Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)
MCTs are special form of fatty acids. They are absorbed, digested and utilized easily as energy. MCTs are naturally found in palm oil, coconut oil and milk fat.
- Thermogenic Diet
- Endurance Sport Nutrition
- Pre-Competition Diet
- Weight Loss Diet
- Treatment of Seizures
Body builders mostly use MCTs as they help to reduce intake of carbohydrates and they readily get energy when they need it. Medium chain triglycerides is also associated with muscle sparing effects. Due to this, the muscles can be built while reducing fats.
Often, MCTs are used by athletes in order to increase the endurance during exercise regimes or sports. They provide an immediate energy. However, if MCTs are consumed in moderate amounts, they are not effective in enhancing exercise endurance or decrease carbohydrate needs. Increased consumption can help.
When compared to carbohydrates, MCTs are more efficient source of energy. They help in conserving lean body mass as MCTs prevent use of muscle proteins as energy.
MCTs may increase metabolism rate, where body burns fat. Studies show that increase in metabolic rate can increase more fat burn in the body and results in weight loss.
Diet which contain medium chain triglycerides or a ketogenic diet offers hope for people who have seizures which may not be controlled by available drugs.
Available MCT products include:
- sports drinks
- meal replacement beverages
- MCT oil
- energy bars
The following are some precautions:
- High consumption of MCTs can cause cramps, diarrhea and pain.
- Athletes with liver disease and diabetes should not consume MCT products.
- Person with empty stomach should not take medium chain triglycerides, as this may result in stomach upset.
Side Effects of MCTs
There are few side effects of MCTs. Eating foods containing MCTs on an empty stomach can cause gastrointestinal upset. Triglycerides and cholesterol blood levels may increase by regular consumption of medium chain triglycerides.