Research goes back and forth on the ups and downs of the beloved beverage, so I just stick to my belief in moderating it to 1-2 cups a day, before noon (or lunchtime) so I don’t interfere with my sleep cycle or disrupt digestion too much. In order to get the most benefit from you coffee, choose low toxin/minimally chemically processed beans and be careful of your add ins (i.e. heavily denatured milk proteins from creamers & processed sugar which along with poor quality coffee, rob you of your mental clarity and cause a crash).
The trend of putting butter in coffee has taken storm thanks to Dave Asprey, founder of “The Bulletproof Executive,” a business tailored to the idea of”upgrading your life” and is marketed to sell coffee beans, MCT oil, and other supplements and products with the company name on it (he snatched up the idea from the traditional Tibetan yak butter & tea blend; the combination of caffeine & fat for a supreme energy boost is novel to some but not all!). I’m happy to have found this delicious idea through this individual’s entrepreneurship but I’m not into the idea of purchasing glorified products that I can just gather on my own for a much lower cost.
What I have found to work for me is organic coffee beans brewed french press style. While brewing, I put about 1 tbs unrefined coconut oil (I prefer this to isolated MCT oil in order to get the other beneficial nutrients of the coconut), 1 tbs of grassfed butter and 1 tsp raw honey into my blender. I pour about 1 cup coffee over and blend until it’s all frothy. Deeeeelicious. Some days I do more coconut oil and less butter, sometimes just coconut oil. The stimulation from the caffeine combined with the energy of the fats feels much more stable & clear than drinking coffee alone. If you’ve never done this it’s best to start out small with a teaspoon or two of each until your digestive system gets accustomed. Some times I add vanilla or a tablespoon of cacao, a little turmeric, and a pinch of cayenne. You can also add collagen protein which dissolves completely into liquids for an added protein boost that helps with muscle repair as well as joint & gut health.
So, why am I doing this? For one, it’s a delightful treat (some compare it to a latte). The coffee is also a great vehicle for getting more healthy saturated fat into the body, which is crucial for cognitive & hormonal function. Along with good quality coffee, it’s not advised to use conventional stick butter for this drink. Use unsalted grassfed/organic/pasture raised (Kerrygold is great) butter so you are ingesting high quality omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, K2, and butyric acid (which is excellent for brain & gut health). The coconut oil is also high in lauric & capyrillic acid (medium chain triglycerides) which have antibacterial/antimicrobial properties & contribute to healthy skin, thyroid function, brain health, metabolism and immune system. MCTs permeate cell membranes easily & are quickly digested; they are available as an immediate energy source as they go directly to the liver to be converted as an energy source rather than fat storage. So much bang for your buck in this little concoction!
I like to indulge in this healthy fat enhanced & antioxidant rich drink when I have time to eat well with it & move around a bit after. When caffeine pumps up adrenaline, lipolysis (the freeing of fatty acids) increases, which lowers insulin sensitivity. This is why it’s important to go moderate on your carbohydrates in the morning with your coffee, as your cortisol levels are high and your body is insulin sensitive after fasting overnight. Eating a higher protein and fat breakfast with your coffee (enhanced by healthy fats in the form of butter & coconut oil) helps your body take advantage of noninsulin mediated glucose transport to preferentially get fuel into your muscles over your fat cells. Movement is also important in order to take advantage of the freed fatty acid energy, otherwise it will recycle back as body fat storage. I go on and off caffeine to give my body a break; thus far I’ve been careful enough with the stimulant to not feel dependent on it (I think I’m addicted to the smell, taste, and ritual more than anything, which I suppose is still dependency, haha). Problems arise when a person’s diet is making them so energy deficient that they rely on the caffeine to boost blood sugar levels and artificially stimulate the adrenal glands (coffee stimulates the liver to release sugar into the bloodstream-unfortunately caffeine & coffee together show negative effects on insulin sensitivity which is the efficiency at which your body handles glucose). Adrenal exhaustion is what we all have to be careful of-even the health conscious are guilty of pounding back coffee, so I’m advising to monitor your caffeine intake to ward off the effects that adrenal exhaustion brings (i.e. weight gain, physical exhaustion, lack of stamina, impaired immunity & inability to handle stress).
I’m still trying to figure out what it is exactly about the butter & oil blend with the caffeine that just feels so good- conclusion for now is that the stable saturated fats are an ideal energy source that the body & brain loves and needs to mitigate blood sugar spike and crash from consuming caffeine from coffee alone. The fats provide an long lasting energy that smooths out the potentially rough edges of the caffeine high. Enjoy your coffee ride in good health & spirit!