The Los Angeles Lakers are widely known for their obsession with nutrition, not to mention their emphasis on grass-fed sources of food and avoidance of sugars. To keep themselves at peak health and performance, they pound down several meals of fatty beef, bacon and bone broth a day, and wake themselves up with a piping hot cup of coffee with butter whenever they need a mental boost. Wait, did we lose you?
It may sound crazy, but some fats—even in abundance—can be good for you. The funny thing is that most people’s bodies are practically starved for them, especially the fatty acids that are found in eggs, fish and certain grass-fed animals. They’ve earned the “healthy” label because they help your body reduce its cholesterol levels, thus reducing your risk for heart disease and improving your metabolism. Familiar sources include avocados, coconut oil, nuts and olive oil. One source we’re less familiar with is also a fat source we traditionally avoid: butter.
That is, your typical butter from the grocery store aisle, which is often salted and made from grain-fed milk. Butter from grass-fed cows, on the other hand, has fewer inflammation-causing fats and is the cornerstone of one of the NBA’s weirdest diet secrets, Bulletproof Coffee, a coffee brand created by a guy from Silicon Valley. Using his knowledge of biochemistry, Dave Asprey blended two tablespoons of grass-fed butter and coffee with a coconut oil extract (medium-chain triglyceride, or MCT, which increases metabolism). The resulting drink is deliciously creamy coffee that works like coffee should, providing a focused mental state without the distracting “buzz” associated with a cheap cuppa.
According to Bulletproof’s website, chasing or replacing breakfast with a cup of Bulletproof Coffee (read: a whole lot of healthy fat) helps program your body to burn fat. This builds off the concept of a low carb, high fat diet, which, through consistency, trains your body to burn fat as its primary energy source instead of simple sugars or more important stores of energy such as protein. Add to this the fact that the coffee keeps you feeling satisfied, and you’ve got a recipe for staying lean.
But there’s a reason that music artists, execs and basketball players down a cup before it’s game time. In fact, many serious athletes and coaches are making their coffee bulletproof. With no sugar involved, there’s no crash, and the clean mental edge is advertised to last around six hours—a lot longer than the 48 minutes and change a player is expected to be at peak mental alertness during a game. Physical energy is also boosted thanks to the caffeine content.
Making a cup of Bulletproof Coffee isn’t as simple as mixing the three key ingredients together, however. The website recommends brewing a cup of coffee with filtered water, preferably using a French press. Then, you throw it along with one or two tablespoons of MCT oil into a blender. Finally, add in two pats of grass-fed, unsalted butter (popular brands include Kerrygold and Organic Valley). Blend—don’t stir—the contents until it’s frothy. That’s it. It’s especially useful for time-strapped athletes.
If the company’s website is to be believed, Bulletproof Coffee boasts that drinking a cup is shortly followed by one of the best mornings of your life. However, we’re sure the Lakers are proof enough that fat can be a wonderful thing.