Bulletproof Coffee: Everything you want to know (Plus the recipe)
- Bulletproof Coffee, aka butter coffee, is an energizing beverage made with quality fats and high-quality coffee beans.
- The recipe is easy: just blend together coffee, Brain Octane oil (C8 MCT oil) and grass-fed butter or ghee. Find out how it all works below.
- When you drink Bulletproof Coffee instead of eating a carb-heavy breakfast, you’ll feel satisfied and energized for hours. It’s great on keto, intermittent fasting and the Bulletproof Diet.
- Coconut oil and margarine just won’t cut it. For the best results, use ingredients that will help you feel your best: clean coffee beans, pure MCT oil and grass-fed butter or ghee.
What is Bulletproof Coffee?
Bulletproof Coffee is not your average latte. It’s an energizing, high-performance drink that has helped everyone from driven CEOs to professional athletes to busy parents do more of what fulfills them.
How to make Bulletproof Coffee
- It all starts with the beans. Brew 1 cup (8-12 ounces) of coffee using filtered water with 2 ½ heaping tablespoons of freshly ground Bulletproof Coffee beans. Use a French Press for ease of use and to preserve beneficial coffee oils that paper filters keep out.
- Add 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of Brain Octane® oil. You’ll learn much more about Brain Octane oil below, but keep in mind that this stuff is powerful. Start with 1 teaspoon per cup and work your way up to 1-2 tablespoons over several days.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed, unsalted butter or 1-2 teaspoons of Grass-Fed Ghee (for those who can’t tolerate dairy). You read that right. It says butter. Don’t worry. This mixture also makes the creamiest, most delicious cup of coffee you’ve ever had. Oh, and make sure your butter is unsalted. Salty coffee is gross.
- Mix it all in a blender for 20-30 seconds until it looks like a foamy latte.
Try these convenient Bulletproof Coffee hacks:
- Grab a ready-to-go Bulletproof Coffee Cold Brew, or
- Toss a packet of Instamix creamer in your coffee — no blender required. Each Instamix packet contains grass-fed butter and Brain Octane oil in powdered form for easy, on-the-go Bulletproof Coffee.
- Try adding Bulletproof Collagen Protein powder (flavored or unflavored)
Where Bulletproof Coffee began
Dave Asprey was a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur when his health really started to take a hit. He was obese, weighing in at almost 300 pounds. He was also chronically tired, and his brain function was starting to suffer.
For years, he tried restricting calories and working out every day. Nothing helped. By the time he was 30, Dave’s doctors told him he was at strong risk for a stroke or heart attack — not at some indeterminate time in the future, but soon.
Dave got the idea for Bulletproof Coffee after a trek in Tibet in 2004. At 18,000 feet above sea level and -10 degrees Fahrenheit, his energy was plummeting — until he staggered into a guest house and a local handed him a creamy cup of yak butter tea.
The biohacker in him wondered why the tea made him feel so good, and he embarked on years of research into the power behind the ingredients. Eventually, Dave substituted tea for mold-tested coffee, and yak butter for regular grass-fed butter or ghee.
Brain Octane oil was the final missing piece. And the right blend of these three ingredients (the right coffee, the right MCTs and grass-fed butter) finally gave Dave the same feeling he first experienced in that hut high up in the Tibetan mountains. That’s how Bulletproof Coffee was born.
How does it work?
Turns out there is some powerful science behind the benefits of coffee, butter and Brain Octane oil. Let’s dive in:
Coffee beans and peak performance
Coffee doesn’t just taste good. It also delivers antioxidants. Caffeine keeps you alert, and it can also boost your metabolism and help you burn fat for energy.
But none of these benefits mean much if you’re drinking the wrong coffee.
Just like the food you put into your body, the quality of your coffee matters: Bad coffee can sap your energy and hurt your performance, while the right beans can give you an edge.
The problem is finding consistently good coffee — which is why Bulletproof coffee beans are expertly picked, sorted and roasted.
- Location: Bulletproof coffee beans come from high-elevation, Rainforest Alliance certified, single-origin coffee estates.
- Quality: Bulletproof beans are held to stringent quality standards. They’re sourced and processed to help minimize mycotoxins and other contamination.
- Taste: Bulletproof Coffee Beans are super high-quality Arabica beans, which have a smooth, bold flavor.
Why grass-fed butter?
Grass-fed butter gives Bulletproof Coffee its creamy consistency. It also gives you quality fats that help keep you full and fueled. It’s the key ingredient to one of the creamiest lattes you’ll ever have.
Not only that, but grass-fed butter is a good source of butyrate and contains important nutrients like Vitamin A, beta-carotene and the fatty acid CLA.
And for those of you with a lactose intolerance, try ghee, which has most of the lactose removed.
The benefits of Brain Octane oil
Brain Octane oil is a staple of the Bulletproof Diet because it supplies you with brain-fueling molecules called ketones — and it’s a key ingredient in the Bulletproof Coffee recipe for several reasons:
- Purity: Brain Octane is pure C8 MCT oil derived from 100% coconut oil. It’s triple-distilled and purified with just water, heat and pressure. That means you get pure, highly ketogenic C8 MCTs — and no coconut residue.
- Quality: Brain Octane oil is held to Bulletproof’s strict quality standards.
- Taste: Brain Octane oil is flavorless and odorless, unlike some other MCT oils.
Different types of fats have different jobs. And because of Brain Octane’s molecular structure, it’s more than four times as effective as plain coconut oil at raising your ketone levels, so your body and brain can run on fat instead of sugar. This is what gives you clean-burning energy for hours at a time.
Do you have to use Bulletproof ingredients to make Bulletproof Coffee?
Authentic Bulletproof Coffee means using Bulletproof ingredients — all designed to make sure you get the most consistently amazing, frothy, energizing drink possible every time you make it.
Sure, you might get away with using generic coffee beans and coconut oil and still feel some of the same benefits. But carefully selected Bulletproof beans and the high-purity C8 MCTs in Brain Octane Oil are your most reliable shortcut to great Bulletproof Coffee.
Don’t add sugar, either. Sugar, even in natural forms like honey or maple syrup, will affect your blood sugar levels and keep you from burning fat.
Why the wrong coffee makes you weak
Just like great coffee makes you feel amazing, low-quality coffee can sap your energy. So make sure to brew with the best beans possible. You can do this by choosing beans that are:
- Single origin
- Small batch
- From high elevations
- Arabica beans
- Rainforest Certified
- Tested for mycotoxins
Bulletproof coffee beans meet all of these standards.
Why coconut oil just won’t cut it
Brain Octane oil is more than 3 times as effective as coconut oil at supplying energizing ketones, and throwing coconut oil in your coffee won’t give you the same effects.
After all, Brain Octane oil is caprylic acid (C8), a special type of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) derived from coconut oil — and not all MCTs are created equal.
That’s just one more reason why you’ll notice the difference when you make Bulletproof Coffee with the right ingredients.
Here’s a little more detail if you’re curious about the differences between MCT oil and Coconut oil.
Why you should rethink breakfast
Bulletproof Coffee is breakfast — but without the added sugar that comes with some common morning staples like fruit juices, smoothies and bread. And because of all those quality fats from grass-fed butter and Brain Octane oil, you’ll feel full and energized for hours.
Not all fats make you fat
In fact, eating more of the right fats can be a powerful way to defeat snack cravings and fuel your brain.
Unlike many other fats, most of the high-purity C8 MCTs in Brain Octane Oil go directly to your liver. Then, your body turns them into ketones that get burned for energy — not stored on your waistline.
Bonus: Because fats can make you feel full faster, you may find that you actually eat less by adding more high-quality, ketogenic fats to your plate.
But what if you don’t drink coffee?
You don’t even have to use coffee to feel many of the benefits of Bulletproof Coffee. In fact, a Tibetan tea was Dave Asprey’s first introduction to the energizing power and deliciousness of a hot, buttery pick-me-up.
The truth is, you can make just about any hot beverage into a creamy, frothy version of itself simply by blending in grass-fed butter and Brain Octane. Hot chocolate, tea and turmeric tea are just a few options.
Getting started with Bulletproof Coffee
The best way to figure out if Bulletproof Coffee works for you is to try it. Here’s how you can incorporate Bulletproof Coffee into your day to up your energy and performance:
- Get the ingredients — ideally, that means Bulletproof coffee beans; grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee; and Brain Octane oil. (Or for a blender-free, travel-friendly option, try ready-to-drink Bulletproof Coffee Cold Brew. You can take it with you anywhere, no refrigeration needed.)
- Try swapping your usual breakfast for Bulletproof Coffee for one week. It may take your body a while to adapt to the extra fat. Start slowly with smaller amounts of butter and Brain Octane oil, and build up to the full amounts included in the recipe.
- Eat your lunch and dinner as usual, or just eat when you’re hungry.
- For best results, stay in the “green” zone of the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap.
Bulletproof Coffee is your new favorite breakfast
Typical breakfast staples loaded with sugar and refined carbs can spike your blood sugar. Sure, you may get a quick burst of energy, but by mid-morning you’ll be hungry, tired and unfocused.
Starting your day with Bulletproof Coffee, on the other hand…
- Curbs hunger and snack attacks: The quality fats in Brain Octane Oil help keep you full.
- Gives you mental energy: Brain Octane rapidly converts into ketones to help power your brain with high-performance fuel.
Ditch the sugar-heavy breakfast and start your day with fat for fuel. When you feel sharp and alert for hours, you’ll be glad you made the switch.
4 common questions about Bulletproof Coffee
1. Isn’t Bulletproof Coffee high-calorie and high-fat?
If you’ve ever tried a low-calorie diet, you know how unsustainable it is. You starve yourself for a few days until your low-calorie plan falls apart, and you eat everything in sight.
Plus, because your body slows your metabolism down to match your decreased calorie intake, you end up gaining more weight than you lost. Thus begins a painful cycle of yo-yo dieting.
In the long term, restricting your calories won’t help you lose weight. Counting calories doesn’t work because your biology is far too complicated to reduce weight loss to “calories in, calories out.”
A better approach is to optimize your metabolism and hormones, both of which contribute to fat-burning, while curbing your hunger with food that keeps you full for hours. Bulletproof Coffee checks those boxes.
The saturated fat and cholesterol in the grass-fed butter support your hormones (all steroid and sex hormones, including fat-burning testosterone, come from cholesterol) and provide steady energy, not the mid-afternoon crash from carbs in traditional breakfast foods. The MCTs in Brain Octane oil metabolize into fuel for your brain and promote thermogenesis, increasing your metabolic rate.
All that translates to feeling full for hours while burning fat. Don’t fear the calories or fat in Bulletproof Coffee. They’re doing a lot of good for you.
2. Drinking calories is unsatisfying, right?
If you’re talking about fructose-laden juice or soda, yes. Most sugary drinks give you a quick burst of energy…then you crash and get hungry an hour later. But Bulletproof Coffee gives you an entirely different experience.
This is where Brain Octane really works its magic. It rapidly converts to ketones, which are an alternative to the glucose your body usually uses for fuel. Ketones affect two hormones, ghrelin and CCK, in a way that curbs cravings for hours. Plain coconut oil isn’t strong enough to affect ghrelin and CCK the way Brain Octane oil does.
In this case, drinking your calories can be more satisfying than eating them. You can read more about the science behind Brain Octane and hunger suppression here.
3. Won’t Bulletproof Coffee break your fast?
No, as long as you aren’t having protein or carbs with it. Fat doesn’t impact your blood sugar levels. That means Bulletproof Coffee can actually help you extend your fast, without feeling hangry. Learn how Bulletproof Coffee complements intermittent fasting here.
4. Wouldn’t I get more nutrients eating whole foods for breakfast?
Potentially. Grass-fed butter is packed with beneficial fatty acids and several vitamins, especially compared to grain-fed butter. You can see the difference in vitamin A content — grass-fed butter has a sunny yellow color that conventional butter lacks. Coffee itself is full of polyphenols and anti-inflammatory compounds like kahweol and cafestol.
That said, Bulletproof Coffee’s nutrient profile doesn’t stack up against, say, an avocado and a couple whole eggs. It’s a tool to support ketosis, benefit from intermittent fasting and fuel your mind and body with quality fats. You want to eat nutrient-dense, whole foods for your other meals.
If you’re eating lots of greens, grass-fed meats, eggs, quality fats and organ meats, all seasoned with a solid dose of salt, herbs and spices, you’re going to far surpass your daily need for most nutrients. For even better results, follow the Bulletproof Diet (all the info is free right here). It’s an incredible way to lose weight, increase your mental sharpness, have hours of stable energy and feel your best.
7 things you shouldn’t blend into butter coffee
Sometimes people get a little too creative with their Bulletproof Coffee. Sometimes it’s a biochemistry mistake, but sometimes it’s a culinary disaster. If you want to perform at your peak, avoid adding the following ingredients to your morning brew:
1. Whey protein
Whey is not heat-stable and the IGG peptides get damaged by the high temperature of your coffee and the blender’s mechanical action. You can, however, add whey protein to an iced version of Bulletproof Coffee if you blend it gently.
If you do want a protein boost in your hot Bulletproof Coffee, opt for Bulletproof Collagen Protein — it’s heat-stable and mixes easily in hot or cold liquids.
2. Raw cream
Raw cream isn’t raw anymore once you put it in hot coffee. If you tolerate it and can find it, save this expensive, rare treat for whipping and eating cold, or on top of the coffee after it has cooled a bit by pouring it in an unheated mug.
Raw cream has more casein protein than cultured butter. Research suggests the higher amount of casein may bind to the antioxidants in coffee,which means you get less of the antioxidant benefits than you’ll get with grass-fed butter or ghee. If you must drink coffee with cream, use pasteurized, grass-fed cream — it’s a lot cheaper.
3. Soy milk
Soy is high in phytic acid and lectins, and it may affect estrogen levels if eaten in excess. Learn more about soy here.
4. Casein protein
Casein may interfere with the antioxidant benefits of coffee. Again, if you want some protein, add some Collagen Protein instead.
5. Industrial butter and margarine
Don’t do it — use unsalted grass-fed butter instead. Find out why industrial dairy is bad news.
6. Industrial nut milks
Most use low-quality nuts, and many contain questionable additives like carrageenan (which is bad for the gut and liver) or high-fructose corn syrup. It’s best to save nuts for eating, not drinking — or make your own nut milks using your blender.
7. Sugar and artificial sweeteners
If you like your coffee on the sweet side, use Stevia, xylitol or erythritol. Check out this full list of Bulletproof-approved sweeteners — and which to avoid.
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