“For more than 7 years, I have started the day with a cup of Bulletproof coffee, using the extra energy to hack my body and build this blog while blowing the doors off my career in Silicon Valley.” –Dave Asprey
What is Bulletproof coffee?
It’s a concoction made famous by Dave Asprey of bulletproofexec.com. The recipe is basically “upgraded” black coffee blended with unsalted grass-fed butter and MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) oil. Sounds nasty, but the claim is that it improves mental focus and clarity while providing a good source of healthy fats in your diet. I’ve never tried it in its prescribed recipe, but I’ve heard people say that it tastes pretty good too. Check out this article if you’d like to read more details. This form of coffee has become particularly popular in the Paleo community recently with many health-conscious folks doing their best to steer clear of processed foods and added sugars. So if you’re a coffee-lover, this sounds like a good deal. You get to drink great-tasting coffee without the downside of artificial creamers or sugar.
To be fair, the ingredients are superior to a typical coffee obtained from a fast food drive thru.
Let’s examine them. Black coffee in itself is a very healthy zero-calorie beverage. As we all know, it contains caffeine which, in moderation, has quite a few benefits including mobilizing fatty acids from fat cells into the bloodstream so that they can be used for energy. This is why I find coffee great as a pre-workout drink. It also contains micronutrients such as Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin) which helps partition nutrients from food, Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid) which supports your digestive tract and adrenal glands, and magnesium which supports heart function. Further, coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the modern American diet. Antioxidants are huge in the prevention of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Grass fed butter is a powerhouse of vitamins including A, D, E and K. In addition, it helps the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. It also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is anti-carcinogenic and aids in fat metabolism. Finally, MCT oil is an easily-digested healthy fat that is a fast-acting and long-lasting energy source. Combine all three of these ingredients and you get an energy-boosting, micronutrient-rich, filling and tasty drink that makes you feel like Superman. Sounds too good to be true, right? Actually, there is a catch. A pretty big one, too. The calories. Anyone who has read this blog knows that I emphasize generating a calorie deficit because this is the only way to experience fat loss. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to count calories, but it does mean that you need to have a certain degree of awareness as to what you are consuming and how that affects your calorie balance.
Back to the catch: a cup of Bulletproof coffee will set you back several hundred calories.
I’ve seen estimates of between 400 and 800 (depending on how much butter and MCT oil you use). These are not free calories. And calories matter when it comes to fat loss so if you decide to drink Bulletproof coffee, then be prepared to sacrifice calories elsewhere if you don’t want to gain weight. Personally, I’d rather spend my calories eating a real meal than a cup of coffee. Especially if we’re talking about a third of my calories for the entire day! But since I work a desk job crunching numbers, I love the boost that a good cup of coffee gives to my morning. I also still want to enjoy the benefits described in the second paragraph. So I made a compromise. After all, life is all about compromise. Enter low calorie bulletproof coffee.
Here is how it works.
Instead of the butter and MCT oil, I use about a teaspoon of organic coconut butter. Unlike coconut oil, coconut butter is made from actual coconut flesh. It’s a great source of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), essential amino acids and fiber. The key is to use the highest quality coconut butter. I absolutely loved this brand called Artisana. Try it out. Also, I’m not affiliated with them in any way. It’s just a product I really like. Next, I use stevia instead of sugar to sweeten the coffee. Stevia is superior to other sweeteners because it’s calorie-free and natural. Added sugar is no good and neither are artificial zero-calorie sweeteners. Both of these can cause all kinds of health issues. Since I drink coffee almost daily, I like it to taste good without compromising my health.
So once again, I use the best of the best when it comes to the type of stevia I choose. I use SweetLeaf stevia because with this brand, no chemicals are used in the extraction of the stevia plant. Also, there are no additives or “natural flavors” that some other stevia brands contain. There are only two ingredients: stevia extract and inulin: a natural vegetable fiber which promotes healthy gut bacteria. Again, no affiliation with this product. I just try to use the best ingredients to make my low calorie Bulletproof coffee. With a zero glycemic index, SweetLeaf will not cause insulin spikes like sugar. So you don’t need to worry about compromising your fat-burning status. So there you have it: Artisana raw organic coconut butter and SweetLeaf stevia in your coffee! Wanna hear the best part?
This cup of coffee (with one teaspoon of coconut butter and one packet of stevia) clocks in at 47 calories.
Compare this with the several hundred you get with a traditional Bulletproof coffee. I drink my low calorie Bulletproof coffee almost every morning. It honestly feels like it goes straight to my brain within seconds and it really does a great job of getting me energized and focused. The other amazing effect is that it curbs my hunger for a couple of hours. Instead of breakfast, I usually have a cup around 10am as prescribed in my diet ebook Afternoon Delight Diet. Since the calories are so minimal, it basically keeps my morning fast intact (not technically, I know). But then, I’m good to go until lunch time. Sometimes, I can even make it until 2 or 3pm without feeling hungry. Bottom line is: if you want the benefits of Bulletproof coffee, but don’t want the calories that go with it, try my low calorie Bulletproof coffee alternative!
In this video, I discuss the ingredients I use to make my low calorie Bulletproof coffee: