You may have heard of a trend that involves putting butter into your coffee. You may have then wondered why people are doing this and what the benefits could be.
In today’s article, I’ll go over what butter coffee is, how to make it, potential benefits, and possible risks.
Let’s jump right in!
Butter coffee is a drink that consists of brewed coffee, unsalted butter, and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
MCT’s are an easily digestible type of fat. To learn more about MCTs and their benefits, click here.
For this, you can use either coconut oil – which is high in MCTs – an MCT oil supplement, or any other product that contains MCTs.
Butter coffee is popular as a breakfast replacement for those following a keto diet, which is high in fat and low in carbs.
Others consume it for some potential benefits which we will cover in just a moment. Before that, though, let’s take a look at a butter coffee recipe so that you can see just how simple it is!
If you want to make a butter coffee, you’ll need your regular method of making coffee, a blender, and a few other things.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
A typical cup of butter coffee can contain up to 445 calories and 50 grams of fat, without much else in terms of nutrition. And nearly 85% of the fat in butter is saturated fat. Too much saturated fat can raise levels of LDL cholesterol, ie. the bad type of cholesterol. 
For this reason, butter coffee isn’t a good replacement for a whole breakfast that can offer you a range of nutrients to keep you energized throughout your day.
Claims around the benefits of butter coffee include that it provides lasting energy, boosts mental clarity, and supports fat loss by suppressing hunger.
Though no high-quality studies have been done on butter coffee itself, conclusions can be made based on some other research. Let’s take a look!
Does butter coffee suppress hunger?
Many believe that butter coffee can help you lose weight because it suppresses hunger, causing you to eat less. There may be some truth to this.
Butter coffee contains a large amount of fat, which slows digestion and can help you feel fuller for longer. [2, 3, 4, 5]
But what probably helps the most are the MCTs. If you’re using coconut oil or a supplement with MCTs, these specifically can help promote feelings of fullness, according to research. 
One study found that those who ate a breakfast containing MCT oil for 4 weeks consumed fewer calories throughout the day and lost more body weight than participants who didn’t include the MCT oil with their breakfast. 
And this isn’t the only research supporting it. Other studies have also found that the addition of MCTs into a weight loss regimen reduced hunger and led to greater weight loss. [8, 9, 10]
Can butter coffee boost energy?
Another big claim surrounding butter coffee is that – outside of the caffeine kick – it can provide long-lasting energy throughout the day without a crash.
Because of the fats causing a slower digestion, in theory it makes sense that the caffeine may digest slower and the benefits – such as boosted energy – will be spread throughout the day. However, research suggests that the effect of this is likely so negligible that it’s unnoticeable. 
That being said, the MCTs are well known for their ability to provide energy. This is because they’re fats with a shorter chain length and can be quickly broken down by the liver and used for energy. This can boost energy levels, kicking in rapidly and lasting over a long period. 
Does butter coffee provide mental clarity?
Some say that drinking a cup of butter coffee can provide you with mental clarity.
If you’re following a ketogenic diet – meaning you take in very low carbs and high fats – your body will take MCTs and convert them to ketones. These can be used as an energy source for your brain. While this process has been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline, there isn’t any research showing that it can offer mental clarity. [13, 14, 15]
But that doesn’t mean butter coffee doesn’t provide mental clarity.
Why? Because it contains good old fashioned coffee. The caffeine within can boost mental focus and alertness. [16, 17, 18, 19]
As I mentioned earlier, it’s best to start your day off with a nutritious breakfast. This can provide you with the fuel needed to be your most productive. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have butter coffee in the morning. Just make sure you’re eating as well.
But one thing to consider is how your body responds to cholesterol. Butter coffee contains a significant amount of cholesterol. While this doesn’t necessarily mean it will impact your cholesterol levels, approximately 25% of people are considered “cholesterol hyper-responders”. This means that foods high in cholesterol can significantly raise their blood cholesterol levels. [20, 21, 22]
If you’re one of these people, you should consider not adding butter coffee to your routine. But generally speaking, butter coffee is well-tolerated for most people!
If you plan to try butter coffee, just remember to keep a healthy balance in mind. Your body needs a wide range of nutrients to function optimally.
Want to have a butter coffee with a delicious caramel taste?
Or what about a normal coffee with a yummy touch?
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