Does Bulletproof Coffee “Break” an Intermittent Fast?

Jamie Sukroo - 1 Feb 2019

Does Bulletproof Coffee “Break” an Intermittent Fast?

A very common and logical question you may ask yourself is – “How can you be in a fasted state after consuming a “Bulletproof Coffee?” It’s a great question that I’ll address below. Just to be clear, when I say “Bulletproof Coffee” I’m talking about the coffee + MCT + Ghee/Butter plus other added ingredients.

To answer this query – let’s look first at Black Coffee’s effect on each of the key benefits of intermittent fasting (IF).

1. Black Coffee:

– 1a. Ketosis (where your body uses ketones, instead of glucose, which results from break down of fat and has potential benefits for your brain) – This study shows that caffeine in coffee can also upregulate ketosis: So coffee (the caffeinated kind) also benefits ketosis.
– 1b. Fat Burning – As caffeinated coffee seems to upregulate Ketosis it seems to be a positive for fat burning too (which is the pre-cursor to ketosis).
– 1c. Insulin Sensitivity / Glucose Tolerance (essential for avoiding type 2 Diabetes – like IF (over the long term), coffee has also been shown to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes –
– 1d. Autophagy (a natural process during which the body breaks down and recycles the junk within our cells, and also gets rid of any intruders) – Like IF studies of mice have shown that coffee does not hamper autophagy –
– 1e. AMPK (Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) – this is an enzyme that inhibits fat storage, promotes fat burning, triggers Autophagy, and activates antioxidant networks in your body. IF increases the production of AMPK and this study shows that coffee does too –

OK – so black coffee seems to work very well with an intermittent fast. What about the other ingredients add to the black coffee to make a Bulletproof Coffee:

2. Butter/ Ghee / MCT Oil

– pure fat has little to no impact on insulin, blood glucose or any of the measurements from a fast that mean you have “broken” the fast. Sure you have consumed calories but you will still burn plenty of body fat. It will also help you to stay the distance as you will have a little fuel to keep you going. Anybody who has gone through a fast only drinking water will attest to this. It won’t affect autophagy as only protein does that.

3. Cinnamon/Cocoa/Cacao

– Cinnamon is fine. It tends to reduce insulin resistance. Cocoa/Cacao powder (the un-sweetened version) has some carbs, protein and fat so I would limit to no more than a teaspoon.

4. Erythritol/Stevia (natural sweeteners)

– these seem to lower glucose and insulin levels so should be ok.

5. Collagen Protein

– protein tends to activate mTOR and inhibit autophagy. It’s fine for fat-burning (and may suppress appetite) but will reduce the benefits of autophagy.

One last tip – Over the last week or so I’ve been having a black coffee first thing when I wake and then having my Bulletproof Coffee later in the morning. This means I normally go around 14-15 hours of “pure fast” including the benefits of autophagy, before having my Bulletproof Coffee with added collagen.

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