you? Let’s talk about how this creamy cup of Joe can actually be beneficial.
First, let’s talk about the nutrition facts so we have full disclosure here. One cup of this blended brew will provide 230 calories, 25 grams of fat (21 of those grams coming from saturated fat), 0 grams of carbohydrates/fiber/sugar, and 0 grams of protein. When this cup of coffee is consumed in place of a carbohydrate-heavy breakfast, your body is able to go into the state of thermogenesis and ketosis, in which it utilizes fat (ketones), rather than carbohydrates (glucose), for energy. You may look at the number of calories it provides and think, “oh man, that’s a lot!” especially in regard to the number of grams of fat it provides. When you compare it to a typical breakfast meal, this single cup provides a lot less calories with some health advantages.
In the absence of carbohydrates that break down to glucose in our bodies, ketones are produced in their place. Glucose is our bodies most preferred fuel source, especially for our brains. Ketones are produced in the liver as a result of fat breakdown and are able to provide energy to our cells and our brain. Overnight, we fast. When we wake up, we either break our fast with a morning meal or we continue our fast until our next meal. You may think that having this cup of coffee would break your fast, defeating the purpose of intermittent fasting if you practice it to begin with, but that’s not the case.
Due to the fact that this blend produces 0 grams of carbohydrates, your body is able to continue that fat burning state by utilizing ketone production. MCT oil contains C8, AKA caprylic acid, which is efficiently converted into ketones by your liver. It’s important to know that not all MCT oils are created equal. Label reading is particularly important when it comes to choosing an oil because some brands will contain C12, which is not an effectively absorbed MCT, along with added artificial flavors for some. The ketones produced with the help of caprylic acid have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and boom: brain fuel.
Not only are your cells being fed, but so is your brain. Giving your brain this energy creates mental clarity, focus, sharpness, and can actually help with keeping us satiated. Fat provides 9 calories per gram versus carbohydrates and protein providing us 4 calories per gram. Because we are fueling our bodies with calories from fat, we are able to have those feelings of fullness, allowing us to be held over until lunchtime.
The Bulletproof blend may not be for everyone as we all have individualized needs. For example, MCT oil has been known to cause stomach upset when used in excess, so make sure to start with about 1 teaspoon and work your way up to 1-2 tablespoons until you’re well-adjusted. This blend also contains a fair amount of saturated fat, so if you present with a heart condition such as elevated blood pressure, high triglycerides, cardiovascular disease, etc. this may not be advisable to drink. Not a coffee drinker? You can use the same recipe and swap the coffee for matcha to make a creamy matcha latte.
All in all, this creamy combination has been shown to be a positive addition in many people’s lives. Many individuals report higher energy, better focus, reduced cravings, feelings of satiation, and so on. You may love it and you may not, but like everything in life, it’s worth a try!