There’s no denying that most of us (especially coffee aficionados) have already come across the new trend of switching regular coffee with bulletproof coffee. If you haven’t, let me indulge you.
Bulletproof coffee refers to the latest craze of adding butter to an ordinary steaming cup of coffee. According to the company that has been popularising this trend – Bulletproof Coffee – adding two to three spoonfuls of MCT oil does more than just alter your mug’s flavour (We’ll get to that in a minute)
How Do You Prepare The Bulletproof Coffee The Correct Way
Well, it’s easy. Add two tablespoons of butter, a spoonful of MCT oil or medium chain triglyceride (for those who bunked chemistry classes) and let it purr in a blender until it’s entirely emulsified. Then drink it.
As far as Bulletproof is concerned that should replace your entire breakfast and from there you’re good to hit the gym, drive to the office or whatever it is that you do after taking breakfast.
And just so to be clear, the idea of Bulletproof coffee wasn’t hatched ages ago. It was one of Dave Asprey’s 2009 hilariously outrageous idea – at least then it sounded so. Dave is a Silicon Valley investor or entrepreneur who labels himself as a self-professed ‘biohacker’. He claims that his buttery coffee breakfast is all anyone needs (regardless of his age, weight or physiological status) to transform his body into a redefined fat-burning machine.
Dave’s Asprey’s Claims
Going by the Bulletproof Executive claims, it seems as if adding grass-fed and unsalted butter to your coffee backed up by a little MCT oil does more than just make your coffee smell better. Yes, on his website, Dave claims that a regular dose of Bulletproof is the perfect package for a healthy weight loss regiment. He goes further to claim that a mug of Bulletproof coffee can keep hunger pangs at bay allowing you to concentrate on shedding those kilos without worrying about those pesky cravings or a churning belly.
As if that’s not enough, Dave goes out of his way to claiming that weight loss triggered by Bulletproof coffee occurs through ketosis. This is basically a metabolic state that’s brought about by the induced deficiency of carbs that pushes the body to result in fat burning in a bid to compensate for the shortage.
What’s more, Asprey is the type of guy to claim that adding a few tablespoons of butter to your morning cuppa will transform your brain into a supercharged mental computer, improve your concentration acuity, improve your cognitive function and sharpen your computational skills. All this for one or two tablespoons of butter and MCI.
Why We Think These Claims are Almost Baseless
Well, well. It doesn’t take much to see that Dave is clearly blowing stuff out of proportion here. For starters, these are some pretty bold claims to make, especially if you’ve decided to label yourself as a bluechip investor. Yes, there are some nuggets of truth in them, but obviously Asprey has extrapolated them outrageously.
Firstly, there are no reviewed studies carried out in any institution of higher learning or otherwise that supports Dave’s argument that taking nothing but caffeine and fat in the morning can transform one to an out-of-this-world fat burning machine. Apparently, most of Asprey’s tests (https://www.bulletproofexec.com/the-complete-illustrated-one-page-bulletproof-diet/) were conducted on rats and mice. Some as young as 2 to 3 weeks old. How can you mirror such results onto a population consisting of human beings (some as old as 5 or 6 decades)! Basically, in statistics, this is a good example of a scenario known as confirmation bias – where you start with the supposed conclusion and move upwards to find evidence to back it up. But in the process, most researchers (like Dave Asprey in this case), ignore any evidence that may contradict the desired conclusion. It is the exact opposite of good science.
Fine, you might shed a pound or two by substituting a wholesome breakfast with this diet. I mean, you can also do the same if you eat nothing but ice cream for a week. But is that the correct way of doing so?
The biggest problem with extreme diets is that they are rarely sustainable in as much as they can deliver rapid results. In short, Dave’s claim that you can shed severally kilos using his revolutionary elixir is akin to someone claiming that surviving on water alone for a week or a month can help an overweight person grow slimmer. Get the drift?
Secondly, think about it this way. Saturated fat is great, no doubt. Coffee is awesome and so is grass-fed butter. But separately and in healthy doses. However, we don’t think it’s really a good idea to mix the three of them in one unnatural concoction. And for the record, consuming two tablespoons of butter and two more of MCT oil at a go (even before taking a bite of real food) is similar to taking in 140% of your RDA. Totally unhealthy. It even gets a little murky when you consider the fact that Dave recommends skipping a healthy wholesome breakfast and replacing it with something that is absurdly low in any essential nutrients. If indeed it has any.
The Bottom Line
The idea of Bulletproof coffee is indeed a very well-crafted, mildly scientific but yet, still dodgy. Well, if you relish some butter in your coffee, so be it. But if you replace or displace your most important meal of the day for a mix of fat and coffee then there’s no doubt that you will significantly disadvantage yourself as far as your daily nutritional intake goes.