If you’re interested in learning about superfoods and other health supplements, then you’ve likely heard of MCT oil. In short, it’s a supplement made from a type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides. You can absorb MCT incredibly quickly which turns it into energy you can use!
So, what is MCT oil, and why should you care? It’s about time that we took a closer look. Here are the incredible benefits of MCT oil.
What Is MCT Oil?
Before diving into its health benefits, you should know what MCT oil is. MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. Extracted from coconut and palm oils, MCT oils are processed by the liver immediately, providing the body with a fast-acting and long-lasting source of energy. But we’ll get to the benefits soon.
MCT oil is a liquid, which makes integrating it into existing recipes a breeze. Mix it in a smoothie, add some to your savory muffin mix or add some to your coffee for an extra boost in the morning. The options are endless!
Improve Brain Function
The research surrounding the health benefits of MCT oil consumption is in its infancy, but the early results on its benefits are quite remarkable. Particularly for the brain.
MCT Oil supplementation has been linked with a boost in brain energy. It has been shown to help optimize gut microbiota which, among other things, is critical in your brain’s production of serotonin and dopamine. And, in combination with a high-fat diet, MCT oil may have a positive impact on how your brain ages. However, it’s important to note that research is still ongoing and no definitive conclusions have been made.
From a calorie-in, calorie-out perspective, MCT oil contains roughly 10-percent fewer calories than the long-chain triglyceride alternatives like olive oils, nut oils, and avocado oils. But the weight loss benefits of MCT supplementation look to be much deeper.
Studies have linked MCT oil with the release of the peptide YY and leptin hormones. This is important because those two hormones promote feelings of fullness and satiety, making you feel less hungry and in turn, eat less.
According to this study, consuming 2-tablespoons of MCT oil in conjunction with your breakfast will encourage you to eat a smaller lunch. Again, more research is needed to determine if this is the case. The true impact is still being explored.
Great Source of Energy
MCT oil has an added benefit for those on the high fat, low carb ketogenic diet. When in ketosis, your body can quickly and easily convert the MCT oil that you consume to ketones to keep you moving. Research on this is still ongoing.
MCT oil may even be able to help improve your workout by increasing your endurance. A diet that includes MCT oil has been shown to “improve high temperature-induced exercise performance impairment,” which in effect, could help your body work out more efficiently, and longer. However, more research of this is needed.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Trying to adapt your diet in order to regulate your blood sugar levels can sound prohibitively scientific and complex, but it really doesn’t have to be. There have been several recent studies that claim regulating your blood sugar is as easy as adding MCT oil supplementation.
So, the question remains, why would anyone even want to regulate their blood sugar? Because dramatic high and low blood sugar swings can cause cravings, energy crashes, and perpetual hunger. Which makes hitting your calorie quota a lot more difficult than it really needs to be. It’s important to note that studies are still underway and more information is needed to draw any definitive conclusions.
Reduce Lactate Buildup
Elite athletes know all about lactate or lactic acid. For those that don’t, lactate is a byproduct of exercise that occurs when one muscle or another is overworked through strenuous activity. The actual chemical process is a bit too complex for me to break down here, but the important thing to know is this: the higher the concentration of lactate in a muscle, the more difficult that muscle is to use.
Those looking to work out harder for a longer duration may find that edge in a bottle of MCT oil. This study found that cyclists who ingested 6-grams of MCTs before hopping on the bike found it easier to exercise and, more importantly, reported lower lactate levels. Studies of this having true impact are still being explored and long term side effects have not been confirmed or denied.
Is MCT Oil for You?
Even though the current research is new and relatively unexplored, the information that we do have is certainly encouraging. We’ve seen strong links between MCT oil supplementation and improved brain function, weight loss, increased endurance, a reduction in heart disease risk factors, and more! Consuming it with breakfast may even make you feel less hungry throughout the day.
So is MCT oil for you? That’s a question only you can answer. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is all about balance, education, and self-discovery! That said, we do recommend speaking to your doctor or a dietician before making any changes to your diet.