MCT oil might have popped up on your radar as a new must-have supplement usually found in the hands of athletes or health nuts. MCT oil is a source of MCTs (or medium-chain triglycerides), a type of fast-absorbing fat that has made its way into many health food ingredient lists.
Before jumping on the MCT oil train, you may want to gain a better understanding of how MCT oil actually works. That’s where we come in. Keep reading for a breakdown of what MCT oil is and how it can quickly fuel your body and power up your performance.
What are MCTs?
To understand what MCTs are, it is easiest to compare them to other fats we regularly eat. Fats are categorized by how many carbons they have attached to them: short-chain fatty acids, medium-chain fatty acids, and long-chain fatty acids.
Most of the fats we eat are called long-chain fatty acids or long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). LCTs usually contain 13 to 21 carbons in length. These fat chains are bulky and may take time to be broken down in our bodies. You can find LCTs in most fats and oils like virgin olive oil, nuts, fish, or meats.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are saturated fats that contain a shorter chain of carbon atoms. MCTs contain 6 to 12 carbons in length and are broken down almost immediately by the liver.
MCTs can rapidly be used for energy both in the form of fat or ketones. Because MCTs possess unique molecular characteristics, they behave differently inside the body compared to other fats.
Types of MCTs
Not all MCTs are the same. There are four primary types of MCTs, all containing a different number of carbons:
So, what’s the difference? If you are looking for the most effective supplement, C8 and C10 are best at increasing energy levels and ketone production. Although C6 is the shortest MCT, it has a bitter taste and isn’t favored in supplements. C12 is less effective as it contains a higher amount of carbon chains.
What is MCT Oil?
MCTs are found naturally in foods like coconuts and palm kernel oils. MCT oil is derived from processing coconut or palm kernel oils. This colorless and odorless oil can be mixed into your morning coffee or used as a critical ingredient in healthy snacks like protein powders or bars. MCT oil is flavorless, making it blend in effortlessly into any recipe.
Cooking with MCT Oil? Slow down there! MCT oil has a low smoke point, so it probably shouldn’t be used in cooking.
MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil
Just because MCTs are naturally found in coconuts doesn’t mean your coconut oil will give you the same results.
Pure coconut oil is extracted from the coconut flesh, leaving only fat. Coconut oil is a rich source of MCTs, although MCTs only make up about 45-65% of its fat content. MCT oil is much more concentrated, containing 100% MCTs.
Coconut oil can provide different benefits that lean more towards skin health!
So, What’s MCT Oil Good For?
MCT oil is unique as it is digested and absorbed differently in your body. Most fatty acids have a long journey to absorption. MCT’s are much more efficient! After consumption, MCTs go straight to the liver and are rapidly used, turning into fuel for your body.
MCTs are easier to digest and provide a faster source of energy. MCTs are more likely to be used as energy and less likely to be stored as body fat. They can also be turned into ketones, which the body can use instead of carbohydrates for fuel.
MCT oil has stepped into the spotlight as it is beneficial for general health and those on the keto diet!
MCT Oil and The Keto Diet
If you are familiar with the ketogenic diet, then you may also be familiar with MCT oil. If you are unfamiliar with the keto diet, we will give you the gist.
The keto diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat diet aiming to help you burn fat more effectively. The low carb intake puts your body into a state of ketosis, burning fat from both your diet and your body for energy—the main goal is ketone production. Ketones are an alternative fuel source that can be used when glucose is in low supply.
Many on the keto diet will begin incorporating MCT oil into their meals. MCT oil is high-quality fat, helping guide your body into ketosis, burning fat and boosting energy!
How Much MCT Oil Per Day?
You may like the sounds of MCT oil, so how much can you take per day. There are no strict guidelines on an MCT oil dosage. Anything more than 4 to 7 tablespoons may upset your stomach. We recommend gradually increasing your intake and spreading it out throughout the day to see how your body reacts.
You can mix MCT oil to any smoothie or coffee. You can also snag an MCTBar with a healthy dose of MCT plus other powerful ingredients like collagen, almonds, and chicory root fiber.
Reinvent Your Energy
You don’t have to be a health nut or a bodybuilder to begin supplementing MCT oil into your diet. This healthy fat is an amazing source of quick energy that is super easy to include in our everyday snacking. MCT oil’s flavorless profile allows it to blend effortlessly into any MCTBar from Banana Beautiful to Carmel Sea Salt. Throw an MCTBar into your gym bag or hiking backpack for powerful, fast fuel!