Are you just getting started with a butter coffee diet and lifestyle? Quickly find out what butter coffee is all about with this short guide.
WHAT IS BUTTER COFFEE?
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few years, you might have come across “butter coffee” (or the other popular term “bulletproof coffee”) along with your travels.
So what is it, and why does it have so many raving fans all over the place? Pro soccer star David Beckham and singer Ed Sheeran are notable drinkers.
Countless butter coffee drinkers reported having increased mental clarity, weight-loss, and sustainable energy levels as a direct result of consuming this high-fat, calorie-dense breakfast replacement.
You drink it in the morning to help stave off any morning hunger pangs while you’re fasting.
Want to save some time and download our free guide to intermittent fasting?
A word of warning: don’t become this guy…
What is this crazy butter (or bulletproof) coffee thing and why should you care? Read this Ultimate Guide To Butter Coffee to find out. #buttercoffee
HISTORY AND POPULARITY OF BUTTER COFFEE
So who or what is the behind the recent trend for some people putting a piece of butter into their black coffee?
Dave Asprey and his Bulletproof company/brand are often credited for the popularity of “Bulletproof coffee” (BPC) and butter coffee drinking in general.
Asprey shared in an interview that he first got the idea to put butter in his drink whilst trekking in Tibet.
“I learned about the power of butter at 18,000 feet of elevation near Mt. Kailash in Tibet. I staggered into a guest house from the 10-degree weather and was literally rejuvenated by a creamy cup of yak butter tea.” – Dave Asprey
Whilst the Bulletproof brand, founded in 2011, has popularised butter coffee in recent times, one historical researcher points out that the Ethiopians were putting butter (actually ghee) in their coffee for centuries.
Does your coffee contain mycotoxins? (Is mold in coffee hurting you?)
Mycotoxins are potentially harmful chemicals found in coffee, and one of the most controversial claims Asprey makes is that most coffee on the market is contaminated with “performance-robbing” toxins that “steal your mental edge and actually makes you weak.”
Asprey shares more on this topic in this interview:
Bulletproof® Upgraded™ Coffee beans are said to undergo a special treatment process to strip them of harmful mycotoxins.
On a related note, to go beyond the issue of mold in coffee to paint a bigger picture of the issue of mold being a problem in many US homes, Bulletproof produced a documentary in 2015 titled “Moldy”.
Want to know the benefits of drinking butter coffee? Read the Ultimate Guide To Butter Coffee now. #buttercoffee
BENEFITS OF BUTTER COFFEE
Let’s take a look at the reported benefits of drinking butter coffee on a regular basis.
1. An energy boost supplement to increase energy levels
Want more energy throughout the day?
Well, drinking butter coffee is a great way to increase your energy levels.
One butter coffee drinker shared on the Bulletproof forum:
“I’m very happy with the way I feel on the Bulletproof diet (I have much more energy, less need for sleep, feel great after meals, don’t feel sleepy after lunch).“
Writer Chris Gayomali stated in his Fast Company article What it’s like to drink bulletproof coffee every morning for two weeks:
“… it gave me lots of energy (even if I should get my cholesterol checked).”
2. Increase mental clarity
Another reported benefit of drinking butter coffee is mental clarity.
“Since I went bulletproof, my triglycerides came down into the normal range for the first time in 8 years. My blood sugar is down from 118 or so a few years back to 100 now. I went from being in serious cognitive decline from the fibromyalgia to the point where disability seemed my next route. Now I feel like the me from 10+ years ago is back, at least mentally. I don’t get fatigued as much anymore, also mentally, I’m able to take a programming class outside of work and pick up on things quickly and feel like I’m able to be social a lot more too. Also, my anxiety/panic disorder seems to have all but vanished.”
Here’s what one Youtube vlogger experienced after one week of drinking butter coffee and intermittent fasting:
3. Weight loss
Can butter coffee actually help with weight loss?
Yes, if you combine drinking butter coffee regularly with intermittent fasting.
Butter coffee is designed to:
- keep you full for hours
- curb hunger
- increase fat burning
However, there are no guarantees that this will work for all body types and circumstances.
It’s worth noting the following, as shared on MedicalDaily.com:
“Bulletproof coffee has globs of butter and MCT oil, which can lead you to put off eating til the late afternoon. Two tablespoons of butter and MCT oil will set you back by 435 calories for a single cup of coffee. This is a lot of calories with little to no nutrients other than fat.
If you tend to have a big breakfast, a late lunch or want to stay in ketosis, Bulletproof coffee could be for you. It’s best to plan the rest of your diet accordingly, but if you don’t think you’ll benefit from the added satiety, then it’s best to stick with a healthy, balanced meal.”
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IS DRINKING BUTTER (fat) IN YOUR COFFEE ACTUALLY GOOD FOR YOU?
To answer this question, we need to answer “is consuming fat in general good for health?”
While the word “fat” has come to be associated with everything one should avoid in their diet, certain fats are essential for brain development and the normal functioning of the body.
Don’t believe the myth – lowering fat intake does not equate with dropping fat.
As nutritional consultant Mike Roussell, Ph.D. states in his article on the benefits of consuming fats on Bodybuilding.com:
“One of the best benefits might be the satiating effects of fat. Nothing is worse than eating a lower-calorie diet that leaves your hungry all the time.”
The type of fat you eat is key to your performance – that’s why the Bulletproof Diet suggests eating 50-70% of your calories from fat every day.
Omega 6 and Omega 3 – two fats you want to keep balanced in your body
Inflammation is the main cause of all disease in the body.
If you want to heal any chronic health condition you’ve got to reduce inflammation in your body, and the best way to do that is to get more Omega 3 fats in your diet.
Benefits of Omega-3s are reducing inflammation, reducing the risk of heart disease, reducing the risk of cancer, helping with athletic performance and recovery, weight loss, improving brain function, and more.
Typically, too many people have more Omega-6 fatty acids in their body, causing inflammation.
According to Dr. Axe, the risks of consuming too little omega-3s (and too many omega-6s) include:
- Inflammation (sometimes severe)
- Higher risk for heart disease and high cholesterol
- Digestive disorders
- Joint and muscle pain
- Mental disorders like depression
- Poor brain development
- Cognitive decline
Omega 3s and Omega 6s are both polyunsaturated which mean they are the least stable fats.
Your body can’t produce omega 3s and omega 6s on its own, so you have to get them from food.
In an anti-inflammatory diet, you should be consuming a lot of Omega-3-rich foods like grass-fed beef and bison, free-range eggs, wild-caught fish, chia and flax seeds, and a quality omega-3 supplement.
Other studies show that grass-fed butter eaters have fewer heart attacks.
For optimal performance, you’ll want to maximize omega 3s and minimize omega 6s. It’s important to find your optimal fat balance.
Is drinking butter in your coffee actually good for you? Yes, and here’s why. #buttercoffee
What Is MCT Oil? MCT Oils vs. Coconut Oil and MCT oil satiety explained
MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil is a concentrated extract of a type of fat found in palm and coconut oils.
Whilst MCT’s are found in coconut oil and account for about 60% of the fat in coconut oil, MCT’s account for 100% of the fat in MCT Oil.
MCT Oil is also rapidly metabolized by our bodies, and cannot be stored as fat. They’re 2 different food items and are not processed identically by our bodies.
Whilst adding MCTs and other fats to coffee will do nothing special for most people, for intermittent fasters with insulin resistance and impaired glucose metabolism, it’s a fantastic energy bridge to late-day meals.
One study has shown that MCTs, in particular, can be effective for getting around insulin-resistance energy problems.
Bulletproof sells Brain Octane Oil, a supercharged version of MCT (Medium-chain triglyceride) oil.
Recommended MCT oil usage
Start using Brain Octane one teaspoon at a time and increase slowly over several days. Use up to 1-3 tablespoons per day.
Warning: Too much Brain Octane Oil, especially if consumed on an empty stomach, can result in loose stools or a stomach ache.
Here’s one person’s review of Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil:
Want to read more reviews or ready to give Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil a go? Go here.
How many calories in butter coffee? (Bulletproof Coffee Nutrition Facts)
Bulletproof coffee with Coconut oil
- Calories: 320 for a cup with 2 tbsp grass fed butter and 1 tbsp Coconut oil.
- Fat: 38g
- Protein: 0g
- Carbs: 0g
Bulletproof coffee with MCT oil
- Calories: 300 for a cup with 2 tbsp grass-fed butter and 1 tbsp MCT oil.
- Fat: 38g
- Protein: 0g
- Carbs: 0g
Bulletproof coffee with Brain Octane oil
- Calories: 458 for a cup with 2 tbsp grass-fed butter and 2 tbsp brain octane oil.
- Fat: 50.6g
- Protein: 0g
- Carbs: 0g
DOES BUTTER COFFEE TASTE ANY GOOD?
Does adding grass-fed butter into coffee really make it taste much better?
Bulletproof coffee claims that it already has a “creamy buttery taste” and many of our customers have told us that they enjoy the taste.
Now if you’re a coffee snob then chances are you may not like the taste of butter in your coffee.
If you don’t like the taste then here are a few additions you can choose from for additional flavour:
- 1-2 tsp heavy cream (or whipped cream)
- Organic cacao powder for chocolate taste
- 1 tsp of vanilla powder
- 2-4 g yerba mate
- Green tea
- Flavorings and spices: cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, maca etc.
- Low carb sweeteners that don’t have a terrible aftertaste.
Bulletproof coffee recipes are incredibly flexible. Vary the flavors and serve them hot, cold or frozen.
WHO IS BUTTER COFFEE IDEAL FOR?
Butter coffee can work for some people… especially for people who are on a ketogenic diet.
A butter coffee diet is probably a terrible idea for people who eat a lot of carbs. High-carb and high-fat at the same time is a recipe for disaster.
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HOW TO MAKE BUTTER COFFEE
Here are the steps for making your frothy mug of morning dynamite aka. Bulletproof coffee:
- Brew 1 cup of coffee using filtered water, just off the boil, with 2 1/2 heaping tablespoons freshly ground Bulletproof® Coffee Beans. (The Aerobie AeroPress™ is easiest.)
- Add in 1-2 tablespoons of Brain Octane™ to the hot coffee (It’s STRONG – start with 1 tsp. and work up over several days)
- Add 1-2 tablespoons grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee (Aussies, find out where you can get your grass-fed butter here)
- Mix it all in a blender for 20-30 seconds until it is frothy like a foamy latte
If you haven’t tried Bulletproof Coffee before, grab our starter kit for a special price.
You can download the Bulletproof® Coffee recipe card from the official Bulletproof® website or click the image here to see a full-size version.
Watch biohacker and Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey making Bulletproof coffee here:
Butter coffee recipes
For some suggested butter coffee recipes you can refer to these posts:
- 4 Bulletproof Coffee Recipes That’ll Make Being on the Keto Diet Easier
- Livehelfi – Our 11 favourite Bulletproof Coffee recipes
- Flavored Bulletproof Coffee
- 15 Bulletproof Coffee Recipes That Will Get Your Body and Mind FIRING!
ALTERNATIVES FOR BUTTER COFFEE
Maybe coffee isn’t your thing, or butter coffee just doesn’t work for you?
Well, what about substituting green tea for coffee? That’d give you what we like to call “Bulletproof Tea”!
Investor, author, and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss is a fan of this concoction. He jokingly refers to it as “Titanium Tea” on his blog post The Morning Cocktail I Drink Instead Of Coffee. In the post he shares why he drinks the mix:
“Instead of one single high point and then a rapid descent into fatigue, I have multiple high points. Rather than feeling amazing for 30 minutes and then fatigued, I can feel 20% more effective for 3-4 hours.”
Here’s Tim in action making the drink:
Substitutes for Bulletproof coffee
So you’ve tried the Bulletproof coffee and you just don’t like it, or you just cannot stand drinking coffee period?
All good. We get it. BPC is certainly not for everyone.
Here are some suggestions for substitutes for BPC:
- Substitute the coffee for yerba mate. Taste is funky, but nothing like coffee and it should give you a zing and get you going!
- Try using the same recipe for BPC but just use fresh steeped green tea or black tea. Get good quality tea that your budget will allow.
- Try adding some vanilla powder if you like flavored drinks.
Here’s a hot chocolate recipe you could try also:
Hot chocolate 8-16oz of water
1-2 tbsp butter
1-2 tbsp MCT or coconut oil
1-2 tbsp cocoa powder
1-2 tbsp raw honey or artificial sweetener
1-2 tbsp collagen powder
Vanilla, cinnamon, other spices
WHERE TO BUY BULLETPROOF COFFEE?
You can purchase a wide range of BPC products right here on this site!
If you haven’t tried Bulletproof Coffee before, grab our starter kit for a special price.
Want to lose fat, get rid of nasty cravings, and have more energy for the things you love without calorie counting?
The Bulletproof diet, designed by the team at Bulletproof, is a “realistic approach to eating nutrient-dense fats, protein, and tons of organic vegetables to increase fat burning and send energy levels through the roof”.
The Bulletproof Diet Roadmap
The Bulletproof Diet Roadmap is the best place to start and is an easy 1-page reference to make it easy for you to identify the best foods for your body.
Download the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap PDF here.
WANT TO BULLETPROOF YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY?
Try this recipe for a fun and wholesome treat:
For additional recipes refer to How To Bulletproof The Whole Family.
CRITICISMS OF BULLETPROOF COFFEE
As with any popular product or diet, there’s going to be those who outright disagree with it.
Here’s one such critic:
One writer at the New York Times even wrote about “The Cult of The Bulletproof Coffee Diet”.
If you search online you’ll no doubt find a bunch of other critics, but you’ll also find as many supporters for butter coffee (just read the reviews in our store to see what we mean).
Our suggestion: try it for yourself and then make your decision. We’d love to hear what you think!
BUTTER COFFEE FAQs
Q. Has anybody put on weight (instead of losing it) with bulletproof coffee aka. Butter coffee?
Whilst we have yet to hear from any of customers that this has happened to them there probably have been instances where some butter coffee drinkers have put on weight.
This is most likely because they haven’t reduced the number of calories they’ve consumed with their butter coffee from their food intake for the rest of the day and/or they haven’t exercised.
If you exercise regularly and you are on a high-fat low-carb diet, this shouldn’t happen.
Q. Will having butter in my coffee break my fast?
The answer depends on who you ask.
According to Dr. Rhonda Patrick, a Ph.D. in biomedical science and expert on nutritional health, drinking anything other than water would be breaking the fast.
Patrick argues that anything that isn’t water is digested by the liver/gut and triggers crucial enzymes to be released which hinders your fast and begins the eating timing window.
Watch Rhonda discuss this on the Joe Rogan Experience (fast forward to 7:12) –
Anything that affects the brain, gut, liver etc. sets the clock. Caffeine does this.
— Dr. Rhonda Patrick (@foundmyfitness) July 2, 2016
James Clear, a writer on habits and performance, suggests that fasting is actually about the calorie intake amount:
“As a general rule of thumb, if you drink something with less than 50 calories, then your body will remain in the fasted state. So, your coffee with a splash of milk or cream is just fine. Tea should be no problem either.”
Even then if we go off Clear’s explanation, butter coffee would indeed break a fast.
Not all biohackers, intermittent fasters, and keto enthusiasts are convinced though.
“Ingesting carbs and/or protein will stimulate insulin production, but ingesting fats will not. Since fat does not impact blood glucose levels, BPC Fasters can legitimately argue that consuming their beverage of choice allows them to remain in a fasted state.” – Kate Jaramillo, Ketogenic Living 101
Some butter coffee drinkers don’t care either way, especially when they’re not feeling hungry for hours after drinking their coffee and experiencing increased energy levels.
Q. Difference between drinking Bulletproof coffee and having unblended ingredients separately?
Could you have the unblended ingredients separately, i.e. drinking your coffee, and eating the butter and coconut oil?
Well, you could do that, but why would you? Have you ever tried eating a block of butter or drinking coconut oil on its own? Not exactly a wonderful experience!
Blending everything into your coffee has multiple benefits:
- Much easier for consumption (tastes better)
- The theory behind it is that by consuming fats together with the coffee, the absorption rate of the caffeine is slowed – thus reducing hunger over a longer period of time.
Q. Is grass-fed butter or grass-fed ghee in your bulletproof coffee better?
This comes down to a matter of personal taste.
Some people prefer the taste of butter in coffee than ghee as it’s creamier and frothy.
If you’re traveling and don’t have access to butter then you could go with ghee.
Learn more about the difference by reading our post on Grass-fed Butter, Ghee, and Whole Milk: The Differences and Benefits
Q. Is it better to eat or avoid breakfast to lose weight?
In many cases when people are talking about losing “weight” they are actually referring to losing “fat”.
Intermittent fasting, or time-restricted eating, can be a great way to accomplish fat burning.
Read our guide on intermittent fasting to learn more.
It’s also worth noting here the theory of Circadian Diet by Dr. Satchin Panda Ph.D. where he talks about how restricting your feeding time to 8 hours or less in a day works best for weight loss.
According to Panda, this feeding window is preferable during daylight hours because that’s when humans are biologically “made” to eat.
HOW MUCH OF THIS ARTICLE DO I NEED TO READ?
If you are serious about educating yourself about the benefits and potential effects of butter coffee, read this entire article. There’s a handy infographic at the bottom of this post if you’d prefer to read a summary.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
Which part of this guide has been most useful for you?
What’s your next action?
Is there anything missing from this guide that you feel we need to add?
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