I Tried Bulletproof Coffee

Happy Monday!

I woke up on time this morning (you have no idea how much of a miracle this is) and was out of bed by 7am! I feel great about that alone, so you can bet I'll be working on doing that more often. Side note: is anyone interested in hearing about my successful night time routine?

Back on subject: because I had time this morning, I went ahead and caught the 22 Clark bus down to Kinzie and went to Hi-Vibe Superfood Juicery, one of two shops in Chicago that makes Bulletproof Coffee. (The other is both locations of Beatrix!) It was something I'd wanted to do for a while. I'd tried my own version with no success (my stomach hurt after) but I thought I should give the legit version a try.

For those of you who haven't heard of Bulletproof coffee, it's the breadwinner of Dave Aspey's Bulletproof Executive Podcast and Blog. Where his podcast and blog achieved him a bit of fame, Bulletproof coffee made him a household name. There's an entire diet to go along with it, but I refuse to endorse it because critics seem to agree that it's not built on science. The coffee, however, has mixed reviews, with some critics begrudgingly admitting its benefits.

I know, enough backstory, more coffee. So Bulletproof coffee is basically some secret type of low-acidity coffee beans, ghee, and MCT oil. (Side note: ghee is purified butter. Unsalted, grass fed butter.) There are two tablespoons of ghee, two of MCT oil, and the special coffee. You have to blend these together in a blender for it to be "official."

I got mine at Hi-Vibe, as mentioned, and I think it was like $8 or so. I could have gotten nearly three of my normal latte (a small/tall Dirty Chai) at either Starbucks or Peet's for the price of this thing, for perspective. It was about the size of a grande though.

I've taken notes about how this made me feel throughout the day, as well as my first impression. Initially, it tasted pretty good. It literally tastes like black coffee with butter. Makes sense, right? It was especially nice as I waited for the bus after I got it; nice and warm and comforting on a chilly morning.

Full disclosure, I did eat with it. As a runner, I can't be in a calorie deficit. I'm definitely not looking to lose any weight, and I needed to hit my 600 calorie goal. The coffee is only 441 calories, so I added in a Siggi's yogurt with two tablespoons of granola (200 calories total).

I felt great initially, and at 9am I had noticed that I was more alert. Not sure if it was a placebo or the MCT oil. I powered through a tough bit of work and by 10, I still was chugging along. 

Also at 10, however, was when my stomach started to churn. Imagine taking a bite of a stick of butter, because that's essentially what drinking Bulletproof is. And I'm not talking about the good, salty, rich butter you melt for your popcorn (just me?), I'm taking about unsalted, lard-y tasting butter. It was at this point (TMI ahead) that I made my first trip to the restroom out of fear of a stomach meltdown. Spoiler, nothing happened...which made me a bit concerned.  

At 11, I was feeling downright nauseous. Like nagging feeling at the back of my throat, burning stomach nauseous. And I hadn't even finished it yet! It was so rich and heavy that I was really struggling. I still had about 1/4 cup left, and for $8 you can bet your ass I was drinking all of it. Plus, I couldn't really write about it if I didn't finish it. So with copious amounts of water, I persisted. 

By this point, the coffee was lukewarm and nearly had to hold my nose for it. Dramatic? Maybe. I don't know. All I know is after eating clean for the majority of the time for the past two months, the combo of coffee and butter made my stomach wage all-out war on the rest of me. I will say, however, at this point I began to believe in the MCT oil. I felt alert and was productive enough to knock out all my work in a few short hours.

By 11:30, the coffee was straight cold and I was chasing it with drinks of water, which were useless. I finally gave up and slammed it like a shot of tequila. At this point, I was afraid to eat anything, and I really needed to eat early, as I had a collaboration meeting for my blog at 12:30 at Sawada Coffee. Meaning more coffee on my rolling stomach. 

So at this point, I had realized a few key things, the first being that I don't like butter. Or I don't like healthy butter, at least. The second being that what my grandmother calls "The Tempest Stomach" (which is really just a fancy way of being in denial about acute anxiety running in the family) was going to make Bulletproof Coffee unbearable for me. I posted about this in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month last year, but I do suffer from anxiety, and it manifests itself most frequently in the form of debilitating stomach aches that begin as butterflies. Keep in mind, I don't actually have to feel anxious about something for my anxiety to exist, and in this case just having the blog meeting on my calendar was enough to trip it. 

At 12:15, I was sitting in Sawada sipping a Jasmine tea, praying to counteract the insanity that the Bulletproof Coffee wreaked on my stomach.Spoiler (again): it didn't. 

By the time I hit my office, I was starving but felt like garbage, which is pretty much the least fun combo ever. I grabbed some mac n cheese from Corner Bakery (they don't put much cheese on their noodles, and today I was actually glad for that fact) and sat at my desk and devoured it. Finally, at 2pm, I felt mostly normal. 

So, pending that I get magically ill again before 5, that's where I'm ending this post and the tale of Brittany and the Bulletproof Coffee Disaster. There are some SUPER TMI parts I left out, but let's just say that this coffee helped me become more familiar with the office bathroom for multiple reasons.

The key takeaway here: should you try it? Sure. Your experience could be totally different from mine. But I do hope this is a bit of a cautionary tale, and that if you have a sensitive stomach, I would seriously avoid it. I'll stick to my chair lattes with Vital Proteins in the future.

Have you tried "authentic" Bulletproof Coffee? What did you think about it?