Of course, I’m not alone. Tens of thousands of people have jumped on the Bulletproof Coffee train and appear to be riding off into the sunset.
While there’s a ton of blog articles singing the praises of Bulletproof Coffee, I do want to highlight some of the disadvantages to Bulletproof Coffee consumption. I don’t want to be a party pooper, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I hid the downsides.
Here’s three disadvantages to drinking Bulletproof Coffee on a regular basis:
1. If you’re not careful, Bulletproof Coffee can erode your metabolism through chronic, unconscious calorie restriction.
Bulletproof Coffee has a huge benefit: it provides a ton of energy and long-term satiation. Many people report being able to comfortably go 5-6 hours or more after drinking it before needing to eat again.
Following a concept called Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting, it’s not uncommon for people to use bulletproof coffee as a meal replacement.
One of the issues, though, is that it’s not just calories that are making you full. If it were just calories, it wouldn’t be a problem. Instead, it’s the coffee part of Bulletproof Coffee that does a lot of the job of turning off hunger.
Coffee has been shown to reduce hunger signals. Many people eat a light meal following the Bulletproof Coffee because they don’t feel very hungry. Then they’ll eat a normal dinner. If they’re not careful, they can unknowingly under-eat.
As this process is repeated day after day, the metabolism starts to down-regulate. One side effect of a down-regulated metabolism is less hunger, so people think they’re comfortable but they’re really just stuck in a metabolically destructive cycle.
If you’re experiencing a lack of motivation to be active, cold hands and feet, fatigue, or any other symptoms of metabolic decline, pause Bulletproof Coffee consumption and focus on significantly increasing nutrient-dense calories.
2. Bulletproof Coffee, when consumed as a meal replacement, can drastically reduce nutrient intake and possibly lead to deficiencies.
Converting your diet to real food is a tall order for many people. Naturally, people latch onto specific foods or meals they feel comfortable with and repeat them over and over again. This is okay in the beginning, but failing to branch out can lead to nutrition issues.
The fact that Bulletproof Coffee is easy, fast, and convenient makes it easy to abuse as a repeatable meal choice.
The problem is that you’re consuming 400-800 calories from a food source that’s significantly less dense in nutrients than most other real foods. As a rough estimation, you’re consuming about 1/3 the nutrients as if you ate a whole food meal.
Also an issue is the lack of nutritional diversity. Whenever you repeat the same meal day in and day out, you forfeit the opportunity to expose yourself to a wider range of nutrients. Over time, this can lead to nutrient deficiencies, especially if you’re not making up for this lack of diversity in your other meals.
I strongly advise against drinking Bulletproof Coffee on a daily basis as a meal replacement. If you do use it at all as a meal replacement, you should be deliberate about nutritional diversity in your other meals.
3. Consuming Bulletproof Coffee could lead to negative health outcomes.
I do believe that Bulletproof Coffee is healthy. I believe that saturated fat is essential. But I also know that by drinking Bulletproof Coffee, we’re consuming more saturated fat than ever before from a source that’s missing many other things found in real foods.
In the context of human history, we’ve never liquified saturated fat and poured it down the hatch to the degree we’re doing with Bulletproof Coffee. That’s not an argument against Bulletproof Coffee, it’s a warning that you’re sailing in uncharted waters.
It’s possible that consuming large amounts of saturated fat in this manner is beneficial. It’s possible that it’s a wash. It’s also possible that it’s destructive. The truth is: we don’t know.
For those of you who eat real, nutrient dense foods and stay active, this is less of a problem in my estimation. On the flip side, I’m very concerned about the people who jumped on the Bulletproof Coffee bandwagon who have otherwise disastrous diets and are mostly sedentary.
For these three reasons, I’ve refined my personal approach to Bulletproof Coffee. I’m not arguing against it and I’m not suggesting you stop drinking it, but I feel it’s important to make sure you understand both sides of the topic so you can make an informed decision.
Personally, I drink Bulletproof Coffee from time to time. I rarely use it as a meal replacement, though. I’m curious to know where you stand?
If you’ve never tried Bulletproof Coffee, you can get the recipe here.