If you’re in the market for the MCTs, this is your ultimate guide to finding the best that works for you. MCT oil is made out of medium-chain triglycerides and is not coconut oil or palm oil.
Although it may have similar properties and typically derived from coconuts, this supplement is pure medium-chain triglycerides. It can help you to burn fat, stave off hunger, fuel your brain power, increase your energy and benefit you in numerous other ways.
MCT oil is a brain and body dietary supplement that should not be overlooked. In this guide we’ll tell you everything you need to know pick a good MCT oil, and what it takes to find the best.
From C8 and up, we lay out exactly what should be in your MCT oil of choice, and what makes the difference between an effective, and ineffective oil.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a good grasp on what MCT oil can do for you, and what to buy the next time you’re in the market for one.
Now, let’s learn what MCT oil actually is, and what makes the best MCT oils.
What is MCT Oil? Medium Chain… Coconuts?
“MCT” stands for medium-chain triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fats that are in your blood, but are also rich in foods like coconut oil and palm oil.
Supplementing MCTs can help promote the overall levels of ketones in your body. Ketones can help you both burn fat and promote brain power if you’re on a ketogenic diet. Mainly because they become your fuel source once your run low on glucose.
Some MCT oils are made from palm oil, which we do not recommend as their production causes serious hazards to the rain forest. You should be looking for MCT oils that come from coconut oil as these are much safer for the environment in terms of harvest and production.
Using MCT oil is lower-carb, high fat option, and perfect for anyone on a ketogenic diet. It gives your body energy and brain power via promoting ketones which also helps you stay in ketosis. They’re super effective for keto.
MCT oil is a great dietary supplement for boosting ketones on a ketogenic diet to keep your mind and body supplied with the fuel it needs. It’s an excellent option for anyone living that keto lifestyle who wants to keep their performance up.
MCT Oil Health Benefits
MCT oil has several benefits when it comes to your health. It has been seen to help promote energy, brain function, gut health and more.
In this area of our guide, we look at how the fat in MCTs can help you in more detail. Below, you’ll learn how the fats in MCT oil can benefit your weight, brain, workouts and more.
Here’s some in-depth research on what MCT oil can do.
MCT Oils and Weight Management
MCTs are great when you need to burn fat on a ketogenic diet. The medium-chain triglycerides in MCT oil can fuel your body with more ketones which can help keep you fueled while dieting.
As you know, when you go keto, you reduce your carb intake and survive on fats and protein. This depletes your body of its main energy resource glucose – and has your get energy from backup resource ketones, which your body gets from converting fat in your liver.
MCT oil helps provide your body with more fuel to make ketones, which can help boost your metabolic rate. MCTs help you stay on track with diet and see better results.
MCTs Suppresses Hunger
MCT oil can also help you reduce fat by making you feel fuller. MCTs promote the ketones in your system, and these ketones help to suppress your body’s levels of the hormones ghrelin (which makes you feel hungry).
The benefit is that MCT oil increases your levels of cholecystokinin (CCK) which is the satiating hormone that makes you feel full.
For the best results, make sure you’re focused on taking pure MCT oil for ketones, not coconut oil.
Read on to see how this all helps the brain.
Good MCT Oil = More Brain Power
MCT oil can also help your brain by how efficiently it delivers ketones to your body. These ketones can promote your overall brain energy and mental clarity. Your results will vary depending on how high quality your MCT oil is, and how carb-depleted you are for your brain to rely on ketones as fuel.
It’s great fuel for your brain cells to get energy from. MCT oil is more often thought of as a dietary aid to help with fat loss, but you’d be surprised how much it can help you mentally in terms of brain health and overall brain power.
Supports the Gut
MCT oil is also good for helping with your gut health. The main way it can do this is by helping with your gut bacteria. Being a healthy fat, MCT oil can support your gut’s microbiome which can help improve how your digestive system absorbs vitamins and minerals from food.
Medium-chain triglycerides can also create a less friendly environment to bad bacteria in your gut, which can reduce their overall growth of bad microbes your body. This is a great antimicrobial effect of MCTs.
Overall MCT oil is great for helping your gut bacteria, as well as your gut lining and general digestive tract.
It’s good for your weight, brain, diet and gut – but it doesn’t stop there. The best MCT oils can also help your physical performance.
Boosts Your Workout
MCT oil is fantastic for supporting your workouts. There is some thought that MCTs can boost stamina and overall endurance when used correctly.
Here’s a brief list of findings.
- More effective than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs): Research shows that mice who were fed more MCTs performed better swimming against other mice on LCTs.
- Train for longer: Athletes who took foods with MCTs over a two week period performed better on high intensity exercises.
- More endurance: Subjects supplementing MCT oil saw better stamina when participating in high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
How do MCT oils work inside your body?
You body digests MCT oil differently as it would to other fats. Being medium-chain triglyceride fat it is absorbed from your gut straight to your liver.
LCTs (long-chain triglycerides) and fats aren’t as fast, your liver has the benefit of converting MCTs straight into ketone fuel. MCTs are quick acting and effective.
Let’s recap, you now know:
- The benefits of a MCT oil supplement.
- How it is absorbed inside your body when supplemented.
- That it’s a supplement that helps both your brain and your body.
- It’s good for general health and performance.
What’s the triglyceride chain, and why does it matter?
Triglycerides come from the triglyceride carbon chain. This is the end part of a molecule that chains off that you see in most molecular diagrams. The longer it is, the longer it takes for your body to turn it into energy.
However, too short can be tough for your body to digest resulting in stomach issues like diarrhea.
The happy medium (pardon the pun) are medium-chain triglycerides (MC). They’re faster than LCTs (long-chain triglycerides) and safer than short-chain (SCT). MCT oil supplements are the best way to get triglyceride benefits without any drawbacks.
It is the best way to get the most out of these triglyceride chains. A clear winner over LCTs and SCTs.
If you still have concerns with MCT oils, we suggest starting with a low dose and working your way up. It’ll be easier on your stomach if you’re more sensitive.
This shouldn’t be the case, but we can’t speak for everyone. If you’re concerned take the precaution.
Quick rundown why trusted MCTs beat LCTs:
- MCT Oil is fast for your body to absorb, without causing side effects.
- LCTs take too long to give you the same benefits.
- SCTs are too fast that they may cause stomach problems.
- To avoid issues, start MCT on a small dose and work your way up – you should be fine though.
Types of MCTs
Now let’s learn about the different types of MCTs:
Caproic acid (C6)
Caproic Acid is often labelled as C6. It’s in coconut oil – but only in sparse amounts.
It can be turned into ketones but you don’t want this in your MCT oil. C6 has links to causing stomach upset and a strange flavoring. This is usually down to poor distillation.
If you see it in an oil you’re interested in, try to avoid it.
Caprylic acid (C8)
C8 Caprylic Acid is one of the best options MCT oil. If you’re looking for ketogenic energy, this is what you need. It’s fast to convert into energy, and C8 has four times the ketone output than coconut oil.
You’ll get more ketones and higher energy levels for your body and brain from using an MCT with lots of C8.
Capric acid (C10)
C10 is another short MCT that is almost as good as C8. It’s another option that is great for ketone energy for overall brain and body power. Make sure your MCT oil has good levels of both C8 and C10.
MCT oils with high purity of these two options perform the best.
Lauric acid (C12)
C12 (or Lauric Acid) is mainly found in coconut oil. It’s not a good trusted MCT, as your body needs time to work with it in your liver. It’s technically more of a long-chain triglyceride (LCT) than an MCT.
Lauric Acid has a few antimicrobial benefits, but it’s not as effective as C8 and C10.
If all you want is the antimicrobial benefits, stick to coconut oil. If you want energy, brain and body boosts, you’re better off looking at high quality trusted MCT oils. Lauric acid is something that’s not going to give you the benefits that you’re looking for.
For the best brain fuel, it can only be C8 and C10. Leave the lauric acid in the coconut oil.
C-14 and above
C-14 and above are essentially all the other fats that you get in coconut oil. Spoiler alert: they’re mainly LCTs (long-chain fatty acids) which take longer for your body to digest and use. LCTs are mainly in coconut, and not the fuel you’re looking for.
When it comes to medium chain fatty acids you want C8 and C10. These are the best types of trusted MCT oils. They’re ideal for a keto diet and for juicing up your brain and overall energy levels.
Make sure your oil is mainly C8 and C10. They’re the best MCT for ketogenic benefit. Make sure you get pure versions of these in your trusted MCT oil.
MCT oil vs. coconut oil
There is a huge difference between coconut oil and trusted MCT oil. Coconut oil is great for baking as it has a variety of fats and flavor. However, if you want to burn fat, increase brain power, boost energy and more it’s not the most efficient option.
The problems with coconut oil is:
- It contains too much C12
- Also has high C14
- It reduces the amount of C8 and C10
- Dilutes the main benefits
Whereas good MCTs are nothing but those two winning forms of medium-chain triglycerides.
Another good benefit of trusted MCT oil is that it doesn’t have any flavor. This means you can use it any food – sweet or savory, and still get those benefits. Some people even put it in coffee. It’s also a liquid at room tempreature, which is always good for adding it to sauces, salads of whatever you need.
Think of trusted MCT oils as a better form of coconut oils. The oil may not have the flavor, but it’s more versatile and efficient when working with food to deliver health benefits.
You want as much C8 and C10 as possible from a good MCT oil, it’s far superior to coconut oil.
It’s simple, just make sure it’s all:
- From a coconut
MCT oil vs. MCT powder
MCT oil powder and and normal MCT oil has different benefits to one another for getting a good supply of MCTs. Although MCT oil powder may be more portable, several steps have been taken to make it this way – and not all of them are good.
MCT oil powders are made by being sprayed onto powder material which can carry it. This damages the purity of the MCT oil powders and in some cases can even risk taking you out of ketosis by the contents in it.
Your top option should always be MCT oil. Without being in a powder, the oil is in it’s purest form, which allows you to get maximum benefit without any risk of impurities.
You just want an MCT oil that is packed with C8 and C10 for you to get the best effects. There are several factors you need to be considering if you’re looking at MCT oil powders. Here’s are several questions you should be asking yourself before purchasing:
- What is the powder? Super important. If that powder is made with glucose or maltodextrin, it has sugar content. Sugar content can damage ketosis and affect your overall benefits.
- What are the other ingredients? Check the label, if it’s not just MCT oil and one or two other options, they could padding it with all kinds of artificial sweeteners and additives to cut costs.
- Where did they source their MCT oil? You should be able to find this quite easily, if it’s palm oil, try to avoid it. It damages the environment, stick to coconuts as a source.
- What are the types of MCT oils in it? Make sure you’re staying vigilant on checking for high levels of C8 and C10 in each supply. That is without doubt the best MCT oil for ketones.
- How much fat are you getting? Make sure you’re still getting a good amount of fat in your MCT in powder form. A good MCT oil like Performance Lab have around 14g per tablespoon.
Always good questions to ask when looking at this kind of MCT oil. You’d be surprised how many are made with palm oil. There is some good MCT oil powder, ones that use Acacia gum may be good for your gut. However, we’d always recommend pure MCT oil first.
We have to say the best option on the market for MCT oil is Peformance Lab MCT. It’s the purest MCT oil we’ve seen, and it’s packed with C8 and C10 to help boost your brain and energy levels.
Performance Lab’s version is:
- Extracted from coconuts
- Non-GMO MCT oil
- USDA Organic
- Better than coconut oil
- MCTs are only C8 and C10
It’s the only MCT oil that we use, and it can be stacked with several options in the Performance Lab range. We use a lot of their products and you can read our full stack in this review.
Below, we’ll discuss how this oil compares to regular MCT oil and why think it is the best option on the market at the moment.
MCT oil vs. Performance Lab Oil
Performance Lab oil is the best form of MCT oil that we’ve come across. It’s an oil which is crammed with C8 and C10 – which as we know if the most effective forms of MCT oil.
Also, all of the oil is extracted purely from non-gmo coconuts. There is zero C12, zero palm oil, it’s just all C8 and C10 in this oil without any of the drawbacks like C12 in coconut oil.
We like it a lot, and strongly suggest you read our editor’s (Pablo Garduno) full review of it. He finds it works best stacked with the following Performance Lab supplements:
- Mind – A nootropic which gives extra support to your brain as well as the ketone boost from the oil.
- Energy – Another energy boost, uses stimulant-free nutrients to raise cell energy production to get that extra boost on top of MCT oil.
- Stim – A caffeine and L-Theanine combination which helps to improve overall energy levels and focus without the crash.
- Sleep – This is a sleep supplement which helps to improve rest and recovery overnight to feel more refreshed of a day.
It’s a great C8 / C10 MCT oil stack that you should definitely try if you’re looking for maximum energy and focus throughout the day.
Performance Lab MCT oil is the best of the best when it comes to MCT oils. It’s full of C8 and C10, extracted completely from natural organic coconuts. It’s a great oil to use for your brain, body and general performance.