First things first, what is MCT?
First things first we must put on our scientist goggles and take an in-depth look at the product at hand. MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride, which is a type of fat. Compared to other sources of fats, MCTs are comparatively easier to digest.
They help boost energy, and due to its chemical structure does not require the usual digestion break down that has to be absorbed into the bloodstream. It goes directly into the bloodstream and then from there into the liver.
Introducing MCTs to your diet:
When introducing your body to a new diet or supplement, it’s essential to ease yourself into it. The mind and body can take a lot of stress when it is presented as a new habit. It takes time to integrate and implement MCT oil to your system. As s result, it is advised to introduce it to your diet gradually. If taken too much too soon, it can result in an upset digestive system.
The best way to help build a relationship with MCT oil is to slowly start adding it to your diet, preferably in the morning on an empty stomach.
It isn’t suggested to be used for cooking meals. Because of its low smoking point, it is susceptible to burning quickly. Moreover, it is better utilized if dabbled over salads, teas, coffee’s, cereal, oatmeal or in your smoothies.
Benefits of MCTs:
- Energy boost
As athletes require a nutritionally rich diet to remain at the peak of their physical capabilities; their diets are designed to ensure that they get their daily boost of energy. That’s why it is essential that whatever they decide to put into their body is processed into energy most efficiently and effectively.
Since MCT oil powder is absorbed through the gut directly without having to breakdown, it provides the body with energy as soon as it is consumed. It is also more likely to be used by the body as fuel than stored as fat.
- Fights Lactic Acid Build Up
Lactic Acid is built up in the body when there isn’t enough oxygen in the muscles to help break down the glucose and glycogen. This occurs most prominently during heavy workout sessions where the body is pushed to extreme measures. The Lactic Acid buildup can very quickly hinder performance. An athlete will never want to have an inefficient training regime ruining their potential capacity for performance.
MCT oil can significantly help decrease the buildup of lactic acid levels and even improve the performance during these high-intensity work out sessions as proved by this study conducted by the Japanese.
- It’s the healthy option
As we’ve covered in the article, athletes need their diet to be as prime as their physical training. Without a healthy diet that complements the exercise, the key to peak performance and even improvement in results is not possible.
MCT is a healthy fat, and it’s benefits include as already covered; focus, energy boost, alongside a healthier digestive system, fat loss, and balancing hormones. All of these factors can influence a myriad of other factors that affect and are essential in performance enhancement.
With all these benefits to MCTs, it is bound to create a positive boost in your mood, which will push athletes to do better as they are bound to see results right before their eyes.
- Helps with Weight Loss
Athletes are usually in fantastic conditions, but some fields require you to put on weight or shed to achieve more muscle. Both of which are not easy to achieve.
Research on MCT oil powder shows that it is involved in the process that helps the body feel full. For example, a meal consisting of two-three tablespoons of MCT oil could help the body not desire more food later on. It is giving your body that feeling that indeed it has eaten to the maximum capacity.
When digested, another benefit of MCTs is that they can contribute to the fat break down process known as Ketosis. To achieve Ketosis, the intake of carbohydrates should be low. Still, the fat intake should be high, thus taking in some MCTs can help you achieve and maintain a state of Ketosis easily and for an extended period.
- Reduces the risk of heart-related diseases
Even though it is believed the healthier you are, the more immune you are to diseases. But life has a way of surprising.
There are popular cases one can look at, for example; professional wrestler and entertainer Eddie Guerrero or Fabrice Muamba, a professional soccer player, both, unfortunately, lost their lives to cardiac-related incidents.
Athletes are no strangers to life-threatening illnesses, and they should take every measure to avoid introducing or adopting any habits that can decrease their life span.
We are looking specifically at heart diseases, the chances of which can be elevated by high cholesterol, smoking, and high blood pressure.
Since MCT oils have shown that they are beneficial in the process of helping to lose weight and help the body lose fat – it may help reduce the chances of heart disease as well.
- Diabetes and Sugar Level Management
MCTs oils are shown to reduce fat storage and increase the burning of fat. So, with daily consumption of MCT oil, athletes can improve their body’s active process of targeting fat deposits.
This will lead to significant reductions in weight, the circumference of the waist and insulin resistance. MCTs also help maintain sugar levels and require less percentage of sugar to do so as supported by this study conducted by the Chinese.
Other factors such as timing and the amount of food eaten may influence the effects of MCT oil.
In the End
MCTs have considerable benefits and little downsides and risks. They are considered a type of healthy fat that promotes Ketosis and further helps in reducing weight by attacking the stored fat and convert it into energy. Moreover, they aid in the maintenance of sugar levels, fights bacterial growth and can help manage and reduce the tendencies that may lead to heart disease.
The potential drawback might be an increase in hunger and an accumulation of fat in the liver, but as long as your consumption is limited to 1-2 tablespoons in place; not adding to your regular fat intake, you are good.