Revive Review: Bulletproof Coffee

Bulletproof coffee is described as a breakfast replacement mixture of 1-2 Tbsp of grass-fed butter, 1-2 Tbsp of coconut oil and 2 cups of brewed coffee. The popularity of this blended coffee brew stems from health claims of the mixture producing improved energy levels, improved fullness and weight loss.

Does It Improve Energy Levels?

The possible improvement of perceived energy after drinking bulletproof coffee may stem from the caffeine content of the drink. There is between 100-200mg of caffeine in a typical cup of brewed coffee, totaling around 200-400mg of caffeine in one bulletproof coffee beverage. There is no question that this caffeine load will result in an energy boost first thing in the morning. However, sustained energy is more successful after refuelling the body with a breakfast of whole foods, balanced in a distribution of protein, complex carbohydrate and healthy fats. Bulletproof coffee lacks that balance.

Does It Improve Fullness?

Fat is one of the slower digesting macronutrient in the gut that slows gastric emptying. Reported fullness after consuming bulletproof coffee is not surprising as this recipe provides 4 tbsp. of coconut oil/butter, equivalent to a whopping 60g of total fat! To put into perspective, this fat dosage is an appropriate amount to consume over the course of an entire day if you were to follow a 2000 calorie daily dietary intake.  

Does It Help You Lose Weight? 

There is some research to suggest that although there may be a change in body composition, as medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) – a form of fat found in coconut oil – may help to improve body muscle to fat ratio rather than leading to weight loss, there are larger studies needed to confirm MCT’s impact on weight and body composition as well as dosage of supplementation. 

MCT’s

While there is some evidence that MCT’s can easily be used as a source of energy (just like carbohydrates), high quality clinical trials and research studies in the area of weight loss are lacking. In fact, most studies show no significant weight loss results when supplementing with MCT’s.  Consult your personal health care professional before supplementing with MCT if you are pregnant or nursing. Excessive MCT (especially when taken on an empty stomach) can lead to bloating, gas and abdominal cramping.

Keep In Mind

  • There is no quality evidence to suggest that MCT oil (or coconut oil) promotes weight loss.
  • Bulletproof coffee contains a large amount of total and saturated fat from both the butter and coconut oil that is delivered in one beverage. This increases risk of developing high cholesterol levels overtime increasing cardiovascular disease risk.
  • Finally, bulletproof coffee is meant to replace breakfast. Notice the irony in the bulletproof coffee concept as it may actually shoot holes in your ability to obtain the essential nutrients your body requires in the day. A balanced breakfast is key in halting muscle breakdown first thing by:
    • Replenishing the body with satisfying protein (like eggs, Greek yogurt, nuts/seeds, etc.)
    • Providing energy and fibre through complex carbohydrates (like oats, whole grains, root veggies, fruit, etc.)
    • Adding the appropriate amounts of healthy fats for absorption of fat soluble vitamins (like cooking with small amounts of coconut oil or vegetable oils, or consuming small amounts of nuts/seeds, avocado, etc.)

Be Careful

If your day is devoid of breakfast due to a buttery, oily, caffeinated beverage, you will not only be devoid of essential vitamins, minerals, macronutrients and fibre that day, but you may also increase your health risk over time.

 

Make breakfast a priority! For some inspiration check out our 10 Easy & Balanced Breakfasts.