Fat is Awesome Part Two: Bulletproof Coffee

indiana jones coffee

Now that we have established that healthy fat is awesome, lets blend it in some coffee and get wild.  There’s something inherently appealing about drinking a liquid with ‘special properties’.  The first image that comes to mind is from Indiana Jones Temple of Doom where Indy is whipped and forced to drink a potion called the “Blood of Kali”.  We all love a good “Blood of Kali” that touts a solid if than reward scheme.  Drinking is also the fastest way of getting something inside our bodies short of snorting or injecting so why not add healthy fat to the list.

buttertea

Adding butter to tea or coffee is nothing new. People in Tibet have been adding yak butter to their tea for centuries. They regard it as an essential source of energy that helps them flourish in their harsh, frigid climate.  The idea is to load up your body/mind with clean, healthy fats, and then give it a boost of caffeine all while fasted.  The caffeine helps the fats enter the brain quickly while the fats slow down the effects of caffeine.   So instead of an intense spike in energy and a big crash, you’ll feel a nice long high for about half the day before slowly returning to baseline.

The main ingredients of Bullet Proof/buttered coffee are coffee, butter and MCT/coconut oil.  Heres a breakdown of each ingredient and its benefits.

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Coffee

Awesome. End of discussion.  Click here for more info.

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Butter

Milk from dairy farms is collected and brought to the creamery. The cream is separated from the whole milk using centrifugal force. It is then pasteurized (heated rapidly) and finally beaten vigorously in a churning cylinder until it thickens naturally into butter. Butter contains essential fatty acids, vitamins A, D, E and K, glycolipids that have anti-infective properties, butyric acid and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). But not all butter is created equal. Grain-fed cows do not produce as much CLA in their milk as their grass-fed counterparts. Grass-fed butter also contains an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio that’s basically 1:1 and has higher levels of beta-carotene giving it a distinctly yellow color.  Why butter and not cream? Compared to cream, butter has more butyric acid, more vitamins, and is lower in sugar. If you have casein or lactose intolerance try clarifying your butter.  The clarification process removes the milk proteins, leaving behind pure, golden butterfat.  Or you could use ghee.

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MCT Oil/Coconut Oil

MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides and is a purified form of these types of fatty acids.  MCT oil is purified from coconut and palm kernel oils and generally sold as a supplement instead of a food on store shelves. It can be quite expensive, so many folks have taken to using coconut oil instead of pure MCT.  MCTs have several benefits, including being an easily metabolized form of energy. Compared to longer-chain fats, MCTs are digested more quickly and are less likely to get stored in fatty tissue. One of the most recent studies on MCTs found that they did promote weight loss but didn’t boost exercise performance. Whether they give an overall energy boost is still not certain.

How-to-Make-Bulletproof-Coffee

  • Brew 1 cup (8 oz.) of coffee using filtered water, just off the boil, with 2 1/2 heaping tablespoons freshly ground coffee.
  • Add in 1-2 tablespoons of MCT or coconut oil
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee
  • Mix it all in a blender for 20-30 seconds until it is frothy

Dave Asprey and other proponents of Bulletproof Coffee suggest that this cup of coffee will leave you energized for hours, eliminate crashes, help you burn fat, gain muscle, and be an overall better human.  To maximize the effects you need to do some intermittent fasting.  Here are the 3 reasons why according to Asprey’s website.

Reason #1: Tripling down on mTOR.

mTOR stands for “Mammalian Target of Rapamycin.” mTOR is a major mechanism that increases protein synthesis in your muscles. Both exercise and coffee raise cellular energy use while simultaneously inhibiting your muscle building mechanisms (mTOR) for a brief period, which causes it to “spring back” and build even more muscle as soon as you eat.  There are 3 known ways to raise mTOR. Intermittent fasting, exercise, and coffee (or more weakly, chocolate, green tea, turmeric, or resveratrol). Plain intermittent fasting doesn’t use coffee, so it only hits one, or possibly 2 of the 3 possible mTOR triggers. An all-fat breakfast doesn’t make your body think it’s broken the fast.

Reason #2: Ketosis

Intermittent fasting helps you enter ketosis (fat burning mode that’s good for your brain) but then you end ketosis if you eat carb-containing foods at the end of the fast. Using MCT in your Bulletproof Coffee increases the speed at which you go into ketosis, so it fuels your brain, and it helps you stay in ketosis even in the presence of some carbs in your diet.

Reason #3: Metabolic hacking

Coffee increases your metabolism by up to 20 percent. Plain intermittent fasting doesn’t.

Now for the haters…

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The person who thinks he’s a superiorly-healthy “fat-burner” by eating 2/3 a stick of butter in one sitting, and denying himself any source of carbohydrate, will still manage to produce and use glucose. Because the body needs it. In fact, if you don’t consume enough glucose, your body will literally start eating itself to get it. It’s called gluconeogenesis, meaning that while your body is releasing adrenaline to mobilize fat to be used as fuel, your adrenals are also releasing cortisol to break down body tissue. Like from your muscles and organs. And then your liver has to convert those proteins into glucose to raise your blood sugar. It’s very taxing, very stressful, and not at all an ideal way to get your glucose.

The only reason you’d end up experiencing “boundless energy” as a result of having nothing more than a big cup of coffee with a half stick of butter in it for breakfast, is because your body would likely be experiencing an acute stress response and an active hyperadrenaline state. If this is all you have for breakfast, expect the stress-promoting effects of denying your body its ideal source of fuel for the energy your body needs to expend during the first half of the day. Saturated and unsaturated fats are vital for cell repair, normalisation of hormone levels, brain development and can be utilised as an energy source for almost every major organ or process in the body, with the exception of the brain, the retinas and the kidney’s which run almost exclusively on glucose.  But to say that fat is preferred is a falsification of information.

When the body is given both carbohydrates and fats, it will always use the carbohydrates as an energy source, therefore making the carbs the preferred fuel over fats. However, if there are no carbs in your system, then yes, your body will choose to use fats over starving itself, but is that optimal? This is a clear example of an Appeal to Popularity fallacy (believing something is good because lots of people are doing it), the Band Wagon fallacy (doing it because everyone else is), and a Correlation proves Causation fallacy (assuming that correlation between two variables implies one causes the other).

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Buttered coffee is a common drink around the world – and Bulletproof coffee simply adds another healthy fat to the mix. Some people think it’s awesome while others are convinced it is just another “Blood of Kali”.  Here at Strong Coffee we suggest you don’t knock it until you try it.

DRINK STRONG COFFEE….with butter and MCT oil…..if you want to…but if not that’s cool…SCIENCEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Sources:

http://rebootedbody.com/bulletproof-coffee/

http://www.bulletproofexec.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/

http://stupideasypaleo.com/2013/10/21/can-coffee-really-improve-health-meet-bulletproof-2/

https://www.onnit.com/bulletproof-coffee/

http://evidencebasedfitness.net/yummy-but-not-special-part-ii-bulletproof-coffee/

http://evidencebasedfitness.net/the-lime-in-the-coconut-is-purely-optional/

http://bulletproofcoffeereview.blogspot.com/2013/04/how-does-bulletproof-coffee-work.html

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=newtip&dbid=9

http://www.livestrong.com/article/435588-is-ghee-healthier-than-butter/

http://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/nutrition/should-you-be-drinking-bulletproof-coffee-20140128

http://www.endofthreefitness.com/how-to-make-bulletproof-coffee-and-become-a-better-human/

https://www.bulletproofexec.com/bulletproof-fasting/

http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2013/08/06/a-beginners-guide-to-intermittent-fasting/

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