Brain Octane Oil Review – Bulletproof Coffee’s Secret Weapon

Have you tried Bulletproof Coffee? This popular concoction whips coffee, coconut oil and grass fed butter into a frothy, latte-like mental performance drink.

To make the official Bulletproof Coffee, not just any coconut oil will do – you will need the Bulletproof Brain Octane coconut oil we are about to cover in this review.

About Brain Octane Oil

Bulletproof Coffee was created by Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof Nutrition Inc., which sells all the ingredients needed to make the “official” Asprey-endorsed Bulletproof Coffee. Brain Octane is one of those ingredients: Highly refined coconut oil that serves as a useful mental energy source when added to coffee or taken as a standalone supplement.  Formula notes:

  • Caprylic acid. Brain Octane’s active ingredient is 10X concentrated vs. plain coconut oil.
  • Ketone energy. Converts easily into ketone bodies that supply a clean, fast-acting energy source.
  • Versatile. This is a liquid supplement that can be added to coffee, smoothies, protein shakes, or any other food or drink.

Brain Octane Supplement Facts

Serving Size: 1 tbsp (15 ml)
Servings Per Container: About 32
 Amount Per Serving  % Daily Value 
Calories 130
     Calories from Fat 130
Total Fat 14 g 22%
     Saturated Fat 14 g 70%
     Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 g
Caprylic Acid Triglycerides 14 g
Ingredients: Caprylic acid triglycerides from highly refined coconut oil

Brain Octane Oil: Single-ingredient brain supplement for mental clarity via energy and appetite control.

In a world of complex nootropic brain supplements, it is refreshing to see a single-ingredient brain supplement with a unique nootropic philosophy.

Brain Octane Oil supplies ONE ingredient: Caprylic acid triglycerides. This is a type of healthy fat that provides fuel for brain energy (hence the name Brain Octane), which may assist with mental fatigue; and promotes feelings of “fullness”, because hunger pangs make it hard to think straight.

Combining these benefits with caffeine stimulation and Bulletproof Coffee is a master stroke. People drink coffee in the morning anyway, they need to focus when starting the day, and they don’t want to be derailed by mid-day hunger.

Let’s check out the single ingredient in Brain Octane and give more detail on how it’s supposed to work. Brain Octane Oil supplies:

Caprylic acid, 14 g

This active Brain Octane ingredient is a natural constituent of coconut oil (in much lower levels). Part of Brain Octane’s claim to fame is that it starts starts with 100% pure coconut oil, which then undergoes a triple-distillation process that 10X concentrates its natural caprylic acid.

As a result of Bulletproof’s triple-distillation: 1 tablespoon of Brain Octane oil supplies 14 g of Caprylic acid, vs. 1.4 g in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.

Coconut oil used to make the caprylic acid discussed in this Brain Octane Oil review

Brain Octane starts with pure coconut oil, then distills it way down to highly concentrate its C8 MCT. By Phu Thinh Co (Dầu dừa) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

So how does caprylic acid work?

Caprylic acid is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT); a type of fatty acid that, beyond coconuts, is also found in palm oil, mothers milk and cow’s milk.

According to Bulletproof, Brain Octane is designed to supply one MCT only – caprylic acid as the 8-carbon (C8) form, Caprylic triglyceride – because this form is metabolized differently by the body.

Specifically, c8 MCT is small in size, which makes it:

  • The fastest-absorbing MTC; stronger activity
  • More efficiently transported to powerhouse mitochondria
  • Easier to metabolize than other fats
  • Capable of crossing the blood brain barrier

Once absorbed, C8 MCT is broken down into ketone bodies, which enter brain cells’ mitochondria where they are metabolized into the acetyl-CoA that fuels the energy-producing Krebs cycle.

In theory, Brain Octane’s caprylic acid rapidly fuels the brain for efficient energy metabolism.

But scientific evidence for caprylic acid having any nootropic mental energy benefits are lacking.

Brain Octane Oil increases levels of ketones that are used as brain fuel.

The real story may be that, ultimately, caprylic acid is a ketogenic brain supplement.

Ketogenic (low-carb) diets raise levels of circulating ketones. Ongoing ketogenic dieting has been shown in several research studies to help not so much with mental performance, but with brain disorders — including those related to degeneration or concussion.

The brain’s main source of energy is glucose (sugar). In some degenerative brain issues, the brain has a harder time using glucose. Caprylic acid may be important because it increases ketone bodies that act as an alternate energy source for brain cells that have lost the ability to burn glucose efficiently.

  • One form of caprylic acid used as a medical food was shown to enhance memory and cognitive function in people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s, which impairs the brain’s ability to use glucose as fuel.

The main mechanism of Brain Octane seems to be that it increases ketone bodies, which are awesome to use as brain fuel.

But ketones have another side benefit: They help to reduce the gastrointestinal “hunger hormone” ghrelin, while supporting the “fullness hormone” known as CCK. Hunger can be mentally distracting, as well as disruptive to mood, making this side-benefit of Brain Octane all the more welcome.

C8 MTC: A Dieter’s Fat. As part of its metabolic advantage, caprylic acid cannot be stored as fat by the body.

Formula Analysis

Our Brain Octane Oil review can’t analyze stacking strategy, because there is only ONE ingredient!

We will say, Brain Octane Oil’s approach to nootropic supplementation is brilliant in its simplicity.

Brain Octane is a nootropic brain supplement that can be utilized like a food – in addition to being mixed into Bulletproof Coffee, the oil can be easily added to yogurt, smoothies, protein shakes, salad dressings… anything, really. Especially because it is tasteless and odorless.

Bulletproof’s philosophy seems to be, instead of eating a sugary, carb-heavy breakfast, eat something low-carb with Brain Octane added, or even better, eat nothing and just enjoy a Bulletproof Coffee with Brain Octane.

This flies in the face of conventional wisdom. But it makes so much sense.

Take Brain Octane Oil on its own or mixed into your breakfast, and it will serve as a fast-acting, efficient fuel source for brain energy metabolism… while avoiding the spike and crash you might get with a doughnut.

So right off the bat, as “breakfast” Brain Octane provides 2X cognitive support in two pathways that Best 5 has not seen combined in any other nootropic supplements:

  1. Increases ketone brain fuel to enhance brain energy metabolism, which might translate into a more active, focused, and energized brain;
  2. Regulates hormones involved with hunger and appetite satisfaction. By helping you to stay full, it helps you stay focused.

Put these benefits together, and Brain Octane seems like the ultimate morning nootropic formula to get mentally energized fast, and to stay mentally energized for a longer time.

For busy professionals trying to cram a lot of productivity into their day, Brain Octane might help them skip breakfast and work through a lunch break without losing steam – in fact, maybe even gaining steam along the way.

The real masterstroke however, is combining c8 MCT benefits with caffeine in Bulletproof Coffee.

Now we are rolling caffeine’s stimulating, alertness-enhancing properties together with Brain Octane’s fuel for mental energy.

And, since caffeine suppresses appetite via separate pathways, it may work in synergy with Brain Octane to achieve even greater appetite control benefits.

Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee.


Brain Octane Oil Benefits

Brain Octane has a primary benefit of supporting healthy brain energy metabolism, which Bulletproof claims is a fast-acting benefit. Brain Octane Oil may also help to keep appetite in check. By supporting brain energy and controlling appetite, Brain Octane might give you an energized, active and focused mental state.

Who Takes It?

Bio hackers. Bulletproof Nutrition was founded on a philosophy of biohacking and performance experimentation. In no small part to the viral success of Bulletproof Coffee, Bulletproof supplements have gained a large, loyal following. This audience includes executives, professionals, Silicon Valley types, athletes and competitive individuals who are constantly seeking to leverage science to improve themselves. Many have given positive reviews to Brain Octane on Bulletproof’s official site.

Any Side Effects?

Apparently MCT oil can cause seriously unpleasant bouts of diarrhea when taken in supplement form. The caprylic acid MCT found in brain octane is supposed to be gentler on the digestion then full-spectrum coconut oil or MCT oil.

Nevertheless, Bulletproof makes a point of cautioning users to start small and work your way up and serving sizes when taking brain octane to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal side effects.

Brain Octane Oil Review Summary


  • Single ingredient. Nootropic simplicity with profound bioactivities that are not apparent at first glance
  • Upgraded MCT. C8 MCT in Brain Octane appears to have absorption and utilization advantages
  • Novel approach.. Although it is just 1 ingredient, Brain Octane is remarkably innovative and sophisticated in its approach to mental clarity
  • Triple distilled. Processes coconut oil with heat, pressure and water only, so it is clean with no weird chemical solvents
  • Versatile, tasteless, odorless. Can be added to any food and can even be cooked up to 320 degrees
  • Fast-acting. According to Bulletproof, that is… but it is easy to believe C8 MCT’s small size makes it work quicker


  • Side effects. Take Brain Octane with caution, or risk getting diarrhea

Pricing & Buying Info

  • 3-ounce bottle of Brain Octane Oil: $6.95
  • 16 oz. bottle: $23.50
  • 32 oz. bottle: $45.95
  • Available to buy online at (along with complementary Bulletproof health products); also available at Amazon

Final Word on Brain Octane

Brain Octane Oil takes an unusually simple approach to nootropics that is a welcome change — but its single-ingredient laser-focus also has limitations when it comes to the complexities of peak cognitive performance.

If you are seeking energized morning productivity and lasting hunger control, Brain Octane Oil is a good call — especially in Bulletproof Coffee, as part of the Bulletproof Diet, or in conjunction with another Bulletproof nootropic: Unfair Advantage.

Brain Octane’s specialized mental energy support stacks well with our best pre-made nootropic stack supplements, while its appetite-control stacks well with our top-ranked fat-burner supplements.

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