Fats – the endless scrutiny continues. Which ones are bad for us? Which ones are meant to be good for us? Which ones will make us put on weight? Every one seems to have a different opinion. The good news is there is one type of fat that experts agree we don’t need to be concerned about – one that is not only good for our health but can also improve our energy and the quality of our workouts.
Medium Chain Triglycerides/Triacylglycerols (MCTs) are a unique form of dietary fat that provide numerous health benefits. Their reduced chain length not only means that they carry fewer calories, it also allows for accelerated metabolic conversion. This means that instead of our bodies storing them as fat (like Long Chain Fatty acids (LCTs)), the calories in MCTs are used immediately by our organs and muscles, making it one of the fastest, cleanest sources of fuel for the body.
MCTs have gained popularity with athletes looking to increase energy levels and enhance endurance during high-intensity exercise. A review of the literature has shown that short-term ingestion of foods containing a small amount of MCTs suppresses the increase in blood lactate concentration and the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) during moderate-intensity exercise; whilst extending the duration of subsequent high-intensity exercise, at levels higher than those achieved by ingestion of LCT-containing foods.
MCTs have also been found to assist with weight loss because of their lower caloric content than other fats, as well as their ability to enhance metabolism, increase energy expenditure, and promote the production of ketones – all without adversely affecting metabolic risk factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure. Scientists have attributed the energy-enhancing properties of MCTs to their rapid formation of ketone bodies thus making them an excellent choice for anyone that has increased energy needs or requires enhanced athletic performance.
Now that we have cleared the air on this group of͚ super͛ fats, it͛s time to put them to use in your own daily routine. Nuzest͛s Coffee, Coconut + MCT Clean Lean Protein contains approximately 600mg of coconut-derived MCTs per 25g serve, making it the perfect pre-workout protein smoothie.
By Nicola Mackay, Nutritionist
1.Dean, W. & English, J. (2013). Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)– Beneficial Effects on Energy, Atherosclerosis and Aging. Retrieved from https://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts/
2. Nosaka, N., Suzuki, Y., Nagatoishi, A., Kasai, M., Wu, J., & Taguchi, M. (2009). Effect of Ingestion of Medium-Chain Triacylglycerols on Moderate-and High-Intensity Exercise in Recreational Athletes. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 55(2), 120-125. http://dx.doi.org/10.3177/jnsv.55.120
3.Mumme, K., & Stonehouse, W. (2015). Effects of Medium-Chain Triglycerides on Weight Loss and Body Composition: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Journal of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(2), 249-263. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2014.10.022
4. Rego Costa, A. C., & Rosado, E. L., & Soares-Mota, M. (2012). Influence of the dietary intake of medium chain triglycerides on body composition, energy expenditure and satiety; a systematic review. Nutricion Hospitalaria, 27 (1), 103-108.
5. St-Onge, M.-P., Bosarge, A., Goree, L. L. T., & Darnell, B. (2008). Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil Consumption as Part of a Weight Loss Diet Does Not Lead to an Adverse Metabolic Profile When Compared to Olive Oil. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 27 (5), 547 –552.