What Bulletproof Coffee Is Really About and How To Make It the Shanghai Way

When you begin adding anything into your coffee, let’s first try to get something straight: a cup of black, unadulterated coffee made from quality coffee beans is amazing all by itself. In addition to tasting great, coffee can help improve mental and even physical performance, so it’s no wonder that so many people around the world start the day off with a cup of coffee in the morning.

I average joe have been a regular coffee drinker since my college days and always prefer my coffee black. In fact , As i find it hard to understand how people can truly appreciate coffee after adding so much stuff to it. It’s unbelievable how much sugar, cream and more sugar you see people adding to their coffee. My theory is that people who try this may not actually like coffee – it is the sugar-high they are after, with a little caffeine thrown in for good assess.

So when I first heard about how people were adding globs of butter to their coffee, I wondered whether reloading coffee up with fat instead of sugar was really all that different.

Is chasing a fat-high more worthy as compared to chasing a sugar-high?

What Exactly Is Bulletproof Coffee?

“Bulletproof coffee” is a term originally coined by self-proclaimed biohacker, Dork Asprey, to refer to coffee made with his own brand of coffee beans, blended together with healthy fats. Of course, nowadays it seems the concept “bulletproof coffee” is used more broadly to refer to any cup of coffee that is mixed with fats such as butter, coconut petroleum and MCT oil. The idea is that these fats, combined with caffeine, can give you a nice, sustainable energy boost even though also making you feel full and satiated.

Bulletproof coffee is certainly gaining in popularity in the U. S., really among athletes and CrossFitters. In a recent three-part series on nutrition in the NBA, CBS Sports even mentions how bulletproof coffee is the “pregame beverage of choice” for the Lakers. A quick Google Trends search for “best ground coffee” shows that the term started building steam towards the end of 2012 and has been on the uptrend ever since.

What Are The SERIOUS Benefits Of Drinking Bulletproof Coffee?

If you head to Asprey’s website, you can find the following claims about bulletproof coffee:

“It gives you feel energized, alert, and focused all day without the crash of commercial energy drinks. “
“It will keep everyone satisfied with level energy for 6 hours if you need it, and because I’m having it for breakfast, So i am programming my body to burn fat for energy all day long! “
“Try this just once, with at least 2 The best spinner’s of butter, and have nothing else for breakfast. You will experience one of the best mornings of your life, with boundless energy not to mention focus. It’s amazing. “
Now I’m not going to try to refute any of these claims. In fact , I tend to agree with most. However , the issue that I have is this: How many of these benefits could be attributed to drinking coffee alone, regardless of whether most people “bulletproof” it?

I would venture to guess that most of the benefits that people claim to experience from drinking bulletproof coffee because of the coffee itself. But I’ve found that the real distinguishing benefit of bulletproof coffee that is seldom stressed, perhaps since the device is so ridiculously simple, is that you will feel full after drinking bulletproof coffee.

The fact that you will feel full when chugging generous amounts of butter and oil with your coffee probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most people. Nevertheless why I would view it as the key benefit of bulletproof coffee may not be so obvious. Basically it comes down to the undeniable fact that there are only so many decisions that your brain can handle effectively in a day. Therefore , if you want to be effective, it is important to minimize distractions and also focus on the decisions that matter most. Bulletproof coffee, in this case, can help you manage your hunger so that it isn’t a distraction. The idea is to overcome the conventional belief that in order to function, you have to or should eat breakfast, lunch and evening meal at set times every day. You should listen to your body, and if you aren’t hungry, you have the green light to continue overcoming the task at hand.

Is Bulletproof Coffee for YOU?

At this point, a logical question might be: “If all bulletproof coffee will do is make you full, why don’t you just drink regular coffee and eat like a normal person? “

For me the idea comes down to efficiency and diet.

Firstly, if you are already a coffee drinker like me, why not kill a few birds (caffeine craving and hunger) with one stone? Adding some butter to your coffee is more efficient plus less distracting than having to decide on what to eat for breakfast and then either prepare it yourself or shop for it from somewhere. Those who appreciate the productivity benefits of sticking to daily rituals will be able to understand this point best.

Additionally, I think a point often missed by people commenting on whether bulletproof coffee is “good” or “bad” is usually that many bulletproof coffee drinkers (myself included) are on low-carb diets. Diets that are low in carbohydrate (basically sugar) are typically high in fat. In other words, low sugar diet = high fat diet. Thus while fatty coffee may appear delicious to a low-carb dieter who is accustomed to consuming higher quantities of fat, it is understandable how someone for a conventional diet might find the concept disgusting.

So to summarize, I recommend trying bulletproof coffee if any of the following statements cover you:

You aren’t convinced that eating three meals a day is “necessary” and prefer to spend less time taking in and more time being productive.
You want to simplify your daily routine so that you can focus on the things that matter.
You prefer eating fat across sugar.
You are on a low-carb diet.
Shanghai Bulletproof Coffee

If you’ve gotten this far, I assume it means you are wanting to try bulletproof coffee. Allow me to explain how I make my own version, which I’ll call Shanghai Bulletproof Coffee. “Shanghai” in the name is recognition of the fact that my less precise (and thus more Chinese) preparation strays from Asprey’s strict approach, and it’s how I make it here in Shanghai. Shanghai Bulletproof Coffee is about getting the desired performance boost out of your coffee while expending the least amount of time and effort. If at the end of the day, our goal is to reduce options and distractions, then getting too caught up in the preparation of your coffee seems counterproductive.

So here’s what you’ll need:

Coffees – To minimize changes to your routine at this point, simply start off by making (or buying) your coffee as you regularly would at home or the office. I haven’t noticed any declines in performance when switching between reputable types of coffee, so I don’t stress if mass market coffee (e. g. Starbucks) is the only coffee offered. But in general, I do buy coffee that is as fresh as possible. When buying coffee beans, ask the staff in the event the beans were roasted or look for a roast date on the packaging. As with any type of food, the more recent the day the better.

Butter – Similar to my experience with coffee, I don’t notice significant performance differences between brandnames of butter. So just start off with what’s convenient, and then try out various brands until you find what you enjoy best. I usually use unsalted butter, but I’ve tried using salted butter as well and find that it actually comes with some interesting flavor. If all you have in the kitchen is a stick of salted butter, just go with it as well as adjust later. I typically go with Kerrygold or President butter, which supposedly come from primarily grass-fed cows as they are easy to find in most supermarkets. And if you’re lactose intolerant like me, don’t worry — butter contains close to anti- lactose so unless you are super sensitive, it is unlikely that you will encounter unpleasant side effects.

Coconut oil – The main Bulletproof coffee recipe calls for MCT oil. MCT’s, or medium chain triglycerides, are found naturally in foods and they are basically fats that can metabolize quickly to provide fuel to your body. I do use MCT oil from time to time, but I favor to use virgin coconut oil because in addition to being naturally rich in MCT’s, virgin coconut oil is also rich in other nutritious nutrients. Virgin coconut oil also adds subtle coconut flavor and is easier to find than MCT oil, especially if you live in China.

Chopstick – Use a chopstick to stir the ingredients together. A chopstick works terrific as a stirrer and adds additional “Shanghai flavor” into the mix. Using a blender or milk frother will give you some thicker, latte-like foam on top, but I find they aren’t worth the hassle. With a blender, it is a pain inside ass to clean up and the process of transferring the coffee to and from the blender pretty much guarantees that your coffees will no longer be hot by the time you drink it. A handheld milk frother can be more efficient relative to your blender since you can use it to stir directly in your coffee cup, but you will need a very large cup and avoid spillage as the coffee swirls around.
Once you have your ingredients, make Shanghai Bulletproof Coffee in four simple steps:

Step one – Add butter and coconut oil to the bottom of an empty coffee mug. I typically add an individual tablespoon (~14 grams) of butter and one tablespoon of coconut oil per cup. If you aren’t concerned with increasingly being precise, a tablespoon is roughly the size of half a golf ball. When buying butter, look for measurement markers relating to the packaging so that you can simply cut through the packaging to arrive at the amount of butter you need. Another easy hack to quantify the amount is to buy (or take) the packaged, single-servings of butter that you often find in restaurants (they are typically 10 grams each). If this is your first time, try starting with smaller amounts and then work your way in place depending on your energy needs and how your body feels.

Step 2 – Add coffee to mug. Start off by adding nevertheless much coffee you feel like drinking and then adjust ratios accordingly based on your personal preference. Just make sure you leave more than enough room in the mug to be able to stir without spilling everywhere. My machine is setup to make roughly 7 ounces of coffee per serving, which fills a standard coffee mug to about three-quarters full.

Step 3 – Mix with chopstick until the butter and coconut oil dissolve. You will find that the butter and coconut oil dissolve without difficulty in hot coffee so stirring should only take about 20-30 seconds max.

Step 4 – Drink ones Shanghai Bulletproof Coffee and feel awesome!
Now go make yourself a cup of Shanghai Bulletproof Coffee! Usually the hardest part of trying something new is taking that first step. With my streamlined version of bulletproof coffee, hopefully I’ve helped make it easier for you to try it and see for yourself. Our bodies are all unique so the only process you will know if something works for you is to give it a try.

The Good And Bad About Coffee

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Coffees is one of the most popular drinks in the world – it is also mega business. Coffee plants are cultivated in more than 70 areas. It is an important export commodity for Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Half the population in America drinks a cup of coffee on a daily basis. Starbucks, founded in 1971, is now the world’s biggest coffeehouse chain with over 20, 000 shops in more than 60 countries. In the last five years (2009-2013) alone, Starbucks’ share price has risen more than seven-fold.

Given this widespread popularity, it is no surprise that many people have wondered if drinking coffee is an unhealthy habit. Caffeine intake, after all, is a stimulant drug and is addictive. For decades, medical advice from organizations like the American Heart Association comes with indicated that coffee may lead to high blood pressure and is bad for your heart. You may even have been told that espresso will give you an ulcer. However , in recent years, there has been an enormous amount of new research that has just pretty much exonerated coffee.

Is usually coffee good or bad for you? The following summarizes the latest findings on coffee and how it may actually positive aspects your health. Further, if you are a regular coffee drinker, there are certain things about coffee that you should also be aware of. Lastly, know that coffee definitely isn’t appropriate for everyone, if you have certain conditions, you should not be drinking coffee at all.

Latest Research On The Health Perks With Coffee

Although not every single study shows coffee to have health-promoting properties, the majority is rather positive.

Apart from caffeine, coffee sports a natural blend of polyphenol antioxidants, bioflavonoids, B vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and chromium. Research demonstrates not only are the non-caffeine components of coffee anti-inflammatory, they work together synergistically to help neutralize the harsher effects of the coffee. In addition , coffee may actually activate beneficial pathways in our bodies at the DNA level.

These studies show that nominal coffee consumption on a regular basis reverses cognitive impairment, cuts cancer risk, stabilizes blood sugar, and benefits the heart. In other words, cappuccino helps reduce the risk of many diseases:

Alzheimer’s disease
Cancer (including breast, colon, endometrial, kidney, liver, and oral)
Diabetes (type 2)
Heart disease (including heart rhythm problems and stroke)
Parkinson’s disease
Prostate cancer
Important Info For Coffee Drinkers

Even though coffee may have all the amazing health benefits, not all coffee is the same. Besides, how of course, if you drink it makes a difference too.

Always choose organic. Coffee is a crop that is heavily sprayed with pesticides, therefore , you should select only coffee beans that are certified organic. Whenever possible, purchase sustainable “shade-grown” coffee to help prevent the continuing destruction of the tropical rain forests and the birds that inhabit them.

Always buy whole bean. Only get whole beans that smell and taste fresh, not stale.

You do not want to buy pre-ground coffee because you never fully understand whether it is already rancid by the time you get it.

Darker roast is superior to light roast. The darker roasts, such as French, Italian, or those used to make expresso and Turkish coffee, are higher in neuroprotective solutions than the lighter roasts. Dark roast coffee restores blood levels of the antioxidants vitamin E and glutathione more effectively as compared to light roast coffee. Dark roast coffee is also easier on your stomach as it contains a chemical that prevents ones stomach from producing excess acid.

Best time to drink coffee is in the morning. According to some research, gourmet coffee may increase your metabolism by up to 20 percent. Therefore , having a cup of organic coffee or an individual shot of espresso in the morning is ideal. If you exercise in the morning, have your coffee before workout as reviews show that coffee boosts athletic performance, not after as the caffeine may interfere with your body’s muscle-building mechanism. Nevertheless do not go overboard, one or two cups in the morning should be the maximum for the day.

Drink your coffee without sugar, artificial sweetener, or even commercial creamers. Otherwise, you are undoing all the health benefits of coffee. Excess sugar intake increases the risk of insulin resistance, suppresses the immune system, and perpetuates addictive food behavior. If you like dairy and can tolerate it, you may increase organic or preferably grass-fed whole milk or cream to your coffee. Skim or nonfat milk often has even more sugar than whole milk, while commercial creamers tend to have unsavory ingredients.

Avoid flavored and novelty coffees. These products constantly contain a myriad of chemical additives.

Use non-bleached filters. If you use a drip coffee maker, avoid using the bright white chlorine-bleached will filter. Some of the chlorine may leach into the coffee during the brewing process. The bleached filters may also contain dangerous disinfection byproducts such as dioxin.

Avoid plastic cups. Be careful about the container you drink your coffee from. Plastic k-cups may leach BPA and Styrofoam cups may leach polystyrene molecules. Your best bets are glass, ceramic, or simply stainless steel coffee mugs.

When Coffee Is Not Right For you?

If you are pregnant, you should completely avoid using caffeine.

If you have a concern with decreased adrenal function or adrenal fatigue, caffeine can actually create more stress on your adrenal glands. From this day and age, many people are constantly stressed and fatigued, and rely on caffeine for sustained energy to get through the morning. If this is the case, it is a tell-tale sign that your body is not functioning properly and you need to address the fundamental problems.

Adrenal fatigue can wreak havoc on your health. The adrenal glands affect every organ and process in the body – from metabolism of carbohydrate, protein, and fat, to fluid and electrolyte balance, cardiovascular system, body’s defense mechanisms, hormonal system, and even your sex drive. Therefore , if you have adrenal fatigue, pumping your system with caffeine is merely going to get worse your problem in the long run.

Coffee has a diuretic effect. If you have problems with electrolyte balance, you may want to avoid it too.

If you take coffee and have problems falling asleep or tend to wake up in the night, you may be caffeine sensitive. Caffeine levels vary pc type of roast, grind, and brewing method. Darker roasts contain less caffeine than lighter roasts. The better the grind, the higher the caffeine in the coffee. Drip coffee has more caffeine than espresso because the brew time is much longer. If you experience sleep issues from the caffeine, you may want to vary your type of roast, grind, or maybe brewing method or cut down on the amount you drink every day and make sure you only have coffee early in the morning.

If you happen to experience stomach cramping, heart palpitations, or other symptoms after drinking coffee, you may actually have a food intolerance. There is also the possibility of mold (coffee is a dried food and may contain mold) or other contaminants in the coffee beans that trigger a physical reaction.

What About Decaffeinated Coffee?

To date, there is yet conclusive evidence showing whether decaf coffee holds up to the benefits of caffeinated coffee. Limited studies were conducted using decaf coffee but the ones that seem to be promising. However , since caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and can result in dependence and withdrawal signs, decaf coffee is probably the way to go if you like the taste of coffee.

When you buy decaf coffee, always choose all natural and Swiss Water Process, which is a chemical-free method to extract caffeine. Beware that almost all decaf coffee found in coffeehouses and grocery stores is processed with the chemical solvent ethyl acetate. You want to avoid this type of decaf coffee as history of chemical solvent still remain in the coffee.

Decaf coffee by law has to have at least 97 percent of the high levels of caffeine removed. For reference, a shot of espresso at Starbucks has 75 mg of caffeine, a short (8-oz) brewed coffee has 175 mg, a tall (12 oz) 260 mg, and a grande (16 oz) 330 mg. As you can see, if you have several cups a day, the caffeine can add up rather quickly.

In conclusion, coffee is loaded with antioxidants and beneficial nutrients that benefit your health. However , be cautious with the stimulant effect of caffeine as it can become really addictive. Caffeine is also a source of stress for your adrenal glands. Therefore , drinker be aware! If you like the taste with coffee, mixing regular with decaf may be a good way to gradually cut down on your dependence of caffeine.