When it comes to any product that claims to be a panacea, I am the ultimate skeptic. I believe that nothing works to improve health quite like a balanced and well-regulated diet along with plenty of exercise. Of course, with the kind of schedule I keep, there’s little time for beneficial health-related endeavors. I sleep less than any human should, my workout is walking a mile down to a nearby arts district for a sugar-free vanilla latte with soy, and my diet consists of whatever I can prepare the fastest. I’m always exhausted, always hungry, and always on the hunt for a way to downsize my stress levels.
When I read about the promises of the Bulletproof Coffee Diet, my first reaction was to scoff. The New York Times had a lengthy story about the promises of its creator Dave Asprey, and I read every word with cynical dialogue running inside my mind. The Bulletproof Coffee Diet consists of coffee, a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil that Asprey has named ‘Brain Octane’, and two heaping tablespoons of organic, grass-fed butter. Blended together, this concoction is supposed to fill you up, increase your energy levels, sharpen your brain and ability to focus, and – its most eyebrow-raising claim – taste absolutely delicious.
Your morning cup of Bulletproof Coffee is supposed to act as a meal replacement. You don’t need breakfast if you’re hopped up on all the beneficial ingredients found in the butter and oil – or so Asprey claims. If you do it right, you’re supposed to feel full until lunchtime, during which you are allowed to eat along the same guidelines as the Paleo diet. However, the diet aspect of Bulletproof Coffee did not interest me. I was after the brain-sharpening, wide-eyed, high-alert, and crazy-productive results that I had been reading about.
The coffee may have a star-studded cult following, but then again, so does Scientology.
I didn’t just want them; I needed them. If I could kick my sluggish morning booty into gear and knock out more work, run more errands, and just generally accomplish more, then my life would be so much easier. I would be organized! I would put away all of my laundry as soon as it came out of the dryer, cook a full meal for myself because I’d actually gone to the grocery store, and meet every deadline early to have more time for my loved ones! More than anything, I craved the promise of a more efficient brain.
Proponents of Bulletproof Coffee are incredibly vocal – Jimmy Fallon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rick Rubin, and Ed Sheeran are all huge fans. The coffee may have a star-studded cult following, but then again, so does Scientology. I wasn’t convinced. In order to truly assess the benefits of Bulletproof, I had to give it an earnest go. What follows is my experience so that you, dear reader, can decide for yourself whether or not to believe all the hype.
The Hype-Free Rundown
My first day with Bulletproof Coffee was, in one word, unpleasant. I had ordered the complete kit that included the ‘Brain Octane’ oil (basically just organic palm-kernel oil) and ‘Upgraded Coffee’, which Asprey claims to be free of mycotoxins due to his top-secret roasting process. That last one sounds bad! Have I been unwittingly imbibing them every time I drink regular coffee? I had also purchased a brick of Kerrygold butter, which met the organic, grass-fed standards that Asprey had recommended.
I will admit upfront that part of the unpleasantness was due to my oversight in blending the three ingredients together. I brewed up a cup of the ‘Upgraded Coffee’ in my French press, dumped the oil and butter in together, and stirred. Blech. It was like drinking straight from a bottle of cooking oil, and left a greasy coating in my mouth. When I realized I was supposed to have blended them, I felt a little silly. Needless to say, I didn’t finish my first cup.
Now, if you looked at the ingredients and thought they sounded like a recipe for a stomachache, you’re not wrong. I had horrible stomach problems during the first four days of drinking Bulletproof Coffee, but they passed pretty quickly. Advocates recommend switching out MCT oil for coconut oil as the latter is less irritating to the stomach.
Day two was when my eyes opened – literally. I prepared the cup correctly this time and, let me tell you, oil and butter and coffee are freaking delicious together. It was so rich and creamy that my eyes rolled back in my head, and I leaned down with my face over the cup to breathe in the thick, scrumptious scent. “I could get used to this,” I thought, and then my head snapped to attention.
I felt something bizarre happen, like my brain had finally come online, like all of the wires were finally connected and working at maximum efficiency. It was probably a bit of a placebo effect, but I felt my pupils widen in that moment. I gulped down the cup because I had work to do. My day was off and running, and I felt incredibly prepared to face every task.
I was going to write this review like a diary, but then realized that it would probably be pretty boring to read the same thing for every entry past day one. Day Two: felt great, accomplished a lot. Day Three: felt great, accomplished a lot. Day Four: felt great, accomplished a lot. You get the idea. What I love about Bulletproof Coffee, barring the four-day stomachache, is that mental clarity is absolute.
I don’t dispute that claim whatsoever. Bulletproof Coffee is so potent, in fact, that some people have reported feeling too energetic or jittery. My body loves it, though, and I felt myself “come online” every time I got about halfway through a cup. However, you don’t have to buy the brand in order to get the same results.
In conclusion, my stance is the same: question everything that claims to be the ultimate anything. Asprey is a better businessman than he is a coffee baron, and the incredible hype that comes with Bulletproof Coffee is mostly overzealous. After all, he is a guy who wears red lights on his head to “boost mitochondrial function”. You can use any kind of coffee, any kind of coconut or palm-kernel oil, and any kind of organic and grass-fed butter to make your own version of his $40-per-kit concoction.
You’ll feel energized because you’re consuming caffeine and healthy animal fats, and these are things that are known to make you feel more alert. Personally, I think you’ll love the taste of it and you may even have tremendously energizing results. Just don’t forget to blend.
Willing to Try It?
If this sounds like something you’re keen to try, Wild & the Moon in Alserkal Avenue can hook you up with a scrumptious cup for AED 33/SAR 34.