*These views in no way reflect those of the creator of Bulletproof ® Coffee or of the Bulletproof ® brand. They are representative only of my experience with these beverages.
Whenever a trend hits the mainstream, it's bound to get co-opted and adapted. Sometimes that works well, giving rise to an array of successful variations, but other times it defeats the purpose of the original. I created this guide based on the common mistakes I've noticed when people make Bulletproof Coffee so that you can get as many health benefits out of the drink as possible.
1. Mind Your Butter
Using grass-fed butter is recommended because it's an anti-inflammatory energy source. It contains vitamin A and doesn't raise cholesterol. Conversely, grain-fed butter is inflammatory and, if not organic, is full of hormones, pesticides and GMOs fed to the cows and contributes to the industry of factory farming. Worse yet, I've seen people use margarine! By now it's commonly known that margarine is a hydrogenated junk food, so it has no place at all in a health drink.
2. All Oil Isn't Created Equal
You can use plain coconut oil, but you'll be missing many of the health benefits of medium chain triglyceride oil, which is a very concentrated form of coconut and palm oil. If you do choose coconut oil, choose a raw, unrefined, organic option, and then move on to MCT oil after a few weeks. It has better fat-burning benefits, is more anti-inflammatory (and antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, etc.) and takes less of it to get the benefits.
3. Got Milk? You Shouldn't
Bulletproof Coffee works on the basis of burning fat as fuel. Because carbs burn before fat, if you introduce carbohydrates into the mix of a high-fat drink, you'll burn the carbohydrates and store the fat. Your body won't have the opportunity to get into fat-burning mode, and it won't utilize the fat as a primary source of fuel. Whether fresh dairy milk, canned coconut milk or a boxed nondairy alternative, adding milk negates the coffee's fat-for-fuel effect.
4. Drinking it With a Meal
There is a hefty amount of fat in this drink, which isn't a problem when it's used as intended: as a replacement for breakfast. However, some people have it with a meal, which defeats the purpose of burning fat for fuel and adds an outrageous amount of fat alongside food. This type of coffee is a stand-alone concept, and if you combine it with food -- especially if you combine it with carbohydrate-laden food -- the only result you'll see is an increase in pant size.
5. Sugar Isn't a Sweet Idea
Much like adding milk, sugar is a carbohydrate that will defeat the purpose of the drink. Unlike milk, which has only a few grams of sugar, sweeteners like honey, agave, brown sugar, white sugar and maple syrup all have as much sugar as the amount you use. Even a tiny amount will offset your ability to burn fat. If you'd like to sweeten your drink, choose a natural sugarless sweetener like erythritol or stevia.
6. The Coffee Counts
I'm of the opinion that any organic, fair-trade, no-risk-for-mold-or-mycotoxins brand is good. If you choose conventional coffee, you're consuming one of the most pesticide-contaminated crops on the planet.
In addition, you may not realize that coffee without a fair-trade seal could be contributing to child labor and slavery. If you're using a K-Cup, even if it's organic and fairly traded, you'll be consuming a variety of toxic plastics. Brew real coffee (or espresso) via a method that does not involve hot plastic that is destined to end up in a landfill.
What Else Can You Add?
There are plenty of "safe" additions. If you don't find it satiating enough, you can add grass-fed collagen or gelatin to make it more filling and boost the anti-inflammatory factor. You can add unsweetened organic cacao powder or an unsweetened grass-fed whey protein powder for a milkshake quality and a protein boost.
Life Beyond Coffee
If you aren't a coffee drinker, you can still benefit from starting your day by burning anti-inflammatory fats as fuel. Think beyond coffee and make your drink with tea or tonic herbs. I've created many recipes for non-coffee beverages that help with different health issues.
What Do YOU Think?
Do you drink Bulletproof Coffee? Do you feel like it has had a positive effect on your health? If so, how? Do you follow the brand directions, or do you prefer creating your own version? Leave a comment below and let us know.