Butter in coffee and turning your back on grains in your diet may be the new way to a healthier lifestyle and a manageable body weight. Bulletproof coffee is the idea of entrepreneur Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof Lifestyle.
The aim is to “bulletproof” yourself against fatigue, flab and chronic diseases such as arthritis (something Asprey himself suffered from at just 14). He was inspired when he felt the rejuvenating effects of buttery “yak” tea 18,000ft up Mount Kailash in Tibet. Since then it’s taken him 15 years and cost $300,000 (£185,000), but Asprey believes he has “bio-hacked” his way to unlocking the blissful state of optimal performance.It’s a state Asprey regards as “our natural birthright”, and the key, he says, is taking care of basic biology first.
Dave Asprey is following his usual morning routine: drinking coffee and doing drugs. It’s a Tuesday in March, and Asprey, who is 6 feet 4, with graying brown hair and a stubbly beard, is in his office in the countryside town of Cobble Hill, B.C., 45 minutes north of Victoria in Canada. His children play in the house just a few steps away. He reaches into a large armoire full of bottles, carefully gathers about 20 pills, and washes them down with a gulp of water. Then he takes a sip of coffee. The milky brown concoction sloshes in his clear plastic mug like a pint of Guinness.
Bloomberg.com describes Asprey, 42, as a self-described biohacker—somebody who uses science and technology to make his or her body function better and more efficiently. There are about 100,000 biohackers worldwide, Asprey estimates, and among them, he’s a celebrity. His website, bulletproofexec.com, drew 6 million unique visitors last year. Almost 50,000 people follow him on Twitter, and he has an additional 140,000 fans on Facebook.
Since 2009 he’s posted blog entries and podcasts about things such as orange-tinted glasses, which he says block out blue-spectrum light, allowing us to sleep so well that we need only six hours or less, and the minimum number of days a man should wait between orgasms, a protocol Asprey found in an ancient Taoist text. (Age minus 7, divided by 4.) But of all his out-there health claims, it’s the coffee he’s drinking—blended with butter made with milk from grass-fed cows and a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil derived from coconut oil—that’s making Asprey most famous.
He calls the mixture Bulletproof coffee. Drink it, the name implies, and you’ll feel invincible. “Fats and caffeine help stimulate the brain,” Asprey says in his office, taking another sip. The coffee, along with the drug cocktail he’s just downed, which includes vitamins K and C as well as aniracetam, a pharmaceutical designed to improve brain function, is intended to provide hours of enlightenment. “There’s a sense of cognitive ease, where everything you want to say is at the tip of your tongue,” he says. “It’s like getting a new computer—you never want to go back to the old one.”