I take coffee seriously.
Nothing beats an early morning piping hot cup of joe.
But are you getting the most out of it?
You can hack your coffee ritual for:
- Greater benefits
- More energy
- Fewer side effects
- Less tolerance
You can maintain the coffee’s taste while simultaneously upgrading the effects.The right science-backed ingredients turn coffee into a potent neuro-cocktail. Click To Tweet
I found Bulletproof Coffee and liked it. It made intermittent fasting easier. But I wasn’t content there. I experimented, modified, and upgraded the original Bulletproof Coffee recipe. I cut ingredients. I added others.
Dozens of tweaks later, I’ve settled on the one that reliably produces smooth focus, unparalleled mental & physical energy, and super-fuel for my brain. Genius coffee, my favorite homemade recipe, includes coffee, powerful brain-enhancing ingredients, and special fats to increase absorption and extend the effects.
What is Bulletproof Coffee?
Bulletproof coffee is a combination of coffee, MCT oil, and butter (optional) or ghee. Popularized by a biohacker named Dave Asprey, it resembles a rich latte but without the dairy. Dairy robs coffee of its health benefitting antioxdants.
Proponents of Bulletproof coffee use it for greater energy, to stave off hunger, and to improve focus.
Dave claims to have come up with the Bulletproof recipe from observing Tibetan tribes in the Himalayas. Newer formulations sometimes substitute coconut oil for MCT oil, and others omit butter altogether.
Does Bulletproof Coffee Work?
Specialty coffee beans alone won’t turn you into a super human (sorry).
Bulletproof Coffee does have a few advantages over traditional brews:
- Greater weight loss since MCT staves off hunger and keeps insulin low.
- Sharper cognition from the ketones generated by MCT oil.
- Stable energy as the fat slows down caffeine absorption.
Best of all, Bulletproof Coffee cuts coffee’s bitterness without sugar. Although sugar causes a brief energy rush, the preceding sharp crash drops you to below baseline levels. Just as the caffeine wears off too. A vicious combination.
Does MCT or butter need to go in your coffee specifically? Probably not. You could achieve similar results from having them separately. Dr. Pollack, however, believes that MCT blended in coffee can structure the water and make it more useful for your body.
Can You Drink Bulletproof Coffee Everyday?
When you feel the difference in energy and mental clarity you might wonder if it’s safe.
To be sure, I recommend getting a blood panel every year and checking with your doctor before changing your lifestyle.
I’ve tested all the major blood testing services, and InsideTracker is the only one that generates personalized recommendations to help you achieve specific goal. My InsideTracker Ultimate Review explains why it’s one of the most important things I do for my health and performance.
Bulletproof Coffee and Genius Coffee are both safe for everyday use in normal amounts. I still suggest checking your cardiovascular biomarkers. If you’re worried about the extra fat, you can use less in your cooking and try it in your coffee instead.
I don’t drink it every day now (the fat partially breaks a fast), but I wouldn’t have hesitations about it. Especially if it satiates you.
Warning: introduce MCT oil slowly. If you don’t work your way up, you may experience a rather unpleasant side effect nicknamed “disaster pants”.
Do You Need MCT Oil for Bulletproof Coffee?
MCT oil (Dave calls it Brain Octane/XCT Oil) is the magic ingredient.
You do need MCT. The best cognitive, energy, performance, and weight loss results come from the MCT oil. More on this below.
Coconut oil is an imperfect substitute. Coconut oil can work in a pinch since it contains small amounts of MCT. Unless you want the taste of coconut coffee, you might find the addition of extra virgin coconut oil overpowering.
Butter’s optional. Some people replace it with ghee, and others (myself included) omit it altogether. I eat enough butter already.
Whichever you choose, quality fats make the Genius Coffee boosters more absorbable and help the caffeine last longer.
The Best Cognitive Ingredients for Your Genius Coffee
I geek out on health hacking experiments.
I’ve tested everything in my coffee. From herbs, to spices, fruits, and vegetables… you name it.
Some of them turned out great. I’ve also dumped more than a cup or two.
From hundreds of personal trials, and a thorough review of the current science, here are my favorite coffee enhancers that put me at the top of my game and help me crush work.
Genius Coffee Booster #1: Theanine
An ancient biohack.
Also the first ingredient that I used to enhance my coffee.
L-Theanine is an amino acid abundant in high-quality tea. L-Theanine prevents normal caffeine jitters and shifts the brain into focused and productive alpha brain waves.
It’s relaxing without sedating, improving creativity and helping you get into “flow”. Theanine has little flavor and easily blends into coffee.
I prefer a dose of 100-200mg.
Genius Coffee Booster #2: Mushrooms
I’m not talking about Shiitake. You probably won’t find these ones in your local supermarket.
Though research suggests that Shiitake and Maiitake have a slew of health benefits.
Certain species of mushrooms bring the body and mind back into balance. Adaptogenic mushrooms, as they’re called, are safe and complement coffee.
I often use two in particular:
- Lions Mane for brain regeneration and strengthening.
- Cordyceps for physcial and mental energy.
Get good mushrooms. Most are a waste of money. If you’re curious, my Real Mushrooms review explains how to evaluate mushroom supplements.
Warning: real cordyceps is one of those supplements you actually feel. It might make your coffee feel like a pre-workout supplement.
Genius Coffee Booster #3: Collagen
Care about your skin, hair, muscles, heart, bones, and joints?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. Yet most of us don’t get enough. Collagen is an incomplete protein source high in non-essential amino acids:
- Arginine: the “anti-aging” amino acid
- Glycine: builds muscle, improves cognitive and fuels the metabolism
- Proline: produces cartilage, heals wounds, strengthens the heart
Meaning that your body produces it naturally, but not enough to look and feel your best. Supplementing collagen reduces wrinkles, strengthens joints, and keeps the skin elastic.
Even meat eaters don’t get enough. Unless you eat organs and obscure cuts.
When you’re choosing a collagen peptide product, look for:
- Hydrolyzed collagen peptides
- 100 percent pure collagen: no added dyes, flavors, or preservatives
- Sourced from wild-caught fish or grass-fed cows
Genius Coffee Booster #4: Essential Oils
I poo-pooed essential oils until I tried the good stuff.
Some master herbalists suggest against consuming essential oils. Others say it’s fine.
I don’t use essential oils unless I’m sure they’re high-quality and from a reputable brand. Pounds of plants go into each drop of essential oil. To avoid chemical toxins, fillers or solvents check the label to make sure they’re:
- Therapeutic grade
The only two essential oils I’ll occasionally put into my coffee include:
Peppermint essential oil packs a serious punch. Perfect for winter holiday mornings, peppermint is known to promote concentration. One drop mixed into my coffee and my coffee becomes a decadent treat without sugar or sweetness.
Cinnamon oil has a stronger scent and taste than the spice. One drop mixed in my coffee improves circulation and blood flow. Greater blood flow to the brain leads to clearer thinking. Cinnamon also keeps your blood sugar stable and fights infection.
Genius Coffee Booster #5: MCT
If you’ve tried Bulletproof Coffee, you know the power of MCT.
MCT oil crushes fatigue.
MCT bypasses normal digestion and rapidly converts into a cellular fuel source called ketones.
Since the brain regulates your perceived energy levels, MCT users report greater physical and mental energy.
High ketone levels are core to the success of the ketogenic diet’s profound brain enhancement. Hack it by taking the right genius brain boosters. I’ve compiled a frequently updated list of all the top products. See “The Best Exogenous Ketones & MCT Oils“.
Some MCT is better than others. When choosing an MCT product, make sure you get 100 percent C8 MCT. C8 is slightly more expensive, but a league more potent (and effective) than normal MCT oil.
Genius Coffee Booster #6: Raw Cacao
Chocolate fans will love this coffee flavor twist.
But it’s not just about taste.
Organic, raw cacao contains all kinds of useful cognitive-enhancing compounds. Ingredients degraded by the high-temperature Dutch processing method.
One tablespoon in your coffee with upgrade the other boosters, or add a kick of its own.
Raw cacao is also quite cheap and you can use it for baking, smoothies, and other purposes.
How To Make Genius Coffee
1. Clean Beans
Coffee connoisseurs can pick out the good stuff by sight, smell, and appearance. The last thing you want is beans that make you feel “meh”. Dave first became wary of most coffee due to the high prevalence of mold mycotoxins.
Like other produce, coffee’s health-promoting antioxidants and phytochemicals don’t fare well with age. After roasting the beans start to decay. Grinding them accelerates the process. Noticeably.
My (developing) coffee palate can easily differentiate the taste and smell of fresh stuff. I now roast my own, but you can also choose freshly-roasted organic, whole bean coffee.
2. Great Water
Baristas are very specific of their water choice.
I live in New York City and use the cleanest water I can get (AquaTru makes the best water filtration system). People have all kinds of water preferences. Reverse osmosis, distilled, mineral-enhanced, to name a few.
Your coffee will taste best with some form of filtered water. Boil it to around 195 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Measure It (Optional)
Another point of contention, is the ratio of coffee to water.
I use about two tablespoons of freshly ground coffee to six ounces of water. You’ll find what you like from trial and error.
Or you can just eyeball a healthy amount of grounds in your preferred brewing device.
4. Add MCT
Start small with one teaspoon. Or if you’re using the Kiss My Keto MCT, I like about four pumps. Otherwise just eyeball it.
You don’t need much.
Over time you can work your way up to one to two tablespoons of C8 MCT oil.
5. Add Healthy Fats (Optional)
The official Bulletproof Coffee recipe calls for butter. Make it grass-fed since fat stores toxins. These include chemicals, heavy metals, and pesticides, inorganic pollutants, and plenty of others. Things that’ll mess up your hormones and make you fat.
One to two tablespoons of unsalted, grass-fed ghee or butter will do it. Ancestral medicine favors ghee, and it’s my choice. If conventional stuff is the only option, I say skip it.
6. Brew Coffee
There are plenty of brewing techniques too.
I usually reach for my glass French Press. Sometimes I’ll go for a stainless steel pour-over filter or use my Aeropress to make espresso.
I try to stay away from anything plastic or aluminum. Including the (unfortunately popular) aluminum Bialetti moka device, a staple of campers.
7. Add Boosters (Optional)
The KEY to super coffee.
You can add one or the kitchen sink. Again, start slow. Add just one for a couple of days and see how you respond. Follow the dosing recommendations on the product.
With some experimentation you’ll find favorite ingredients for different situations.
This is no ordinary coffee.
A stirring spoon won’t suffice. You’ll regret using a spoon as the ingredients separate from the coffee, and pool at the top.
Most people use a blender to mix everything together. It gives the coffee a beautiful color, fluffy consistency, and even frothy taste. If you don’t mind, go ahead. Blenders are loud, inconvenient, and create dishes though.
I like to use a mini handheld milk frother instead. Not quite as powerful, but far more convenient. My neighbors appreciate the early morning quiet.
Either route, vigorously stir for at least 15 seconds.
The Easy Homemade Bulletproof Coffee Upgrade
To answer my friend’s question, no.
I hadn’t added any crazy nootropics, research chemicals, or futuristic peptides to his mug. Just Genius Coffee along with a few of my favorite boosters.
Bulletproof Coffee is all about adding fat. A level above normal coffee. But yours is more than that:Genius coffee is the perfect trojan horse to sneak brain and body performance enhancing ingredients into your morning. Click To Tweet
High-quality fats make some of the boosters more readily absorbed. The caffeine lasts longer, and with fewer side effects. Get the restful alertness that you seek without any jitters, brain fog, or hyperdistractability.
I’m sure I’m not alone in whipping up some crazy coffee concoctions. What goes into your coffee ritual?