MCT oil. No it’s not a new type of motor oil for your car.
Medium-chain triglyceride oil as the name suggests, contains medium-chains of fats called triglyceride. It is said that due to their shorter length these fats are easily digested.
Now if you are like me and are into all kinds of sports or resistance training, and have ever looked into your diet you will know one of the most difficult marco nutrients to get enough of are the good fats.
Foods like nuts, salmon, yoghurt and avocados are packed with these essential fats but it can still be difficult getting enough. Well, now you can MCT oil derived from coconuts to the list. So let’s go over 3 of the main benefits of this oil in particular, related to training and physical exercise.
- An instant source of energy
MCTs have been dubbed a super fuel for the body, due primarily to the body’s ability to quickly convert the fats into readily available energy. In addition, when on a keytogenic diet the MCT oil can be turned into keytones in the liver quicker than other foods. Next time you are at your favourite café before hitting the gym ask for a bulletproof coffee which has MCT oil in it and feel the difference.
- Promotes weight loss
MCT oil has been shown to be even more beneficial than coconut oil when it comes to weight loss. This is for a number of reasons, including the fact that MCT increases two hormones the body produces (peptide YY and leptin) which promote the feeling of fullness in the body.
MCT oil also contains 10% fewer calories than long chain triglycerides such as avocados, nuts and olive oil and since having shorter chain length is absorbed by the body quickly without being stored as fat.
- May reduce lactic acid when training
As it is known lactic acid builds up in the body when performing exercise and this acid sharply reduces performance especially in endurance situations like cycling, marathons etc.
One study has shown that athletes who took 1.5 teaspoons of MCT oil before cycling had lower lactate levels than those who used log chain triglycerides (LCTs). In addition, the study found the MCTs may also help the body use fats for energy rather than carbohydrates.
Risks or side effects
Like with all good things, moderation is key. While MCTs have many benefits studies have shown high doses may increase the level of fat in the liver over time. Most MCTs on the market prescribe 1-2 TBSP per day and also advise starting with ½ TBSP to see how your body feels.
For the many benefits and very limited side effects, MCT oil is useful supplement to include in any athletes arsenal and is readily available at both health food store and supermarkets. It’s easy to mix into either your cooking as it has a high heat point, or can be added to your favorite drink.