Bulletproof is a coffee brand designed to help consumers “perform better, think faster, and live better”. Founded by Dave Asprey, a Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur, Bulletproof’s coffee drink consists of “upgraded” coffee beans, blended with unsalted, grass-fed butter and coconut oil extract known as “Brain Octane”. What originated as a blog about health and fitness has grown to include a range of drinks, a popular radio show, a bestselling book and cookbook, and The Bulletproof Diet.
We spoke to Asprey about what inspired the brand, what makes Bulletproof different and what he plans for 2016.
Tell us about Bulletproof – what inspired its creation?
I developed the Bulletproof Diet out of enlightened self-interest. I used to weigh 300lbs, and in my mid 20s I started getting severe fatigue and cognitive dysfunction. I had arthritis in both knees at age 14 and didn’t know that it was normal to be able to walk or exercise without pain. I discovered and then eliminated Lyme disease, Hashimoto’s, and other things like that in my quest to have amazing energy all the time. I didn’t stop there when it became clear I could continue upgrading my performance after I regained my health. I tried every diet and exercise protocol under the sun, even spending time being a raw vegan, working to discover a way to take control of my body so that I would always have the energy to “bring it” no matter what life brought my way. I should not have had to spend $300,000 and 15 years of my life learning this stuff. That’s why I decided to write it all down on the blog – because I thought a few other people would be interested in it and it would save them from what I went through.
What makes Bulletproof different to other coffee brands on the market?
Putting butter in hot drinks is a several-thousand-year-old practice I learned while traveling at 16,000ft elevation in Tibet. Bulletproof Coffee takes this practice to a new level by blending together coffee made from low-toxin coffee beans with grass-fed butter and Brain Octane, which is coconut oil extract 18 times stronger than coconut oil.
Bulletproof Coffee uses proprietary low-toxin upgraded coffee beans, so you don’t experience the crash that comes with a lot of coffee, even some very high-end coffee. It’s a known problem in the coffee industry, one that’s addressed in the EU and Japan to some extent, but worse in the US. The caffeine helps release the fat from the Brain Octane oil and butter into one’s bloodstream so it can immediately be used as an energy source. Your body also naturally uses the type of fat found in Brain Octane for energy instead of storing it, which is part of why Brain Octane is so good for you. The last critical ingredient, unsalted grass-fed butter, is also great for your energy because the butyric acid in it helps promote brain function.
Why did you choose coffee and why do you see it as an integral part of sports and performance?
Coffee has caffeine which stimulates brain chemicals so glutamate and dopamine join the party and flow more freely, giving you a surge of energy, improving mental performance, and slowing age-related mental decline. Studies have shown that coffee helps with endurance, which is a huge part of sports. It also encourages muscles to use fat as fuel. Of course athletes love this stuff!
The list of celebrity Bulletproof Coffee drinkers continues to grow. It includes the LA Lakers, an impressive roster of World Series of Poker champions, Olympic athletes, and other endurance athletes.
You offer several different coffee product formats. Which has been your most popular and why?
Aside from our coffee, the Brain Octane oil is probably the most popular product. This oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCT) consisting of fatty acids sourced from coconut and/or palm kernel oil. Brain Octane provides a quick source of brain fuel from fats rather than inflammation-causing sugar. Adding Brain Octane to your diet helps you maintain peak mental performance and is a satiating quality fat.
Tell us about your performance kits. What do they contain?
Due to the popularity of the kits, we keep growing our selection. The Bulletproof Ambassador Kits let you buy exactly what the most Bulletproof athletes and high-performance ambassadors like Olympian Bree Schaaf, Crossfit champion Amanda Allen, high-performing CEO Crosby Wehr and many others use. Other kits focus on the brain (this kit includes our coffee, glutathione force and anti-ageing formula) or detoxing (coconut charcoal and collagen) and others are starter coffee kits with coffee and Brain Octane. We even have an ice cream-making kit.
In 2014 you rebranded Bulletproof. Why did you choose a dove, and what makes your brand stand out?
Bulletproof stands out because our goal is to help everyone kick more ass every day. Bulletproof’s look demonstrates the power and potential of every person to reach a state of high performance. The bird in flight represents our ability to reach beyond current bounds and limitations to achieve more than we thought possible by consciously creating a state of resilience and high performance. The redesign reinforces a key differential – Bulletproof products are designed to enhance mental performance as well as physical achievement. The Bulletproof dove is strong and powerful, representing the junction between science and nature, precision and artistry. The dove itself is not a bird of prey, but a symbolic animal. It’s probably the most buff dove you’ve ever seen.
What’s your plan for 2016?
Bulletproof is in high demand. We are often being asked to do coffee demos at Fortune 500 companies or receive inquiries about when a new book or app might come out. People are also really interested to know when they can expect a café to open in their area. Our plan for 2016 is being driven by the huge demand not only for our products, but also for the information we offer. Expect more Bulletproof Cafes to open (hint, our second store is set to open this spring in downtown LA), some surprise product launches, and a bigger-than-ever 4th Annual Bulletproof Biohacking Conference this fall.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019