Before you start adding anything into your coffee, let’s first try to get something straight: a cup of black, unadulterated coffee made from quality coffee beans is amazing all by itself. In addition to tasting great, coffee can help improve mental and physical performance, so it’s no wonder that so many people around the world start the day off with a cup of coffee in the morning.
I myself have been a regular coffee drinker since my college days and always prefer my coffee black. In fact, I find it hard to understand how people can truly appreciate coffee after adding so much stuff to it. It’s incredible how much sugar, cream and more sugar you see people adding to their coffee. My theory is that people who do this may not actually like coffee – it is the sugar-high they are after, with a little caffeine thrown 84 Coffee in for good measure.
So when I first heard about how people were adding globs of butter to their coffee, I wondered whether loading coffee up with fat instead of sugar was really all that different.
Is chasing a fat-high more worthy than chasing a sugar-high?
What Exactly Is Bulletproof Coffee?
“Bulletproof coffee” is a term originally coined by self-proclaimed biohacker, Dave Asprey, to refer to coffee made with his own brand of coffee beans, blended together with healthy fats. Of course, nowadays it seems the term “bulletproof coffee” is used more broadly to refer to any cup of coffee that is mixed with fats such as butter, coconut oil and MCT oil. The idea is that these fats, combined with caffeine, can give you a nice, sustainable energy boost while also making you feel full and satiated.
Bulletproof coffee is certainly gaining in popularity in the U.S., particularly among athletes and CrossFitters. In a recent three-part series on nutrition in the NBA, CBS Sports even talks about how bulletproof coffee is the “pregame beverage of choice” for the Lakers. A quick Google Trends search for “bulletproof coffee” shows that the term started building steam towards the end of 2012 and has been on the uptrend ever since.
What Are The REAL Benefits Of Drinking Bulletproof Coffee?
If you head to Asprey’s website, you can find the following claims about bulletproof coffee:
“It makes you feel energized, alert, and focused all day without the crash of commercial energy drinks.”
“It will keep you satisfied with level energy for 6 hours if you need it, and because I’m having it for breakfast, I’m programming my body to burn fat for energy all day long!”
“Try this just once, with at least 2 Tbs of butter, and have nothing else for breakfast. You will experience one of the best mornings of your life, with boundless energy and focus. It’s amazing.”
Now I’m not going to try to refute any of these claims. In fact, I tend to agree with most of them. However, the issue that I have is this: How many of these benefits could be attributed to drinking coffee alone, regardless of whether you “bulletproof” it?
I would venture to guess that most of the benefits that people claim to experience from drinking bulletproof coffee come from the coffee itself. But I’ve found that the real distinguishing benefit of bulletproof coffee that is seldom stressed, perhaps because it is so ridiculously simple, is that you will feel full after drinking bulletproof coffee.
The fact that you will feel full after chugging generous amounts of butter and oil with your coffee probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most people. But why I would view it as the key benefit of bulletproof coffee may not be so obvious. Basically it comes down to the fact that there are only so many decisions that your brain can handle effectively in a day. Therefore, if you want to be effective, it is important to minimize distractions and focus on the decisions that matter most. Bulletproof coffee, in this case, can help you manage your hunger so that it isn’t a distraction. The idea is to overcome the conventional belief that in order to function, you have to or should eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at set times every day. You should listen to your body, and if you aren’t hungry, you have the green light to continue conquering the task at hand.
Is Bulletproof Coffee for YOU?
At this point, a logical question might be: “If all bulletproof coffee does is make you full, why don’t you just drink regular coffee and eat like a normal person?”
For me it comes down to efficiency and diet.
Firstly, if you are already a coffee drinker like me, why not kill two birds (caffeine craving and hunger) with one stone? Adding some butter to your coffee is more efficient and less distracting than having to decide on what to eat for breakfast and then either prepare it yourself or buy it from somewhere. Those who appreciate the productivity benefits of sticking to daily rituals will be able to understand this point best.