Why Drink Bulletproof Coffee? Uncover Its Amazing Benefits

Bulletproof coffee, a novel concoction blending high-quality coffee with unsalted butter and MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil, has surged in popularity among health enthusiasts and productivity seekers alike. This intriguing blend, heralded for its potential to boost energy levels, enhance cognitive function, and support weight management, presents a fascinating departure from traditional morning beverages. Our exploration into the benefits of bulletproof coffee draws on the latest research and expert insights to demystify how this potent brew can impact your health and daily performance. Whether you’re a devoted coffee aficionado seeking to elevate your morning ritual or a skeptic curious about the science behind the trend, this article promises to engage your curiosity and offer valuable perspectives. Join us as we delve into the multifaceted benefits of bulletproof coffee, from its role in fostering sustained energy without the dreaded caffeine crash to its implications for brain health and metabolic efficiency. Prepare to be enlightened on how this modern twist on your morning cup of joe could potentially revolutionize your approach to wellness and productivity.


The Origins of Bulletproof Coffee

The Origins of Bulletproof Coffee
The Origins of Bulletproof Coffee

Bulletproof coffee was created in 2004 by Dave Asprey, a technology entrepreneur who was looking to improve his cognitive performance and energy levels. Asprey claimed he came across yak-butter tea during a trip to Tibet and realized the combination of butter and tea improved his mental clarity.

After returning home, Asprey experimented with adding butter to regular coffee to amplify the energizing effects of caffeine. He eventually landed on using grass-fed butter and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil as the perfect combo. Thus, the “bulletproof coffee” recipe was born.

Since launching his blog and writing about the benefits of bulletproof coffee in 2009, Asprey’s recipe has exploded in popularity, especially among biohackers and individuals following low-carb, high-fat diets like the ketogenic diet. The rise of bulletproof coffee also coincided with the surging interest in high-fat diets and intermittent fasting protocols.

What Exactly is Bulletproof Coffee?

At its core, bulletproof coffee is simply coffee with added grass-fed butter and MCT oil. But it’s the specific ingredients and preparation method that set it apart.

Here’s what goes into a cup of classic bulletproof coffee:

  • Coffee: Any variety of high-quality, single-origin coffee beans. Light to medium roasts are recommended.
  • Grass-fed butter: 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted, grass-fed butter. Kerrygold is a popular brand.
  • MCT oil: 1-2 tablespoons of MCT or “brain octane” oil. Bulletproof brand is common.

This straightforward 3-ingredient drink provides a hefty dose of beneficial fats. A 16 oz bulletproof coffee made with 2 tbsp each of butter and MCT oil provides around 450 calories, 36g fat (24g saturated fat), 0g carbs, and 0g protein.

In comparison, a traditional 16 oz cup of brewed coffee with 2 tbsp half & half and 1 tbsp sugar has about 85 calories, 4g fat (2.5g saturated), 9g carbs, 1g protein. So bulletproof packs a much more substantial nutritional punch.

How to Make Bulletproof Coffee

Making bulletproof coffee is simple, but there are some important steps to get the right consistency:


  • 12-16 oz hot brewed coffee
  • 1-2 tbsp grass-fed, unsalted butter
  • 1-2 tbsp MCT or brain octane oil


  1. Brew coffee using your preferred method (French press, drip machine, etc.)
  2. Pour freshly brewed coffee into a blender
  3. Add butter and MCT oil
  4. Blend on high for 20-30 seconds until oils are fully emulsified into coffee. It should develop a foamy, creamy texture on top like a latte.
  5. Pour blended coffee into your favorite mug and enjoy! Add a dash of cinnamon for extra flavor.


  • Use a high-powered blender for best emulsification
  • Start with just 1 tbsp each oil and butter to test it out
  • Store leftovers in the fridge and reheat or re-blend

The key is emulsifying the oils fully so the final drink has a rich, velvety mouthfeel rather than an oily film on top.

When is the Best Time to Drink Bulletproof Coffee?

One of the main appeals of bulletproof coffee is that it provides steady energy and appetite control for hours, making it a perfect morning beverage.

Drinking bulletproof coffee in place of breakfast allows you to enter a fasted state first thing, which can amplify fat burning later in the day. Waiting to eat your first meal until lunch also leads to less insulin secretion, which promotes fat loss.

On the other hand, some people prefer to drink bulletproof coffee with breakfast to up the satiety factor of the meal and avoid mid-morning hunger pangs.

Ultimately, listen to your own body’s cues. You may find the best timing is first thing before eating, or perhaps right alongside your usual breakfast.

The Potential Health Benefits of Bulletproof Coffee

Bulletproof coffee, a popular beverage among low carb and paleo diet enthusiasts, offers various benefits. Some of the benefits include:
– Feelings of Fullness: Adding butter, MCT oil, or coconut oil to coffee can increase satiety due to the extra calories.
– Weight Loss and Metabolism Boost: Bulletproof coffee may aid in weight loss, boost metabolism, and enhance morning workouts.
– Energy Boost: The combination of butter and MCT oil in bulletproof coffee can provide an instant energy boost.
– Improved Gut Health: MCT oil in bulletproof coffee can improve digestive health by preventing leaky gut syndrome and supporting a healthy gut microbiome.
– Antioxidant Benefits: Coffee is rich in antioxidants like chlorogenic acid, which can enhance energy, concentration, fat burning, and reduce the risk of certain diseases.
While bulletproof coffee offers these benefits, it is essential to consume it in moderation due to its high calorie and saturated fat content. It is recommended to use it as a breakfast substitute rather than alongside a traditional breakfast for optimal results.

What About Coffee and General Health?

Coffee itself boasts a number of scientifically-validated health perks related to its abundant antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies link regular coffee consumption with:

  • Reduced risk of liver disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and certain cancers
  • Increased longevity
  • Improved mood, cognitive function, physical performance, and metabolic health

Up to 3-4 cups of coffee per day seems to be optimal for most healthy adults. Of course, individuals with specific health conditions or caffeine sensitivity may need to moderate intake.

When it comes to bulletproof coffee, you still get all the benefits of the coffee itself plus the added potential upsides of grass-fed butter and MCT oil.

What About All That Saturated Fat?

One common concern with bulletproof coffee is its high saturated fat content, mostly coming from the butter.

Saturated fat was previously vilified for supposedly raising LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and heart disease risk. However, the science has evolved.

Research now shows that saturated fats have a neutral effect on blood cholesterol levels in most individuals. And some types like stearic acid in cocoa butter may actually lower LDL.

What matters most is the food source. Grass-fed butter boasts a healthier fatty acid profile compared to grain-fed conventional butter. It has more anti-inflammatory omega-3s and antioxidants like vitamin K2 that protect blood vessels and promote heart health.

Studies also link dairy fat to potentially lower risks of diabetes and obesity. So quality sources like grass-fed butter may be just fine in moderation.

How Does Bulletproof Coffee Fit With Different Diets?

Bulletproof coffee can be adapted to match a range of dietary preferences:

Ketogenic diet: Adding bulletproof coffee to a keto meal plan provides quick energy in the form of ketones while keeping carbs very low. It’s a common breakfast pairing.

Paleo diet: Although dairy is eliminated on the strictest paleo protocols, many people include grass-fed butter for its health benefits. Bulletproof coffee makes a satisfying, high-protein start to the day.

Vegetarian/vegan: Coconut oil and ghee can sub for butter, while vegetarian DHA omega-3 oils stand in for fish oil. Cacao powder adds flavor too.

Low-carb/Atkins: Bulletproof coffee sustains low-carb eating by suppressing hunger despite minimal carbs.

Intermittent fasting: Consuming bulletproof coffee during the fasting window provides energy and controls hunger pangs.

No matter your dietary strategy, bulletproof coffee can likely be adapted to suit your needs or restrictions.

What Are the Potential Downsides of Bulletproof Coffee?

While the potential upsides are exciting, bulletproof coffee does come with some considerations:

High calorie count: The 450+ calories can quickly add up, especially if consumed alongside a meal. This can undermine weight loss for some people if portions are not controlled.

Fat tolerance: Some people experience indigestion or diarrhea from the large amount of fat. Starting slow and giving your body time to adjust is key.

Spiked cholesterol: In rare cases, dramatic increases in dietary saturated fat may spike LDL cholesterol levels. Get your lipids tested to monitor your response.

Dependency: Relying on bulletproof coffee daily can lead to caffeine and sugar dependency long-term. Consider cyclical consumption if this is a concern.

Sustainability: The environmental impact of year-round daily grass-fed butter and MCT oil consumption deserves consideration.

As with any dietary change, it’s smart to proceed carefully, get lab testing done, and monitor how you feel. Bulletproof coffee is not a good fit for every person or situation.

Can Bulletproof Coffee Really Help With Weight Loss?

Many biohackers and keto enthusiasts swear by BPC for controlling hunger and shedding excess body fat. But what does the research say?

There is some preliminary evidence that replacing breakfast with bulletproof coffee leads to greater feelings of fullness and higher rates of weight loss compared to a standard carb-heavy breakfast.

The high fat content seems to curb appetite for hours. And entering a fasted state early may assist with fat metabolism later on.

That said, BPC is not a magic bullet. It can be easy to overconsume the high-calorie beverage, undermining potential weight loss benefits. As with any dietary change, a calorie deficit is still required for weight loss.

BPC is likely most effective for weight management when consumed in moderation as an occasional breakfast substitute alongside an overall healthy diet and active lifestyle.

Are There Any Side Effects or Safety Concerns With Bulletproof Coffee?

Most healthy adults can safely incorporate bulletproof coffee into their diet. But some considerations include:

  • Start with small amounts of oil/butter and slowly increase over 2-3 weeks to allow your digestive system to adapt.
  • Consider your caffeine tolerance. Bulletproof packs more of a caffeine punch than normal coffee.
  • Pregnant women should limit caffeine to 200mg per day from all sources.
  • Individuals with diabetes, digestive issues, or high cholesterol should exercise caution and consult their doctor first.
  • Children and adolescents should avoid due to their higher susceptibility to caffeine’s effects.
  • Always opt for high-quality coffee and grass-fed, organic butter and oil. Beware of additives and hydrogenated oils in cheaper products.

When consumed mindfully by healthy adults, bulletproof coffee is likely safe in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Pay attention to your body’s signals and discontinue use if any concerning symptoms arise.

How Does Bulletproof Coffee Impact Mental Health and Sleep?

The high caffeine content makes bulletproof coffee a double-edged sword for mental health and sleep quality.

On the plus side, the caffeine + MCT oil combination can improve focus, mood, and mental performance for hours. This can be beneficial for productivity.

However, some people report feeling jittery, anxious, and wired from the strong caffeine hit. High caffeine intake over time can worsen anxiety or trigger panic attacks in sensitive individuals.

Regarding sleep, the benefits of bulletproof coffee often depend on when you drink it. Consumed early in the day, it can heighten focus without disrupting sleep. But drinking it too late can undermine sleep quality and duration.

Aim to limit bulletproof coffee to before 2 p.m. if possible. And carefully monitor effects on your mental state. Discontinue use if you observe any worsening of anxiety, insomnia, or other mental health symptoms.

Comparing MCT and Brain Octane Oils in Bulletproof Coffee

The type of oil you use in bulletproof coffee makes a significant difference. Let’s compare standard MCT oils to “brain octane” oil:

Standard MCT oils contain a blend of various medium chain fatty acids like caprylic (C8) and capric acid (C10). They offer a moderate energy boost and are readily converted to ketones.

Brain octane oil (BTO) is triple-distilled caprylic acid (C8 only). It provides pure, concentrated energy and very rapid ketone production.

Research suggests C8 may boost cognitive function and endurance better than other MCTs. But there are few human studies so far.

While BTO is heralded as superior, it’s pricier. Standard MCT oil still provides huge benefits and is more accessible for daily use. Both work well in bulletproof coffee.

Avoiding Common Bulletproof Coffee Mistakes

Here are some common mistakes to sidestep as you experiment with bulletproof coffee:

  • Not using a blender: Thorough blending emulsifies the oils into the coffee for a creamy consistency. Be sure to blend for at least 30 seconds.
  • Inadequate ratios: Equal parts coffee, butter, and MCT oil is ideal. Too little fat won’t curb your hunger. Too much causes digestion issues.
  • Reusing brewed coffee: The oils will not emulsify into cooled leftover coffee. Always start with freshly brewed.
  • Poor quality ingredients: Seek organic, single-origin beans and lab-tested grass-fed butter and oils. Quality matters!
  • Overdoing portions: Stick to about 2 tbsp each of butter and MCT oil max per cup. It’s very calorie-dense!

Take it slow, pay attention to how you feel, and troubleshoot from there. Making bulletproof coffee is an art that improves with practice.

Making Bulletproof Coffee More Affordable

Between the butter, MCT oil, and premium coffee beans, bulletproof coffee recipes can have a hefty price tag, especially for daily consumption. Here are some tips for cutting costs:

  • Seek out deals on bulk butter and oils or buy in larger quantities and divide it up.
  • Use standard MCT oil instead of pricier brain octane oil. The results are still excellent.
  • Buy whole beans and grind yourself instead of pre-ground beans. You can play with grind size too.
  • Experiment with blending regular coffee with coconut oil or ghee when you want a budget bulletproof.
  • Consider intermittent consumption (2-3x per week) rather than daily.
  • DIY your own creamer with oil, butter, and collagen peptides blended together.

With the right strategies, bulletproof coffee can work for nearly any budget. Prioritize quality ingredients when possible, but cost savings can be found.

Evaluating the Sustainability of Bulletproof Coffee’s Ingredients

The high amount of grass-fed butter and MCT oil consumed daily in bulletproof coffee deserves a deeper look when it comes to sustainability:

Butter: Grass-fed cows have a lower environmental impact than conventional grain-fed cattle. But year-round butter still has implications for land use, water needs, and methane emissions. Consider sourcing locally or even making your own butter.

MCT oil: Most MCT oil comes from palm oil or coconut oil. Overharvesting has detrimental effects for rainforests and wildlife. Opt for sustainably harvested sources certified by the RSPO.

Coffee: Bulletproof-approved beans are often flown in. Seek local roasters or fair trade beans to reduce air miles. Better yet, grow your own coffee plant at home!

While small in isolation, the cumulative impact of millions preparing bulletproof coffee daily merits concern. Do your best to source conscientiously and diversify ingredients when possible.

Adapting Your Bulletproof Coffee Habit Long-Term

Making bulletproof coffee every single morning for years on end may not be necessary or sustainable. Here are some ways to adapt it long-term:

  • Cycle it 2-3x per week rather than daily to allow your body breaks and reduce costs.
  • Replace the butter or oil with other healthy fats like avocado or nut milk periodically for variety.
  • Occasionally swap the coffee for green tea, matcha, yerba mate, etc. for a caffeine reset.
  • Try “bulletproofing” soups, hot chocolate, protein shakes, or teas instead of just coffee.
  • Get bloodwork done annually to monitor cholesterol and biomarkers. Adjust fat intake up or down accordingly.
  • Take 1-2 week breaks from bulletproof coffee every few months to check in on how you feel without it.

Stay flexible, listen to your body’s needs, and sustainably work bulletproof coffee into your routine. The possibilities are wide open for customization!

Expert Opinions and Scientific Research on Bulletproof Coffee

While Dave Asprey touts bulletproof coffee’s benefits, what do nutrition experts and scientific research have to say?

Registered Dietitians often caution against relying on bulletproof coffee as a meal replacement given its high calorie and saturated fat content. They suggest using it sparingly or limiting portions.

Keto researchers say the combo of fats and coffee appears useful for elevating ketone levels efficiently, which could benefit keto dieters or individuals seeking cognitive gains. More evidence is still needed.

Doctors generally recognize coffee’s powerful health benefits but note bulletproof coffee lacks comprehensive safety research. They emphasize moderation and monitoring personal biomarkers.

Scientific studies are mixed but show some promising outcomes related to appetite suppression, cognitive function, endurance exercise, and weight management when substituting bulletproof coffee for breakfast or a meal.

Overall, more research on larger populations over longer periods is needed to truly validate efficacy and safety. But the early research is optimistic.

Personal Experiences With Bulletproof Coffee

Beyond the research, individual experiences paint a fuller picture of how bulletproof coffee may affect you personally:

“I lost 15 pounds combining BPC with intermittent fasting and felt mentally sharp all morning.”

“The high fat and caffeine made me feel jittery and anxious. My energy crashed hard by noon.”

“It was heavenly, but I got terrible stomach aches. I do better with just regular coffee.”

“I didn’t lose any weight with BPC despite skipping breakfast. But I feel less hungry before lunch, so it’s a win.”

“Replacing breakfast with BPC gives me the best workouts. I can lift heavier and have more stamina.”

As you can see, responses run the gamut. Track your weight, energy, hunger levels, mental focus, exercise performance, and biomarkers as you experiment to gauge your personal response.

The Future of Bulletproof Coffee

While bulletproof coffee has exploded in popularity over the past decade, where might it go in the future? Here are some predictions:

  • More specialty cafes catering to the bulletproof crowd
  • Addition of other “performance” fats like cacao butter or omega-3s
  • Focus on sustainable sourcing and production practices
  • Potential FDA regulation if health claims continue growing
  • Evolution from strictly ‘bulletproof’ to more custom “fat-fueled” blends
  • Creation of instant powdered bulletproof coffee products
  • Scientific research to validate benefits and optimal utilization

No matter what the future holds, don’t be surprised if that frothy cup of fatty coffee keeps gaining traction as consumers seek cognitive fuels and appetite controllers. Though best used moderately and mindfully, bulletproof coffee doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.


While not a magic elixir, bulletproof coffee offers a concentrated source of healthy fats that may provide brain-boosting, hunger-squashing, and metabolism-charging benefits beyond your average cup of joe.

By starting the day with a blend of quality coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil, you can potentially tap into steady energy, mental clarity, and appetite control for hours on end.

Yet bulletproof coffee is not ideal for everyone. Pay close attention to your body’s signals and consider your overall diet. Used periodically alongside a balanced eating plan, bulletproof coffee can be a valuable biohack. But all good things are best enjoyed in moderation.

Hopefully this overview has equipped you with a comprehensive understanding of bulletproof coffee to empower your own informed decision-making. Here’s to experimenting and finding your perfect cup!

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