The Bulletproof Coffee Diet has been doing the rounds of late. Love it, hate it or sick of hearing about it – we’re all a little bit intrigued. Is it just a fad or are the Bulletproof Coffee benefits real? One thing’s for sure – this drink isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Read the fitness blogs, the food forums and listen to the health nut at work; they’ve all tried it and most of them rave about it. Productivity junkies, efficiency experts, CrossFit nuts and Paleo followers are all converts to this high-fat beverage. But is it worth a go?
What is it?
Instead of your usual morning meals and snacks, you have a calorific combination of coffee, butter and MCT oil – blended to buttery perfection.
But why try it?
We’ll spare you the scientific gobbledegook, but some studies have shown that consuming MCT oil, a type of saturated fat that’s easier for the body to digest, leads to greater fat loss and increased energy. Combined with caffeine and nutritionally-rich grass-fed butter, drinkers can burn fat, gain muscle and, as some websites claim, “… be an overall better human being”.
Extra energy, razor-sharp focus and health benefits galore; this buttered beverage sounds too good to be true. But founder of the Bulletproof concept, Dave Asprey, is adamant about the health benefits. He claims, a mug or two in the morning will curb hunger, keep you mentally alert and help you lose weight.
You can read our interview with Bulletproof founder, Dave, here. In the meantime, we asked two of the Domu team to give Bulletproof Coffees a go. One an avid coffee drinker; the other a java novice. How would they get on after 5 days on the Bulletproof Coffee Diet? Subbing their morning routine for buttered coffee and MCT oil?
The Bulletproof Coffee Diet Testers
Dean: I’m a big coffee drinker. Usually, I drink about 2 to 3 strong coffees a day. I started drinking coffee whilst working at a café so I generally go for a strong Italian coffee. I like to try different brands, but do always find myself drawn towards Italian blends because of the rich taste and strength of the caffeine.
My normal coffee does make me feel more alert and energised. Although strangely, it also relaxes me. I think that’s because I started drinking it for the taste, rather than to keep me awake. It’s almost like a ritual now that I find calming.
I’m always up for trying new coffee. There’s a buzz around Bulletproof coffee at the moment and putting butter in your coffee is definitely different. Also, I’m interested to find out if the effects of Brain Octane are as strong as I have read. Although I am a bit sceptical - mainly because it's so much more expensive than regular coffees. There’s also the claim that “70% of coffee on the market contains mycotoxins” which seems inaccurate to me. I believe most manufacturers (high-end coffee producers at least) have been on top of this using wet processing for quite some time now. We will see.
Rebecca: I’m not a big coffee drinker. I’ll maybe have coffee once a week and only if I feel slow or tired. Although it does tend to give me a headache and palpitations so it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. I’m definitely not a coffee connoisseur – if I drink coffee, it’s normally Nescafe or Kenco. Before trying Bulletproof Coffee I hadn’t heard of it and haven’t tried anything like it.
Day 1: Initial Thoughts
How easy was bulletproof coffee to make?
Dean: It was quite a faff in all honesty. On day 1 at least, as I had to keep making sure I did everything correctly. I currently use an espresso machine that also takes some time. Not that I mind the process; I actually quite enjoy it. But it did take notably longer which I’m sure would put some people off.
Rebecca: I feel it was a bit of an effort to make. You have to grind the coffee beans in a grinder. Then put the coffee through an espresso machine. Then blend it in a blender with the extra ingredients as well. It's just too much. Especially when people want a hot coffee rather than warm. By the time we'd done all this it was more tepid than hot.
What did you think of the taste?
Dean: The coffee itself tasted great. I could tell from the smell and look of the beans, that this is a premium product. And although I was sceptical about using butter, it really did work. Not overpowering, but it gave the coffee a distinct taste and a lovely texture.
Rebecca: I enjoyed the taste it was delicate and smooth with a little buttery note to finish.
Did you feel full up?
Dean: I wouldn’t say I felt full up directly after drinking the coffee. However, I do normally have a snack between breakfast and lunch (generally a banana or cereal bar), which I didn’t feel the need to do. So it did suppress my appetite to some degree.
Rebecca: Not in particularly, I have a pretty slow metabolism and I still managed a cup of soup for lunch and some light bites.
Did you feel energised?
Dean: I did feel energised. I do after the coffee I normally drink, but I was definitely more focused than I normally feel. Especially compared to how I felt getting to work after not sleeping too well the previous night.
Rebecca: Not really. My head was slightly fuzzy but concentration levels were unchanged.
Did you feel like your brain was more engaged?
Dean: Yes. I think this was the most noticeable effect. I felt much more focused and alert than I did prior to having the coffee. And I would say there was an improvement in this regard when compared to how I feel after my normal coffee.
Rebecca: No more than usual.
How did you feel throughout the morning?
Dean: The effects definitely lasted until lunch. I know one of Bulletproof’s claims is that you don’t crash as you do with normal coffee, which I didn’t. However, crashing from coffee is something I haven't really suffered with while using regular coffee. I did have a sharp headache just before lunch. Could be completely unrelated, but the coffee was the only thing I did differently outside of my normal routine.
Rebecca: Well its Monday so I guess tired and slow. I felt slightly better for having the coffee but I felt it wore off by half one. I feel for the price this would appeal to more health-orientated people. People who are always on the go or who need that extra stimulation. Whilst others would just have a snack or meal and keep going.
Day 2: Getting Going
How did the second day go?
Dean: Good. I knew there were some positive effects now, so the amount of scepticism I previously had was unjust. Although I wouldn’t say there was any noticeable changes to my mood or energy levels. No headache today, so I can only assume that yesterday’s was unrelated.
Rebecca: We made the coffee a bit quicker today so it was warmer to drink. The taste was good but I feel it needs to be sweetened with one sugar. Like Dean, I didn’t notice any obvious changes to my mood or working. I felt slightly more awake after the coffee but I felt it didn’t last very long. Same with my appetite which wasn’t really suppressed for very long.
Day 3: Getting in a routine
How was today’s experience? Did you do anything differently?
Dean: We used slightly less butter and slightly more octane today. Yesterday’s coffee was a bit sickly. Mainly because of the texture I think… it almost seemed greasy. I definitely enjoyed the coffee more today and, whether the extra octane acted as a placebo or not, it was the most alert I have felt thus far.
Rebecca: We added a little more of the brain boost and less butter. Today I didn’t have anything for breakfast or to drink and it did suppress my appetite until lunch.
Would you switch to drinking Bulletproof Coffee full-time?
Dean: I’m not won over yet. I definitely prefer it to any instant coffee I have ever tried. But as a coffee lover, I buy good coffee and take time and pride in making it. So it doesn't quite stack up to what I usually drink.
Rebecca: I enjoy tea more than coffee. I find it weird knowing I’m drinking coffee with butter in, and I can’t help feeling like it shouldn’t be done. It just doesn't feel healthy. The fact that we have gone through nearly half a block of butter within three days is a little daunting for me as I rarely eat bread and butter in the week.
Day 4: Nearly Done
What has today’s experience been like?
Dean: No change from yesterday. Good coffee, positive results!
Rebecca: When we made the coffee today we used a similar amount as yesterday - less butter and one more tablespoon of the brain boost. I experienced pretty much the same as the last few days. Although the flavour was slightly better.
For the first few days I’m not sure whether it was the coffee but I felt bloated after drinking it, whereas today I don’t feel as bloated afterwards. Maybe if you drank it for a longer period of time, you'd notice more changes to your mind or body. For me, I haven’t really found much change to mood or concentration.
Day 5: The Final Day
What was the last day like?
Dean: Enjoyable again. I feel like I’ve got the right balance in terms of the ingredients and I’ve also got a lot more efficient at making it. I thought it was a faff on day 1, but it took me about the same amount of time that it takes to make my regular coffee today.
Rebecca: The making of the coffee was quicker today. We pre-ground the coffee and I think this really helped. Although I felt it took me a little longer to drink today.
Would you continue to use Bulletproof Coffee?
Dean: I would happily have a Bulletproof coffee again if one was offered to me. However, I wouldn't be in a rush to go out and buy some. For me, the higher cost versus the small improvements in concentration just wasn't worth it. I’m not converted, but I thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with a new coffee and method this week.
Rebecca: Not personally as I feel it’s not for me.
What do you think about Bulletproof Coffee now? Is it different from your original perception?
Dean: In all honesty, my perception hasn't really changed. It is great coffee (as you would expect for the price) and the method is really unusual and interesting. But I wasn’t expecting incredible results and as expected, I didn't get them unfortunately.
Rebecca: I still feel it is strange drinking coffee with butter – I just couldn’t get past this.
Any thoughts/comments for people who want to try it?
Dean: Go for it! I think all coffee lovers are up for trying something a bit different, so why not. Although I didn’t see a huge difference in terms of my energy levels or alertness when compared to my normal brand that doesn’t mean others won't.
Rebecca: I’d say only if you’re really into your coffee - I feel it’s a drink aimed at coffee lovers and, unfortunately, that’s just not me.
Overall, we’d say our testers aren’t convinced. That’s not to say it can’t work for you. If you want to try your own Bulletproof concoction, here’s everything you need to know.
What You Need
To whip up this high calorie, butter brew you’ll need:
- Two tablespoons of grass-fed, unsalted butter (Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter is a popular choice)
- Two tablespoons of MCT or coconut oil
- A powerful blender; we recommend the VonShef Premium Jug Blender
Step 1: Brew your coffee as you normally would
Step 2: Add two tablespoons of unsalted, grass-fed butter
Step 3: Add two tablespoons of MCT or coconut oil
Step 4: Mix in a powerful blender, until you’ve achieved latte-like consistency
Or, to sum up: brew it, whiz it, drink it.
Have you tried Bulletproof Coffee? Tell us your experience in the comment section below.