There’s something we can all take that almost nobody knows about, and it’s super effective for weight management. MCTs are a phenomenal product to take for fat loss and even performance/energy!
MCT Oil is short for Medium Chain Triglyceride, which refers to the length of the fat molecule. MCTs are found in Coconut Oil and Palm Kernel Oil, so if you buy an oil marked as MCT oil, it will contain one or both of these ingredients. What makes MCT so effective and unique is that the short chain, as opposed to many longer chain fats, break down very quickly and are used as a primary energy source. The benefit of the MCT oil is that it bypasses the digestive system and goes directly to the liver to convert to ketones, ATP and also used for thermogenesis (creating heat). If you’re fasting or following a ketogenic diet, then you probably already know about ketones, but if not, here’s a primer.
This is important for 3 reasons:
1) Ketones are used by the brain for energy. It has been shown that ketones utilize more neural pathwasy, which explains the use of ketogenic diets for various neurological disorders like epilepsy, alzheimers and parkinsons disease. From an optimization standpoint, most people claim (anecdotally) to have more focus and a clearer head when switching to fasting or a ketogenic diet. Maybe Bradley Cooper was really taking ketones in the movie Limitless!? I guess we’ll never know. On top of the mental boost, studies have shown MCTs will actually increase ketone levels in the blood, which is what signals ketosis.
2) Your body can use Ketones and ATP for energy. This is important because if you’re on a low carb or low calorie diet to burn fat, you will still maintain high levels of energy to use. Since Ketones are broken down faster than fatty acids, MCTs could aid in providing energy for more intense/anaerobic work, during fasting or ketosis.
3) Due to the fact that these molecules bypass the stomach and go right to the liver, they can provide this extra energy in a short period of time. This can be used as an effective pre workout tool if your goal is performance and not simply fat burning. For fat burning, burning as much body weight as possible should be the goal.
How do I use it!?
MCT oil is a clear, odourless, nearly tasteless liquid (or Powder). This makes it very convenient for consumption. Getting MCT oil into your diet can be as easy as adding a tablespoon to a protein shake, smoothie or in your morning coffee. Heck, you can just take it straight with a spoon as well. Starting your morning off with some MCTs should allow you to limit your carbs in the morning and also be more productive due to the increased brain activity. I personally take a spoonful upon waking to make sure that I raise ketone levels for the rest of my fast. It is also being used more frequently with coffee, as either a caveman/fatty coffee (incl. butter) or by itself. Here’s Jonathan Toews using MCTs in his coffee.
If you’re looking to burn fat, you can also put MCTs in to a protein shake as a snack or meal. The MCTs will be used for energy (eliminating the need for glycogen) and will allow your protein to repair or build new muscle. Remember, amino acids can be converted to glycogen so taking too much protein by itself can sometimes be counter productive if your trying to stay in strict ketosis. If you’re just on a low carb diet though, add mct powder to a protein shake to keep ketones moderately high while getting protein.
In fact, a recent study HERE shows that adding MCT oil to a weight loss program led to more weight loss than a program with olive oil.
Do yourself a favour and get some MCTs, they’re a fantastic supplement/fat source to keep on hand for a brain boost and to help you lean out more effectively!
Where do I get it?
You should be able to buy MCT oil at your local supplement or health food store. Online, I have made a list of some locations I have found. You’ll have to check the links for updated prices as they can change.
It’s About Getting Better!