Coffee has become an extremely popular beverage across the world, with people consuming it on a daily basis. While many enjoy their coffee black, some choose to enhance the flavor by adding ingredients like sugar, cream, or milk. However, a unique coffee trend has emerged in recent years – adding a pat of butter to coffee.
This unconventional practice, known as bulletproof coffee or butter coffee, was popularized in Silicon Valley and among biohackers. It involves blending grass-fed unsalted butter or ghee into black coffee to create a creamy, latte-like beverage. Proponents of butter coffee claim that it provides a variety of cognitive and health benefits beyond a normal cup of joe.
Adding butter to coffee may seem counterintuitive, but advocates say the fats help curb hunger and provide sustained energy. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in butter and coconut oil also may improve mental clarity and focus.
This article “Why Put Butter in Coffee” will explore the origins, preparation, and purported benefits of butter coffee. It delves into the science behind the fat-fueled coffee while analyzing its potential weight loss and brain-boosting effects. The potential downsides and concerns will also be addressed.
- Key aspects covered include:
- Background and history of butter coffee
- Ingredients used like grass-fed butter, MCT oil
- How to prepare butter coffee properly
- Health and cognitive benefits
- Impact on energy, hunger, and weight loss
- Ketosis and use of exogenous ketones
- Potential concerns and side effects
By the end, readers will have a comprehensive understanding of this unique beverage and whether adding butter to coffee is worth trying for themselves.
Key Takeaways: Why Put Butter in Coffee
|Key Takeaways on Butter Coffee|
|1. Provides steady energy and mental clarity from healthy fats like MCTs|
|2. May help with weight loss by reducing appetite and boosting fat burning|
|3. Use a 1:1 ratio of butter/MCT oil to coffee and blend until emulsified|
|4. Potential downsides are high saturated fat and digestive issues|
|5. Worth trying for potential energy, cognitive, and weight loss benefits|
Background on Butter Coffee
While butter coffee may seem like a recent health fad, the practice of mixing butter into coffee has a long history spanning over a thousand years.
- The earliest origins can be traced back to ancient Ethiopia in the 9th century, where people would often blend coffee grounds with clarified butter or ghee. This combination was found to provide a boost of energy and mental clarity.
- In the Middle Ages, populations throughout the Himalayas and Tibet discovered benefits of adding yak butter to coffee. The beverage became a common morning ritual to start the day before long treks at high altitudes.
- Mixing butter and coffee is still customary in many parts of Asia today. For example, in Malaysia and Singapore, “Kopi Gu You” is made by adding a slice of butter on top of sweetened condensed milk coffee.
The recent popularity of butter coffee in the West can be attributed to Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof. After traveling to Tibet in 2004 and trying yak butter tea, he began experimenting with adding butter to coffee for cognitive benefits.
- Asprey claims he lost 100 pounds and increased his IQ by 20 points after starting his butter coffee routine. This inspired him to share it with Silicon Valley tech workers looking to biohack their brains.
- By 2009, Asprey launched his signature Bulletproof Coffee made with grass-fed unsalted butter and MCT oil. It became a staple beverage among biohackers and keto dieters.
The high-fat coffee drink took off as it aligned with several health trends – the rise of ketogenic and paleo diets, interest in nootropics and smart drugs, and the popularity of intermittent fasting.
- Keto and paleo followers used butter coffee to get an energy boost while staying in ketosis. The fats helped curb hunger during fasting periods.
- Biohackers added MCT oil hoping to power up mental performance and focus. The butter provided creamy texture and flavor.
So while butter coffee may seem like a modern fad, its origins trace back centuries. The combination of butter and coffee continues to be popular worldwide thanks to its purported energy and cognitive benefits.
Benefits of Adding Butter to Coffee
Adding butter or ghee to coffee may seem unconventional, but studies show it can provide several health and cognitive benefits supported by scientific research.
Provides Sustained Energy
- The fats in butter are broken down slowly, leading to steady energy over a few hours rather than a quick spike and crash from sugar or cream.
- Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) from butter or coconut oil fuel the body and brain. MCTs are easily digested and absorbed, providing quick and efficient energy.
- The combination of caffeine and MCTs can improve mental clarity, focus, and performance on cognitive tasks compared to coffee alone according to some studies.
May Help With Weight Loss
- Fats are satiating, which reduces appetite and overall calorie intake throughout the day. One study found MCT oil consumption decreased food intake by 256 calories per day.
- Ketones produced from MCTs may increase fat burning. A study found MCT oil boosted fat burning by 120 calories per day compared to olive oil.
- Replacing carbs with the fats in butter coffee can help the body enter nutritional ketosis, which promotes fat burning.
Improves Cognitive Function
- MCTs can be used directly by the brain for fuel and may improve focus and mental clarity. One study showed improved cognition in Alzheimer’s patients after MCT supplementation.
- Ketones provide an alternative energy source for the brain and can improve cognitive performance in those with impaired glucose metabolism according to studies.
- The caffeine in coffee combined with MCTs provides a synergistic effect on brain function.
Contains Beneficial Nutrients
- Grass-fed butter has vitamins A, D, E, K2, and CLA. Grass-fed butter is higher in antioxidants like vitamin E compared to grain-fed.
- Ghee made from butter contains butyrate and lauric acid which have antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
- MCTs have antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Lauric acid in coconut oil is effective against harmful pathogens like candida.
May Protect Brain Health
- Ketones may protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. MCTs improved cognition in Alzheimer’s patients in one study.
- A study found MCTs increased good HDL cholesterol while lowering inflammatory markers in the blood. This could reduce risk of dementia.
- The combination of caffeine and MCTs may protect against cognitive decline. More research is still needed in this area.
By adding butter or MCT oil to coffee, people can enjoy sustained energy, fat burning, and cognitive benefits supported by scientific studies. The ketones and healthy fats make this unconventional coffee drink worth trying.
How to Add Butter to Your Coffee
Adding butter or MCT oil to your coffee is simple with just a few key steps:
You’ll need grass-fed unsalted butter or ghee, and optionally coconut oil or MCT oil. Many recommend using grass-fed butter specifically as it has a better nutritional profile.
Pour the hot coffee into a high-speed blender like a Vitamix or Bulletproof Blender. Let coffee cool slightly before adding butter to prevent burning or separating.
Aim for 1-2 tbsp of butter or ghee and 1 tbsp of MCT oil per cup of coffee. Start with less if new to butter coffee.
Blend ingredients for 30-60 seconds until mixture becomes emulsified and frothy with a latte-like texture.
Store blended butter coffee in an airtight container in the fridge. The fat can separate, so shake or reblend before drinking.
Cinnamon, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, or collagen peptides can be added for flavor. Sweeteners like stevia may also be used.
If butter separates, use an immersion blender to re-emulsify. Reduce amount of fat if it causes digestive issues.
Properly preparing butter coffee ensures maximum emulsification so you get the full energy, cognitive, and health benefits. Experiment with different beans, fat ratios, and flavors to create your perfect cup.
While butter coffee may offer some benefits, there are a few potential downsides to consider:
High in Saturated Fat
Butter and coconut oil are high in saturated fat. This may negatively impact heart health, so moderation is key if at risk for heart disease.
High fat intake can cause digestive issues like diarrhea. Start with small amounts of butter or MCT oil to allow your body to adjust.
Technically breaks a fast, so limit intake if practicing intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating.
Easy to consume excess calories if drinking multiple cups per day. Be mindful of overall calorie intake.
Butter can contain mycotoxins if made from poor quality dairy. Opt for high-quality grass-fed butter.
Sensitivity to Dairy
Those with a dairy allergy or sensitivity may experience issues with butter coffee.
To mitigate concerns, moderate your intake and choose high quality ingredients. Speak to your doctor before trying if you have any medical conditions. While butter coffee may not be for everyone, proper preparation can maximize benefits and reduce side effects.
Alternatives to Butter
Some alternatives to butter that can be added to coffee include:
- Coconut oil
- MCT oil
- Nut butters like almond or cashew butter
- Full-fat coconut milk
- Collagen peptides
- Cacao butter
Coconut oil and MCT oil are popular dairy-free alternatives to butter that can provide creamy texture and healthy fats. Nut butters like almond butter can also add creaminess. Full-fat coconut milk adds richness, while collagen peptides provide protein. Cacao butter imparts hints of chocolate flavor.
Adding butter or MCT oil to coffee may seem unusual, but it offers several potential health and cognitive benefits supported by scientific research.
The healthy fats like medium-chain triglycerides provide sustained energy and mental clarity while helping to curb hunger. This unique beverage has become popular among biohackers, keto dieters, and Silicon Valley executives.
However, butter coffee is not for everyone. Those at risk of heart disease should moderate their saturated fat intake. It can also cause digestive issues if consuming too much fat too quickly.
To enjoy the perks of butter coffee, use grass-fed butter and start with small amounts. Blend using a high-powered blender for a smooth, emulsified texture. The ketones and MCTs make this unconventional coffee drink worth experimenting with.
By the end, readers will have a comprehensive understanding of the potential upsides and downsides to adding butter to coffee. The cognitive and energy boosting effects make butter coffee an intriguing beverage to try, especially for biohackers, keto adherents, and those seeking improved focus.
Q1: Why add butter to coffee?
Adding butter or MCT oil to coffee provides healthy fats for energy and focus. The fats help with cognitive function, sustained energy, and potential weight loss.
Q2: What kind of butter is best for butter coffee?
Grass-fed unsalted butter or ghee is recommended, as it has a better nutritional profile. Grass-fed butter contains more omega-3s and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
Q3: How much butter should you add to coffee?
A good starting ratio is 1-2 tablespoons of butter per cup of coffee. You can also add 1 tablespoon of MCT oil. Start with less if new to butter coffee.
Q4: Does adding butter break your fast?
Technically yes, adding calories from fat will break your fast. Limit butter coffee intake to 1 cup if doing intermittent fasting.
Q5: Is butter coffee good for weight loss?
The fats may help boost fat burning and curb appetite, aiding weight loss. But calories still need to be controlled to see weight loss results.
Q6: Are there any negatives to drinking butter coffee?
Potential downsides include high saturated fat for those at risk of heart disease. Too much fat may also cause digestive issues like diarrhea initially.
Q7: How do you make butter coffee at home?
Brew coffee, let cool slightly, add butter and/or MCT oil, then blend for 30-60 seconds until emulsified and frothy. Store in fridge.
Q8: Can you use coconut oil instead of butter?
Yes, coconut oil can be used instead of butter for those who want a vegan or dairy-free option. It provides MCTs.
Q9: Does butter coffee boost ketosis?
The fats can help boost ketone production and get into temporary nutritional ketosis without strict keto dieting. Exogenous ketones also help.
Q10: Is butter coffee a fad or does it have real benefits?
Butter coffee has scientifically-backed benefits for energy, cognition, and more. It’s popular for a reason among keto and paleo adherents.
Simon is a coffee enthusiast who has spent years exploring the world of coffee. He has a deep passion for the art of brewing and enjoys experimenting with different brewing methods to create the perfect cup of coffee. His love for coffee has led him to become an expert in the field, and he is known for his meticulous attention to detail when it comes to selecting and brewing the perfect cup. Simon is also an avid traveler who loves incorporating new flavors and techniques into his brewing.