FatWater: A 20 Calorie Fat-Powered “Energy” Drink?

Bulletproof FatWater

FatWater is the latest fad from the maker of Bulletproof Coffee, Dave Asprey. It promises energy and better hydration, but is this true? Image courtesy Beverage Daily[1]

You may remember a certain fad diet blowing up a few years ago surrounding Bulletproof Coffee. This led to people running out to get high quality coffee and dump butter, coconut oil, duck fat, and any number of other tasty fats into their morning pick me up under the guise it increased their energy levels and helped them drop fat.

Well, it seems the man behind the Bulletproof Diet (and Bulletproof Coffee), Dave Asprey, is back to some new tricks again with FatWater. It boasts the unique ability to rehydrate you faster and provide a quick hit of energy.

But is this a legitimate product, or is it just another spin in the overhyped hydration and sports drink market?

We talk about it below. If you’re interested in getting price updates, sign up with PricePlow below:

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FatWater Ingredients

Apparently the old wives tale of “water and oil don’t” mix no longer holds true. FatWater has seamlessly blended the two foes together into one homogenous mix so you’re not drinking an oil slick on top of some plain water.

The two main components of FatWater are:

Bulletproof XCT Oil

XCT oil is a proprietary blend of medium chain triglycerides that are triple distilled to mix seamlessly with water. Image courtesy Bulletproof.[5]

  • Purified Water

  • Bulletproof XCT Oil

Everyone knows what purified water is, but it’s the second ingredient that is the proprietary part on which Dave will make his money. Bulletproof XCT oil is a patented blend of triple-distilled triglycerides made from coconut oil. This unique distillation process yields nano particle-sized fat globules that emulsify into water with no separation or oily taste.

To finish off the concoction, Asprey mixes in some glycerin, Vitamin E, and Xylitol to round things out and help improve the taste and mixability.

The final macro and calorie count for this new elixir is 2 grams of fat and 20 calories in each 16 oz. bottle.[1]

Potential Benefits

The two main claims to FatWater are improved hydration and increased energy.

Improved hydration?

Now, in regards to the first claim, there hasn’t been any readily available research showing the use of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) improve hydration when combined with water.

However, what does improve hydration is electrolytes,[2,3,4] something that FatWater doesn’t contain due to the fact that their emulsion process can’t utilize them.[5]

Of course, water will hydrate you, so it does “improve hydration”, meeting claims. But so does every other bottle of water out there! Our question is, will this work better than water? And the answer to that is that we need to see some double-blinded, placebo-controlled, peer-reviewed research (preferably with crossover) published.


Types of Sugar

Carbophobes today will do anything to avoid taking in sugar and carbs for energy, including putting fats into water.

Now, in terms of supplying energy, fats contain calories (9 per gram as a matter of fact). These calories give energy to the body that it in turn uses to perform its various processes and functions. Believe it or not, carbohydrates also contain calories (4 per gram) and yield energy to the body when they are digested.

In today’s carbo-phobic society, though, the thought of added sugars to a beverage is heresy and will most likely be met with a lot of criticism and bashing. The low-carb mantra is still very strong, and this is where FatWater looks to cash in.

How much are you paying for those 20 calories?

But let’s be honest here. 20 calories is practically nothing in terms of “energy”. You can get more than that taking three high-DHA fish oil capsules every morning, and likely more benefits to boot (at a fraction of the price).

By supplying fats as an energy source and using its various health claims to back it up, gives FatWater a trendy, hip appeal that “CarbWater” simply doesn’t carry. Yes, there is some evidence to show that MCT use can improve weight loss or prevent fat gain.[6,7]

But these studies have all used obese individuals or put groups on periods of “overfeeding.” When applied to healthy individuals, there is no additional benefit to MCT supplementation on energy expenditure.[8]

So, if you want to hop of the next big fad to sweep over the country in the ensuing months, you may want to start buying FatWater. For the rest of us, we’ll most likely bypass this altogether.


Rather than spend over $3 for 2g of fat in a bottle of water, you're much better off popping 2 fish oil pills and drinking a glass of water.

Rather than spend over $3 for 2g of fat in a bottle of water, you might as well pop 3 fish oil softgels and drink a glass of water, no?

Sure, there is some novelty in the concept of micro-distilling fat particles to get them to dissolve or emulsify in water, but at the end of the day we have to question whether this is actually useful or not. For 2 grams of fat and some water, why not just pop three fish oil pills and chug 16oz of bottled water, all the while saving yourself money?

Dave Asprey is clearly a smart businessman, having built a huge brand/following while receiving $9 million in funding to create BulletProof Coffee shops[9] (which will likely sell FatWater). But we have to call into question anyone touting an 20-calorie beverage as an “energy drink”.

At the end of the day, it breaks our hearts seeing smart businessmen do stupid things with their time and other people’s money.

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  1. http://www.beveragedaily.com/R-D/FATwater-launched-by-Bulletproof-CEO-for-extreme-hydration
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7965369
  3. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002350.htm
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10036337
  5. http://www.bulletproof.com/fatwater-berry-concentrate-15ml-pack-16-ct
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2739575
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2187945
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10348498
  9. http://fortune.com/2015/07/23/bulletproof-coffee-funding/
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