MCT Oil -- Medium Chain Triglycerides Sources
MCT Oil -- Medium Chain Triglycerides
Recently, I've been doing at lot of research on medium chain triglycerides supplements, or MCT oil. If you've never heard of medium chain triglycerides before, they're just a type of fat. Wait a minute, you're telling me that people actually take fat supplements? Yes they do. The reason why is because of how the body interacts with the MCT oil. You see, fat is actually a great source of fuel and energy for the body. For the past decade, fat has gotten a terrible reputation, and more and more products are trying to lower their fat content, or even be fat free. But that's like trying to run a premium sports car on low quality 87 octane, instead of the premium 91 it was built for.
Medium chain triglycerides are a form of fat that the body prefers to burn immediately, rather than store. My practice is to take a spoonful of coconut oil, which is high in MCT oil, about 30 minutes before a workout. I get a big boost in energy that stays consistent for about 2 hours. I don't get a crash after that, but just feel more energized. Because of the extra boost in energy, my metabolism speeds up as well. If you've bought into the fat-free craze, you really need to start changing your thinking. Fat is the type of fuel your body thrives on, and giving your body healthy fats is a great way to boost your metabolism and your energy levels.
Sources of Medium Chain Triglycerides
My favorite source of medium chain triglycerides is unrefined coconut oil. There are multiple reasons for this. First, unrefined coconut oil is a very large source of MCTs, on average about 66% of it is MCT oil. Second, unrefined coconut oil is very inexpensive. I get a tub of very high quality oil for $9.99. Third, unrefined coconut oil is the best quality cold pressed oil out there. This is due to its physical structure. Most cold pressed oils remain liquid at room temperature. When they're in liquid form, they go rancid very quickly. They're very susceptible to light and oxygen damage. For this reason, most cold pressed oils are heavily processed and refined in order to increase their shelf lives. This takes away from the nutritional value.
But unrefined coconut oil is different. Coconut oil has a melting point of 75 degrees, making it a solid at room temperature and not susceptible to light and oxygen damage when in solid form. However, at body temperature, unrefined coconut oil is a liquid, making it perfect for both storage and consumption. Unrefined coconut oil is cheap to produce and retains all of its nutritional value, unlike refined cold pressed oils which can be very expensive and retain little of their nutritional value.
Another great source of MCT oil is protein powder. There are at least a handful of protein powders that incorporates MCT oils into their various ingredients. My favorite powder for this is muscle milk. Muscle milk is a protein powder that not only seeks to boost muscle mass, but also seeks to boost the metabolism and burn fat as well. It incorporates medium chain triglycerides into its formula. This can be a great way to go, because you're not only getting a nice boost in energy from the medium chain triglycerides, you're also getting a great boost in protein for your workout.
Medium Chain Triglyceride Side Effects and Dangers
Many people are concerned that eating straight fat can have negative side effects such as clogged arteries and heart disease. Though side effects are possible, clinical trials have actually shown that using coconut oil for cooking reduces overall levels of bad cholesterol, or LDL, in the bloodstream. When subjects of the trial switched over to coconut oil over vegetable oils, their levels of LDL cholesterol saw a decline. So even though coconut oil is very high in fats, it's high in the type of fats that are positive for the body. A moderate amount of exercise however, has often shown to be extra beneficial for persons eating a diet rich in medium chain triglycerides. As we saw earlier, the body prefers to burn medium chain triglycerides for energy rather than store them, and when combined with exercise, the effects can be cumulative on the metabolism.