Why Drink Butter Coffee? The Science of Bulletproof Coffee

By Brian Lemay 100 comments

Thanks to Skillshare for sponsoring this video.
“Butter tea, it was never my cup of tea.” Perhaps Austrian Mountaineer Heinrich Harrer
would have liked butter coffee better than the Tibetan Yak Butter tea. Recently, blending
some mixture of fat in your coffee and having that for breakfast has gotten quite popular.
The main version, “Bulletproof coffee” is made by mixing Coffee, Grass Fed Butter
and pure C8 MCT Oil in a blender. This recipe comes from entrepreneur Dave Asprey, who apparently
got the idea after having Yak Butter Tea in Tibet in 2004. Proponents of Bulletproof coffee claim that
the coffee will keep you focused and curb your appetite for hours. While coffee with
a gob of fat may sound like a newfangled trend, the practice of ingesting coffee with fat
was around even before people drank coffee as a beverage. Sometime between 575 and 850
CE, nomadic mountain warriors of the Galla tribe in Ethiopia would combine crushed coffee
beans with animal fat, and snack on that for energy during long treks and warfare. “Excuse me, can I have a butter bar please?” Personally, I can attest to the sustained
energy that comes from ButterProof coffee, but what could be making it so magical? And
should you be replacing your breakfast with it? Before we get into it, it’s necessary to
understand that saturated fat in general is not the enemy that it’s been made out to
be. You also have to know a little bit about ketosis because this is one of the goals of
the coffee. Very briefly, ketosis occurs when you restrict carbohydrate intake enough and
for long enough. When you’ve burned out enough of your carbohydrate stores, your liver
then turns fatty acids from your diet, and from your body fat into ketones. These ketones
are used for energy in the body and brain rather than relying on glucose or carbohydrate. Ketosis has many benefits, physical and mental.
It helps you lose weight and reduces hunger. There’s also evidence that it improves longevity
and healthspan, it suppresses oxidative stress, and it improves cognition and memory. So by doing intermittent fasting or being
on a low carb and high fat diet, your body gets energy primarily from fat rather than
carbohydrate. This allows you to get through the day without blood sugar spikes and crashes,
and you’ll have more stable energy, feel more focused and less hungry. Obviously butter
coffee plays into this because it’s just fat and zero carbs. But there are some other fascinating properties
of butter coffee that help get you into ketosis. First, the caffeine in the coffee actually
helps to boost ketone production, even if you’re not doing a low carb diet. This study from last year in the Canadian
Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology had people fast for 12 hours, then have breakfast.
One group had no caffeine, another had 1 and ½ cups of black coffee, and another had caffeine
pills that were the equivalent of 3 cups of coffee. They found that “Caffeine given
at breakfast significantly stimulated ketone production in a dose-dependent manner.”
So, the more caffeine, the more ketones. This is interesting, because insulin which
is produced in response to eating carbohydrates hinders ketone production, but the subjects’
breakfast was 78% carbohydrate. Though, that doesn’t mean you should drink butter coffee
no matter what your diet is. We can expect that ketone production would have been even
higher if they had the caffeine without carbohydrate. It’s important to drink this with a ketogenic
breakfast, or better yet, with no breakfast at all. If you’re mixing up some grass fed
butter and MCT oil in your coffee and then you have a cream cheese bagel, or bowl of
cereal along with it, you’ll blunt the ketogenic effects of the coffee and store a lot of that
fat on your body. You see, there are two ways you can fill up
fat cells: One is by eating enough carbohydrates to where carbohydrates are stored in the body
as fat through a process called de novo lipogenesis; the other is through a process called re-esterification.
Simply put: re esterification is the process of taking fatty acids and forming them back
into fat, which is then stored in your fat cells. Then, the way you get the fat out of
your fat cells is by breaking down the fat through another process: lipolysis. So, let’s say you’re on a ketogenic diet
and you decide to whir up a bunch of fat in your coffee, and drink it for breakfast while
you read Garfield comics from 1995. Fat’s going to be coming in, but because
the main feature of ketosis is that you use fat for energy, lipolysis is going to be way
up and you’re going to be using the fat from your fat cells and the fat from your
coffee for energy. So that’s not too bad. But if you’re having toast, eggs and potatoes
with your butter coffee, then you’re gonna have some of the carbs stored as fat through
de novo lipogenesis, and actually even more re-esterification will occur and the fat output,
lipolysis, will be low. When you fat with carbs, even more of that
fat goes into your fat cells and you burn less fat because insulin, which is secreted
when you eat carbohydrate, increases re-esterification and inhibits lipolysis. One of the benefits
of bulletproof coffee is that it’s supposed to help you lose weight, but it might do the
opposite if you put sugar in it or have it with carbohydrates. I didn’t realize how big this Butter and
MCT oil coffee trend was getting until I saw that a pre-made version of it hit the shelves
of a convenient store chain here in Tokyo. Unfortunately, the coffee they use is so weak
the drink just tastes like skim milk but… I was impressed that they got the ingredients
right – it’s not just coffee with butter, it actually has grass fed butter and MCT oil
in it. So what’s the deal with the MCT Oil?
MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides, and, compared to long-chain triglycerides,
MCT’s are: -Absorbed quicker and turned into energy more
efficiently -Result in less body fat gain
-They make you feel fuller faster -And, they enhance the production of ketones. So here we have another ingredient that promotes
ketones. There’s a couple different types of MCT’s – c12, c10, c8 and c6 which refers
to the length of the chain. The shorter the chain, the easier it turns into ketones. C6
isn’t usually used because it easily upsets the stomach and apparently smells like goats
– So, pure C8 – caprylic acid, is your best bet for maximum ketone production, but a mix
of C8 and C10 is usually more available and more cost effective. So why the grass-fed butter? Well, Butter
provides great fat soluble Vitamins like Vitamin K2 and Vitamin A and Vitamin E. And studies
suggest grassfed butter has better Vitamin A and E content, higher omega-3’s and higher
levels of the antioxidant glutathione. Though, this is just a nice little bonus- I wouldn’t
say BulletProof coffee is packed with vitamins. So the big point of this fatty coffee is to
boost your ketone production so you can get the benefits of ketosis even when you’re
not super strict on intermittent fasting or eating really low carb. But is it healthy having this every morning? I would say “healthier than what?” If
having this coffee is getting you to keep your blood sugar down and insulin levels low
thanks to it replacing your high carb breakfast, I would say yes, it’s healthier. I’d consider Grass fed butter and MCT oil
a healthy addition to your daily diet for reasons I just discussed, so the question
becomes: is daily coffee consumption healthy? There’s a ton of research on coffee showing
that more coffee consumption increases longevity, reduces diabetes risk and heart disease risk.
Recently, coffee and even decaf coffee have been shown to promote an anti-aging process
called autophagy. But coffee is a very complex beverage that affects all kinds of hormones
and neurotransmitters like Adenosine, Dopamine, Cortisol, Adrenaline, Cholecystokinin and
Gastrin. Coffee has also been shown to produce inflammation. Personally I love butter coffee
and feel great for a couple hours after I drink it, but I feel more calm and content
in general when I don’t have a coffee habit. Recently, I’ve slowly cut my morning coffee
consumption in half over a couple weeks. I get less of a spike in focus, but I’m calmer
and more focused in general throughout the day. Then again, that’s just me. There’s a lot more to say about coffee,
but that’s a great topic for another time. There is one more thing I should mention about
coffee. This June 2012 paper, authored in part by Ryan N. Coffee actually has nothing
to do with coffee, but if coffee is something you like to indulge in on a daily basis, you
might want to know how to make a really good cup. That’s where this video’s sponsor,
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qwerty mnbvc

Oct 10, 2019, 10:57 pm Reply

my chemistry teacher said
c8 chain is gasoline…

At Creed

Oct 10, 2019, 11:24 am Reply

Would a decaf, or half-caf buttered coffee do well?


Oct 10, 2019, 9:13 pm Reply

Coffee, ghee, and a little of heavy whipping cream. That's what I drink in the mornings?

The Next Chapter

Oct 10, 2019, 11:55 am Reply

Dave Asprey DID NOT come up with butter coffee. People were on the internet making butter coffee for years. Dave just gave it a name and marketed it.

Mike Cole

Oct 10, 2019, 6:44 pm Reply

Can someone tell me why not use heavy cream rather than butter. Butter is made (churned) from heavy cream and already in a liquid form. Why butter?

David Hepburn

Oct 10, 2019, 7:37 pm Reply

Absolutely Love your Videos

duku bee

Oct 10, 2019, 4:57 pm Reply

Use high fat milk instead it works.


Oct 10, 2019, 12:02 pm Reply

Like all filtered coffee, butter coffee taste like crap. Drink REAL (pressurized extraction) coffee with steamed full cream milk.


Oct 10, 2019, 10:48 pm Reply

Hey man, you can't convince me to go low carb and skip breakfast and then fill every video about carbs with that pancake B-roll footage. You're actually torturing me.


Oct 10, 2019, 7:40 am Reply

Butter in coffee? Jesus no! Disgusting. A little cream the odd time maybe but butter, ugh!

Farfalla Azzurro

Oct 10, 2019, 11:44 am Reply

Use GHEE !


Oct 10, 2019, 6:12 pm Reply

Would drinking coffee with evaporated milk ( which has high fat content, but minimal sat fat) have the same effect?


Oct 10, 2019, 8:10 pm Reply

Excellent video. I have been doing this and have loss almost 50 pounds. I WORKS and that's a FACT.


Oct 10, 2019, 10:09 pm Reply

I am drinking heavily modified bulletproof coffee every morning
(30g organic raw cold pressed coconut oil, 30g organic cacao butter, 30 grass feed butter and 3 egg yolks)
This rises my ketones level to between 4 and 7 mmol/l
I checked this and rechecked this
Even if I would have 1.5mmol/l when I wake up, I would get to at least 4mmol/l
Today I had 1.5 before coffee, over 6 after coffee, before next meal (which was 6 hours later, as I have had no time today earlier)
My bulletproof coffee is out bulletproof. Nothing can stop it, not alcohol, not fruits, not eating late even fruit, nothing.


Oct 10, 2019, 1:11 am Reply

Oohh I have to use butter instead of blending kevlar with my coffee to make bulletproof coffee.

Val Rawfoodsky

Oct 10, 2019, 8:15 pm Reply

The anti-fat champagne of the last 30-40 years was literally a genocide against people and smb should be taken responsible criminally for it.

Matty Ice

Oct 10, 2019, 3:46 am Reply

Your body cannot burn fat without carbohydrates. The idea of restricting carbs won't help burn fat.


Oct 10, 2019, 4:59 pm Reply

Hitler used to like to eat about 25 to 30 onions a day. He kept a peach basket by his desk at all times full of onions. It is well documented that he did this.

Real Noid

Oct 10, 2019, 6:31 am Reply

Bulletproof coffee works. It’s anti-inflammatory. It also dries you out which means, like alcohol, the more you drink the more you want. That’s the $ secret behind both caffeine & alcohol. It has ppl coming & going. I stopped asthma sprays after a couple of months on BP coffee. I retain it & yet I always want more. That varies from person to person. BP coffee is a meal substitute. It makes you lose weight but it’s also an extreme drink attracting other extremes.

Tim Tao

Oct 10, 2019, 2:38 pm Reply

Oh, so that's where the skillshare comes in. I was wondering about it all along.


Oct 10, 2019, 3:46 pm Reply

I'm on day 18 Keto I've lost 7 pounds and 4 inches off my chest and belly. It works plus I feel great and will live longer.

umang chauhan

Oct 10, 2019, 6:10 pm Reply

Can we do the same with tea instead..


Oct 10, 2019, 10:12 am Reply

Wont all that coffee make your heart pump out your chest ???

R. Mutt

Oct 10, 2019, 8:38 am Reply

Would bulletproof coffee in the morning be helpful for someone who does IF but not keto diet? I want to try having it in the morning (by itself) and then eat my normal meals (with carbs and all) later in the day when I break my fast.

Ivan Cubano

Nov 11, 2019, 7:51 pm Reply

I learned everything from DR. Berg fantastic man in Ketogenic diet.

Liz Gore

Nov 11, 2019, 3:42 am Reply

I added ice cream and made a bullet proof shake.

Dr hæ

Nov 11, 2019, 11:45 pm Reply

Whats up with the blender? I just put a tea spoon with butter in the coffe and let it melt.

Earnest Emu

Nov 11, 2019, 4:17 am Reply

So If I am having a low carb breakfast, round 8gram, Can I have them together, or is it a must to


Uchiha Wolf

Nov 11, 2019, 5:18 am Reply

Can I safely use a nutribullet to mix the coffee, butter and oil?

Mohammadkarim Tahmasbi

Nov 11, 2019, 9:11 am Reply

I have gotten rid of my coffee consumption altogether and, as you also said, I'm calmer. I'm so calm that I wouldn't exchange it for any other thing.

Forest Walker

Nov 11, 2019, 9:22 pm Reply

I see he uses Kerry gold butter, it’s really delicious.

Jack Snyder

Nov 11, 2019, 3:14 pm Reply

What is C.E. ? Please enough P. C. Let's use A.D. and B.C.

Kris van den Ende

Nov 11, 2019, 10:04 am Reply

What is that shot form with the guy pushing that car (Citroen 2CV)?

Sean McGinn

Nov 11, 2019, 2:51 pm Reply

Can I use strong matcha, coconut oil and MCT drops?


Nov 11, 2019, 1:51 am Reply

What about using regular organic coconut oil instead of MCT? Is this as effective as MCT?

H Browning

Nov 11, 2019, 4:43 pm Reply

Ok, all that if you are a mountain climber, an elite athlete, or going to war with the neighboring tribe, but if you are going to the office and trying to lose weight – don't do this.

Disciple of Christ

Nov 11, 2019, 1:29 pm Reply

Refer to the man himself…the keto king Dr BERG

Mao Danz

Nov 11, 2019, 8:08 pm Reply

Just realize your minerals like magnesium calcium etc thats why i slam a multi and mineral supplement dont eat grains and bread !!!!!

The Bacon Experiment

Nov 11, 2019, 11:47 pm Reply

No reason or benefit to even add extra fats to your coffee, this prevents you from burning your own bodyfat for 3 hours. So for weight loss its a no go.


Nov 11, 2019, 1:33 am Reply

I will stick with my heavy cream. Butter does not go that well in coffee…

Nonya Damnbusiness

Nov 11, 2019, 3:09 pm Reply

Thanks, I'll stick with heavy cream, 35% fat, 0% carbs.


Nov 11, 2019, 4:47 pm Reply

they where fasting, so what about the effect of that?

Jody Grantham

Nov 11, 2019, 2:22 am Reply

Excellent video, but I think the fake mouse click sounds were unnecessary.


Nov 11, 2019, 6:02 pm Reply

Magical Bean Elixir sounds way cooler than coffee

Jimmy White

Nov 11, 2019, 12:12 am Reply

Coffee is great with organic real butter,especially on a carnivore diet eating only 1 meal in 24 hours! 11 months on carnivore & lost 54 lbs.& feel Great!!!?

Tall Paul

Nov 11, 2019, 5:41 pm Reply

So drink black coffee and fast until about 12:00. Then don’t eat crappy food and stop eating by 7:00 pm guaranteed to lose weight and have more energy! ✌???


Nov 11, 2019, 8:08 am Reply

what if you're one of 15% of people who fall asleep from caffeine consumption…. plus butter puts me to sleep as well….

Carl Lelandt

Nov 11, 2019, 8:43 am Reply

Cream in coffee (and tea etc) is nothing new.. Adding butter is "taking it to the next level," as they say.. The butterfat is diluted, in cream, but is almost pure butterfat as butter.


Nov 11, 2019, 1:11 pm Reply

What a joke! Let's drink to our health by clogging our arteries with butter while clamping them down with caffeine from coffee. You go right ahead. No thanks.

mike bike

Nov 11, 2019, 5:04 am Reply

If I have bullet proof coffee at 8 in the morning and then within an hour, have a fresh squeezed juice of apple, beets, carrots, cucumber and celery, would that be too much carbs and store fat?
I won’t eat anything for at least another 3 hrs.


Nov 11, 2019, 6:26 pm Reply

Love consuming this drink. I also drink butter tea and cocoa.
Never drink any sodas

Ruslan Pseunok

Nov 11, 2019, 1:08 pm Reply

Sorry, where did you find grass fed butter in Japan? Can’t find it!!! ???

Luke Johnson

Nov 11, 2019, 9:27 pm Reply

Needing something to be healthy sounds rather contradictory


Nov 11, 2019, 3:18 pm Reply

What kind of grass fed butter do you buy in Tokyo?

Terkel Algevind

Nov 11, 2019, 4:15 pm Reply

I plan on doing keto when i start getting paid after 10 years of no pay… Cannabisbutter coffee ftw <3

Michael Phillips

Nov 11, 2019, 8:55 pm Reply

Your Welcome!

Wimpy Denton

Nov 11, 2019, 2:48 pm Reply

I don't trust that…
If the WORLD writes about it I really don't trust it

Raymond Cortes

Nov 11, 2019, 8:33 am Reply

I put heavy cream in coffee, LOVE IT…

Brenda B.

Nov 11, 2019, 10:58 am Reply

Bullet proof tea?

Blump King

Nov 11, 2019, 2:42 pm Reply

Shut up hipster

IW Nunn

Nov 11, 2019, 10:35 pm Reply

I'd much rather drink heart attack proof coffee

williams milton

Nov 11, 2019, 12:36 am Reply

I know you guys can't be serious butter in your coffee sounds and taste nasty

Ric Nyc

Nov 11, 2019, 2:03 am Reply

Well.. DUH!
Milk has caprylic acid and fat (butter) naturally.
Why don't you folks just drink coffee with regular milk?

Tiny House Girl

Nov 11, 2019, 6:45 am Reply

The only carbs was the toast. Eggs and other meat is low/no carb.

Jane Hardy

Nov 11, 2019, 10:30 am Reply

Butter coffee is just coffee with cream that has been agitated beyond all endurance.

Vilma Peshkepia

Nov 11, 2019, 6:30 pm Reply



Nov 11, 2019, 10:44 pm Reply

0:47 why are we phrasing like this as if cream isn’t fat…

natureboy tom

Nov 11, 2019, 11:33 pm Reply

Ive been doing this for ages, coffee, cream and honey. OMG. I can not drink coffee at a cafe', they dont have a clue.

Aneta Johnson

Nov 11, 2019, 4:21 am Reply

Im game! ill try it. But if I get a heart atteck from all the fat, Im gonna haunt you from the other side!.

Darren Sauceda

Nov 11, 2019, 8:45 am Reply

I put a plate of grass in front of a stick of butter a week ago. Apparently my butter dose not like grass. Who knew !


Nov 11, 2019, 10:21 am Reply

A lot is left out and oversimplified to make video simpler. But ketogenesis usually starts after 2-3days after all blood glucose drops under a certain value. Any nutritionist or doctor worth it's salt will tell you that balance in everything you do is the best strategy in life. And that is also true in what you eat.

David Lopez

Nov 11, 2019, 2:53 pm Reply

I'm not sure if it's just me but I can't operate normally with coffee (I start shaking, can't work or focus) and fat immediately causes acne in me. Coffee with butter would probably kill me. I'll stick to, no side effects and scientifically healthy, green tea. Thanks ?

Courtney Whitaker

Nov 11, 2019, 3:40 am Reply

1:10 Butterproof coffee?


Nov 11, 2019, 1:05 pm Reply

Glucose is still in circulation. Liver converts fats into ketones and glucose.

George Newell

Nov 11, 2019, 8:36 pm Reply

How much butter can I have in a day


Nov 11, 2019, 12:30 am Reply

Moderation. Great video.


Nov 11, 2019, 2:25 pm Reply

Better ! Drink black coffee + optional sweeter and skip any breakfast, brunch, dinner at all! Intermittent Fasting is much better form of consumption of food.

leda morales

Nov 11, 2019, 4:00 am Reply

Do a video of coffee please ?

Based Bear

Nov 11, 2019, 5:20 pm Reply

Why not just use half n half? That's what I use while on keto

James Mathis

Nov 11, 2019, 6:53 pm Reply

And even though I am a little hungry, I am going beyond my 11:00 AM breakfast time, goal, 1:00 PM. making for an 18.5 hr fast!

JBL Asutavario

Nov 11, 2019, 11:33 am Reply

I love Meet Joe Black


Nov 11, 2019, 4:49 pm Reply

OK so does the doctor come back a with a cholesterol issue from the dairy products?

Jhnharold Pada

Nov 11, 2019, 12:57 pm Reply

Does it gonna break my Intermittent fasting if i drink this?

Thomas Krafft

Nov 11, 2019, 9:41 pm Reply

You can say ‘C.E.’ but it still remains true that you center dates around Jesus Christ’ life.

Kevin Parratt

Dec 12, 2019, 1:17 am Reply

The low, or zero carb diets, are full of fats. This goes against everything I have read about what not to eat for a healthy prostate gland.


Dec 12, 2019, 1:18 pm Reply

Cofee or tea with any flavored gelatin usually strawberry; melon, very rare is papaya. And the best: tea with Anise. Coffee with butter or chocolate candies. But, the best is hot barako coffee with dry fish "tuyo" from Phil

Tyler Francis

Dec 12, 2019, 3:08 am Reply

I’ve been drinking this the past few days to kick coffee creamer and try out keto(also restricting carbs) and I’m actually finding that I am starting to like the unsweetened coffee and not having cravings for sugar as often in general.

Suiseki John Miller

Dec 12, 2019, 5:57 pm Reply



Dec 12, 2019, 11:34 pm Reply

Interesting so I just made my morning joe with Ghee, should be even better for you then butter no?

Old armymedic Bill

Dec 12, 2019, 2:51 pm Reply

A pinch of cinnamon added to the ground coffee makes it even better . Adding whipped cream and it is heaven .

Merita King

Dec 12, 2019, 9:31 pm Reply

Coffee with fat, aka milky coffee.

Lee Tyler

Dec 12, 2019, 1:13 pm Reply

50 pounds lost with IF. This vid is very informative to those that are ignorant. Well put.

Delphinium Flower

Dec 12, 2019, 8:02 pm Reply

Wouldn't it be better to just drink black coffee alone for breakfast?

Saleh Alsaegh

Dec 12, 2019, 11:39 pm Reply

How is this any different from a full fat latte ??‍♂️

The Helm

Dec 12, 2019, 11:50 am Reply

what about the milk solids in the butter

should it not be grass fed ghee?
also the coffee information is inverted ,as such
coffee ,even in high doses can be healhfull

ONLY OCCAISIONALY drunk (not every day)
also acrimides in the roasting of coffee are more pernicious than smoking

so its green coffee we need to be drinking

Michael Hughes

Dec 12, 2019, 8:32 pm Reply

Around 3:28 it was like you were saying that adding butter to coffee means you are adding carbohydrates. I think butter has no carbohydrates at all, and what you are doing is increasing the calories, in the form of fat (the butter).

Gamina Wulfsdottir

Dec 12, 2019, 4:13 am Reply

1:08 He said "Butter-proof coffee."


Dec 12, 2019, 3:30 pm Reply

I'm lactose intolerant as heck so I use unsweetened coconut cream, coconut oil and an unsweetened creamer for taste ✌


Dec 12, 2019, 5:44 pm Reply

On reason I do "dirty" keto is that everyone lies. You can pay for grass-fed beef but get grass-fed but grain-grain finished beef. The same with Kerrygold butter. You are are probably not getting what you pay for so why do it. You don't need "clean keto" anyway unless it is to impress your friends or someone on YouTube.

Joel Gehrke

Dec 12, 2019, 7:33 pm Reply

Lose Brad Pitt. We’re dudes.

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