Biohacking, Bulletproof coffee, ketogenic diet, MCT, BDNF and smart drugs. You may have heard of these things and have lots of questions on them, such as does BulletProof coffee really work? Does it really have butter in it? How do you make it? What is ketogenic diet? What is BDNF? Can you make more mitochondria? Can you bio hack your life with supplements? We are going to do our best to walk you through these questions (and much more) as we review all the BulletProof supplements and give you some background on how they may (or may not) work. Grab some coffee (and butter?) and get ready to learn!
I’ll put this up front and then go into the specifics down below. After using the BulletProof supplements and food products I can honestly recommend the following products:
BulletProof Coffee – It does not have to be their brand of coffee beans, but this is something you should try.
Brain Octane – This is a daily staple for me. If you are just starting out, then XCT oil would probably be sufficient. I have been taking MCT based products for years and can definitely tell the difference between other MCT to Brain Octane.
Collagen Bars and Bites – These are super helpful and healthy. Plus, they taste amazing!
Activated Charcoal – This has helped me through many dinners at restaurants that have questionable food quality and/or for nights when I know I am going to have several drinks.
Collagen – I have been using collagen for the last few years to combat arthritis and have noticed it made my skin look younger. That was not the intent, but a very nice side effect!
Those would be my everyday supplements. Notice how all of them are actually macronutrients? Meaning, they are food products. Start with your eating habits and then add supplements from there. That would be my advice. Not that you asked, but I am offering it from a fitness professional as well as a fellow biohacker perspective. If you want to delve into supplements, it would look something like this:
PQQ (Unfair Advantage)
caffeine (if you tolerate it well)
zinc with copper
You can shop for all of these supplements at the Bulletproof Store
What is BulletProof Coffee?
BulletProof coffee is a combination of a few things. There are actually coffee beans (called BulletProof Coffee) that are basically single origin and grown at high altitude. The beans are tested to make sure they contain no mold or other toxins. The coffee is actually high quality and comes in 4 roasts in whole bean or ground. There are also some decaf versions. You do not need the BulletProof brand of coffee to make “BulletProof Coffee” though. Though we did use it the “BulletProof Mentalist” medium roast for this review. It is important to use good quality coffee when you make the recipe though. Dave has spent much of his time talking about mold and how dangerous it can be and one of the many sources for mold is actually in coffee. $19 for 12oz
How to make BulletProof Coffee
First, start with your coffee (again, it does not have to be BulletProof brand). Brew the coffee using your favorite method. We often use a pore over with a metal filter. Next, add 1-2 Tablespoons of butter. Yes, butter, but not any butter will do. Make sure it is organic and preferably non-salted. They recommend Kerry Gold. Add the butter to the coffee and mix it in a blender (or use a hand mixer) to froth the two ingredients together. It actually tastes good and fills you up. The theory here is that you are supplying your body and brain with fats and not affecting the fasted state. There are many theories on this and you can come to your own conclusions. To ramp up the BulletProof coffee, add 1-2 Tablespoons of MCT oil or Brain Octane (will cover that in a separate review below). If you really want to make the turbocharged you can add collagen (BulletProof Collagen reviewed below) and even some Cacao. Check out the video below to see how to make BulletProof Coffee.
Does BulletProof Coffee work?
Yes, I think it works. Personally, I have been drinking versions of BulletProof coffee for several years. Though I don’t use the BulletProof brand for all the ingredients. We have access to a local roaster and source out our own quality coffee beans. I usually use Great Lakes Collagen and a Tablespoon of organic cacao powder. I have been using Brain Octane and Kerry Gold butter for years. So, the perfect BulletProof Coffee for us is – 2 cups coffee + 1 tablespoon Brain Octane + 1 serving collagen + 1 tablespoon butter + 1 serving cacao powder. It is legit! Others might use coconut oil instead of the Brain Octane or MCT oil. While that can be ok, it will taste like coconut and have a different ratio of beneficial fats. Personally, I would recommend a good MCT oil or Brain Octane. Warning – do not start off with 2 tablespoons of MCT oil or butter! You will crap your pants. Seriously though, it can be hard on the stomach and cause loose stool. Like most things in life, start low and work your way up.
MCT Oil and Brain Octane
What is MCT oil?
MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides. There is a lot of research out there regarding MCT and the benefits of them. We will not go too deep into that, but rather give you the nutshell version. MCTs are unique in that they can be used as fuel a bit faster than other fats because they don’t need to be processed by the liver (except possibly Lauric Acid C12, so there is debate as to whether this is actually an MCT or an LCT). BulletProof brand MCT oil is called XCT oil and is mostly Caprylic (C8) and Capric (C10) acids. These are more beneficial than Lauric Acid (C12) in most cases.
Is Coconut oil the same things as MCT oil?
Not necessarily. Coconut oil is great to cook with and use on your body. However, it is 50%+ Lauric Acid (the least beneficial of the MCTs) 10% Capric Acid and 5% Caprylic Acid. The rest of the fatty acids in coconut oil are C14 and above. One could say that there are beneficial MCTs in coconut oil, but really it is just ~15% or so. The rest of coconut oil is much like long chain fatty acids.
Does MCT oil work?
Yes. MCT oil provides beneficial fats that the body and brain can use quickly as fuel. There are many brands of MCT oil out there. Do not cheap out on quality. BulletProof brand XCT oil is as good as any brand, if not better. They claim to filter out some of the solvents by-products that could cause an upset stomach. What I like best about their version is that they only use coconut oil to extract the MCTs. No palm is used. This is a big deal to many of us as the palm industry is not very good for the environment. We will leave it at that. Feel free to look into the palm industry to see why. XCT Oil $30 for 32oz, $15.50 for 16oz
What is Brain Octane?
Brain Octane is pure Caprylic (C8) the most beneficial of the MCTs. It would take 18 times the coconut oil to get the same amount of C8. You do not want to eat 18 times of any fat!
Does Brain Octane work?
Yes! I prefer Brain Octane over XCT or MCT oil. I have been putting Brain Octane in my coffee for years. Of all the food and supplements in this BulletProof review, Brain Octane is at the top of my list. In fact, it is a core staple of my daily biohacking regiment. Again, start with a low dose and work your way up. I find that 2 tablespoons a day are the right amount for me. I feel clear headed and energized when taking it. Sometimes I take a few days off, to see if I can feel a difference, and the answer is always yes, I can feel a difference in cognitive performance. $46 for 32oz, $23.50 for 16oz
Collagen is found in animal bone broths, organs, and fish bones. Do you eat those? Probably not, unless you are drinking bone broth (which has made one heck of a comeback!) you are probably missing out on some of the collagen’s helpful properties. Collagen mixes easily and has very little flavor. Collagen differs from gelatin as it is hydrolyzed. This helps keep it from thickening as it cools. Collagen is a protein source and is especially high in glycine. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, comprising 1/3 of our make up. It is used to make connective tissue, skin, and bones. Studies have shown it to help in wound recovery, arthritis, and skin appearance.
Does Collagen work?
Yes! Is the Bulletproof Collagen better than other collagen brands? Could be. After using the Bulletproof brand Collagen for 4 weeks I did not notice much if any difference over the collagen I usually take (Great Lakes). Bulletproof sources their collagen from grass-fed, hormone free, pasture-raised cows. So you can feel good about that. $39 for 16oz
Collagen Protein Bar and Bites
BulletProof really nailed it with their protein bars and bites. The Collagen Bars and Bites come in 3 flavors – Lemon Cookie, Fudge Brownie and Vanilla Shortbread. All of them taste amazing. They are made of organic cashew butter, BulletProof Collagen, XCT oil, Brain Octane oil, chicory root fiber, stevia, sea salt and either vanilla, cacao or lemon. I loved these! $35 for 12 bars $29 for 15 bites.
Coconut Charcoal Capsules
Activated charcoal has been used for detoxing for a long time. Do you have a water filter on your fridge? That probably has a charcoal base to it. Charcoal absorbs toxins by attracting them with its negative charge and porous surface area. Bulletproof brand Upgraded Coconut Charcoal is made from coconut shells.
Does Bulletproof Coconut Charcoal work?
Yes. I have personally been using charcoal for years to help with detoxification from bad food or even alcohol. One of my secret weapons is to take 2 charcoal capsules before going to eat at a questionable restaurant. We all have to eat at some crappy place sometimes and taking the charcoal beforehand helps me tolerate the “less than ideal” food. If I know I am going to have more than a few beers, I take a couple capsules beforehand. I cannot say it completely negates a hangover, but it certainly does help! $19 for 90 capsules.
The ketogenic diet is basically a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate diet. It has been shown to help with epilepsy and many people are claiming it has helped them think more clearly and operate at a better performance. Fasting is usually part of the diet as well. You can look into the Ketogenic diet more and make your own conclusions. Many of the BulletProof products are beneficial for a ketogenic diet. Dave Asprey’s books delve into this in great detail and offer many recipes and success stories.
Personally, do not follow the ketogenic diet so I cannot speak fully to its benefits nor how some of these supplements below might work better on this kind of diet. What I can offer is a history of biohacking for 25 years and a background in fitness and nutrition. I have tried more supplements and smart drugs than I can count. I will do my best to give honest answers regarding the supplements below.
KetoPrime is a lozenge that you let dissolve in your mouth for about 10 minutes. The 3 main ingredients are 80mg Vitamin C, 1mg B12and 100mg Oxaloacetate or OAA for short. The basic idea is to take KetoPrime when you want to think clearly, perform at your best and spark the Krebs cycle.
Does KetoPrime work?
Not sure. It might work better if I was on a ketogenic diet. I like the flavor quite a bit though. They say it mimics the effect of a calorie restricted diet and helps your body create new mitochondria. I have no quantifiable way of proving this. I used it before many kettlebell sessions and tracked HRV to see if it helped. It is quite possible that it did, but I have no way of proving it. $59 for 30
Forbose is billed as a supplement that can help you recharge your ATP “batteries” aka mitochondria. The main ingredients are 678mg D-Ribose, 50mg Coleus Forskohlii, and 30mg Magnesium. Note – ribose can lower blood glucose, so take with food.
Does Forbose work?
Not sure. Again, it is hard to prove that this works (for me). I did not notice any positive or negative effects while taking it. $25 for 60
NeuroMaster, besides sounding like an 80s movie about a giant brain, is a supplement based on coffee fruit extract. Yes, the actual fruit that surrounds the coffee bean. There are studies showing that there are beneficial properties to this coffee fruit. The ingredients are 200mg NeuroFactor whole coffee fruit extract and 71mg Coffeeberry energy coffee fruit extract.
Does NeuroMaster work?
Yes. Well maybe. I can feel it ramping me up, but it also contains 71mg of caffeine, so that could be what I am feeling. I respond well to caffeine and take in 300-400mg a day from coffee and other sources. Keep in mind the caffeine contact if you are sensitive to caffeine! Does NeuroMaster increase BDNF as it claims? That is hard to say. Caffeine is a wonderful drug and is proven to help improve physical and mental performance. Is this better than a caffeine pill of coffee? Debatable. $56 for 30
Unfair Advantage is a liposomal PQQ ad CoQ10 supplement that is sold as an energy wave inducing, brain enhancing supplement. The liposomal delivery system is unique and the supplement comes in a mini shot vessel. The ingredients are Active PQQ and CoQ10.
Does Unfair Advantage work?
Yes. It took a while for me to notice the benefits of this supplement. When I did realize it was doing something was on a long mountain bike ride that usually kicks my ass. After using the BulletProof brand for 30 days, I tried a less expensive version and noticed similar results. Now PQQ is a daily supplement for me. $59 for 30
Sleep Mode is obviously a sleep aid. Yes, it has melatonin, but only .3mg. That is a lot less than most over the counter melatonin products (often 1-10mg) The melatonin they use is also plant sourced so it is bio-identical. It also contains a small dose of Brain Octane and 400mg L-Ornithine the is supposed to help lower cortisol and improve sleep patterns.
Does Sleep Mode work?
Yes. I have battled insomnia my entire life and take sleep aids often. The first time I took Sleep Mode, I zonked out for 10 hours. I am usually a 5-6 hour of sleep kind of guy. I tried it out several more times and was able to stick to the usual 6-hour sleep cycle. It did not make me drowsy at night, nor the next day (like most melatonin products do). What I noticed most, was an increase in lucid dreaming right before I would wake up. I often have lucid dreams, but they are usually in the middle of the night. It was surprising to have the just before waking up. What I did with the lucid dreams was go back into the dreams and figure out what I needed to tackle for the day. Then I would wake up, already having brainstormed angles of approaching my work. I found that pretty interesting! I am not saying that will happen to you, but it might be worth a try. $36 for 60
5-HTP is naturally formed from tryptophan in your body while it is creating serotonin. The idea of supplementing with 5-HTP to help with serotonin and decrees desire for sugar has been around for a while. Bulletproof version contains 1.3mg B6 and 50mg 5-HTP.
Does Bulletproof 5-HTP work?
Maybe. I don’t believe I have issues with producing serotonin so this supplement may be lost on me. I also do not crave sugar so I did not notice a benefit from that angle either. $20 for 90
Zinc with Copper
Zinc and Copper are two important minerals that help your body do a lot of important functions. When combined they can form copper-zinc SOD, an antioxidant.
Does BulletProof Zinc with Copper work?
Yes. I take zinc already, so I stopped taking my usual zinc supplement for a few weeks before taking this combo. One thing I notice when I don’t take zinc, is I feel slightly out of hormonal balance. How do I quantify this? Morning wood. That’s right. It is like a natural barometer on my testosterone. Make of that what you will. I have my hormones checked at least every 6 months for the last 10 years and have dialed in a pretty good regiment to keep levels in the healthy range. Zin has been part of that plan. I have never had my copper levels tested so I cannot say that it needed attention. After reading about zinc supplementation, it made sense to take copper with the zinc. $13 for 60
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that helps with the production of dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It is also supposed to help you handle stress more effectively. 500mg of L-Tyrosine per cap.
Does BulletProof L-Tyrosine work?
Probably. I did not notice much when I took it. It is possible that I did not take an effective dose. Research has shown doses of several grams (up to 13grams for a person my size) before stressful events have been effective. However, I am going with the recommended dose from BulletProof so I can keep the review ethical and consistent. $15 for 60
Calcium D-Glucarate is billed as a liver supporting detoxifier that helps increase glucaric acid. This helps regulate metabolism and hormone function.
Does BulletProof Calcium D-Glucarate work?
Not sure. I have taken other brands of this before and noticed no difference as well. Maybe I am not in need of liver detoxification as much as I thought? I think that is a good thing! If you were looking for a detoxing supplement, I think you would be better off with the Activated Charcoal. $40 for 90
Methyl Folate or 5-MTHF is an upgraded version of folic acid. Up to 60% of the US population has difficulty converting folic acid to the active version – 5-MTHF. Pregnant women are often recommended to take
Folic acid and Methyl Folate may be the answer for those who do not process folic acid properly. BulletProof Methyl Folate from Quatefolic provides the equivalent of 800mcg Folate.
Does BulletProof Methyl Folate work?
Not sure. I am not pregnant, nor do I plan to be. Hope that made you laugh a little. Seriously though, I can see this being a real life saver for someone who has a problem processing folic acid effectively. $19 for 100
Methyl B-12 is a spearmint lozenge that provides 5mg of B12 (208,333% of the daily recommended dose) That was not a typo. Yes, over 200k %.
Does BulletProof Methyl B-12 work?
Not sure. It does taste good though! I have never been diagnosed with a B12 deficiency. $15 for 60 lozenges
Hope you found that helpful! Go stick some butter in your coffee and kick some ass!