Let me start by saying that I’m not a nutrition expert. I may work at Burn Boot Camp HQ with a fantastic group of nutrition and healthy eating experts, but my forte is marketing—not nutrition—and let’s just say you probably shouldn’t ask me for my top healthy recipe tips. (Ask Chelsea instead.)
But when I consistently heard my favorite podcaster rave about something called “bulletproof coffee” as if it were a magical health elixir, I became increasingly curious about its true nutritional value. Hey, I love coffee and I love having energy—something this beverage claims to give in high doses—so I figured I’d give it a shot.
I’ve now been drinking bulletproof coffee regularly for a month and what I’ve learned is, no, it’s not a magical health elixir. But it is delicious, fat-burning, energy-giving and straight up fun to make! So I wanted to share my experience in hopes that it might inspire you to give it a try and see if it works for you.
Keep reading for my take on bulletproof coffee!
What Is Bulletproof Coffee?
First things first: What is bulletproof coffee? It’s a blend of coffee, butter (or ghee, if you’re dairy-sensitive) and MCT oil (not coconut oil, which is important to note). While the term “bulletproof coffee” originated from the brand Bulletproof, which sells its own branded coffee beans, MCT oil (what they call Brain Octane Oil) and butter, it’s now a catchall term to describe coffee made with those three key ingredients.
You don’t have to use Bulletproof’s products to make “proper” bulletproof coffee—you just have to have:
- – Your favorite brewed coffee
- – Grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee
- – MCT oil
- – A blender
When you’re finished blending, you’re left with a foamy, frothy and creamy cup of coffee that almost looks like a latte!
What Does Bulletproof Coffee Do?
Before we dive deeper into the ingredients that make up bulletproof coffee, let’s dive into why people drink it. If you’re anything like me, you might be wondering why anyone would 1) put their coffee in a blender and 2) associate coffee and butter, in any way whatsoever. But trust me, the two pair better together than you might think!
Bulletproof coffee is essentially designed to:
- – Replace your breakfast in the morning
- – Curb your hunger and keep you full for hours
- – Promote mental clarity and focus
- – Increase your energy levels
- – Support your hormones
- – Increase fat burning
- – Taste creamy and delicious
Okay, now let’s talk about the individual ingredients.
I had never heard of MCT oil until I learned about bulletproof coffee. But now that I have, I’m noticing it’s popping up everywhere!
So what exactly is this stuff? MCT is a saturated fat that stands for medium-chain triglycerides. Most dietary fats you consume are considered long-chain triglycerides and have to go through a series of chemical reactions in order to be turned into a usable source of energy. But because MCTs are shorter chains, they do not need to be broken down into smaller molecules and are readily available to be used as energy.
While it may seem like a fad, MCT oil may actually be a health product worth adding to your daily diet. Here’s what it can do:
- – Have a thermogenic effect in your body and induce calorie burn, which gives you an awesome metabolism boost
- – Support a healthy gut
- – Stabilize blood sugar
- – Curb food and sugar cravings
- – Help increase exercise performance and endurance
- – Sharpen mental clarity and provide quick, clean energy
- – Decrease fat storage
- – Improve heart health
Due to its chemical structure, MCT oil is digested faster than other fats you might be consuming regularly, such as olive oil. It’s colorless, odorless and, unlike coconut oil, stays liquid at room temperature, so it’s a great alternative to add to food, salad dressings, smoothies and—of course—coffee!
Now, let’s move on to the next ingredient: butter.
Blending butter into your bulletproof coffee is what makes it so creamy, and while adding this ingredient initially freaked me out, I quickly realized why the end result is so popular.
But you shouldn’t just use any old butter—you should always choose grass-fed butter. Why grass-fed? Because regular butter from grain-fed cows has a different fat composition that doesn’t offer the same great taste as butter from pasture-raised cows. Grass-fed butter also blends more easily, which is an essential part of any bulletproof coffee recipe.
More importantly, though, cows that graze on grass produce milk that is packed with healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins that nourish your skin, eyes, heart and brain. Grass-fed butter is also rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to burn unwanted fat.
If you’re dairy-sensitive or lactose-intolerant, substitute the grass-fed butter for organic, grass-fed ghee. Ghee is pure butterfat, so grass-fed ghee will have the same nutritional benefits listed above without the lactose.
The only difference you should see is the consistency of the bulletproof coffee. Since ghee is more oily than butter, you won’t get the foamy top after blending. But you’ll still get the creamy consistency!
But What About the Fat?
I’ll admit, the thought of starting my day by drinking butter left me pretty skeptical about the true nutritional value of bulletproof coffee. Wouldn’t I be consuming too much fat?
But it’s important to remember that the “fat makes you fat” claims are not all true, nor are they all backed by science. In fact, eating more fat can be a powerful way to combat your cravings, balance your hormones, gain more mental focus and even lose weight. Fat can actually be your friend, and here’s why:
- – Eating fat makes you feel more full for longer periods of time, thereby reducing your appetite.
- – Fat helps to keep your blood sugar levels under control by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates. And when you have a balanced blood sugar, this helps to lower inflammation and stress hormones.
- – High-quality fats allow your body to absorb and utilize fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E and K.
How to Make Bulletproof Coffee
Okay, so if you’re intrigued, why not give bulletproof coffee a try? When you’re ready, here’s the recipe!
- – Brew 8 to 16 ounces of your favorite coffee, depending on how much you normally drink
- – In a blender, pour in your coffee, 1 tablespoon of grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee and 1 teaspoon of MCT oil. (Note: Traditional bulletproof coffee recipes often call for 1 tablespoon of MCT oil, but I’d recommend starting with 1 teaspoon and working your way up so you can determine how it makes you feel.)
- – Blend for 40 to 60 seconds, until the coffee lightens in color
- – Pour in your favorite coffee mug and enjoy!
A couple extra notes:
- – If you’re someone who likes to sip slowly and enjoy your coffee all morning (like me), make sure you pour the bulletproof coffee into a to-go mug that will keep it warm. You don’t want it to get too cool because the butter could start to harden. And that’s just not appetizing!
- – If you decide that butter and MCT oil are not for you, you can try making bulletproof coffee by simply blending coffee with coconut oil!
My Final Thoughts
I’ve now been drinking bulletproof coffee nearly every morning for the last month, and I’ve been loving it! Not only is it delicious, but it’s actually become a nice part of my morning ritual to allocate 10 minutes before heading to work to brew and blend my coffee. Doing something just for you every morning is important!
I’ve never been a big breakfast person, so it’s been extremely easy and pretty convenient for me to substitute my breakfast with bulletproof coffee. I normally make it around 7:30AM, and it keeps me full and energized for hours! I’ve found that it’s a great pre-workout beverage, too.
So, to summarize, here’s what I love about bulletproof coffee:
- – It’s creamy, delicious and fun to make
- – It tastes like a latte—but without all the sugar
- – I can drink it as a breakfast replacement but still feel full for hours
- – I’ve noticed increased focus and energy
- – It works well as a pre-workout beverage
- – It’s a nice addition to my morning routine
However, just because I’ve been loving it doesn’t mean you will. Some cons of bulletproof coffee include:
- – It requires more time—and more dishes—than making a typical cup of coffee
- – It’s not meant to be consumed alongside food, which might be hard for those who prefer large breakfasts
I think the best way to figure out if bulletproof coffee works for you is to just try it and be consistent! Commit to drinking it for one to two weeks so that your body has time to adapt to burning fat for energy instead of sugar or carbohydrates.
When you try it, take note of how it makes your body feel. Does it increase your energy levels and improve your focus? Or does it bother your stomach and fail to curb your hunger? Either way, it’s helpful when trying something new to track how your body is reacting to it, which can help you decide if it’s something you’d like to stick with long-term.
So if you commit to trying it, let me know how you like it! We’ll swap stories.