Bulleting your Coffee with MCT Oil
Everyone has their own particular and sometimes sacred way to start the day - but have you ever tried it with a bulleted coffee? With claims it can achieve everything from increased mental focus to fat burning potential, you can see why this health trend has taken the world by storm.
Although it may seem like just another wellness fad, the concept of including fats in your tea or coffee has long been a regular ritual in Himalayan and Tibetan cultures. Satiating and habitual, locals sip Po cha (Tibetan) or Su ja (Bhutanese) from bowls each morning or whenever guests arrive. Traditionally these cultures use fermented black tea and salty yak butter, however the ‘Father of Biohacking’ Dave Asprey modified the recipe and brought it to the west.
The original brew of Bulletproof Coffee involves the process of blending ground coffee with unsalted butter or ghee and Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil (known as MCT oil). However, to simplify the recipe, just the combination of MCT oil and coffee is commonly used by many.
Medium Chain Triglycerides only occur naturally in a few foods; the most common ones are coconuts, milk (even breast milk), and palm kernels. Eating the wholefood versions have some health benefits, yet only allow you to consume a small amount of MCTs. Concentrated MCT oil, however, is much more effective.
The Brave Method upgraded the recipe further still. Simply using 2 scoops of Coffee + Collagen with 1-2 tsp of True MCT oil makes a lighter way to bullet your morning coffee with the added benefits of deeply nourishing collagen peptides.
Tasty, rich and surprisingly creamy, this morning cuppa isn’t just to satisfy your taste buds however. Especially popular for those on Keto or Low-Carb diets, Bulletproof coffee is purported to boost energy and promote fasting.
But are adding these fats to your coffee the panacea enthusiasts are claiming it to be and can anybody benefit? We’ve delved into the science behind the drink for you.
How does it work?
The theory goes; high quality fat helps to slow down the absorption of the caffeine and provides a more stable and prolonged source of energy. This is thought to help the effects of caffeine last longer and may also help prevent spikes in insulin and consequent blood sugar crashes, meaning your energy levels should feel stable hours after drinking it.
What’s more, MCT oil has been claimed to be much more effective than plain coconut oil at raising your ketone levels (if you’re working on ketosis), so your body and brain can run on a super efficient fuel instead of glucose (1). The medium-chain length of MCTs doesn’t require the enzymes or bile acids for digestion and absorption that other fats need and therefore are broken down quickly by the liver (2).
Combining a high quality coffee with MCTs is the equivalent of a biohacking power couple. MCTs alone have been shown in studies to increase energy and endurance (3), support your microbiome, stimulate metabolism, and boost brain function (4). Pair this with caffeine, which shows similar benefits within research, then you can see why this drink is super-charged.
That boost of energy can also be helpful to your workouts. Studies (5) have shown that athletes who consume MCTs have higher endurance levels and can perform high-intensity workouts for longer durations. They’ve also been shown to lower the body’s lactate levels; muscles produce lactic acid during exercise which can induce those cramps and ‘DOMS’ we’re all familiar with. Using MCTs may provide some much needed relief.
What to Look Out For
As with anything in health and wellness, there is always another side of the coin to consider. Whilst for many, bulleting your coffee is a simple yet effective hack, it has to be used as part of the bigger picture. This delicious drink is pretty low on the nutrient scale. Which is great to keep you in a fasted state or if you need more healthy fats in your diet, but you then need to ensure that the other meals you are having across the day are packed with nourishment to ensure you aren’t missing out on your total nutrient intake.
If you have an existing health condition, this should also always be taken into close consideration when making any dietary change.
The lift you get from coffee, along with the health benefits from MCT oil may add a boost to your morning coffee ritual, especially for those considering other factors which promote a healthy body.