The Bulletproof Way
Updated: Feb 10, 2019
Every once and awhile, something comes along that completely revolutionizes the way things are. At the risk of sounding dramatic- bulletproof coffee is that thing. I'm here to talk personal experience, science and let you in on the secrets of making the perfect cup of coffee.
The bulletproof movement has penetrated the health sphere, and like all ideas that stray from the norm, a vast array of opinions- some educated and some not have erupted from members of the healthcare community. Let us look at the science and see for ourselves why this trend is likely here to stay. First things first...
“Every once and awhile, something comes along that completely revolutionizes the way things are. At the risk of sounding dramatic- bulletproof coffee is that thing.”
What is Bulletproof?
Bulletproof coffee is essentially a regular coffee, jacked up with fat. Weird?Perhaps. Controversial?Absolutely. Profound? Without a question. Together, the caffeine and fats give sustained energy, boost cognitive function and give your body the fuel to perform at its highest standard.The creator of this, Dave Aspery (who by the way, if you ever read this- please be my friend), is a professional biohacker who has spent millions of dollars, and connected with some of the most prominent researchers in the medical world to revolutionize his own health and help others do the same. Now lets look at the breakdown of what exactly is in it- and why.
A standard bulletproof coffee contains coffee, MCT oil and Grassfed butter.
... But Why?
If you look at the research on coffee- it's pretty much split 50/50. There are arguments for why it's good and there are arguments made for avoiding it completely. Why? it comes down to your genes and wether or not you metabolize caffeine in a "good" manner. You can get a genetic test telling you how you metabolize caffeine, or you can analyze your urine but virtually everyone I work with intuitively knows if coffee works for them or not. So if you are one of the lucky ones that can drink coffee without feeling like dying, here are the benefits:
- Energy, the bioflavonoids are responsible for increased neural firing
- High in B-vitamins which contribute to energy and feelings of happiness
- Source of antioxidants to combat free radical damage
- Contains minerals such as potassium, manganese and boron
Okay, bare with me- we're going to dive into science here for a quick minute.
Fats are split into categorizes based on the number of carbons they contain. Aptly named, there are short, medium and long chain fatty acids. MCT stands for medium chain triglyceride and they have 6-12 carbons. The length of the carbon chain in MCT oil follows a distinct pathway to become metabolized, which short and long chain fats don't have the luxury of. This pathway allows the the fats to be converted to energy very quickly, allowing the body to increase performance almost instantly. How does this work you ask? Simply put, MCTs passively cross the intestinal barrier and go straight to the liver- usually fats need to be bundled into transporter molecules and then they take the scenic route to the liver through the blood vessel highway. Once in the liver, MCTs sneak into the mitochondria, without the use of carnatine- again eliminating a step that normal fatty acids undergo. If you flashback to high school biology, the mitochondria are the power house of the cell, they are the organelle that is responsible for pumping out the energy that every cellular process in the body uses. Once in the mitochondria, they essentially saturate the krebs cycle, producing an excess of acetyl co-A. This excess of acetyl co-A results in ketone body formation. To summarize:MCTs almost entirely bypass systemic circulation, go straight to the liver and produce molecules called ketone bodies.
Tangent:what is a ketone? A ketone is an energy molecule. Glucose (sugar) or ketones can be converted into ATP (energy). The advantage of using ketones for energy is that one ketone generates more ATP than one glucose. It also doesn't prompt an insulin response. This translates to no fluctuation in blood sugar, which means no spikes in energy and most importantly, no crashes. The brain loves using ketones as fuel because it is much more efficient at using them in comparrison to glucose.
So, MCTs give us an efficient energy molecule- but what implications does this have in the body? MCTs have been shown to: - Improve cognitive function
- Assist in weight management via satiation
-Suppress appetite, by stabilizing hunger hormones CCK and ghrelin
-Improve insulin sensitivity
Given the list of proven benefits from peer reviewed studies, I hypothesize that MCTs can and should be used as part of a preventive medicine approach to chronic disease caused by blood sugar imbalance and excess weight such as diabetes & Alzheimer's #foodforthought
Where do you find MCTs?
Two prime places- coconut oil and palm oil. Although both contain a high percentage, to obtain the therapeutic benefits you need an isotaed supplement as they separate out the short and long chain acids. Many companies have an MCT oil supplement- I use Brain Octane by Bulletproof. Obviously.
I will admit, I was skeptical of adding butter to my coffee, but after trying it once- I can say with confidence your life will be forever changed. Not only does the the addition of butter make an extremely delicious, creamy cup of coffee but it increases the nutrient content substantially. Butter is full of saturated fats, and along with MCT oil this allows sustained release of caffeine, which prevents the crash and jitters that often accompany a "naked" cup of coffee. The emphasis placed on fat in a bulletproof coffee is perhaps the most important aspect. The body needs healthy fat to make and balance hormones and to keep cell membranes healthy while functioning optimally. When putting this all together, its no wonder making bulletproof coffee a staple in your diet makes you feel amazing. In addition to introducing a higher fat content in your morning cup of java, Grassfed butter also provides fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E & K)- which are lacking in a standard diet. Grassfed butter also provides the body with omega 3's and antioxidants and contains the necessary components to transport these nutrients where they need to go. Another reason adding Grassfed butter is so profound is that it contains a short chain fatty acid called butyrate. Butyrate has been shown to heal the digestive track, decrease gut inflammation and suppress proteins that cause inflammation. With all this information, it seems silly to drink a coffee without butter, right?
1. The butter must be Grassfed. A major problem with dairy is the quality. Simply put, cows that are loaded with antibiotics and fed grains + corn cannot produce the same nutrient dense products that happy cows munching on grass can. Regular butter is filled with hormones and significantly reduced amounts of vitamins, antioxidants and butyrate.
2. We currently live in an era where carbohydrates make up the bulk of the average persons diet. Because humans are adaptable, our digestive systems have modified accordingly. Therefore, it can take up to two weeks for the body to be able to digest high quantities of fats efficiently. Not to fear, if you feel digestive discomfort simply pop a digestive enzyme or take some bitters 15 minutes before consuming a bulletproof coffee. Problem solved!
3.The most important note in this entire post- always, and I mean ALWAYSbuy unsalted butter. I once drank a cup of coffee that had salt instead of sugar and I do not wish the traumatic experience of tasting salt coffee on anyone.
The Magic Recipie
Ground Coffee Beans
1 TBSP MCT Oil
1 TBSP Grassfed Butter or Ghee
Directions 1. Brew 1 cup of coffee (8-12oz)
2. Add coffee to blender, add in MCT oil and butter
3. Blend on high for 30 seconds
4. Transfer to coffee mug, drink and feel amazing
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