MCT’s or Medium Chain Triglycerides are a type of saturated fat found in coconut oil that provides the caloric density of a fat without the same detrimental effects of having too much fat in your diet (depending on goal of course).
Unlike conventional oils MCT’s are taken straight to the liver via the hepatic portal vein before they even get a chance to be stored as fat. MCT’s also do not require digestive enzymes that other fats do from pancreatic lipase. You see MCT’s behave like carbohydrates in the body with some studies showing they are absorbed and utilised as rapidly as sugar without increasing insulin levels.
MCT’s from coconut oil contain lauric acid, which has tremendous anti – microbial properties that help to fight infections and viruses from bacteria.
90% of coconut oil is made up of saturated fats, the remaining 10% polyunsaturated, with 60% of the saturated fats also being MCT’s and the rest LCT’s (long chain triglycerides), 50% of the fat being lauric acid you can see the
So for those who are on a lower carbohydrate approach, supplementing with MCTs may be beneficial at preserving lean muscle mass while shedding the unwanted pounds. Trying to gain muscle mass? Adding MCT's to meals can help boost caloric intake but prevent additional unwanted body fat providing you dont go overboard lol, and this can be done before, during or after training using either
1. A large coffee with coconut oil and 20g whey pre training
2. MCT oil and BCAA’s during training
3. Your favourite whey shake topped with coconut milk post workout
(1)One study showed that MCT consumption might stimulate greater total energy expenditure than LCT’s (from olive oil). EE was taken 30 minutes before a meal and 5 ½ hours post prandial. The results showed a greater loss in bodyweight in individuals consuming MCT’s than LCT’S. (2)Another study found that breakfasts containing MCT’s over LCT’s (from corn oil) improved satiety and reduced food intake acutely (lunch) in overweight men.
(3)In another study researchers found that combining MCTs with chilli powder increased diet-induced thermogenesis by around 50% compared to other combinations, also showing improvements in satiety and decrease energy intake
(4) Supplementing with MCT’s has also been shown to benefit patients with Alzheimer’s. Their seams to be a decrease in the brains ability to utilise glucose as its principal energy substrate, and researchers found that supplementing with MCT’s may improve cognitive functioning in older adults with memory disorders but more research is needed.
Other sources of MCT’s are
· Palm kernel oil
· Cheese (if you tolerate dairy)
3. Combined medium-chain triglyceride and chilli feeding increases diet-induced thermogenesis in normal-weight humans.