What’s The Difference Between Coconut Oil and MCT Oil?

Sean Lake

about 2 months ago

Coconuts are great. No, really! As a natural source of fat, coconuts provide rich nutrients to the body. People consume coconut water for hydration purposes. The white ‘meat’ inside a coconut can be a snack full of antioxidants to help prevent chronic disease. They even have antimicrobial properties which can detract from dangerous bacteria in the system. All this being said, this fruit provides a wealth of benefits to the human body. Two other ways that the coconut contributes to human health are from its extractions - coconut oil and the further refined MCT oil. Both are known to contain certain properties which can aid anyone from the athlete to the working mom. As options such as the keto diet grow in popularity, it is crucial to know how these compounds may help your nutritional journey.

Coconut Oil vs. MCT Oil: What’s the Difference?

Coconut oil is an edible oil derived from the meat of coconuts. These come from the Arecaceae family, and producers typically source them from the southeast region of the world. Coconut oil provides a wealth of medium-chain triglycerides, also known as MCTs. These are one of the three types of saturated fats found within the body. Coconut oil is made up of approximately 65% of MCTs, which can be broken down into the bloodstream quicker than other longer-chained saturated fats. This provides the potential for quicker energy to fuel the body as it journeys straight to the liver, rather than other tissues within the body. Coconut oil is mainly popular for use in cooking, where it can be a substitute for more fatty oils that do not provide the same benefits. MCT oil comes from a process known as fractionation, where people extract MCT from coconut oil to make a pure concentrate. As its name suggests, MCT oil is a medium-chain triglyceride. Although it derives from a saturated fat, namely palm or coconut oil, its status as a medium-chain triglyceride helps the body in unique ways. For example, MCT contains about 6 to 12 carbon atoms in its chain, compared to the 13 to 21 in longer chains. This means it can easily be broken down in the bloodstream to allow for a quick source of energy. Unlike most saturated fats, MCT works quickly in the body and converts to energy rather than building up, providing some positive benefits right away.

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is resoundingly popular in the cooking world. This largely revolves around its composition as a medium-chain triglyceride. Since there are less carbon atoms, it is easier for your body to digest. This also means that there is less reason to store it in the body, and instead can convert to energy quickly. Coconut oil is also a great source of Vitamin E, which is vital for normal bodily function from vision to skin health. Utilizing coconut oil in cooking can allow the body to achieve normal insulin levels and maintain a healthy cholesterol. This is especially something to consider if using other forms of saturated fats at a high rate. Coconut oil can be a great advantage in meals rich with fatty acids. It is important to keep in mind as with all things, cooking with coconut oil should be done in moderation. As a saturated fat, coconut oils provide fats that can balance your cholesterol, as the human body needs fat to energize. However, using too much can detract from the positive benefits, so it's important to keep in mind how much you use as you cook. A balanced nutrition is also crucial to unlocking the benefits of coconut oil.

Benefits of MCT Oil

Athletes and bodybuilders alike utilize MCT oil in their workout routines. The medium-chain triglyceride composition allows the body to unlock unique benefits without the negative side effects of other saturated fats. Read below to see a few of those benefits:

  • Energy:

    One of the most promising benefits of MCT oil is the natural, quick energy production. As the body absorbs MCT oil, it goes straight to the liver for a seamless energy delivery. Since it can be absorbed so quickly, a person may feel the energizing effects almost instantaneously, making it perfect for a pre-workout routine.

  • Gut Health:

    Another positive aspect of MCT oil is in the gut. Your gut produces a wide range of bacteria, some better than others. MCT oil interacts with the gut to ensure quality bacteria production, meaning the good guys are there to stay while the bad guys are sidelined. Gut health is the bedrock of overall well-being, and as such can be the make or break in wellness. Supplementing with MCT oil can protect that foundation.

  • Endurance:

    Of particular interest to athletes, MCT oil promotes endurance in the body, allowing for longer workouts and greater performance. MCT oil is able to do this by reducing lactate levels that otherwise build up in the body. A study conducted by the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminolgy found that MCT oil taken before a workout lessened how much the athlete perceived their exertion, allowing for longer workout times.

  • Heart Health:

    Another possible benefit is how MCT oil boosts heart health. MCT oil may improve serum lipid profiles, which tell us our cardiovascular health. More research is being conducted on how MCT oil may help out the heart.

Bottom Line

Both coconut oil and MCT oil provide unique benefits to the body. This is because of the unique chemical makeup that allows them to be absorbed in the body quicker than other types of fats. While coconut oil is used primarily for cooking, MCT oil can be a benefit when considering workout supplements for the quick and easy energy it supplies. For those looking for potential ways to increase energy without increasing fat, BUBS Natural’s MCT Oil Powder is a great way to tap into the appetite-reducing, energy-inducting supplement. Taking one teaspoon before a workout is a great way to ensure clean energy without the jitter effects of other energy supplements. Utilizing MCT oil powder can build your endurance to live life to its fullest.