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MCT Oil Benefits Bodybuilding

Why You Should Include MCT Oil in Your Bodybuilding Program

MCT oil derived from coconuts and palm kernels has been consumed in tropical countries for thousands of years, with myriad health benefits. More recently however, MCT oil has headlined as part of the new keto versus paleo nutrition debate.

Certainly its implications for a healthy lifestyle cannot be discounted, despite the long peddled beliefs about saturated fats being bad. As biologist Ray Peat remarks: "For ( over) fifty years, the mass media have been making the public think about the fats in their diet, filling the culture with cliches about bad saturated animal fats that raise cholesterol, or lately the trans-fats in margarine, and images of arteries clogged by bad fats." Fortunately, wellness and health experts are raising awareness of the way fats work and the healthful benefits of some saturated fats.

What is MCT oil?

Medium chain triglycerides AKA medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) are defined by length: short chain, medium chain and long chain. All these fats are composed of carbon atoms surrounded by hydrogen. The chain simply refers to the amount of carbon atoms in the link. The more hydrogen involved means more saturated fat, which in turn makes the molecule more stable. The key point to note here is that the saturated fats found in meats have a long carbon chain whereas those found in coconut oil are shorter.

However, Dr Josh Axe points out that some saturated fats and more specifically, MCT's such as the ones found in coconut oil, grass fed beef, and butter from grass fed cattle " are in fact easier to digest than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) and might even have more benefits related to heart health, obesity prevention and brain health, too...traditional populations living in tropical areas have been consuming saturated fats, including sources of MCTs like coconuts, for thousands of years without any ill effects."

Coconut oil versus MCT oil - which is best?

Coconut oil and MCT oil are very similar but the proportion of MCT's in each is different. MCT oil, as its name suggests, is almost 100% MCT's, whereas coconut oil contains a lower percentage. Also, the good MCT oils contain 4 types of MCT's which can be hard to find in other foods.

The four types are grouped by their carbon length.

It is acknowledged that the shorter the carbon chain, the more readily your body will utilize the MCT's by turning them into ketones. This is a much better energy source than glucose, for instance.

MCT Oil benefits for bodybuilders

The value of using MCT's as part of a body building regime cannot be over stressed. Cliff Sheats, author of "Lean Bodies", recommends taking the oil to lose weight, praising it as one of the best fat burning supplements on sale. Consuming conventional fats daily means that in most cases the body stores them as fat. Most foods need to be completely digested to provide energy but MCT oil is processed by the liver direct from the small intestine. During this conversion some of the MCT's turn into ketones as mentioned above, others have a thermogenic effect, which of course burns body fat.

MCT oil is the most multi purpose supplement anyone can use regardless of whether you want to gain muscle or lose fat or increase your stamina.


.       MCT's help the body produce ketones which allows for the same benefits as following a ketogenic diet but without having to cut carbs to an extreme degree


.       MCT's are assimilated by the liver not by digestion which means less work for the body


.       At the same time MCT's are beneficial to the liver which can be burdened by the usual load up of sodium and carbs that some use as preparation for a competition


.      MCT's naturally give a cut to the body as the thermo genic nature of them accelerates fat burning


.       MCT's can be used to increase calorific intake


.       The liver converts some of the energy from MCT oil into ketone bodies which are used for fuel instead of glucose. These ketone bodies replace some of the amino acids used in the metabolism process, thereby leaving the aminos free to increase mass


MCT's are of great benefit to those on a low carb diet, where there is always the possibility of muscle breakdown. This is especially applicable to body builders or others who exercise intensely. The energy value provided by MCT's means that the body does not look to glean this from amino acids, which is often the case when the body has depleted glucose levels.


How to use MCT oilfor Bodybuilding

It is advised that you raise consumption of calories by 300 to 500 per day over a period of weeks to build muscle and use MCT oil along with protein or carb powders to help you gain a pound per week.(11) Taking a mix of MCT and coconut oil is considered the most advantageous. Bullet proof coffee has become renowned but it is not to everyone's taste and there are other easy ways to incorporate the oil in your daily diet.

If taking MCT oil straight from the spoon or mixed into drinks is not for you, there are a variety of ways to incorporate into your daily diet

.       Make your own mayonnaise in a blender: MCT oil, egg yolk, extra virgin olive oil, lime juice and Himalayan or Celtic sea salt

Finally, do consider the quality of the oil you consume as this is of paramount importance for the best results. There are many industrial versions of coconut and palm oils. Look for virgin, unrefined, and organic on the label!

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