Anyone who is following a low carbohydrate diet or wanting to increase energy levels and support performance would have noticed a product called MCT: what is it and what are the benefits of it?
What is MCT?
MCT or Medium Chain Triglycerides are a form of fat that provides an easily digested, calorie dense energy source. Medium Chain Triglycerides are unique in that, unlike other fats, they are metabolised by the body more like a carbohydrate than a fat – simply, MCT provides lots of energy very quickly.
What are the benefits of MCTs?
Increase energy – MCTs provide a lot of energy very quickly to the body thus boosting energy levels.
MCTs are a form of saturated fat that are metabolized differently than LCTs. Unlike LCTs, MCTs don't require bile acids for digestion. Instead, they go straight to the liver where they're converted into ketones (a type of water-soluble organic molecule that can be used as fuel by most body tissues, including the brain).
The ketones are then released into the bloodstream and travel around to all the cells in your body, providing energy.
Ketones also cause greater blood flow to the brain and heart, which means more oxygen is available for energy production. This is why people report having more energy after eating foods containing MCTs or taking MCT oil supplements.
MCTs have many benefits for the human body, including assisting with weight loss. They help to convert fat into energy more efficiently, which means they are less likely to be stored as fat. Instead of being stored as fat, the MCTs are converted into ketones which can be used as fuel by the brain and muscles. This process is known as ketosis.
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that occurs when there isn’t enough glucose available for energy production in the body. It is sometimes called “starvation mode” because it occurs when there isn’t enough food available for energy production. Normally, ketosis is only seen during fasting periods or periods where calories from carbs are restricted significantly below what would normally be eaten based on their activity level.
Assist in reducing lactate buildup– studies are finding consuming MCT pre-workout lowers lactate levels, making your workout easier.
One of the most popular benefits of MCT is that it helps reduce lactate buildup during exercise. Lactate is a byproduct of exercise that causes muscle fatigue in athletes. When you exercise at high intensity for an extended period of time, your body produces more lactate than it can remove from your bloodstream. This causes an overload in lactate levels in your muscles, which leads to muscle fatigue and exhaustion.
Medium Chain Triglyceries FAQ
Who should take MCT?
Medium Chain Triglyceries can be taken by anyone, it is particularly great for individuals following a low carbohydrate diet as it has an incredible ability to promote ketones in the bloodstream which then utilise fat for energy, resulting in fat loss.
It is also an excellent for someone who simply wants to consume a quality natural source of healthy fats to increase energy levels and support performance.
What should I mix Medium Chain Triglycerides with?
As a pure Medium Chain Triglyceride it has no flavour and can be mixed with other VPA® products. Mix MCT with water, juice, or protein shakes – pretty much anything you want, however, be aware that you may still be able to taste it in these fluids.
One serve of VPA®s Medium Chain Triglycerides is 10g. One 1kg bag of VPA® MCT has 100 serves. Two heaped teaspoons of Medium Chain Triglycerides is approximately one serve, but we recommend weighing your product for accuracy. One serve of Medium Chain Triglycerides should be taken daily for optimal results.
What is the best time to take Medium Chain Triglycerides?
Medium Chain Triglygerides can be taken at any time of day depending on your goal. For those looking to improve their performance, MCT should be taken before a workout. For those wanting to gain mass, consume Medium Chain Triglygerides before bed or post-workout to prevent muscle breakdown and assist with muscle growth.
What are the benefits of Medium Chain Triglycerides powder over MCT Oil?
The benefits of the powder over the oil is simply the convenience and how someone wants to use it. Medium Chain Triglycerides are easy and more palatable to add to other products if it is in powder form.
Anna Timms (BSc) is a university qualified scientist and VPA staff member. Her favourite VPA product is Sour Worms Protein Water.
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