A Proven Path to a High-Energy Morning

Wake Up Energized
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For years I’ve worked on how to feel top-notch in the morning to lay the foundation for an amazing day. Most often my breakfast of choice has been Bulletproof® Intermittent Fasting. In this protocol, you eat no protein and no carbs at all in the morning, instead enjoying a Bulletproof Coffee. That provides the most energy and the least hunger for about eight hours.

However, lately I’ve been skipping classical Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting on some days in order to add Upgraded™ Collagen to my Bulletproof® Coffee. It makes me hungry an hour earlier than usual, but it delivers low inflammation, high quality, and heat stable protein to my coffee without affecting the taste! On the one day a week I might work out, this is my ultimate protein and fat combination for burning fat and gaining muscle.

What to do to optimize your morning nutrition depends on your goals for the day. Because there is an incredible amount of science on this topic, this post turned out to be a pretty long one, so please accept my apologies in advance. If you’re looking for the short version, here it is: On most days, a pure fat Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting “breakfast” is an optimal choice, but on days you work out and the day after either put Upgraded Collagen Protein in your HOT Bulletproof Coffee or Upgraded Whey 2.0 Protein in your ICED Bulletproof Coffee. Getting this right seriously optimizes your body and mind in the morning!

To geek out on more of the science behind these recommendations, read on:

4 Goals of a Seriously Bulletproof Morning

  • Goal # 1: Create and sustain awesome physical and mental energy for the day
  • Goal #2: Live in fat burning mode
  • Goal #3: Feel satisfied with absolutely no cravings
  • Goal #4: Preserve or gain muscle

You can meet all 4 goals by occasionally adding exactly the right protein to your cup of Bulletproof Coffee. On most days, however, a pure fat Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting “breakfast” is an optimal choice.

Goal #1: Creating and Sustaining Awesome Energy

Morning CoffeeWhether you’re a morning person who wakes up with the birds ready to take on the day (and crash by afternoon), or a slow riser who zombie walks straight to the blender to make Bulletproof Coffee, having sustained energy throughout the day is critical for optimal performance (not to mention quality of life). This is where the specific ingredients to the Bulletproof Coffee recipe and Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting come in.

Low-toxin coffee beans, such as Upgraded™ Coffee Beans, have been shown to improve brain function, memory, and exercise performance. Caffeine is an ergogenic aid, meaning it increases power output. This is true for both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. If taken before a workout, coffee could improve your performance and give you an edge. 1,2

Bulletproof Coffee drives high mental focus and sustained energy partially from the short and medium chain saturated fats from grass fed butter and Upgraded™ XCT oil (or better yet, Brain Octane Oil!). The human brain is primarily made of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol, which makes fatty acids vital for normal brain and nerve function.3 Saturated fat is not only used as the raw material for a properly functioning brain, it’s also one of the best sources of sustained energy for the body – especially XCT oils.4

Grass fed butter is also an unexpected source of cognitive enhancement because it also contains a fat called butyrate. Studies show butyrate to be beneficial for cognitive function, gut health, and some genetic neurodegenerative diseases.5

The mechanisms behind the caffeine, coffee oils, saturated fats, and XCT oil in a cup of Bulletproof Coffee, provide some serious physical and mental energy, and there is even one more way to really optimize cognitive performance in the mornings – skip breakfast.

How Skipping Breakfast Actually Boosts Cognitive Function

Studies show that when well-nourished kids skip breakfast and have their first meal at lunch they pay attention, behave, and perform better throughout the entire school day.6

Immediately, you may think that I have these conclusions totally backwards, because we’ve been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and kids especially need breakfast to think properly at school. The truth is, the only times breakfast actually helps cognitive function is when the individual is actually malnourished, which in those cases ANY food improves cognitive function.7

My best brain driven work is done in the morning without breakfast, without anything but Bulletproof Coffee and this goes on until as late at 2:00 PM.

The main argument behind the “breakfast-is-the-most-important-meal-of-the-day” theory is based on the notion that because insulin sensitivity is higher in the morning, we should eat a big high carb breakfast to take full advantage of the opportunity to consume a large amount of energy without the risk of gaining weight. But there is at least one MAJOR problem with this theory – insulin sensitivity is higher NOT because of a particular time of the day based on when the sun comes up…Insulin sensitivity is higher after a minimum of eight hours of fasting and when your glycogen levels are depleted (kind of like when you wake up from eight hours of sleeping). In fact, extending that fasting period beyond eight hours (typically by skipping breakfast) increases insulin sensitivity even more – AKA Intermittent Fasting.8

Insulin sensitivity via Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting is also an incredibly powerful strategy for burning fat and maintaining muscle mass while still feeling completely satisfied and energized.

Goal #2: Live in Fat Burning Mode

Great news! Typically people simply wake up in fat burning mode! After fasting throughout the night, insulin sensitivity is high, which means fat and muscle cells react strongly to insulin and soak up sugar like sponges. Insulin transports raw materials to cells, but if more material flows in the cell than the cell needs, the cell stores it as triaglycerol (fat), glycogen, or essentially non-functional muscle tissue. Eating carbs for breakfast while insulin sensitivity is high and glycogen levels are still full from a late night dinner, basically tells fat cells to convert the excess carbs to fat and store it away. When insulin levels are too high, the body increases the efficiency of fat storage, but when insulin levels drop, the body’s fat burning abilities are totally revved up!9 By skipping breakfast, and just having a cup of Bulletproof Coffee instead, you can change your metabolism and hormone levels to tell your body whether to burn carbs or fat for energy.

Three other hormones that set your body into fat burning mode in the morning are cortisol, ghrelin, and growth hormone. For people with a normally functioning endocrine system, cortisol levels slowly increase throughout a night’s sleep and reach a daily high point by morning. Being a catabolic hormone, cortisol works to break down glycogen stores to release glucose, which means releasing fat from fat cells.10

There are two caveats to this magic cortisol fat burning mechanism though: 1) cortisol levels must NOT be chronically high (like when you’re really stressed out) because in that case cortisol can actually break down triglycerides into free fatty acids and cause the body to store more fat (lipolysis), and 2) this magic cortisol high point must not be interrupted by high insulin levels.11 So what does this spell? Wake up refreshed with cortisol at a natural high point and DON’T eat breakfast, especially not carbs, to keep insulin from interfering with your fat burning mode!

In terms of accelerating fat loss, you also have ghrelin and growth hormone on your side. If you ever wake up to a growling stomach, this is because the body releases ghrelin (the hunger hormone) throughout the night, and like cortisol, ghrelin levels also peak upon waking up. The cool thing is, this particular hungry feeling, is actually ghrelin triggering the release of growth hormone, which is a powerful fat burning and muscle building hormone. With the rise of growth hormone, the body releases fat to be burned as fuel instead of breaking down protein that could be used for muscle building. Studies show that growth hormone levels peak about two hours after waking IF this isn’t interfered with eating breakfast.12

The final component to waking up and living in fat burning mode is using XCT oil in your Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting regime to help your body enter and stay in ketosis (the fat burning mode that’s good for your brain). Using XCT oil in your Bulletproof Coffee serves to increase ketone production and boost your metabolic rate by up to 12%.13 XCT oil is noticeably better than just grass fed butter in my coffee for this effect. This drink is so filling, I’ve had clients who drank one cup of Bulletproof Coffee in the morning and didn’t feel like eating until mid afternoon! This leads me right into the third goal of a seriously Bulletproof morning.

Goal #3: Feel Satisfied with No Cravings

Feeling satisfied in the mornings and eliminating cravings throughout the day is key to keeping energy levels up, staying productive, and losing fat. Here’s why thousands of people experience great satiation for hours after drinking Bulletproof Coffee.

Coffee beans themselves (not the caffeine) contain a naturally occurring chemical called, cholinomimetics, which are shown to be responsible for controlling hunger and keeping you full. (Bonus: Cholinomimetics also help stimulate the nervous system).14

Grass fed butter and MCT oil contain slow absorbing saturated fatty acids that have incredibly powerful way of satiating hunger and turning off food cravings. Eating high fat and protein meals also release leptin (the hormone that basically tells your brain when you’re full) more quickly than eating carbs. So if you’re going to eat anything in the morning, eating a high fat and protein breakfast will leave you feeling fuller for a longer period of time.

Goal #4: Gain Muscle – Add Collagen or Whey Protein

This Bulletproof morning goal is all about preserving and gaining muscle while still burning fat (i.e. staying in a ketogenic state). If you’re concerned about losing muscle because of being in a catabolic state like after working out, then adding a small amount of protein to your morning cup of Bulletproof Coffee is the ultimate upgrade. I’ll explain why adding Upgraded Collagen Protein is optimal, and when adding whey protein is good, but not great.

In general, protein in an essential nutrient the body uses as a building block to repair damaged muscle, bone, skin, teeth, hair, and more. The amino acids in protein help the body create hormones that help regulate things like blood pressure, blood sugar levels, metabolic rate, and muscular growth. With that said, it makes perfect sense to want to incorporate protein in your meals, but the type of protein and when you consume protein matters when the goal is to burn fat and preserve muscle.

If you’re potentially in a catabolic state, meaning that your body is breaking down material to be converted into other material, like after a workout, then adding whey or collagen protein to Bulletproof Coffee in the morning can help prevent muscle loss while NOT affecting insulin sensitivity or interfering much with your fat burning mode. Consuming protein increases free amino acid (FAA) levels, which stops the potential breakdown of muscle, and preserves lean tissue (a process called proteolysis). Just 10 grams of protein will do the trick, but what kind of protein is optimal.15 You will lose the benefits of autophagy (cellular cleaning) though if you add protein.

A high quality, chemical free whey protein like pasture raised Upgraded Whey 2.0, is a great source of convenient protein to help satiate hunger, strengthen immunity, and build more muscle. However, different people respond differently to whey in terms of digestion and insulin response, so its not the sure fire option to consume when trying to stay in a ketosis.

Another catch 22 about Upgraded Whey 2.0 comes from the bioactive immune stimulating proteins (IGG) and peptides in it (which of course took a ton of time to develop and new suppliers that could pull it off), this also means the whey must NOT be heated up to coffee temperatures without denaturing the whey. If you add Upgraded Whey 2.0, and any whey, to hot Bulletproof Coffee it WILL turn into pieces of cooked and damaged protein floating around in your coffee. Whey protein is not heat stable and should only be added to ICED Bulletproof Coffee (Instructions at the end of the post).

Upgraded™ Collagen Protein in Bulletproof Coffee is the ultimate upgrade! Upgraded Collagen IS heat stable and has virtually no added taste. This is how I get convenient, high quality, and low-inflammation protein on days when I workout or just don’t have time for full meal.

Why Collagen is A Supreme Protein for Weight Loss, Athletic Performance, Anti-Aging, and Looking Good

Collagen provides essential proteins the body uses to build and repair bones, joint surfaces, skin, teeth, eyes, arteries, intervertebral disks, and more. Collagen is one of the most important nutrients needed to maintain a strong body, stay in healing mode, and counteract the degenerative effects of aging.16

When taken long-term, it is practically impossible not to benefit from a gold standard supplement like Upgraded Collagen. Once you provide your body with the necessary building blocks, many systems can improve such as:

  • Fast tissue repair – it provides the particular proteins that ensure cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of skin, cartilage and bone.17
  • Greater flexibility and mobility – it makes the main building blocks of connective tissue more bioavailable and better absorbed into joints for greater flexibility and mobility.17
  • Stronger bones and joints – it supports strong, heavier, denser bones and is an excellent source of proline and glycine, two building blocks of cartilage that are essential for refueling after exercise and sports.17
  • Revitalized skin – it promotes skin hydration, reduces the number of fine lines, prevents deeper wrinkles, and maintains the suppleness of your skin from the inside out.18
  • Weight loss – being 97% pure protein, it helps with weight loss by delivering quick satiation of hunger.19
  • Build Muscle – it supports muscle building by facilitating the synthesis of creatine in the body.19
  • Reduce aging – it replaces the necessary proteins that diminish and breakdown from aging.19
  • Deeper Sleep – when taken at bedtime it deepens sleep, provides arginine to stimulate growth hormone release, and provides nutrients necessary to perform tissue repair while sleeping.
  • Brain Function – Upgraded Collagen provides glycine, a neurotransmitter involved in motor and sensory pathways as well as ATP synthesis.

Collagen for Athletes

The field of sports nutrition has increasingly been using hydrolyzed collagen to help quickly boost lean muscle gain, decrease recovery time, rebuild damaged joint structures, and improve cardiovascular performance. Athletes are also interested in collagen because it promotes new muscle growth post workout. Upgraded Collagen is the ideal source for the less inflammatory amino acids like glycine because we use enzymes to break down the collagen, not acids and heat like most collagen on the market today. Intact, undamaged collagen tri and di peptides are valuable in their own right.

Athletes who want the healthiest training methods are learning that large quantities of pure Upgraded Collagen can be added directly to smoothies and shakes and have a much more immediate effect than the small amounts found in the processed and sugar-filled “protein bars.”20

Making Hot Bulletproof Coffee with Upgraded Collagen Protein

  • Blend your coffee, grass fed butter, and Upgraded™ XCT oil until a layer of froth forms at the top.
  • Add 10 – 40 grams of Upgraded Collagen Protein AFTER blended, and then LIGHTLY blend the collagen in just until it’s mixed in. Do not over blend and ruin the collagen.

Making Cold Bulletproof Coffee with Upgraded Whey Protein

  • Blend your coffee, grass fed butter, and Upgraded XCT oil until a layer of froth forms at the top.
  • Add ice to the mixture and blend until smooth
  • Lastly, Add 10 – 40 grams of Upgraded™ Whey Protein AFTER completely blended, then LIGHTLY blend the whey in just until it’s mixed in.

(For an ultimate Bulletproof ice cream like consistency, blend in one or two raw egg yolks BEFORE the whey)

Click here for the complete list of references.

  1. http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/2003/08000/Effect_of_Repeated_Caffeine_Ingestion_on_Repeated.15.aspx
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18708685
  3. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1753-4887.1992.tb01283.x/abstract
  4. http://www.healthybrainforlife.com/articles/school-health-and-nutrition/feeding-the-brain-for-academic-success-how
  5. Histone deacetylase inhibition by sodium butyrate chemotherapy ameliorates the neurodegenerative phenotype in Huntington’s disease mice.
  6. Benton D, Parker PY. Breakfast, blood glucose, and cognition. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Apr;67(4):772S-778S.
  7. Cueto S. Breakfast and performance. Public Health Nutr. 2001 Dec;4(6A):1429-31.
  8. http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v35/n5/full/ijo2010171a.html
  9. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-04/imc-sfr033111.php
  10. Samra JS, Clark ML, Humphreys SM, Macdonald IA, Matthews DR, Frayn KN. Effects of morning rise in cortisol concentration on regulation of lipolysis in subcutaneous adipose tissue. Am J Physiol. 1996 Dec;271(6 Pt 1):E996-1002.
  11. Dinneen S, Alzaid A, Miles J, Rizza R. Effects of the normal nocturnal rise in cortisol on carbohydrate and fat metabolism in IDDM. Am J Physiol. 1995 Apr;268(4 Pt 1):E595-603.
  12. Trumper BG, Reschke K, Molling J. Circadian variation of insulin requirement in insulin dependent diabetes mellitus the relationship between circadian change in insulin demand and diurnal patterns of growth hormone, cortisol and glucagon during euglycemia. Horm Metab Res. 1995 Mar;27(3):141-7.
  13. http://www.ajcn.org/content/44/5/630.abstract
  14. Cholinomimetic compound distinct from caffeine contained in coffee. II: Muscarinic actions.’, May 1992, pp. 449-52.
  15. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20456814
  16. http://www.livestrong.com/article/391731-how-to-take-collagen-supplements/#ixzz2VbHIDl2q
  17. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22204879
  18. http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09637486.2011.652597
  19. Veldhorst, M. A breakfast with a-lactalbumin protein. Clinical Nutrition. 2009;28: 147.
  20. http://www.thedoctorwithin.com/collagen/collagen/
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By Dave Asprey

  • Mandy

    Awesome article! Do you ever recommend bulletproof coffee to kids/young adults? If so, at what age? Thank you!

    • RebelLibertarian

      Dave says he gives his kids a very small amount in the morning. (Like a tbsp. or a single bean IIRC)

  • Julia

    Love it. I’m a huge fan!!

    I’m curious, what do you feed your kids in the morning, then?

    Also, regarding your #8 reference…

    “This analysis provides evidence that skipping breakfast is not an effective way to manage weight. Eating cereal (ready-to-eat or cooked cereal) or quick breads for breakfast is associated with significantly lower body mass index compared to skipping breakfast or eating meats and/or eggs for breakfast.”

    I’m curious how this relates to your statement:

    “In fact, extending that fasting period beyond eight hours (typically by skipping breakfast) increases insulin sensitivity even more – AKA Intermittent Fasting.8”

    The study itself seems to have a third party agenda, because it’s tied to Kellogg’s cereal and of course, has an outcome that cereal is tied to lower BMI.

    Thanks for your inspiring, passionate research!!

    • Andre

      Hmm… reference #8 talks about how intermittent fasting is effective for insulin sensitivity and other health biomarkers., and “may be offered as an alternative to continuous eating for weight loss and reducing disease risk.” I like the sound of that!! …Maybe a mix up?

    • Wendee

      I’m still not understanding why collagen protein can’t be added to cold drinks.

      • Frasier Linde

        It doesn’t mix as easily.

  • Steve Davidson

    Hi Dave.

    I took an IGG and IGA blood test that shows a sensitivity to coffee bean and a much larger reaction to dairy. Is there another way to get the benefits of Bulletproof coffee without coffee or dairy?

    • Kat

      People with dairy sensitivities aren’t always sensitive to grass fed butter, but if you are, the butter can be replaced with ghee!

      • stacy

        Can tea be used instead of coffee and if so, what type?

        Also, how does collagen differ from grassfed gelatin? Most people i know tend to do the great Lakes beef gelatin, even though the same company makes a collagen. Can u explain the benefits and cons of both?

        • BulletproofTinMan

          I live in British Columbia and before I got the coffee or Grass Fed Butter I would put a Teaspoon of Matcha Green Tea, 2 TBSP MCT oil and 25grams Whey into a shaker cup with 1-2 cups of water. Not optimum but I liked it. but to answer your 1st question: Green Tea.

        • michael

          collagen is gelatin that has been hydrolyzed. this allows you to mix it with both warm or cold liquids. Collagen will be absorbed easier b/c of the extra stage of breakdown. I personally go with the great lakes gelatin b/c it’s $15 a pound verses $20 for the collagen. the great lakes webpage has decent info on the differences, though in the end they’re both beef protein powder.

    • KarenLA

      Try raw dairy. I can’t tolerate regular dairy, even organic, but raw I can.

    • abright

      Dave suggested drinking coffee and tea together for a different effect: http://www.bulletproofexec.com/green-tea-bulletproof-coffee-better-together-for-an-even-better-brain/ That article might help you determine if you could do a tea instead…

      Do you know if the reaction to dairy is because of the casein, lactose or something else?

  • Elaine

    Would you recommend your style of intermittent fasting for type 2 diabetics who have an elevated fasting blood sugar in the morning?

    • ken

      did you get an answer ?
      i would also like to know.

      • Elaine

        No, I did not. I often use the reasoning that I have enough glucose swimming around in my blood first thing in the morning, so I don’t need to eat if I’m doing some sort of insulin-sensitivity increasing activity. I’d love to stumble across research on IF and fasted cardio for T2s, but I’m sure no one would ever fund a study like that.

  • Dong Cheadle

    Once I got past the mental barrier of skipping breakfast I love Bulletproof Fasting. I try to hold off on the BFC until around noon to maximize my fast time (~16 hours total). It’s easier to eat less calories when your only eating for 8 hours in a day.

    Thanks Dave,

    I also got some of your Brain Octane oil which i am stoked to try this weekend!

    I also add lemon flavored cod liver oil to the coffee for my EPA/DHA fats, any advice against this?


    • abright

      Carlson’s is pretty good– however, I’m not sure what the temperature range is but heat may oxidize the oil? Something to look into.

  • shalom032003@yahoo.com

    Leave a message…This is dumb. The stomach meridian fires between 7 and 9 A.M. If you do not eat breakfast you are not suppling the rest of the organs the vitamins, minerals, and energy they need to fire the rest of the day. This way of life may work short term, but you are setting your body up for adrenal exhaustion, which is going to effect your whole body. Where is the long term research!

    • Amrit

      Dude if you’re going to bring in a million different treatment options to the table then of course there’s going to be overlaps and contradictions. Just see what works for you.

      As far as long term research, check out leangains.com. Martin’s been intermittently fasting for 6+ years I think. This guy is definitely not suffering from adrenal exhaustion and failed organs. Don’t stop there. Check out Mark Sisson as well. There’s a dearth of success stories on the web. Dave himself isn’t exactly crumbling to pieces..

      The proof is right in front of you.. If you want long term research go and fund your own – the medical companies sure as hell won’t. They’re more interested on the effects of Metformin on geese right now I hear…

      • BulletproofTinMan

        DangerouslyHardcore.com Check out this guys work. Does a version of IF. It’s kind of like Intermittent Fasting Evolved how he puts it. John Keifer, Smart guy lots of info

        • Amrit

          Dude is a straight up beast. Thanks man I’ll check it out

    • michael

      there are other ways to lower your adrenals without eating. I personally use oils placed under the tongue, which seem to do the trick. I personally do both lemon water, and possibly some veggie juice (cooking the heavy greens like in dave’s recent post on kale) though i dont add fat b/c i’m not concerned about the fat soluble vitamins, and dont drink my bulletproof coffee until 11am or so b/c the body cleans out its system in morning (circadian rhythm), and not eating during those hours allows the body to do a better job of “detoxing”. at least that what the Taoist literature has on the subject.

  • Paul

    Thanks for the great info Dave! I have a question about the Collagen. If i add it to my morning coffee will it affect my IF hours? Ie: would it be considered a meal? And would i have to adjust my eating window accordingly?

    • michael

      adding protein to the coffee will take you out of autophagy. The fact that the protein is a powder means your body will not have to work that hard to break it down. Which means you will go back into autophagy relatively quick. I would imagine that is why Dave only uses it on exercise & post exercise days when the body’s need for protein is more important than autophagy.

  • Sparatik

    Love the site, love the info, but totally disagree with suggesting people skip breakfast. Every person is different. I would be a non-functioning ball on the floor if I did this, zero brain power. I eat two smaller healthy meals before lunch or else I pay the price. I also have to keep healthy snacks handy if I’m on the road, or zero brain power happens again. If I don’t have fuel, you get nothing from me.

    I would experiment on myself with this theory though as I have with Bulletproof coffee (which is great), just to see what happens, but suggesting kids could get away with skipping breakfast is kind of insane.

    • BulletproofTinMan

      The first time I read to skip breakfast I thaught it was crazy too. I’m 6’3 225 pounds 10% body fat and i’ve been either drinking just BPC or BPC with 10g of whey isolate for the most part of 2013 and I would have that at 5:00am with vitamin a & d.I take my break at my taxing construction job at 11:00am and I am not even that hungry by then, but its my lunch break so I do eat. At that point i’ll have about a pound of grassfed beef with some steamed broccoli with butter. After work @ 2:30pm ill have a shake of 10grams whey, 1 tbsp. MCT oil and 5g creatine and 400mg caffeine. Train @ 3:30. @5pm post workout have 25g whey isolate, 25g upgraded collagen, 50g non gmo dextrose,5g creatine,10g BCAA’s. about an hour later for dinner(6pm): Big Grass Fed Steak with 3 big sweet potatoes, with cinnamin and mct oil. before bed have another shake of collagen, whey, mct’s and magnesium, potassium and vitamin C.

      This is my routine on workout days and i’ve had better job performance, mental clarity, no bad food cravings, lost fat, gained muscle, my tendonitis is gone, clearer skin, stronger and bigger than i’ve ever been. I sleep 8 hours a night but only because i train 5X a week. when i was transitioning my diet over id feel amazing off just 5 hours a night. thanks Dave for all the info it gave me a huge advantage on life! this is a response to Sparatik that turned into a rant because im revved off BP coffee right now, tearin phone books in half!

      • Amrit

        Awesome! I guess I really do need to try and hit the 1g/lb a day.. How much do you shoot for daily?

      • csp8

        How do you distinguished between grass fed beef and grass fed beef that’s been grain finished? Theres no requirement to mark that the cows have been grain finished (to fatten them up right before slaughter), and it totally destroys all the CLA content that being grass fed builds up.

        • Frasier Linde

          If the package (or website) doesn’t say “100% grass-fed,” you may need to ask the farmer/producer.

    • Laura Grace

      I have always been a breakfast person. I would be dull and even in pain without it. Bulletproof Coffee changes it completely. I don’t need anything else until the afternoon.

  • Abel Csabai

    Dave, can I ask what time do you wake up in the morning?

    And as a BONUS, can I ask what your typical lunch looks like after 2 PM?



    • Kyle

      Upgraded Ham Sandwich.

  • Kevin

    I’m interested to try the collagen. I have tried adding whey protein to my BPC, and although it tastes great, I get nauseous every single time. Anyone else experience this?

    • Amrit

      Doesn’t it denature in the coffee? I might try the iced coffee tomorrow, sounds amazing 🙂

    • Ahmad Awadallah

      If you are putting it in hot coffee then this is the reason. You need to first ice the coffee before putting in whey protein. Another option is to try the collegian protein instead since it is stable in heat.

  • MichelleLecours

    Hi Dave, I’m just a little confused with this sentence: “You will lose the benefits of autophagy (cellular cleaning) though if you add protein.” Should I add protein to my coffee or not? Thank you! 😀

    • Amrit

      Hey Michelle,

      I think he means a small amount of protein (10g) will not break your fast but will help preserve muscle. At the same time however, these extra calories will probably turn off autophagy.

      I guess then that we have to choose; do we want autophagy or do we want to maintain our muscle?

      • MichelleLecours

        I see, Amrit. Thank you so much for the clarification 😀

        • Amrit

          No worries Michelle but it’s purely an educated guess :). Hopefully someone else can confirm but I’m guessing it’s the gist

        • Eveland

          Yes alternate it. Use the protein sometimes especially on days with intense physical work. But leave it out at least a day or two a week as well to give your cells a chance to clean themselves out.

    • abright

      Like the article says, it depends on what your goals are. If you want a day of autophagy, eat no more than 15g the entire day of protein– I would absolutely not do a work out on this day. If I wanted to work out, I’d have a regular day in the middle and then work out the day after. I personally limit my protein fasting days to 1x per week, if I’m fasting from protein.

  • Louis

    You cite #6 for the proposition that “Studies show that when well-nourished kids skip breakfast and have their first meal at lunch they pay attention, behave, and perform better throughout the entire school day.” However, it seems like that study found that “breakfast consumption preferentially influences tasks requiring aspects of memory.” Personally, I do feel like skipping breakfast helps me function better throughout the day. Still, these citation seems to be incorrect, unless I am misreading something.

    • Max

      I got the same out of that citation ae. And a glucose supplimented drink will prevent the negative effects of fasting on the memory. Shit referencing for such an extreme ascertion.

  • KarenLA

    I have discovered you don’t need a blender. Get a gadget called the Aerolatte. It is 7 inches long, comes with a carrying case and can froth up foam in seconds. Very portable. Bed, Bath & Beyond carries it, or find it on the internet

    • JBeres

      Ikea sells it for $2.49

  • MikeJC

    Love it! But how could this “breakfast” be altered if I am actually trying to gain some size, I find that most of Dave’s posts are centered around wanting to lose body fat while at this stage I kind of want to gain some (and no not just muscle). So what breakfast foods could I add on top of this to achieve my goal? Mike

    • Amrit

      See Bulletprooftinman’s epic comment mate.

  • Juliana Beltrame

    Hi there, I love the concept of the BP coffee and diet. I was drinking BP coffee for a couple of months and loving the mental and physical benefits I was receiving, I had to stop the BP coffee as I was developing awful nausea and pain in the area around my gall bladder. This would last for a couple of hours. I have since stopped and tried to address the issue with gall bladder/liver flushes (2 so far) as well as foods and herbs to help with detoxification of the liver. I recently tried to have a BP coffee but still can not tolerate the coffee, despite halving the butter. I would dearly like to return to this way of starting my day.
    Dave do you or anyone out there have any suggestions on how to overcome this problem. I am sure others may be suffering too… Thank you kindly. Juliana.

    • abright

      Do you have issues with other high fat meals? My mom started having gall bladder issues (she is not BP) and has found it helpful to take digestive enzymes with betaine and HCL, it helped her. I don’t know if that will help you or not.

    • Christine Straley

      I recommend for my clients who have gallbladder issues oxbile enzyme supplementation. Also to much MCT or coconut oil can cause nausea so cut back and slowly add it in.

    • EmiP22

      Betaine was really helpful for me, it has made a huge difference. I take 2 500mg pills before I drinking the coffee.

    • Brandon

      I had a similar problem and it was acid reflux. I had to take the butter out, and use a non-dairy cream instead. I still add the mct oil and protein powder though.

  • Aussie

    Great article. But doesn’t mct oil raise insulin levels? So having mct oil in the coffee in the morning wouldn’t this interfer with cortisol levels ? I’m just curious. Thanks

  • Silent b

    I don’t see how reference 6 supports the statement about well fed kids performing and behaving better. there are no kids in the study you reference. typo?
    Btw I’m BP IF’ing as I type this so not hating in any way.

    • Max

      Dodgey referencing !!!! beware

  • Sonia

    Why am I starving by 10a? I have 16oz. of bp coffee at 6:30, workout from 7-8(Crossfit), and can’t get passed 10a. Not even on my off days- I might maaaybe be able to get to 11-sh on those days. I tried upping the butter to 2T, and it made no difference. Then I tried increasing the MTC, and it made me nauseous for a few hrs. When I went back to the 1T of MTC the next day, I was nauseous again. So I went to 1/2 a T for a day and that seemed to get things back on track. Whew! I was nervous for a second! I don’t want to give up any part of the combo!
    Any thoughts on the hunger??

    • Scott

      If your hungry, your not eating enough fat. 2tbls of butter in 12oz of coffee is my minimum. 4 is more like it (+ MCT). You are working out tho, so you may want do add collagen as well. From the BP recipe: “Taking a betaine HCl or digestive enzyme supplement with your coffee will also help your body digest the butter.”

      • Sonia

        Thanks! I actually JUST ordered the collagen! I’ll add more butter too. I’m thinking it may just need to build up in my system.

        • abright

          Yeah the work out may be the culprit and adding more MCT can help. I typically have about 3-4 tbs of butter and 1 tbs of mct… and I’m fine from about 8:30 am when I have my coffee until 2 or 3 in the afternoon; but I don’t work out regularly. On days I work out, I eat earlier.

  • Peter

    I love your system but absolutely HATE coffee. Is there some other morning starter that can be recommended besides coffee?

    • michael

      tea. specifically black, b/c it has high caffeine. You can also use oolong or green, though they are lower in caffeine.

  • Nat

    Hi Dave,

    could you provide us with – non-industry supported – references on the effect of dietary collagen supplements on skin, joints, muscle, aging, sleep etc?

    The references you provide discuss the properties of collagen molecules (17), the in vitro effect of collagen on fibroblasts (18), and the effect of different proteins on satiety (19). The website “the doctor within” (20) refers to a number of small industry supported studies.

    In a diet rich in animal protein in the form of muscle, organ and bone broth, does supplementation with collagen have a significant effect? would love to see some clinical studies on humans.


  • johnny

    How many grams of collagen protein should i take post workout for gaining mucle? And what should i mix it with?

    • michael

      your body needs more protein both on exercise day, and the day after. Make sure to get more protein be it collagen/gelatin, whey, or any other good quality protein. Studies have shown that drinking fast absorbing protein like whey after a workout are best. but as dave points out above, collage will work just as well. i usually take 20g of protein an a small amount of water after exercise, followed by a meal within the hour. the key is to not over water your protein beverage, you’re not hydrating, you’re eating a liquid protein meal. drink water and possibly mineralize yourself before working out, not after.

      • rjdang

        The body can’t absorb more than 10g of protein per hour, and the excess just damages your kidneys. This is well known and you can easily find several references by searching Google scholar. The excess protein has to be removed by the kidneys and does a lot of damage to your digestive system. More than 100g of protein a day for a 150lb person, even an extreme athlete is not doing anything good for your body. All of this protein guzzling is totally unfounded for muscle gain or any other reason, please do your research before posting this nonsense that gravely misleads less informed people to make bad choices. This goes out mainly to the author who loves to spread pseudo science on this half baked website.

        • rjdang

          It’s also impossible to digest protein without A LOT of water. It’s biochemistry 101. Don’t just drink a little, if you eat a high protein meal or snack you’ve wasted your money and energy and time if you don’t also follow up with enough water. Maybe double the water intake if you double your protein. There are water intake calculators online for body weight and age.

  • A Paleo Girl

    Great article! I’ve been a long time follower and fan.

    I still am making attempts to add a protein source to lukewarm or hot coffee due to my current health need for 30 g protein at breakfast. I’m not a fan of iced-blended coffee for breakfast and it may be difficult to get a larger amount of collagen protein in a single cup of coffee (30 g protein into 8 oz). Is there any data available on the relationship of whey protein denaturation and temperature? What is the maximum temperature at which whey protein is stable?

    Although whey protein shouldn’t be added to hot coffee, can hemp protein be added to hot coffee? If not, what is the maximum temperature for hemp protein or other non-whey protein stability?


  • Chelsie Sharp

    If I’m an athlete daily training roughly 90 minutes vigorously would you suggest adding this to my coffee every day or cycle it with regular bulletproof coffee during the week? If I am using it daily in addition to my bulletproof coffee first thing in the morning than am I forfeiting all of the benefits of IF anyhow? Thank you in advance!

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  • Brandon Green

    Maybe it’s because i am an endomorph(some mesomorh as well) that i am not hungry at breakfast. Breakfast always made me sleepy.

  • Jackie

    Would you suggest the Bulletproof coffee protocol for women TTC?

  • A fascinating read, but from my experience the more you fine tune the rationale for undertaking or achieving a desired end, you are at the same time leveraging the risk of unbalancing some other process.

    The physio-chemical make up of our body is very complex, and all processes are interconnected or coordinated so we need to be careful that focusing on one desired end is not negatively impacting on ancillary processes.

    Breakfast or no breakfast – the insulin argument is well known, but perhaps less known is the simpler process of digestion requiring more blood flow to the alimentary canal so less goes to the brain.

    For this reason I never ate anything four hours before an exam when at university.

    My breakfast is relatively short chain so easy to digest.

    I agree with you on Collagen 100%

    Keep up the good work.

  • csp8

    Will lemon juice or vinegar disrupt the intermittent bulletproof fasting?

    • Anna

      This is something I’m curious about, too. I seem to be better able to digest BPC and high fat meal if I drink water with either apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.

      • Jane

        I drink ACV whenever I have reflux and almost immediately it clears.

    • Stephanie J

      I’m curious about this too. I drink water with lemon or ACV when i wake up and like the detoxing benefits.

  • Rdd TheStrong

    What is the difference between purchasing collagen vs. collagen from bone broth?

    • Krispy

      If I recall correctly, there is the matter of denatured protein and oxidized lipids in bone broth due to over heating 🙁 the upgraded collagen is processed enzymatically so it doesn’t have those heat damage issues.

  • Chantal

    Will i brake the bulletproof intermittent fasting if i use 35 % fat cream (with mct oil) instead of grass fed butter?? Can not buy it in Québec….:-(.

    • Chantal

      Anyone knows?????
      Pleasssssse 🙂

      • Kevin

        You are probably fine as long as you keep your protein intake very low, say 10 grams.

    • Rawstagirl

      I am pretty sure you are breaking the fast because cream has sugars.

  • Don

    Hi Dave,

    I enjoy BP coffee each morning. I just read the journal article you reference above (#6), and the summary says:

    “In summary, the results of the three studies discussed here indicate that the consumption of breakfast benefits memory. One of the mechanisms for this interaction involves the raising of blood glucose, although we suggest that it is not the only mechanism. It also appears that psychologic function is not uniformly affected by missing breakfast. Although certain aspects of memory seem particularly vulnerable to morning fasting, the demands placed on the brain and the nature of the memory test are important variables that require further scrutiny.”

    Must be an incorrect reference as you said “Studies show that when well-nourished kids skip breakfast and have their first meal at lunch they pay attention, behave, and perform better throughout the entire school day”.

    Perhaps there is a different article you meant to reference?

    Thanks in advance

  • LisaK

    Wouldn’t a glass of water with just BCAA’s with your BP coffee in the
    morning be less of an interference with the fast as well as more muscle preserving than the whey?

  • Myles

    Random question: Could you use Upgraded Collagen Protein in iced coffee?

  • Jeff Sha Robes

    Tried frozen coffee… Made more of a slush… Added egg yolk… How can I fix this?

  • Matthew Cahn

    What happens when you over-blend the collagen?

  • Marty

    Do we drink the BP Coffee WITH Collagen before or after the workout?

  • ElGeeBe

    Can you add the collagen to the cold BP coffee? Or does the cold temp ruin the collagen?

  • Joe

    Been doing something sorta like this for a few months.

    Given my workout schedule, I do not wish to go from 9 pm till 1 pm the next day (my almost-fasting period) without ingesting protein. So, within 1/2 hr of awakening, I mix 20 grams of protein powder made of sprouts and 10 of whey into water. I also chew on a tablespoon of toasted flax seed, which adds another 45 calories.

    There seems to be some debate (how surprising!) as to whether 135 calories of easily digestible calories will bounce you out of autophagy. Till I learn better, this will be my routine. That said, am always experimenting, which is why I’ve been on bulletproof java for some months now.



  • Bob

    How exactly is the bulletproof IF protocol an IF protocol if you are having a high calorie “breakfast” ie the coffee w/butter and mct? Surely this would break the fast and kill any IF benefits. Any help would be most appreciated

  • Danielle

    is there something you can use besides MCT oil or coconut oil? I have a sensitivity to coconut for the time being.

  • Dave, what about the palm kernel oil in the MCT oil? Palm oil plantations are the main driver for deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia and are an ecological nightmare, in addition to the impact on wildlife, most importantly, the Asian elephant, tiger, Sumatran rhinoceros and the orangutan. I cannot in good conscience support a company who uses palm or palm kernel oil in its food. I would love to hear your plans for removing the palm oil from your MCT oil. Thank you.

  • danelipscombe

    Hi Dave, I’m avoiding Coffee since I sometimes have rapid atrial fibrillation of the heart. Do you have any alternative suggestions for breakfast? Salad or steamed vegies with a heap of grass fed butter maybe?

    • Apaddock

      decaf bulletproof?

      • danelipscombe

        Thanks, I didn’t realize that existed.

        • Mike Ipsen

          Yep you can also do BP tea or cocoa too.

  • carbsanity

    Denounce Jimmy Moore and then we’ll talk.

  • Frasier Linde

    By the time I blend 3+ ounces of room-temperature fats into my cup of
    coffee, it’s not exactly “HOT.” How hot does it have to be to mess up
    the whey protein? A quick google tells me maybe 140° F.

  • Joey

    It sometimes makes me nauseous if I start to have it regularly . . . I don’t know if this will always be a problem or what… But I hear the hydrolysate gelatin does not bother folks so I will find out soon. Today I had the regular and not much problem but seemed like the nauseousness was there a little bit. I hear adding hot water to it will help dissolve it better thus making digesting easier for sensitive folks. The hydrolysate is all good though so can’t wait to try it!!

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  • Let me start by saying I am a huge BP fan! I am down 34 pounds and never felt better. I have a clarification on Goal #4. I thought I read elsewhere in BP materials that adding Collagen Protein to the morning BP Coffee will take the body out of Ketosis, but it isn’t mentioned here. My weight loss has stalled about 9 pounds from my goal, and I am also concerned that I might be burning muscle. I carry almost all my fat directly on the gut. It doesn’t seem to be going down at all now, but I am not seeing as much definition in my shoulders. Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.

  • Peter Hanna

    I wonder if it would help build and keep muscle if I added eggs to my bulletproof coffee? I play a lot of sports and need to bulk up and I feel like having a bp coffee breakfast has a catabolic and not anabolic effect on my body. Also, non carby breakfasts don’t appeal to me in the mornings. Eggs on their own are pretty unappetising so I would prefer to just throw them into the coffee 🙂

  • Courtney Michelle Zeller

    I keep trying intermittent fasting, and the problem is, that within 2 hours of being awake in the morning, I get incredibly nauseated if I haven’t eaten! Even with bulletproof coffee or bulletproof coffee with upgraded collagen. Any suggestions from those who may have experienced the same thing?

    • Mike Ipsen

      You could always change the hours you fast. Eat breakfast and move BPC to lunch, odds are you will not be hungry for dinner. This would shift your hours of fasting to something more appealing to your body. Listen to your body.