Are you tired of fighting the keto flu? Maybe you’ve heard that MCT oil supplements can reduce the symptoms and kick up your ketone levels.
It’s all true.
However, if you find yourself asking how does MCT oil work, then it’s hard to justify spending money on an MCT oil supplement.
This article contains all the facts to help you understand how using MCT oils can hack ketosis and stop keto flu symptoms.
What you need to know about MCTs
The first thing you’ll need to understand: while MCT fats and MCT oil supplements are similar, they’re not the same thing.
1. What is MCT fat and where does it come from?
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. This is a type of fat that includes shorter carbon chains than are normally found in the types of fat we eat. Long-chain triglycerides go through the normal digestive process, but MCT fats are quickly pulled out of the GI tract.
MCT fat is taken to the liver, where it’s used immediately for energy or converted into ketones.
MCT fat is found naturally in some food products:(1)
- Coconut oil contains more than 60% MCT(2)
- Palm Kernel oil contains more than 50% MCT(3)
- Dairy products can contain approximately 10-12 % MCT fat(4)
2. What are MCT oils, where do they come from, and how does MCT oil work?
MCT oils are medium chain triglycerides that have been pulled from their whole food sources.(5)
There’s an advantage to this. For example, while coconut oil is significantly high in MCT fat, it also contains long chain triglycerides. Long chain triglycerides take longer to digest and can be stored in the body as fat.
There are four main types of MCT oils: caprylic acid, capric acid, caproic acid, and lauric acid. Most MCT oil supplements contain either caprylic acid, capric acid, or a combination of both of them. Caproic acid doesn’t taste or smell good, so it’s normally omitted from MCT oil supplements.
Lauric acid also is normally not used in MCT oil supplements because it has a slightly longer carbon chain than the others. While it has its own unique health benefits, it won’t convert as quickly into ketones.(6)
3. Who can benefit most from MCT oil supplements?
There’s a lot of scientifically-backed buzz around MCT oil supplements and their benefits for people on keto eating plans. There are other populations who might benefit from MCT oils, as well. Take a look at these possibilities:(7)
- There are potential benefits for Alzheimer’s patients, due to MCT oil’s ability to boost brain function(8)
- Athletes can use MCT oils to help increase their exercise endurance(9)
- MCT fats may stimulate weight loss even in people who aren’t on keto diet plans
- MCT fats may help regulate hormones(10)
- MCTs might lower cholesterol and blood sugar(11)
- People on ketogenic diets
Why use MCT oil supplements during keto?
Eating high amounts of fat is part of the ketogenic lifestyle. Eating the right kind of fat can be overlooked, though. Not all fat is good fat.
Eating healthy fats like MCT oils can improve your ketogenic lifestyle. It makes sense to use fats that convert quickly to ketones when you’re shooting to achieve ketosis.
How do MCT oils boost mental clarity during keto?
Our brains need a lot of energy, but unlike our muscles, it can’t store glycogen for quick fuel fixes.
This can be a problem for people on keto diets. As the body clears out the glycogen stores, there isn’t any quick energy left for the brain. This can result in brain fog and other symptoms of keto flu.
Ketones can be used as fuel, and our body can convert our fat into ketones. That’s why people on keto diets tend to lose fat. However, that can take some time. If you’re in a pinch, taking an MCT oil supplement can boost your ketone levels enough to give your brain the energy it needs.
Voila! No more keto brain fog.
How does MCT oil work to boost energy during keto
The ketones produced when MCT oils hit the liver can act in our muscles and tissues the same way it acts in the brain. Ketones are converted to energy in the place of glycogen or blood sugar.
How MCT oils stimulate fat loss
MCTs like the ones found in coconut oil speed up the metabolism, which can help the fat burning process. They also curb your appetite, reduce fat storage, and they cause your body to burn more calories and fat.(12)
How (and when) you should use MCT oils
As you become more comfortable with a keto lifestyle, you might want to venture past the fats you’ve eaten all your life and try something new. An MCT oil supplement such as Left Coast MCT Oil, which is sourced solely from coconuts, might be a good bet.
You also might want to try MCT oils if you’ve hit a plateau in your weight loss or if you want to kick yourself into ketosis more quickly.
Don’t rush in. Take too much MCT oil at once when you’re not used to it, and you could end up with cramps or diarrhea.
1. Here’s how to safely get started:
- Choose your method of ingestion. There are a lot of good MCT oil supplements on the market ranging from powders to oils and soft gels.
- Research products. Read the reviews. Order the one like Left Coast MCT Oil that sounds like it will benefit your body.
- When your supplements come, start slowly. Take just ½ teaspoon per day for a week.
- Gradually increase the dosage until you’re taking two tablespoons per day.
- After that, maintain your dosage. At this point, you might also consider beginning to replace some of your cooking oil with MCT oils—or use it in other foods.(13)
2. Four quick ways to cook with MCT oils:
- Use them in salad dressing
- Mix them in your coffee
- Blend them in smoothies
- Stir-fry or pan-fry your vegies and meats with MCT oils
Final Thoughts: How does MCT oil work?
Once you have answered how does MCT oil work, you can finally make an educated decision. While MCT oils aren’t just for keto enthusiasts, they can have a strong impact on the results you get. Switching from normal dietary fats to MTCs like Left Coast MCT Oil may be one of the best moves you’ve ever made.