I didn’t just get on the hype train, I bought the train and sold tickets.
“Bulletproof™ Coffee! It cranks your metabolism to 11 and makes you smarter, slimmer, healthier, better in every way, and it’s ethical! Ethical AF! Booyah!”
Or something like that.
For those of you who don’t know, Bulletproof™ coffee is a special “upgraded” coffee that, when blended with butter and Bulletproof™ Brain Octane Oil, creates a creamy frothy drink that leaves your mind calm yet alert, your stomach satisfied, and your metabolism revving up for the morning to get some fat burned. Plus, it tastes pretty great.
And it absolutely does work, exactly as described. Ask anyone who has ever tried it and it’s undeniable. Drink this stuff for breakfast and you feel ready to kick butt all morning.
But… Something started bugging me about it. What was so “upgraded” about Bulletproof™ anyway?
I started digging and found out that they use a special process to clean the beans of mold. Mold grows naturally on coffee beans, and yes, it can cause some adverse effects on the human body that ruin the good effects coffee brings. Getting that mold off is good. So, by extension, Bulletproof™ coffee must be better than usual. Right?
Except… They don’t exactly publish the process they use to clean those beans of all that nastiness. They say it’s “Certified Clean Coffee”, although they never say who exactly is certifying it or what “certified clean” even means. They also say it’s “Independently lab tested for 27 performance-robbing toxins”. Okay. Which… Which toxins? Because I mean… Regular coffee is checked for stuff like rat feces and other contaminants all the time.
And then I learned the truth: most coffee is pretty clean.
That mold we were so worried about? It grows on raw, damp coffee beans. Most coffee producers get rid of the stuff that gets moldy before they’ve had a chance to roast it, and the roasting process really does handle the rest. What you’re left with is a clean bean from all but the cheapest of brands.
So if you want an alternative to “upgraded” coffee, just don’t buy your supermarket’s cheapest stuff. I like “Pride of Arabia” that they sell at Zehrs and Loblaws. It’s delicious, and as far as I can tell every bit as good for you as Bulletproof™. Add a little organic butter from grass fed cows (Kerrygold, or here in Canada Liberté, Kiwi Pure, Organic Meadow or Thornloe – see spud.ca) and you’re all set!
But what about the Bulletproof™ Brain Octane Oil? I mean, the stuff is $45.95 USD right now for a small 32 oz bottle. That stuff must be rocket fuel designed by mega-scientists and created with fusion turbo quantum flux capacitors or something!
If you dig far enough, you’ll discover that Bulletproof™ Brain Octane Oil is actually just MCT oil made from coconut, which is how almost all MCT oil on the market is made. They claim higher than usual quality control, but then again, so does everybody.
But what about Brain Octane Oil vs Coconut Oil, since that’s where it comes from anyway?
Coconut oil comes with 4 different kinds of fats. Brain Octane Oil is basically a distilled version that just has one; the best one, apparently. This is why Bulletproof™ claims that Brain Octane Oil is 18x stronger than plain old coconut oil, because it takes out everything but this one special fat – but if you look at how much of it you’re supposed to use, you can get just as much in a tablespoon of coconut oil.
So is it worth it?
Here’s the truth: I just plain don’t know. It’s supposed to give a “cognitive boost”, but not even Bulletproof™ claims the stuff has long-term benefits.
So for my part, I’m going to keep going to Costco for a tub of coconut oil instead. Save myself a ton of money, and limit myself to a few tablespoons of the stuff a day. Plus, this way we have a delicious cooking oil around the house. (Try substituting it for butter on your air-popped popcorn – it tastes amazing!)
But what if you really don’t like the taste of coconut?
No problem, MCT oil has no odor or taste to speak of, and you can add it to your coffee, your food, whatever. There are dozens and dozens of folks making it, so you should be able to find a good one easily at your local health food store. Just avoid the stuff that has lauric acid added – basically it’s a diluted version.
For the record: I still love Bulletproof™ coffee, and putting butter in your morning coffee is a well-known practice that’s been around for ages that gives an undeniable metabolic boost…
… But I think I’m officially off the hype train.