What if I told you that you could mix butter and oil in your coffee in the morning and reap health benefits from weight loss to increased mental acuity and even help digestion and heart health? If you think I'm absolutely crazy, I really wouldn't blame you, but that's exactly what Bulletproof Coffee drinkers are saying.
Popular among CrossFit folk and even Paleo dieters, Bulletproof Coffee is simple: eight ounces of hot drip coffee, one teaspoon of grass-fed unsalted butter (like Kerrygold), and one teaspoon of MCT-rich coconut oil. Then you froth the combination, which does give it a lovely, velvety texture. However, by mid-cup, you definitely know that you're drinking butter.
Like many health fads, Bulletproof Coffee supporters have a laundry list of alleged benefits. It's supposed to help sustain energy levels, negating crash effects. It's supposed to help your brain, heart, stomach, and more. It's also supposed to possibly function as a meal replacement for non-breakfast eaters.
Though I would never encourage people to skip breakfast (because it is the best meal ever), I will admit that after my first cup, I wasn't hungry at all until about lunch time. Whether that's because I drank what tasted like a cup of hot, melted butter or it actually suppressed my appetite, I can't say.
Travis Radevski, owner of Sip Coffee and Beer House in Scottsdale, offers the coffee-butter-oil blend at his new coffee shop. He also says that he drinks a cup each morning before working out. Though he doesn't claim to have noticed any of the touted health benefits of the drink, he does say that it helps him stay satiated when he doesn't eat breakfast.
Nutrition and culinary consultant Michelle Dudash says there actually might be some truth to this.
"For someone who doesn't eat any breakfast at all, it is better than nothing, since they will be getting some calories to break the fast and help with satiety," she says. "However, for the person who eats breakfast with some fat in it, the benefits from this drink would start to drop off."
Dudash recommends fat- and nutrient-rich foods like nuts or avocados for those who skip breakfast. As for the other claims, she says moderate coffee drinking has shown benefits like increased alertness and antioxidant levels. MCT coconut oil even "has shown some promising fat-burning effects." However, she does warn that adding butter to your daily cup of coffee probably isn't a good idea, as butter should be eaten in moderation regardless of what it's paired with.
"Overall, a cup of Bulletproof Coffee probably wouldn't cause harm to the average healthy person," Dudash says.
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Radevski does warn that you should always pair Bulletproof Coffee with a workout and says that educating guests when they order it is a priority at his coffee shop.
"It's not something you should drink for the hell of it," he adds. "It is butter, after all."
If you want to try Bulletproof Coffee for yourself, you can get an eight-ounce serving for $4 or a 16-ounce cup for $5. Radevski says for first timers (and even himself) he recommends the smaller size.