Prepare to learn everything you need to know about MCT Oil, or Medium Chain Triglycerides
Lifestyle, training, and diet are the three overarching umbrellas that affect our health and fitness goals, and figuring out how to best balance them is unique from person to person. For instance, someone trying to lose body fat trains differently, eats differently, and goes about their day differently than a powerlifter on a strength cycle.
But central in almost any fitness plan is nutrition. Although needs shift from person to person, eating nutrient-dense foods full of essential minerals, fats, and amino acids (protein) is at the root of any diet.
MCT Oil: The saturated fat for training both your body and your mind!
When we say "nutrient-dense" and "essential", there is a great amount of misunderstanding. Our take is that a highly-misunderstood "essential" fat is saturated fat, and a group of these increasingly popular fats are in the group of medium chain triglycerides, which boast powerful health benefits. Otherwise known as MCT (or MCT Oil), these critically useful fatty acids are finally getting recognition like other important fatty acids. As a high-quality source of dietary fat, MCTs have a ton to offer, with evidence supporting it can yield positive effects in your training, your body, and your mind!
TL;DR (Article Summary)
MCT Oil, short for medium chain triglycerides, are a group of saturated fatty acids that are quickly-absorbed for rapid energy thanks to their shorter structure.
Saturated fat is healthy. There is no causal link whatsoever between saturated fat and heart disease or obesity. In fact, the obesity crisis began when we collectively replaced saturated fat with omega-6 polyunsaturated fats from "vegetable oils". (See the saturated fat discussion)
The medium chain triglycerides, or "MCTs", are a group of saturated fatty acids with "medium" chain lengths, ranging from six to twelve carbon bonds. These fatty acids caproic acid (C6), Caprylic acid (C8), Capric acid (C10), and Lauric acid (C12). (See the MCT Intro section)
When supplemented, MCTs demonstrated the following benefits: Decreased appetite (through increased satiety), increased cognition, improved beta-oxidation (fat burning) rates, better gut health, and potential immune system improvements.
(See the MCT oil benefits section)
When looking for quality MCT Powder, C8 (Caprylic Acid) is the way to go, and C8Vantage from NNB Nutrition is where to get it. Read more here and on NNBNutrition.com
Due to unfavorable characteristics of C6 and C12, C8 and C10 are the preferred MCTs to supplement, with C8 having the best data in terms of beta oxidation and ketone generation. (See the MCT Supplements section)
Preferred MCT Oil Products:
For powdered MCT Oil, we prefer C8Vantage, which is made by NNB Nutrition and is a nearly-pure C8 formula that is GMO-Free, vegan-friendly, and has no glycemic impact since it is plated on tapioca prebiotic fiber and pea protein, bt other dairy-based options are available as well.
For liquid MCT Oil, we prefer Nuton Brainfood, which comes in C8-only and C8+C10 versions. (See the MCT oil products section)
In this post, we're going to take a deep dive into MCTs - what they are, why they're different, how to use them, and where you can find the best ones - both in liquid and powder form. We're also going to look at published research focused on MCTs, which will help us paint a clearer picture of their benefits. Brace yourself for an in-depth, science-backed look at a food seemingly built for athletic and cognitive performance!
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