Disclaimer: Bulletproof products have been provided to me for the purpose of this review by Bulletproof as free samples. This has not influenced my review and the opinions expressed in this post are my own. Bulletproof is one of the sponsors in our KetoDiet Challenges contributing a package of Ground Coffee, Brain Octane Oil, protein powder, mug and t-shirt to all 5 winners.
Most of you are familiar with Bulletproof coffee aka BPC - Instagram and other social media are flooded with pictures of mugs filled with frothy coffee. For those who are new to it, it's a blend of coffee and healthy fats, including grass-fed butter (more omega 3s than grain-fed) and MCTs.
Adding fat to coffee may sound odd but it's surprisingly delicious. Contrary to common belief, it won't make your coffee oily and if you blend it well, you'll get amazingly creamy coffee. Although BPC is not for everyone, it can be used as a supplement as part of a healthy ketogenic diet.
What is Bulletproof Coffee?
Although for most people, bulletproof coffee (BPC) refers to a cup of any "butter coffee", the original BPC was created by Dave Asprey of Bulletproof. It's made with high-quality coffee beans and is known for having the lowest mold toxin levels. As I found out myself, it tastes amazing even without sweeteners or cream. In fact, I can drink it black without anything added to it.
If you are interested in the science behind Bulletproof Coffee and how it's produced, have a look at this post on Dave Asprey's blog.
Is BPC Suitable for Everyone?
BPC may be a great addition to your diet, but it's not for everyone.
- If you are sensitive to caffeine and/ or MCTs, avoid drinking BPC or try alternatives. Use green tea, matcha or herbal tea instead of coffee - and virgin coconut oil instead of MCT supplements.
- If you are trying to lose weight and you're stuck at a weight loss plateau, try skipping BPC for a few days. While for some people BPC helps suppress hunger, others may end up eating extra calories. Keep in mind that calories do count and a cup of BPC is at least 200 calories (kcal).
Variations of BPC
Apart from the traditional BPC, you can try some of the following variations that I created:
- Bulletproof Matcha Latte for those who don't drink coffee. Apart from matcha, you can use any of your favourite tea.
- You can add some healthy fats such as butter, coconut oil or Brain Octane Oil to my Chai Tea Latte and prepare it just like BPC.
What Are MCTs?
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are extracted from coconut oil. They're known to improve brain function and support ketosis. In most supplements, the taste is neutral and you won't be able to detect it when used in recipes. There are three main products on the market: MCT Oil, XCT Oil and Brain Octane Oil.
There are different types of MCTs: caproic acid (C6), caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10) and lauric acid (C12). Apart from C6, which is best avoided (it tastes bad and is more likely to cause digestive discomfort), MCTs can be beneficial.
Coconut oil contains mostly C12 (about 50%), while MCT oil blends are made of C8 and C10. That's why it's good to include both in your diet.
XCT oil (also available in the UK) is a product developed by Bulletproof and it's a blend of two MCTs: C8 and C10. Compared to Brain Octane Oil, which costs twice as much as XCT oil, it's an affordable product and it's good to start with if you are planning to use MCTs as a supplement.
Brain Octane Oil
Brain Octane Oil (also available in the UK) from Bulletproof is made with pure C8. It provides a quick source of energy and maximum cognitive benefits. I could tell the difference when I started adding it in my coffee and smoothies, as I experienced an immediate energy boost which can be really helpful if you just started following the ketogenic diet and feel tired (remember, it take 3-4 weeks to get keto-adapted). I don't use it every day but it helps having some before going to gym or when I need to work and concentrate.
When I first tried MCT oil a while ago, I didn't know about the potential side effects and digestive discomfort. If you are new to MCTs, make sure you start with a small amount (such as a teaspoon) and gradually add more to avoid stomachache and/ or diarrhoea.
Uses of MCTs in Recipes
Both MCT oil (or XCT oil by Bulletproof) and Brain Octane Oil can be used in a variety of recipes - they can be used interchangeably. Start with small amounts and add more once you get used to it.
Apart from making coffee and matcha latte, you can use MCTs in several other recipes:
Step-By-Step Guide to BPC
Nutritional values (per serving)
|of which Saturated||20.9||grams|
|Magnesium||7||mg (2% RDA)|
|Potassium||119||mg (6% EMR)|
Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (0%), protein (1%), fat (99%).
Ingredients (makes 1 serving)
Note: you can use up to 2 tablespoons of Brain Octane Oil and up to 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Keep in mind that BPC takes time to get used to. Start with small amounts so your digestive tract can get used to it. If using Brain Octane Oil, start with 1 tsp and gradually add more.
- Brew the coffee using your your preferred method (I recommend French press). To make one serving, use 2 1/2 tablespoons (13 g/ 0.4 oz) of ground coffee and a cup (240 ml/ 8 fl oz) of water. Place the ground coffee into the French press. Bring the water to a boil and let it cool for a minute. Pour the water into the French press and stir vigorously. Depending on the preferred strength, steep for 2-4 minutes. Then, press the plunger all the way down.
- Pour your freshly brewed coffee in a blender or a heat-proof jar (if using immersion blender). Add butter, Octane Oil, and any suggested optional ingredients. Pulse until smooth and frothy. If you're not using all the coffee at once, do not leave it in the French press. Instead, pour it into a jar or a thermal carafe or thermal mug to keep it warm.
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