That first cup of coffee in the morning is pure bliss for those seeking their daily caffeine fix. According to the Centre for Development Research in Copenhagen, Denmark, over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world every day.
Coffee can trace its heritage back centuries to the ancient coffee forests on the Ethiopian plateau.
There, legend says the goat herder Kaldi first discovered the potential of these beloved beans.
The story goes that that Kaldi discovered coffee after he noticed that after eating the berries from a certain tree, his goats became so energetic that they did not want to sleep at night.
Premium coffee comes at a premium cost, and according to the National Coffee Association’s 2016 National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) report, consumers have shown that they’re willing to pay.
Furthermore, because consumers are increasingly invested in their coffee, and desire to have the “best”, they are seeking the brands that can offer a unique coffee experience. Step forward Bulletproof Coffee
Bulletproof Coffee was started by Silicon Valley investor/entrepreneur Dave Asprey, who found the recipe while hiking in Tibet, in the form of yak-butter tea. Because of his own health challenges throughout his life and seeking ways to ‘Biohack’ his own health routine, this experience inspired him to refine this recipe to create Bulletproof Coffee.
The Bulletproof recipe includes low-mould coffee beans, 1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed, unsalted butter or grass-fed ghee, and 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil.
The company’s website boasts a number of mental and physical health benefits associated with the drink, including suppressed hunger, increased metabolism for fat burning, a slow steady release of caffeine for sustained energy, increased mental clarity, improved brain power and increased happiness.
Some but not all of these benefits include citations to research publications, though none of those directly substantiate Bulletproof’s claims.
So is it as good as the claims suggest?
Firstly, for many years coffee has not been considered good for health, though, in June 2016, the World Health Organisation officially lifted coffee from the list of potentially carcinogenic foods. It went on to designate coffee as potentially protective against cancer of the uterus and liver.
Let’s look at the individual components of Bulletproof Coffee.
One of Dave Asprey’s main arguments is how the quality of most coffee beans are low and that they contain higher levels of Mycotoxins.
Mycotoxins are naturally occurring fungi that turn into mould. They can be found in grains, nuts and other products that are susceptible to moulds such as wine and coffee. Environmental factors, including temperature, humidity and amount of rainfall during harvesting cycles are what contribute to their growth.
We need to remember that fungus lives everywhere, including on and inside our own bodies. However, when not taken care of properly, this fungus can turn into mould. Because the occurrence of mycotoxins is not entirely avoidable, regulations allow small amounts of these toxins to be present in these products
The US has no standards for coffee, whereas in Europe there are levels that need to be met.
Though In a study by researchers at the University of Valencia who analysed 100 different coffees commonly sold in supermarkets they found that they exceeded the maximum permitted levels of Mycotoxins.
So the Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee is a great brand, though also look at other high-quality brands, and the process in which they are made, wet-processed coffee is considered better than dry-processed.
Ultimately higher-quality coffee will taste better, and for me, that’s an important factor when picking a coffee.
Next on the list is MCT oil or Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil.
The popularity of coconut oil more so than MCT oil has grown in the last few years.
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) are easily digestible healthy fats that instead of being metabolized through digestion like most other foods, are processed in the liver. This makes them more easily absorbed by the body and a fast source of energy. MCTs provide fast and lasting energy
Coconut oil is one of the best sources of MCT’s, though is only high in certain types of medium chain fatty acids, while concentrated MCT oil is a better source of others.
The one MCT that is most beneficial in Brain Octane Oil is Caprylic acid, which is found in coconut oil, palm oil, butter, and breast milk, though Brain Octane Oil has a high concentration of it. Caprylic acid is known for its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, though research on the health effects is very limited.
The reason for adding this to your coffee is because the combination gives the body a longer lasting energy boost compared to just the caffeine. Having had Bulletproof Coffee a couple of times now, as a normal double espresso drinker, I would definitely say, adding the MCT oil gives me less of an instant rush after drinking it.
The bottom line is, yes, coconut oil works perfectly fine, though pure MCT oil or Brain Octane Oil is better in quality in terms of the oils. It comes down to, how high of a quality do you want?
Last but not least is the grass-fed butter or ghee, and unsalted of course!
Adding the butter or ghee helps firstly to create a feeling of satiety to the coffee, and secondly adds a smoothness and creaminess, which for me, makes the coffee even more enjoyable. Personally, I always have my coffee with a snack of some kind, so it’s the richness that the butter adds, is the reason that I like it.
The health-conscious consumer is starting to look beyond the traditional offerings. This is where Bulletproof Coffee has been challenging the norm, which is why it can provoke such positive and negative response from the industry. I believe it will become more successful and inspire more people to think differently about what they are consuming and who they are buying from.
Remember, just having a Bulletproof Coffee every morning will not dramatically change your health. As part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, then it can make a great contribution to your how you feel, so give it and try and see what you think.
- National Coffee Association’s 2016 National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) report –http://www.ncausa.org/Industry-Resources/Market-Research/National-Coffee-Drinking-Trends-Report
- Some commercial coffees contain high levels of mycotoxins – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151028124003.htm