Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT)’s) are fatty acids derived from natural plant oils. They are more rapidly absorbed and metabolised quicker than Long Chain Triglycerides (LCT’s), making MCT’s an excellent energy source. MCT’s have also been shown to impart a wide range of health benefits such as improving endurance, increasing fat loss, preventing atherosclerosis and reducing age induced cognitive decline. MCT’s are commonly used by endurance athletes to increase energy levels and to improve performance. This article will summarise the benefits of MCT‘s to endurance performance.
MCT’s & Energy Levels
MCT’s can help to increase energy levels as they are absorbed and metabolised quickly. MCT’s do not require the presence of carnitine during metabolism, meaning that they are able to cross the double membrane of the mitochondria rapidly. This causes an increase in acetyl-coA, leading to increased production of ketones that can be used as an energy source by the body. MCTs are popular with athletes seeking to increase energy levels and improve endurance during high-intensity exercise, as well as serving as an alternative energy source for athletes on high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets.
For optimal endurance performance, try combining MCT’s with a carbohydrate source such as Ultra Carb. This will optimize energy levels during performance and reduce any performance decreases associated with glycogen depletion.
MCT’s & Fat Loss
As MCT’s are an efficient energy source, they are less likely to be stored as fat by the body compared to LCT’s. MCT’s also have a lower calorific content than LCT’s and have been shown to help to suppress appetite. These points make MCT’s an ideal dietary option when trying to reduce body fat. Research has shown that dietary MCT’s can help to increase fat oxidation which further improves the chances of reducing body fat when using MCT’s. Minimising body fat is important for endurance performance as any unnecessary weight can impact on performance. As MCT’s can help to improve energy levels and reduce body fat, it can be particularly effective for improving endurance performance.
MCT & Immune Function
MCT’s have been shown to improve gut health. MCT’s are absorbed easily and rapidly with very few incidences of gastrointestinal discomfort. When you consider that around 80% of the body’s immune receptors are located in the gut, optimising gut health is of paramount importance when you are looking for long term progression in training. Aerobic fitness achieved through a lot of hard work can be reversed very quickly if illness gets in the way of your training routine. Using MCT as part of your diet can therefore have benefits on both short term and long term training goals.
Medium Chain Triglyceride Dosage
Add 150ml – 200ml of water or fruit juice into your TPW Protein Shaker and add five scoops of MCT Powder (10g). Shake well and consume. If you experience any gastrointestinal discomfort initially, try reducing the dosage of MCT before gradually increasing the dosage back to the recommended levels.