I’m partial to self-experimentation, especially when it comes to dietary intake & needs. Late in 2012, I experimented with what is known as Intermittent Fasting via leangains method. It was rather difficult to adapt to the eating window due to my training regime at the time. Doing long bouts of intense training with no food in my stomach would cause me to have insane stomach pains. I toughed it out for about 3 weeks, along with my family toughing out my irritable mood that came with the dietary change. After my trial period on IF, I didn’t notice any physique changes or weight-loss. I either wasn’t doing it right or my body just isn’t meant for IF. Either way, I didn’t enjoy my irritable moods and stomach pains.
Fast forward 5 months, and I found myself staring at a video posted on /r/LifeProTips, for something that I had read about previously on IF & Paleo forums. What was I looking at you ask?
Bulletproof coffee was something that I had come across before, but never actually gave it a try. Reason being, I was already set in a dietary change for making weight for a fight, which I knew worked and didn’t want to change. I knew that I wanted to experiment a bit with bulletproof coffee, but never got around to it. Bulletproof coffee is supposed to be something that you have in the morning, to help continue your fasting protocol. I’ll talk about the mixture below, and it’s supposed health benefits.
Bulletproof in a nutshell:
grass-fed butter & coconut oil, blended in coffee.
Some things to keep in mind
- In place of the recommended pharmaceutical grade MCT Oil, I opted for the common substitute, Coconut Oil.
- Grass-fed butter, I was able to find the recommended Kerrygold Unsalted Butter at my local Trader Joes.
- I did not use the Upgraded Bulletproof Coffee, nor did I search for a high quality bean that is recommended.
Now for the experiment…
I’m following the leangains intermittent fasting protocol, with the addition of the Bulletproof coffee. Not sure if it’s really a fast anymore, but according to the Bulletproof Executive website, we can still reap the benefits of intermittent fasting while consuming this wicked beverage.
My latest experiment twitter.com/JonathanPuu/st…
— Jonathan Puu (@JonathanPuu) March 23, 2013
It’s now been two weeks since I’ve began drinking Bulletproof coffee. I can honestly say, I look forward to my morning productivity now. I save around 30 minutes by not having to make an actual breakfast and can get straight to work or training. I find myself easily satiated until 1-2pm in the afternoon.
I’ve used fasted cardio when losing weight for fights, but never really did any strength training while fasting. This is something that is encouraged to do towards the end of your fast according to the leangains method. My previous strength training consisted of barbell training via Starting Strength. I’ve opted to go with Mike Dolce’s push-pull routine and fighter’s treadmill workout from his book, The Dolce Diet: Living Lean. One of the reasons being, I put on quite a bit of mass from Starting Strength, and I can’t afford to be buying new clothes every few weeks. : }
My energy levels while fasted were great while drinking Bulletproof coffee
This was a big change for me, as doing fasted cardio before would feel horrible most of the time. It worked, but you’d feel like crap, which isn’t conductive to training for a fight. Strength training while fasted is not an issue either.
Breaking the Fast
I’ve been staying away from grains of all types as well during my experiment as well, sans the earned meal that I had this week. I was trying to figure out what I was going to use to take advantage of breaking the fast, and reaping the benefits of the post-workout window to restore glycogen levels in my body. Fasted training usually gives me a craving for sweets, and I found something perfect for having right after my fasted training session: Dates, sometimes a Larabar when I forgot to go shopping. Apparently this isn’t uncommon, as Muslim’s traditionally break their fast during Ramadan with dates. This is something that I always look forward to, sugary-sweet goodness from nature… Delicious!! I usually follow with a good sized meal consisting of lean protein and a lot of good fats with a small apple or pear.
Untold Benefits of Training After Fasting
Something that I didn’t even consider, was how my body would perform after I breaking my daily fast. This is something I can’t even describe! My energy levels go through the roof, doing interval training, sparring, and training for 3 hours, and still feeling like you could go another hour but you might cramp from all of that hard work. I’m not sure when this took affect, but it’s something I noticed after the first week or so of this experiment.
I’ll continue to use Bulletproof coffee, definitely give it a try if you are even considering it. Just be sure to consult your doctor, as always, before you start any dietary change or physical training regime. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll continue the fasting though, I might start including a few eggs and some spinach to go with it in the morning. Fasting before while training for a fight would really just drag me down and I’m not sure it’s something I would want to risk while training for a fight. So for now… we can label this experiment as TO BE CONTINUED!!
I was listening to The Mike Dolce Show podcast while writing this article, and it just so happens that Mike was talking a little bit about Bulletproof coffee. “BOOM!”