Sunday August 20 2017

Buttered Coffee: Because Sugar and Cream are so 2013

While the Los Angeles Lakers may have fallen from the era of consistent playoff contention, their head nutritionist ensures that they still consume a breakfast fit for champions. From recent news, it appears that this now consists of a large dollop of butter dropped into their mugs of morning brew. As off-putting as the idea of it sounds, the Lakersí management arenít the only ones swearing by the concoction dubbed “Bulletproof Coffee”.

According to its creator, entrepreneur Dave Asprey, this mix of coffee beans, oil, and butter is guaranteed to give you long-lasting energy and mental clarity without the eventual crash brought about by regular coffee. Furthermore, he claims that the long-term consumption of this beverage will aid with weight loss. This stroke of ingenuity hit Asprey when he was in Tibet. Driven nearly mad by his exhaustion from hiking in the Himalayas, he happened up a group of locals who served him tea creamed with yak butter. The sense of rejuvenation he felt upon consuming his beverage led him to further research the merit of adding butter to drinks. The recipe for the culmination of his efforts is as follows:

–    2 cups of hot coffee brewed with low-toxin beans
–    1 to 2 tablespoons medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil
–    2 tablespoons unsalted butter from grass-fed cows

Breaking down the “Miracle Drink”

Coffee beans are rather explanatory in a coffee drink, but let’s take a look at what the two other components are able to bring to the table.

Medium-chain triglycerides are fatty acids composed of only 6 to 10 carbon links, in comparison to the typical fatty acid present in the North American diet, which is 12 to 18 carbon links. The shortness of MCTs enables them to be metabolized at a faster rate and renders them less likely to be stored in the fatty tissues of the body.  They are also said to be able to enhance metabolism as a whole, thereby contributing to weight loss. Indeed, a study that entailed a group of mice being fed MCTs, while the others were fed lard, showed that the former lost far more weight.

And what about the butter? Well, compared to cream, butter possesses a higher content of butyric acid. This is a short fatty acid that is able to act as an anti-inflammatory agent. Additionally, there is some research that indicates that it also improves both gut health and brain function. Lastly, butter – particularly that which is derived from grass-fed cows – has more key vitamins such as Vitamins A, D, and K, than its cream counterpart.

So, whatcha’ say?

While buttered coffee seems to be nothing short of a strange concept, itís a rather common drink all around the world. Everyone from the Tibetans to Ed Sheeran swear by its efficacy in providing a far more fulfilling energy boost. At a glance, there looks to be nothing dangerous about it. Though the effects of Bulletproof Coffee might not be as transcendental as claimed, substituting our typical high-sugar and high-fat coffee additives for comparatively healthy fats doesnít sound like a bad idea to me.

By Anna Goshua



Hadhazy, A. (2014). Should You Be Drinking Bulletproof Coffee?. [online] mensjournal.com. Available at: http://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/nutrition/should-you-be-drinking-bulletproof-coffee-20140128 [Accessed 18 Oct. 2014].

Nutritionreview.org, (2014). Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) | Nutrition Review. [online] Available at: http://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts/ [Accessed 18 Oct. 2014].

The Huffington Post, (2014). Why People Are Putting Butter In Their Coffee. [online] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/22/butter-in-coffee-bulletproof_n_5851456.html [Accessed 18 Oct. 2014].

Image taken from http://www.wben.com/How-Do-You-Take-Your-Coffee-Make-Mine-with-Butter-/20003182


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The Meducator is McMaster University’s undergraduate Health Sciences Journal. It publishes pieces that critically address current issues with a high degree of scientific rigor, but in a way that is accessible to a broad audience.


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