Why Drink Butter Coffee? The Science of Bulletproof Coffee

Why Drink Butter Coffee? The Science of Bulletproof Coffee

Thanks to Skillshare for sponsoring this video.
“Butter tea, it was never my cup of tea.”
Perhaps Austrian Mountaineer Heinrich Harrer
would have liked butter coffee better than
the Tibetan Yak Butter tea. Recently, blending
some mixture of fat in your coffee and having
that for breakfast has gotten quite popular.
The main version, “Bulletproof coffee”
is made by mixing Coffee, Grass Fed Butter
and pure C8 MCT Oil in a blender. This recipe
comes from entrepreneur Dave Asprey, who apparently
got the idea after having Yak Butter Tea in
Tibet in 2004.
Proponents of Bulletproof coffee claim that
the coffee will keep you focused and curb
your appetite for hours. While coffee with
a gob of fat may sound like a newfangled trend,
the practice of ingesting coffee with fat
was around even before people drank coffee
as a beverage. Sometime between 575 and 850
CE, nomadic mountain warriors of the Galla
tribe in Ethiopia would combine crushed coffee
beans with animal fat, and snack on that for
energy during long treks and warfare.
“Excuse me, can I have a butter bar please?”
Personally, I can attest to the sustained
energy that comes from ButterProof coffee,
but what could be making it so magical? And
should you be replacing your breakfast with
Before we get into it, it’s necessary to
understand that saturated fat in general is
not the enemy that it’s been made out to
be. You also have to know a little bit about
ketosis because this is one of the goals of
the coffee. Very briefly, ketosis occurs when
you restrict carbohydrate intake enough and
for long enough. When you’ve burned out
enough of your carbohydrate stores, your liver
then turns fatty acids from your diet, and
from your body fat into ketones. These ketones
are used for energy in the body and brain
rather than relying on glucose or carbohydrate.
Ketosis has many benefits, physical and mental.
It helps you lose weight and reduces hunger.
There’s also evidence that it improves longevity
and healthspan, it suppresses oxidative stress,
and it improves cognition and memory.
So by doing intermittent fasting or being
on a low carb and high fat diet, your body
gets energy primarily from fat rather than
carbohydrate. This allows you to get through
the day without blood sugar spikes and crashes,
and you’ll have more stable energy, feel
more focused and less hungry. Obviously butter
coffee plays into this because it’s just
fat and zero carbs.
But there are some other fascinating properties
of butter coffee that help get you into ketosis.
First, the caffeine in the coffee actually
helps to boost ketone production, even if
you’re not doing a low carb diet.
This study from last year in the Canadian
Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology had
people fast for 12 hours, then have breakfast.
One group had no caffeine, another had 1 and
½ cups of black coffee, and another had caffeine
pills that were the equivalent of 3 cups of
coffee. They found that “Caffeine given
at breakfast significantly stimulated ketone
production in a dose-dependent manner.”
So, the more caffeine, the more ketones.
This is interesting, because insulin which
is produced in response to eating carbohydrates
hinders ketone production, but the subjects’
breakfast was 78% carbohydrate. Though, that
doesn’t mean you should drink butter coffee
no matter what your diet is. We can expect
that ketone production would have been even
higher if they had the caffeine without carbohydrate.
It’s important to drink this with a ketogenic
breakfast, or better yet, with no breakfast
at all. If you’re mixing up some grass fed
butter and MCT oil in your coffee and then
you have a cream cheese bagel, or bowl of
cereal along with it, you’ll blunt the ketogenic
effects of the coffee and store a lot of that
fat on your body.
You see, there are two ways you can fill up
fat cells: One is by eating enough carbohydrates
to where carbohydrates are stored in the body
as fat through a process called de novo lipogenesis;
the other is through a process called re-esterification.
Simply put: re esterification is the process
of taking fatty acids and forming them back
into fat, which is then stored in your fat
cells. Then, the way you get the fat out of
your fat cells is by breaking down the fat
through another process: lipolysis.
So, let’s say you’re on a ketogenic diet
and you decide to whir up a bunch of fat in
your coffee, and drink it for breakfast while
you read Garfield comics from 1995.
Fat’s going to be coming in, but because
the main feature of ketosis is that you use
fat for energy, lipolysis is going to be way
up and you’re going to be using the fat
from your fat cells and the fat from your
coffee for energy. So that’s not too bad.
But if you’re having toast, eggs and potatoes
with your butter coffee, then you’re gonna
have some of the carbs stored as fat through
de novo lipogenesis, and actually even more
re-esterification will occur and the fat output,
lipolysis, will be low.
When you fat with carbs, even more of that
fat goes into your fat cells and you burn
less fat because insulin, which is secreted
when you eat carbohydrate, increases re-esterification
and inhibits lipolysis. One of the benefits
of bulletproof coffee is that it’s supposed
to help you lose weight, but it might do the
opposite if you put sugar in it or have it
with carbohydrates.
I didn’t realize how big this Butter and
MCT oil coffee trend was getting until I saw
that a pre-made version of it hit the shelves
of a convenient store chain here in Tokyo.
Unfortunately, the coffee they use is so weak
the drink just tastes like skim milk but…
I was impressed that they got the ingredients
right – it’s not just coffee with butter,
it actually has grass fed butter and MCT oil
in it.
So what’s the deal with the MCT Oil?
MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides,
and, compared to long-chain triglycerides,
MCT’s are:
-Absorbed quicker and turned into energy more
-Result in less body fat gain
-They make you feel fuller faster
-And, they enhance the production of ketones.
So here we have another ingredient that promotes
ketones. There’s a couple different types
of MCT’s – c12, c10, c8 and c6 which refers
to the length of the chain. The shorter the
chain, the easier it turns into ketones. C6
isn’t usually used because it easily upsets
the stomach and apparently smells like goats
– So, pure C8 – caprylic acid, is your best
bet for maximum ketone production, but a mix
of C8 and C10 is usually more available and
more cost effective.
So why the grass-fed butter? Well, Butter
provides great fat soluble Vitamins like Vitamin
K2 and Vitamin A and Vitamin E. And studies
suggest grassfed butter has better Vitamin
A and E content, higher omega-3’s and higher
levels of the antioxidant glutathione. Though,
this is just a nice little bonus- I wouldn’t
say BulletProof coffee is packed with vitamins.
So the big point of this fatty coffee is to
boost your ketone production so you can get
the benefits of ketosis even when you’re
not super strict on intermittent fasting or
eating really low carb.
But is it healthy having this every morning?
I would say “healthier than what?” If
having this coffee is getting you to keep
your blood sugar down and insulin levels low
thanks to it replacing your high carb breakfast,
I would say yes, it’s healthier.
I’d consider Grass fed butter and MCT oil
a healthy addition to your daily diet for
reasons I just discussed, so the question
becomes: is daily coffee consumption healthy?
There’s a ton of research on coffee showing
that more coffee consumption increases longevity,
reduces diabetes risk and heart disease risk.
Recently, coffee and even decaf coffee have
been shown to promote an anti-aging process
called autophagy. But coffee is a very complex
beverage that affects all kinds of hormones
and neurotransmitters like Adenosine, Dopamine,
Cortisol, Adrenaline, Cholecystokinin and
Gastrin. Coffee has also been shown to produce
inflammation. Personally I love butter coffee
and feel great for a couple hours after I
drink it, but I feel more calm and content
in general when I don’t have a coffee habit.
Recently, I’ve slowly cut my morning coffee
consumption in half over a couple weeks. I
get less of a spike in focus, but I’m calmer
and more focused in general throughout the
day. Then again, that’s just me.
There’s a lot more to say about coffee,
but that’s a great topic for another time.
There is one more thing I should mention about
coffee. This June 2012 paper, authored in
part by Ryan N. Coffee actually has nothing
to do with coffee, but if coffee is something
you like to indulge in on a daily basis, you
might want to know how to make a really good
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100 thoughts on “Why Drink Butter Coffee? The Science of Bulletproof Coffee

  1. So… It's basically liquid pemmican.

    Seriously look up pemmican. Bricks of fat and meat that were used as food, it keeps indefinitely and had even been edible after hundreds of year

  2. IT'S ALL TRUE GUYS!!!! I drank bulletproof coffee and shot myself in the guts and IT WORKS!!!!

    I mean I died

  3. If you don't want to Shell out big bucks for MCT useextravirgin coconut oil organic NO CHEMICALS ALLOWED

  4. You mean "AD", not "CE". Eliminating a reference in our culture, because you don't like what it's associated with, is the definition of bigotry, and it's an overt attack on that idea you clearly dislike.

  5. Does does putting caffeine into an empty stomach every morning for a long period of time affect ur stomach lining ?

  6. Yaks are male. Saying yak butter is like saying bull butter. Probably not as tasty as dri butter. Tibetans always get a laugh out of that one, though.

  7. After eating coffee for a month, I lost a total of 8 kilos weights and most of it was my muscles. I felt a headache and dizziness, and the level up of my iiver somatic index .
     I found out about the poor efficiency of Kittogenics through consultation with a medical doctor. I just found that eating an fresh apple or an orange or at least two glucose candies in the morning gives my brain more energy than that coffee. If the brain doesn't get energy, it gets headaches, and if you take high-caffeine, your heart bit rate will rise, your stomach will acidify, and your body and blood vessels will run to the worst day by day. I even asked a few doctors but none recommended this.

  8. I was gonna subscribe after seeing your most recent video regarding the complexity of nutrition and nutritional studies. But then I see this….

  9. Ketosis is the blood state alcoholics reach directly before death, simply look at some of the proponents of the diet online, the sunken blackened eyes, the rosacea on the face, you'll get skinny all right, but you might very well get more skinny than you bargain for… In addition the Chicago study conducted by Harvard and Rush Universities conclusively proved higher dairy consumption resulted in up to a 30 times increase in alzheimer's disease due to the amyloid-β plaques building up on the brain. Food for thought if you will.

  10. This is true I’m on keto 2 months diet and I do have lots of changers no headaches my blood pressure reduce from 130 to 117 .+ reduce body fat 16 to 9.3 + skin got healthy + @office can focus at work + more energy at the gym with out any food 🥘 + reduce blood sugar level thanks 🙏 for ketones. And I don’t have any cravings to sugar or carbs anymore

  11. I made butter coffee for the first time a week ago. I had a horrible stomach ache for 2 days and it took 5 days for the effects to finally wear off. If your body is not used to consuming giant amounts of fat in these quantities you may want to start off slow and work your way up. Every person is different so some might be able to jump into it full scale. I'm just saying, be careful. I started keto two weeks ago and I'm struggling to get enough fat in my diet. That butter coffee really messed me up.

  12. 1 Tbs Grass Fed Butter
    1 Tbs Coconut Oil
    1 Tsp MCT Oil (C8, C10)
    8-10 oz of your favorite tea
    Salt to taste
    Thats my go to. Works well with caffinated tea if you aren't a coffee drinker. Works well with sleepy time tea to round our your macros after dinner.

  13. I am originally from Ethiopia, in Ethiopia, coffee with butter and salt is a very well established custom for very long time.

  14. Animal fat not butter. People are substituting the proper way with an "artificial" way.

    I'll skip this butter in coffee crap.

  15. I drink 57 cups of black ground coffee per day and piss like a racehorse….clear urine….where does all the black go?

  16. Fat keeps you sated longer and coffee gives you energy and neither reacts together to create unique bonds that offer alternative effects to what each will give you individually so at the end of the diet your still just adding needless fat to a healthy option

  17. Make sure the coffee is freshly roasted & ground before use, otherwise it’s technically ‘dead’ & useless after two weeks: no matter how well packaged.

  18. You guys need to simplify these explanations down to a few hundred words so that they make some sense.

  19. What is hilarious is people trashing ketogenic diet and bullet proof coffee eat cereals and donut for breakfast with diet coke.

  20. i tried putting butter instead of cream in my coffee and it was one of the most disgusting things i ever had….i actually quit coffee shortly after that

  21. You guy's are just pain nuts! You want to burn fat? Save your gut and juice some kale with green apple and ginger and cucumber.

  22. Frig the coffee (I didn't say that, I worship coffee) just fast for 24 to 48 hours and go right to ketosis… this is the silly mans plan….

  23. Basically, your body burns sugar and fat separately! When eaten together, like a jam doughnut, your body fights to burn of the dough, and the sugar at the same time. Saw that on TV.

  24. Voice sounds like the guy from Food Wishes. I wish he didn't skip over the article on Inflammatory Markers due to coffee consumption of more than 200ml per day. I use coconut oil in my morning coffee, 1 tsp in an 8 oz cup.

  25. Those who love keto coffee should DEFINITELY try it with HOME MADE ..ghee.!!!!
    It's bloody heaven!
    Creamy..velvety texture..caramel like flavour..
    Just ask some friend from India to make it for you or learn the technique on YouTube.
    Store bought ….never if I can help it.

  26. fun fact, baby cows get taken away from their mother so that we get her milk, that we turn into butter.

  27. I lived in Tangiers for a while and the older arabs would put gobs of sweet fresh butter in their coffee with sugar. Never fancied it myself especially not in 100 degree weather wearing robes.

  28. Canada's food guide took butter off the guide .. well our hospitals are so over crowded and our wait times so long they had to do something so they asked science..science says stop promoting diary and meat.. so they did.

  29. I paused the video to read the nanoscale article and coudn't find the coffee reference, which led me to beleive that I needed more coffee.
    Don't DO that!

  30. What about butter coffee and a small amnt of carbs for breakfast. After the carbs are used up by the body for energy, does the ketosis effect take place and you lose weight too?
    Or should you NEVER combine fat and carbs bc the fat will ALWAYS be stored away?

  31. Y'all need a correction to this video. When a body undergoes gluconeogensis, which yes, is a process that leads to Ketosis, that is, the production of glucose from non carbohydrate sources (fat, protein), glucose is produced, and glucose is the energy source for the cells. Ketones are a waste product that is then shed by the body, the accumulation of which is referred to as ketoacidosis.

  32. wouldn't just putting milk in strong coffee in the morning for breakfast be the same thing but without the expensive hippie foods?

  33. Because I eat low carb/sometimes keto, I'm not hungry until later in the day anyway and often just do one meal. I have never found keto coffee to give me anymore energy than just plain coffee, so don't see the point in the added calories and breaking fast. Just me, glad it works for some!

  34. This is a bullsh*t fad. Eating butter is not healthy, "butter is full of vitamins" for real?!?! That's your message?? Butter and cheese kills people, more than smoking. Carb-based (low-animal-fat, low-protein) diet is healthy, tons of scientific material on this.

  35. Betty Boughter thought she could make her bitter coffee better by buying a bit of butter and mixing it with the bitter coffee, thus making it a better bulletproof buttered coffee

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