446: A Closer Look At Bulletproof Coffee

446: A Closer Look At Bulletproof Coffee

Does bulletproof coffee help you burn fat? Should you be drinking it? Does it matter how you make it?

Should you use coconut oil or MCT oil? Does it matter?

What if your butter isn’t grassfed?

What kind of coffee should you use? Does it matter?

Is it breakfast? Can you have food with it?

These are the questions we’re tackling in today’s episode! Don’t miss it!

Resources:

The wait list for the Spring Fat Loss Fast Track is now open! 

Below are the products I use to make my bulletproof coffee. I purchase them from Thrive Market because that’s where I get the best prices.

Use that link to create your account and then you can check out some of these items:

Grass Fed Ghee from Organic Valley

Spectrum Essentials Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

MCT Oil

Kicking Horse Coffee

Devocion Coffee

In October 2019, our relationship with Thrive Market changed. They decided to put their marketing dollars in avenues outside of podcasting but we still think they’re a good choice if you’re looking to save money on health & personal care products.

Dos and Don’ts of Bulletproof Coffee

Aquasana Water Filter

Episode 046 on Water Filtration

Dos and Don’ts of Bulletproof Coffee

Dos and Don’ts of Bulletproof Coffee

(This post was originally written in August 2015 and has since been updated to reflect more recent thoughts & resources.)

Join the discussion in the free Primal Potential Facebook group!

Bulletproof Coffee Basics

Question: What is bulletproof coffee & why do you drink it?

Answer: Bulletproof coffee is high quality, low toxin coffee blended with grass fed butter and coconut oil or MCT oil.

Why does low toxin coffee matter?
Traditional coffee can be packed with toxins from the mold that grows on the coffee beans. Analysis of standard beans shows that more than 90% may have mold growth. If you want to be sure your beans are low toxin, you can’t go wrong with the true bulletproof coffee.

What’s with the butter and what does grass fed mean?
Butter is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Butyrate, one of the ingredients in butter, has powerful cellular-protective effects, especially on cells within breast tissue. You want your butter to come from grass fed cows (I use Kerrygold unsalted butter) and not from conventionally fed cows. Conventional butter will be high in pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids because those cows are fed grains. Grass fed butter is naturally high in anti-inflammatory omega 3s and free from the pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids.

What’s MCT oil & why is it included?
MCT refers to medium chain triglycerides, a type of fat found in coconut oil. The fat in coconut oil is about 60% MCTs and coconut oil can be found in traditional grocery stores. MCT oil is pure MCTs but isn’t available in most grocery stores. I buy mine online . It is a great source of energy that is burned for IMMEDIATE fuel and is highly unlikely to ever be stored as fat due to the unique chain length of the fatty acids.

If you are new to bulletproof coffee and want to understand the basics, start by listening to episode 446 of the Primal Potential podcast (you can click the play button below to listen). That’s my most recent episode on it.

One you hear the basics, if you have questions about whether you should be using MCT oil or coconut oil, you’ve got to take a listen to episode 450. You’ll love this one.

Let’s get to the dos and don’ts, shall we?

Continue the conversation in the free Primal Potential Facebook group!

The Dos and Don’ts of Bulletproof Coffee

Do: Try it.

People will ask, “what does it taste like?” or freak out and say, “I’m terrified to put butter in my coffee!” Let’s take a deep breath and realize that no one is going to force you, you certainly don’t have to try it, but I mean, what’s the worst case scenario? You take a sip and you don’t like it? Just freakin’ try it for yourself. If you hate it, pour it out. No harm, no foul. Living in curiosity is an odd choice. Just try it.

Don’t: Stir it.

Coffee is water based. MCT oil/coconut oil/butter butter are fats. If you stir it, the fats will melt and sit on top and your first sip will be pure fat. Use an immersion blender or traditional blender. Shaking is better than stirring, but still not optimal. When I’m traveling, I’ll take one of these guys with me (no blade, easy for security) so I can mix it up in my hotel room.

Do: Start slowly.

People tend to get really hung up on things like, “How much butter?” or “how much oil?” Just like people put different amounts of sugar, cream or milk in their coffee, make it to your own tastes. If it’s your first time, I don’t recommend starting with 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of oil, though that is a common recipe you’ll find online. So, what’s the right amount? Again, that’s like asking how much cream and sugar you should put in. Tweak, adjust and find what tastes best to you and what makes you feel the best. Start slow. Put in a teaspoon, see what you think and you can slowly increase the amount of butter and/or oil you add over time.

For those of you who have experienced stomach cramping or diarrhea – check the quality of  your MCT oil. I go into the different forms of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) in episode 450 and that will help you see why some versions might upset your stomach and others won’t.

Don’t: Let it get cold.

You might be used to letting your coffee sit for a couple hours while you go about your morning. What happens when melted butter cools? It solidifies. Take it from my experience – drink it while it’s hot!

Do: Pay attention.

How do you know if you’re overdoing it? How do you know if it is working for you? How do you know if you’re eating too much fat? You’ve got to pay attention. Adding a few tablespoons (or even less) of fat to your diet every day, with no other changes, means you’re increasing the amount of fuel you’re giving your body. Is it too much? Your body will tell you.

Write down what you eat, how much, and when. Measure your waist and hip circumference and recheck it every couple weeks so you can determine if you’re making progress towards your goals. BP coffee is not a magical drink that doesn’t “count”. It’s fuel. Give your body more fuel than it needs and the extra gets stored.

Don’t: Think of this as “fasting”

If you use a couple tbsp of butter and couple tbsp of oil, that’s a good 400 calories. Just adding this to what you normally eat for breakfast without making any subtractions could set you up for energy overload. This is not a fasting meal. It is a meal. It is a highly energy dense meal. Refer to the previous “do”.  Monitor your progress and adjust accordingly.

Continue the conversation in the free Primal Potential Facebook group!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. If I only have it for breakfast, am I still fasting?
    Nope, you’re not. Any time you add fuel (calories), you take your body from fasting mode to digesting mode. Just because it’s liquid doesn’t mean you’re still fasting. However, it is a fat loss friendly option compared to oatmeal, cereal, bagels, etc. When you add calories, you break your fast. Period.
  2. Does it matter if I use coconut oil instead of MCT oil?
    Yes. I go into these details in episode 450.
  3. What is the best type of coffee to use?
    Ah, the subject of so much debate. I consider this also a small rock. You can make bulletproof coffee with any kind of coffee. It is true that there is low quality coffee and high quality coffee, coffee with more toxins and coffee with fewer toxins. I really emphasize degrees of improvement. If you’re switching from a Chick-fil-A breakfast (like I did), any coffee is going to be a significant improvement over your previous choices. With that said, there are lots of organic coffee options out there.
  4. How much is too much?
    There is no black and white answer here because it depends on what else you eat throughout the day, your goals, your activity level, your sensitivity to caffeine, etc. This is where you have to do the work for yourself. If your goal is fat loss, monitor your progress via waist and hip circumference. If you aren’t losing weight, you might be drinking too much of it but it might also be because you’re eating too much throughout the rest of the day. If you aren’t able to fall asleep at night, it might be too much. If you feel really jittery, it might be too much. If I drink a lot of bulletproof coffee, I am mindful of how much I eat throughout the rest of the day. If I drink less, I eat a little bit more. If I’m more active, I have more wiggle room. There are a ton of factors here and it boils down to monitoring your progress, your hormonal biofeedback and adjusting accordingly.
  5. I don’t like coffee, can I make bulletproof tea?
    Absolutely. You can substitute tea for coffee. But remember, you can also make great, whole food choices in the morning and those will be great for fat loss and energy as well. Check out Q&A 6 of the Primal Potential Podcast for lots more fat loss friendly breakfast options.
  6. Is it wrong to have food alongside my bulletproof coffee?
    This totally depends on how much butter and oil you put in your coffee, what you plan to eat, what you eat throughout the rest of the day and how active you are. If I decide I want whole foods for breakfast, I’ll typically scale back the amount of butter and oil in my coffee or drink it black. You have to account for all the other factors and then monitor your progress. Your body and your results will give you this answer.
  7. Can I add sweetener to my bulletproof coffee?
    You can do whatever you want, haha. First try it without sweeteners. You’d be suprised how palatable it is on its own. If you do add sweetener, make it non caloric. Adding sugar (or eating carbohydrates) kind of defeats the purpose.
  8. What’s the difference between bulletproof coffee and keto coffee?
    Well first of all, bulletproof coffee is obviously ketogenic diet friendly. However, if you were to google the two, you’d see that keto coffee just adds more fat via egg yolk and or heavy cream. Keto coffee therefore has more fat and more calories (energy).
  9. I am hungry a couple hours after I drink it, am I doing something wrong?
    Nope, not necessarily. Some people respond better to whole foods and a lot of that has to do with psychological satisfaction that comes with chewing. You’ve got to do what works for you. Also, some people really need fiber (from non-starchy veggies) to help fill them up in the morning. Eggs don’t work for me for breakfast because they don’t fill me up. That doesn’t mean something is wrong with me, it just means I make other choices. If bulletproof coffee doesn’t work for you, no worries, just make a different choice.

Have more questions? Let’s hear them! I’m happy to share my $0.02!

Continue the conversation in the free Primal Potential Facebook group!

Want to learn more about butter coffee and bulletproof coffee? Start here! 

Blog: MCT Oil – The Power Behind Bulletproof Coffee

Podcast: A Closer Look at Bulletproof Coffee (Primal Potential Podcast Episode 446)

Podcast: What is Bulletproof Coffee & Should You Drink It? (Primal Potential Episode Q&A 5)

What’s a Fat Loss Breakfast (Primal Potential Podcast Episode 290)

Q&A 5: What is Bulletproof Coffee & Why Do You Drink It?

Q&A 5: What is Bulletproof Coffee & Why Do You Drink It?

There’s a lot of talk these days about bulletproof coffee. I’m one of the people doing a lot of that talking! I’m a huge fan of bulletproof coffee and over the past several months it has been a major staple in my diet. Yup, bulletproof coffee is my breakfast just about every morning. Now, there is absolutely nothing magical about bulletproof coffee. I drink it because it increases my energy, curbs  my hunger and keeps me satisfied for hours. Most importantly, I drink it because I LIKE it. I like the way it tastes. I like how simple and easy it is. I like that I don’t have to prep food or clean up. It works for me. But it’s not magic. So today we’re talking about WHAT it is and why I drink it. To hear more about what I eat for fat loss and why, make sure you’re on the free VIP e-newsletter list! 

Listen Now!

Download Episode

Question: What is bulletproof coffee & why do you drink it?

Answer: Bulletproof coffee is high quality, low toxin coffee blended with grass fed butter and coconut oil or MCT oil.

Bulletproof coffee

Sometimes I get fancy and add cocoa powder and raw egg yolk!!

Why does low toxin coffee matter?
Traditional coffee can be packed with toxins from the mold that grows on the coffee beans. Analysis of standard beans shows that more than 90% may have mold growth.

What’s with the butter and what does grass fed mean?
Butter is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Butyrate, one of the ingredients in butter, has powerful cellular-protective effects, especially on cells within breast tissue. You want your butter to come from grass fed cows (I use Kerrygold unsalted butter) and not from conventionally fed cows. Conventional butter will be high in pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids because those cows are fed grains. Grass fed butter is naturally high in anti-inflammatory omega 3s and free from the pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids.

What’s MCT oil & why is it included?
MCT refers to medium chain triglycerides, a type of fat found in coconut oil. The fat in coconut oil is about 60% MCTs and coconut oil can be found in traditional grocery stores. MCT oil is pure MCTs but isn’t available in most grocery stores. I buy mine online . It is a great source of energy that is burned for IMMEDIATE fuel and is highly unlikely to ever be stored as fat due to the unique chain length of the fatty acids.

Resources:

MCT Oil
Why you should choose coffee carefully: https://www.bulletproofexec.com/why-bad-coffee-makes-you-weak/
My blog on MCT oil: http://primalpotential.com/mct-oil-power-bulletproof-coffee/
The original bulletproof coffee folks: https://www.bulletproofexec.com/coffee/
Low toxin coffee: https://www.bulletproofexec.com/3-steps-to-finding-the-highest-performance-coffee-in-your-city/
What’s the deal with butter:

Butter-Infographic1

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MCT Oil: The Power of Bulletproof Coffee

MCT Oil: The Power of Bulletproof Coffee

Lots of talk lately about bulletproof coffee and people putting butter in their coffee, huh?

People drink it for energy, focus, mental clarity, metabolism and satiety. While there are absolutely health benefits derived from butter (especially from the short chain fatty acid butyrate) and coffee (it’s packed with antioxidants and polyphenols), the heavy hitter in bulletproof coffee is the medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).

MCTs are naturally abundant in coconut oil or you can purchase straight MCT oil, a more concentrated delivery of medium chain triglycerides.

Bulletproof coffee is made by blending coffee with butter and either coconut oil or MCT oil. There are dozens of variations possible including egg yolks, collagen, cacao powder, whey protein & more.

For today, we’re looking just at MCTs. What are medium chain triglycerides and what do they do?

bulletproof coffee

A Word of Warning

Let me start out by making one thing incredibly clear: there is NO magic weight loss secret. There is nothing that can replace a consistently clean, fat-loss friendly diet. You can’t workout enough to compensate for a diet full of garbage. You can’t supplement to counteract the damage caused my constantly eating junk. Bulletproof coffee is not a fairy dust drink that will trigger fat burning.

The only magic is YOU and the decisions you make.

Bulletproof coffee doesn’t burn fat. It’s not a hack or weight loss quick fix.

With that said, there are certainly individual factors that have the power to magnify the results of your clean eating and intelligent exercise. There are ingredients that can increase energy & mental clarity.

However, if you haven’t mastered eating clean 80% of the time or more, THAT is where you need to invest your energy. THAT is where you will get your results. Don’t think that adding something like bulletproof coffee will have ANY impact if you aren’t eating clean.

For the Science Folks

Let’s talk about medium chain triglycerides. One of the ways we classify dietary fats is by the length of their fatty acid chain. Like carbohydrates and proteins, fats are chains of their building blocks – fatty acids. We characterize fats as either short chain, medium chain or long chain. The majority of the fats within the foods we eat are classified as long chain fatty acids. These long chains require an intricate digestive process to allow them to be digested and absorbed.

Medium chain fats (we’ll refer to them as MCTs – medium chain triglycerides) are metabolized very differently than long chain TGs. Because of their shorter length, they’re more soluble in water, allowing them to be metabolized much more easily. In fact, MCTs bypass the long digestive process that LCTs have to endure.

They are absorbed rapidly into the blood stream. When you consume these MCTs you get a quick energy boost and, because fat is such a long-burning fuel, you don’t get the energy crash that follows carbohydrate consumption (or the rise in blood sugar and insulin).

MCTs give you instant fuel the way carbohydrates do, but without the energy crash, insulin response or potential for fat storage. Not only that, but studies have shown that MCTs actually improve your metabolism of glucose (sugar) by enhancing insulin sensitivity.

MCTs are sent directly to the liver where they are processed to provide immediate fuel for our muscles, cells and brain. Our metabolic rate increases, our energy increases and we get much more mileage out of MCTs as fuel than we ever would from carbohydrate.

Because they bypass the “traditional” digestive process, they are often tolerated more easily by people without a gallbladder or with other digestive challenges and sensitivities to dietary fat.

Best of all, because they avoid they long digestive process of LCTs and are used more immediately for fuel, they’re very unlikely to be stored as fat, in so long as you don’t consume MCTs with a moderate or high carbohydrate meal. They should be consumed only with other fats, proteins or non-starchy vegetables.

Where Do You Find MCTs?

MCTs occur naturally in coconut oil, however you can also buy pure MCT oil. Medium chain TGs are also naturally occurring in other foods like dairy products, but in far lower amounts than what we see in coconut oil.

For more on bulletproof coffee, check out one of my most popular podcast episodes! It’s all about bulletproof coffee, MCT oil and how it has helped my fat loss journey!

You might have questions about alternative variations of the traditional BP coffee, decaf coffee, bulletproof tea or the use of sweeteners and you can read my thoughts on those questions in this bulletproof coffee Q&A post.