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Bulletproof Coffee Recipe: Benefits + Drawbacks of Bulletproof Coffee

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It is possible to concoct a different way to prepare or take your morning coffee every single day of the month and still have additional variations to try. Black, a splash of cream, one sugar, with an espresso shot, cold brewed, as a latte, with oat milk, with vanilla creamer, double brewed—the list of possible coffee preparations goes on and on. 

There’s also an avid tribe of coffee drinkers who add butter to their morning cup of joe. 

Instead of adding milk, cream, and sugar, people who concoct what is known as a Bulletproof coffee recipe add grass-fed butter and something known as MCT oil to make a creamy, keto-friendly coffee.

Bulletproof coffee may certainly sound strange, if not downright unappealing if you’ve never heard of it and don’t tend to subscribe to the popular opinion that “everything tastes better with butter.”

However, there are several purported benefits of Bulletproof coffee, and people following a low-carb diet like the keto diet or who practice intermittent fasting often credit their morning cup of Bulletproof coffee as the key to their health.

In this article, we will explain the potential health benefits of Bulletproof coffee, the drawbacks, and how to make Bulletproof coffee with an easy Bulletproof coffee recipe.

We will cover: 

  • What Is Bulletproof Coffee?
  • How To Make Bulletproof Coffee: Bulletproof Coffee Recipe
  • Potential Benefits of Bulletproof Coffee
  • Drawbacks of Bulletproof Coffee
  • Is Bulletproof Coffee Healthy?

Let’s dive in! 

A cup of bulletproof coffee.

What Is Bulletproof Coffee?

So, what is Bulletproof coffee, and why is it called Bulletproof coffee?

Bulletproof coffee is a creamy coffee drink made with coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides), which is a type of fat that can be rapidly metabolized for energy. 

Coconut oil is an example of an oil high in MCT oil, but the MCT oil used in the original Bulletproof coffee recipe is pure MCT oil, which also includes longer and shorter chain fatty acids.

The Bulletproof coffee recipe was originally developed by Dave Asprey of the Bulletproof blog, which is why it is called Bulletproof coffee.

Although the original iteration of Bulletproof coffee required the use of Bulletproof products (branded grass-fed butter, MCT oil, and even coffee beans), people now replicate the Bulletproof coffee recipe with or without modifications using non-branded products or products from competitors.

Rather than serving as just a way to drink your normal cup of coffee, Bulletproof coffee was created by Asprey with the intention that it would replace a traditional high-carb breakfast like pancakes, cereal, or even nutritious oatmeal. 

Therefore, Bulletproof coffee should usually be seen as the “meal” itself rather than just a swap for black coffee alongside a big breakfast, though certainly, some people eat food with Bulletproof coffee.

A person drinking a cup of coffee.

How you drink Bulletproof coffee in the context of your overall diet depends on your goals and nutritional needs.

Bulletproof coffee is mainly targeted at those following a low-carb diet, such as the ketogenic diet or something like the paleo diet.

Additionally, it may also be used by those who practice intermittent fasting

Adding butter and MCT oil to the Bulletproof coffee recipe adds a lot of calories, so it technically takes you out of a strict fasting state

However, because there are no carbohydrates or sugars, Bulletproof coffee has no appreciable effect on blood sugar, so you can still maintain many of the same benefits of intermittent fasting.

The purpose of Bulletproof coffee, besides tasting delicious to some people, is to keep you satiated and energized while still maintaining metabolic ketosis due to the high-fat content and negligible carbohydrate content. 

Therefore, typically, fatty Bulletproof coffee is typically consumed as the first meal of the day instead of eating any other type of breakfast.

Again, it’s important to mention that some people who just enjoy the taste of Bulletproof coffee but are not interested in the potential ketogenic aspects of consuming it on its own choose to eat other foods with the coffee.

Bulletproof coffee.

How To Make Bulletproof Coffee: Bulletproof Coffee Recipe

The basic recipe for Bulletproof coffee involves just three ingredients and takes about five minutes from start to finish. 

While genuine Bulletproof coffee is made with its own special coffee beans (said to be free of the harmful mycotoxins found in most coffee beans), Brain Octane C8 MCT oil, and Grass-Fed Ghee, you can use any coffee, ghee, or grass-fed unsalted butter, and MCT oil or even coconut oil.

Here is the basic Bulletproof coffee recipe:

Ingredients

  • 8-12 ounces of brewed coffee
  • 1-2 tbsp grass-fed ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1-2 tbsp MCT oil

Directions 

  1. Brew the coffee and add it to a blender with the ghee or butter and MCT.
  2. Blend for 30-45 seconds or until creamy.
Bulletproof coffee.

Potential Health Benefits of Bulletproof Coffee

There are several purported health benefits of Bulletproof coffee, though there’s not really any scientific evidence specifically done with the Bulletproof coffee recipe.

With that said, examining the ingredients—such as caffeine and medium-chain triglycerides—for which there are many studies demonstrating health benefits, the claims that Bulletproof coffee can increase energy and focus, fat burning, metabolism, improve cognitive performance, and even protect the brain from age-related cognitive decline don’t seem at all unreasonable.

  • Caffeine is a stimulant, so it can increase energy, focus, alertness, and attention. 
  • Grass-fed butter contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which can reduce inflammation and may support brain health.

Additional benefits of Bulletproof coffee can be gleaned when it is consumed instead of breakfast after a full night of fasting.

Ghee.

Because Bulletproof coffee doesn’t contain carbohydrates, drinking only Bulletproof coffee after a full night of fasting can promote the production of ketones for fuel. 

A state of metabolic ketosis has been found to help burn stored fat for energy and increase weight loss. 

There is also some evidence to suggest that ketosis can improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy by optimizing brain function.

Another benefit of drinking Bulletproof coffee in lieu of a sugary breakfast like a danish, bagel, boxed cereal with added sugar, or pancakes is that it just may aid weight loss and keep your blood sugar levels more stable. 

Most people who drink Bulletproof coffee for breakfast report being surprisingly satiated with one cup due to the high-fat content.

A person drinking a cup of coffee.

Drawbacks of Bulletproof Coffee

The primary drawback or argument against drinking Bulletproof coffee is that it is high in saturated fat and calories.

Depending on exactly how much butter/ghee and MCT oil you add when making your Bulletproof coffee recipe, each cup contains about 230 calories, 25 grams of total fat, and 23 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of protein. 

Although studies have been mixed, diets high in saturated fat have been associated with raising unhealthy low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and subsequently increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, other than fat, there are very few additional nutrients in Bulletproof coffee besides very small amounts of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins D, A, and K. 

Coffee beans.

Accordingly, drinking Bulletproof coffee instead of eating a nutrient-dense breakfast robs your body of the opportunity to get essential nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals like potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and zinc. 

Depending on the composition and quality of the rest of your diet, foregoing other nutrients at breakfast may set you back for the day and result in various nutritional deficiencies. 

However, if you consume Bulletproof coffee alongside other breakfast foods, you may gain weight unless you make compensatory reductions in your caloric intake in other areas of your diet since Bulletproof coffee is quite high in calories. 

Adding a cup of Bulletproof coffee each morning to your regular diet without making compensatory changes would result in about a half pound of weight gain per week or more than 25 pounds per year.

Is Bulletproof Coffee Healthy?

Many people understandably ask, “Is Bulletproof coffee healthy?”

As with many diet-related questions, the answer isn’t black and white.

Bulletproof coffee can certainly be healthy, depending on your diet goals, but there are also potential drawbacks and a lack of conclusive evidence demonstrating its benefits.

Coffee is high in antioxidants, and for that reason, some studies have shown that drinking coffee in moderation can reduce the risk of diseases like heart disease and certain cancers, and caffeine can increase metabolic rate and energy.

MCT oil.

There is also some evidence suggesting that certain saturated fats, especially those in coconut oil and the MCT oil in Bulletproof coffee, actually help reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. 

With that said, the overwhelming body of evidence is that diets high in saturated fat increase the risk of hypercholesterolemia, high triglycerides, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stroke. 

Therefore, given that Bulletproof coffee is so high in saturated fat, drinking it every day is not necessarily advisable, particularly if the rest of your diet also includes animal proteins, full-fat dairy, and other processed food sources of saturated fats like baked goods. 

It can be prudent to discuss drinking Bulletproof coffee with your doctor or a registered dietician, depending on your current health markers, lifestyle, and your family history of cardiovascular diseases.

However, if your body feels good on a low-carb, high-fat diet, give the Bulletproof coffee recipe a shot!

If you are on a low-carb diet, we have a great list of foods high in protein for you to check out.

A person drinking a cup of coffee reading the newspaper.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

1 thought on “Bulletproof Coffee Recipe: Benefits + Drawbacks of Bulletproof Coffee”

  1. There is NO evidence that saturated fats cause the above named problems. Even Ancel Keys, the guy that came up with the idea (using very sketchy statistics) admitted later on that the relationship was very weak.
    https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2022/03/24/saturated-fat-does-not-increase-cardiovascular-disease-risk-argue-researchers
    Populations like the Masai that eat almost exclusively meat and dairy hardly ever get heart disease unless they move to a city.

    Reply

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