Coconut oil is old news now but what is it that makes coconut oil so special? Well whether you are an entrepreneur needing to engage your brain power fully or a highly stressed individual, overweight or suffering from neurological, digestive, metabolic or immune disorder- or you just want to quash low energy levels, increase athletic performance and or have your tanks running on premium energy you should read on.
I have spoken a over the last year about coconut oil, MCT oil and Kerri gold butter, eating all the animal including the fat and cooking up bones but why have we suddenly shifted from low fat diets to high fat and what is the low down on MCT?
MCTs are fats, fats whether from plant or animal sources are comprised of Fatty Acids. These fatty acids come in different chain lengths: small, medium and long. When three fatty acids group together they form what is known as a triglyceride.
Hence Medium Chain Triglycerides.
Most of the fats we eat come from Long Chain Triglycerides (LCT).
The size of the fatty acid is important because they have different health properties and are broken down differently by the body for use as energy.
MCTs or Medium Chain Triglycerides have amazing healing and health properties, widely used in helping digestive problems, in intensive care as an intravenous drip and has made huge progress in healing neuromuscular degeneration like MS and Parkinson’s and cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s. We were built from MCT, in high concentrations in mother’s breast milk and almost entirely make up the composition of Coconut oil
The difference between MCT and other fatty chains is that the molecules are smaller and can therefore be broken down more readily while other size fats pass straight through the system. Anyone suffering form Crohns disease, gallbladder, diabetes, obesity, cancer or vitamin and mineral deficiencies would benefit from MCT oils
MCT are sent directly to the liver where they are burnt immediately for energy - like carbohydrates. Other fats, differ in their use because of the difference in their size and make-up, they must be first broken down into smaller fats before they can be absorbed into the intestine wall where they are stored together in bundles called lipoproteins. These lipoproteins by-pass the liver primarily, they are absorbed into the blood stream, where they circulate the body and are distributed to the tissue, for use and storage until there is only a small particle left. Anything remaining is then sent to the liver and broken down for energy. A much more timely process.
So there you see the difference in the fats. MCT for immediate energy where as the other fatty acids actually slow down the energy conversion, this is why fats like nuts and olive oil help to lower the glycemic impact of foods (rate at which food hits the blood stream).
This is particularly important for athletes- if you are looking to refuel your muscles quickly or looking for a quick burst of energy omit fat with your food or drink unless it is an MCT. I always find if I eat a lot of nuts and seeds the night prior to a competition I have tons of energy the next day. Especially if in the morning I begin with a lot of coconut oil, butter and MCT liquid with my organic black coffee.
MCT for increased performance
Your body responds very quickly to MCT because it is rapidly absorbed and converted into energy enabling your body to perform at higher endurance and with greater energy. This boost of energy increases the metabolism and therefore promotes thermogenics (an increase in energy use due to increase heat)
During a cycling study of three hours in duration, all the candidates who were given a beverage containing MCT oil , completely out performed the other candidates who had not had MCT oil.
This increase in performance not only helps athletic performance but also boosts cognitive support which is why it is good for people who rely heavily on brain power and mental clarity for making big business decisions.
Also for anyone feeling tired during the day or lagging in energy
Try adding a spoon of MCT oil to your diet; this will give you a boost to perk up the rest of your day. (Whisk it into your afternoon coffee!)
Great for improving the immune system and healing too- speeding up and enhancing the rate at which our body protects itself and sends nourishment to the affected areas.
MCT reduces appetite
MCTs have also been shown to improve satiety of meals, meaning you feel fuller, quicker, making you less likely to over-eat and ingest too many calories.
MCTs maintain muscle mass:
MCT as I mentioned , make up mother milk, mother’s milk is the best and most nutritious form of food, and healthy babies are the ones who remain on breast milk rather than formula. MCT is nature’s premium building blocks.
Breast-fed children have stronger immune systems, are less prone to allergies, better digestive functions and are shown to develop higher intelligence
Another important ingredient of breast milk is Lauric Acid-, which is another component of coconut oil
MCT to prevent muscle break down (catabolism)
MCT promotes the production of ketones, which are used as an energy source in the muscles before amino acids- (protein), ordinarily without ketones our muscle can be broken down and used as fuel by the body especially in endurance activities. Long distance cycling and running, iron mans etc.
Secondly, the MCT acts as an amino acid ‘carrier’, helping to assimilate proteins inside the muscle, which further aids in preventing the muscle itself from being broken down and used as fuel for energy.
MCTs have also been shown to delay muscle glycogen depletion, (energy stored in the muscle itself), as the MCT is a preferred use of energy source over glycogen as a fuel thereby preserving muscle glycogen and improving endurance.
In short MCT helps to protect the muscle in the absence of carbohydrates or fuel .
Increasing MCT oils in your diet may also increase your libido.
As for dosage, as always these things are individual, gradually introduce it into your diet a tablespoon at every meal and see how you respond. Coconut oil you can cook with but regular MCT oil should never be cooked with add it to your coffee and whisk it up as I do or put on salads or vegetables prior to eating.
Most people who attempt to eat a lot of MCT find that past a certain point, it makes them nauseous and or diarrhea, so for practical purposes, especially if you are using it prior to a race be careful! This is not a good sign and could mean that the liver has been overloaded and so by passing the liver it has been evacuated. A very expensive experiment.
Use your common sense and listen to your body.