What did you stir into your coffee this morning? Milk? Stevia? Some are starting their mornings by adding butter to their cup of joe. After the collective "Wait, what", let's look at what this trend means to our health.
The Start of Coffee with Butter
The trend of adding butter to coffee can be traced back to the invention of Bulletproof Coffee. A cup of Bulletproof Coffee starts like any other cup - with a full mug of your favorite brew. Any roast will due. It's what you add to it next that sets it apart. According to founder of Bulletproof and self-proclaimed "biohacker" Dave Asprey
, to make his signature drink, you combine 8 to 12 fl oz of brewed coffee with 1 to 2 tablespoons of MCT oil
and 1 to 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter from grass-fed cows. Add all three ingredients to a blender and mix for up to 30 seconds. The drink should get foamy, similar in appearance to a latte.
While you most likely recognize two of the three ingredients, you may be scratching your head about what MCT oil is. Produced from coconuts, MCT oil provides medium chain triglycerides - highly digestible fat. That means this fat is easily broken down and absorbed by the body. But, with both MCT oil and butter in the recipe, why would you want to add fat
to your coffee
? This trend has caught on, drawing celebrity endorsements
and becoming the beverage choice for executives. They say the drink has a rich, delicious taste and texture and they feel better than ever. But how?
Suggested Perks of Buttered Coffee
According to Asprey, this combination is said to give you more energy without a significant crash, boost concentration and promote weight loss. Could it work? Coffee does have a host of known benefits that have been well documented
. The caffeine in coffee can make you more alert with greater energy - that's why it's long been a favorite way to start the day - and may also speed up metabolism to promote weight loss. Lastly, coffee is a diuretic, meaning it promotes the removal of excess fluid from the body more frequently than urination.
MCT oil is also said to increase energy and support weight loss, as demonstrated in a 2008 study
published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
. This light yellow oil has no odor and has long been used to help those unable to absorb fats into the body.
As for the butter, it contains more essential fatty acids, specifically omega-3, than regular butter. Grass-fed butter, or ghee, also provides more vitamins than the butter typically found on supermarket shelves and it's this ingredients that started it all. The idea for Bulletproof Coffee started with a cup of tea enriched with yak butter Asprey consumed on a hiking expedition in Tibet.
More research is needed on these ingredients independently and together to determine the exact ways coffee with butter and MCT oil impacts the body. Anyone being treated for high cholesterol, heart disease or diabetes should speak to their doctor first before trying it.
But there is one aspect of this practice we wouldn't recommend. Asprey suggests consuming only Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast and nothing else to fully experience how this drink makes you feel and promote weight loss. While drinking coffee on an empty stomach certainly does create a more noticeable effect, it's not a balanced meal, despite the fact it clocks in at 450 calories a serving
(many of which are saturated fats). The body needs protein, carbohydrates and fiber with fat at each meal, especially in the morning to keep you energized and keep your blood sugar stable. We would recommend sticking to a health breakfast like whole-grain toast with almond butter and some fresh fruit.
If you are interested in trying out the bulletproof coffee method, pick up the ingredients right here on our site and tell us your thoughts on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages.