Residents of Leawood, Kansas, have something a little more savory to sip on today as “Enjoy,” a café by Mission Farms, has finally opened its doors. Patrons are flocking to the shop to try a unique product known as “bulletproof coffee.” Bulletproof coffee is more than just your standard cup of joe. It’s been infused with MCT oil and is served with butter in place of cream. This buttery beverage isn’t exclusive to residents of Kansas, as this fad seems to have taken America by storm. Ever since the silicon valley entrepreneur, Dave Asprey, announced that bulletproof coffee was going to help him live to be 180 years old, stores retailing the product have been popping up all over the United States. Just what exactly are the health benefits of bulletproof coffee? Are the claims founded?
Dave Asprey claims that he was hiking in the Himalayas when he was overcome with altitude sickness. A local resident observed his struggle and brought him a cup of Yak milk, which immediately cured his ailments. It was this specific event that motivated him to spend many years developing what would eventually become bulletproof coffee. The product, according to him, needs to be made with very specific ingredients. The butter must be grass fed, as corn feed produces butter high in omega-6 fatty acids. You must use their special brand of “Brain Octane” MCT oil. The coffee beans need to be specifically selected to ensure that they are free of Mycotoxins. If you follow all of those directions to a tee, then you should have a tasty beverage that provides you with a longer lasting energy.
There are some merits to these claims. Evidence supports that fact that fats, just like butter, can help with the absorption of caffeine. MCT oil, which is also a fat, is very easily absorbed by the body and converted into energy. Sugar, commonly viewed as one of the fastest sources of energy, takes 25 metabolic steps to process. MCT oil only takes 3. Since this drink is intended to be essentially your only breakfast, having a source of calories for your body is pretty important to effectively start your day off right.
Other parts of Dave’s claims don’t add up quite as well. For starters, grass fed butter is not essential. While large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids can be bad for you, the small amounts you are putting in your coffee will not make much of a difference. Most of our diet is already composed of omega-6 fatty acids, and the butter will still serve its purpose as an energy source. The extremely expensive version of “Brain Octane” that Dave sells is no different from any generic brand of MCT oil. But the most unfounded claim that Dave made was in regard to the coffee beans. He believes that, due to poor storage and processing, inexpensive coffee beans are full of dangerous “Mycotoxins” that can have a severely negative impact on your health. Mycotoxins are a metabolite of mold, and in some circumstances they can have an impact on your health. However, these are very easy to test for and avoid. All food sold in the United States needs to be manufactured following the regulations of the FDA, and they have rules in place to prevent mycotoxins from building up. To claim that virtually all of the coffee producers in the country are blatantly ignoring the basic legal requirements of their business is highly unfounded. If mycotoxins were present in the levels that Dave claims, a mass recall would have to go into effect.
Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For those of us who would prefer something that we can simply grab and go, bulletproof coffee is a great option. It not only provides us with the caffeine boost we seek, but it supplies our bodies with an easy source of energy. As with any new fad, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the marketing hype. Since bulletproof coffee is such a simple three-ingredient recipe, save yourself a couple dollars and make it yourself.
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