Brain Power Tea Cocktail a la Tim Ferriss

by Jun 16, 2015Wellness0 comments

With my POTS I try not to drink too much caffeine. Coffee has too much caffeine, and tends to give me heart trouble. But sometimes I need to make my brain wake-the-fuck up. That was my problem on Wednesday. I could barely force myself out of bed, and once I did, I couldn’t focus on work for the life of me.

Last week Tim Ferriss released a new episode of his podcast in which he discussed the tea cocktail he enjoys instead of coffee in the morning. The recipe is pu-erh and sencha teas with grass fed butter and coconut oil. (Watch Tim’s full video here.)

I made a few modifications:

1. I’m (mostly) vegan, so I don’t do butter. I used only coconut oil.
2. I didn’t have sencha, but I did have genmaicha. Genmaicha is a Japanese green tea with toasted brown rice. Genmaicha has a mild, grassy flavour with a hint of nuttiness. Luckily, I keep pu-erh and coconut oil in the house, so that wasn’t a problem.

Here’s what I did:

1. I combined a 1/2 tablespoon of genmaicha with a 1/2 tablespoon of pu-erh in my tea infuser.
2. Steeped it for 2 minutes.
3. Added 1/2 teaspoon of Nutiva Virgin coconut oil, and stirred rapidly until the oil melted.When it comes to adding fat to coffee or tea the standard recommendation seems to be 2 tablespoons. I can’t imagine consuming 2 tablespoons of pure fat in a sitting, so I opted for only 1/2 a teaspoon.

The results:

The tea was a little oily (just call me Mrs. Obvious), and that was odd for the first few sips. It wasn’t unexpected, but the mouthfeel was more like that of a thick broth instead of tea. I did adjust to the mouthfeel eventually.

After about 15 minutes my brain did turn on, and it turned on with a vengeance. The next 2 hours were incredibly productive. I had so much brain power, in fact, I was having trouble picking just one task and focusing on it. It’s like my brain went from off to ADHD. Focus is something I struggle with, and the increase in energy seemed to only exacerbate this.

Unlike coffee, I didn’t crash after 30 minutes and suddenly feel so tired I could barely keep my head off the keyboard. The sustained energy was quite nice.

The brain benefits of coconut oil in one’s tea is a result of lipids. A French study in 2014 discovered that certain dietary lipids boost brain power.

Additionally, coconut oil contains Medium Chain Fatty Acids. MCFAs are hard to find, but have some great health benefits. MCFAs produce energy instead of fat and arterial plaque like Long Chain Fatty Acids (found in the majority of what we eat). A 2009 study discovered Medium Chain Triglycerides (which contain MCFAs) boost brain power.

So while the taste was weird, and the mouthfeel was weird, this is my new go-to morning beverage. Why don’t you give it a try and see if this works for you?

It’s worth noting the idea of putting coconut oil in your tea is based on Bulletproof Coffee, which is currently a topic of some debate. Bulletproof Coffee is adding grassfed butter and MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) Oil to your coffee in unnaturally large quantities. Gizmodo has a great article about Bulletproof Coffee that everyone who is interested in this topic should read. Chris Gayomali wrote an article for Fast Company about Bulletproof Coffee where he too contested it might have been a placebo effect.


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