One of my favorite Podcasts (very explicit adult language and topics, only for adults) out there on various topics (all over the board) including MMA is Joe Rogan’s Podcast titled ‘The Joe Rogan Experience‘. One thing that Joe has mentioned several times is his love of BulletProof coffee in combination with MCT oil and grass fed butter. Along with this there has been an explosion of media companies covering MCT oil and BulletProof coffee like the Today’s Show.
So, should a Mixed Martial Arts fighter take MCT oil, and if so what is the best way to take it?
MMA fighters are forced to always be on the lookout for any advances in training, technology, or diet. If their competitors are using advanced information or technology and they aren’t then that gives them a leg up and that can make a difference in thousands of dollars and a good fighting career vs. a bad fighting career.
So, is MCT one of those breakthroughs that people are just now realizing the benefits of, or is it just the latest form of snake oil meant to take the dollars from our pockets and place it into the pockets of the nutritional supplement companies?
Well let’s see…
MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides which are much different than the more typical long chain triglycerides (LCT) which are found in most of the food we eat today. While LCT’as are comprised of 16 atoms or more while MCT’s are made up of only 6 to 12 atoms. These molecular differences allow the body to easily digest MCT when compared to LCT’s.
Comprised mostly of caprylic and capric fatty acids MCT is a tinge of yellow in appearance and is odorless. One place that MCT occurs naturally in coconuts. MCT oil was first created in the 1950′s by a pharmaceutical company who was treating patients that had issues with digesting regular fats.
Research On The Effects Of MCT Oil
One study on MCT oil done at the University of Rochester looked into whether or not there were metabolic benefits while using MCT oil. This experiment took 7 healthy men and gave this group a single meal with MCT oil or a meal with 45 grams of corn oil (LCT’s). What they found over this several day study was that after the group consumed the MCT oil their metabolism showed a 12 percent increase over the following six hours. However, when they consumed the corn oil (LCT) their metabolism only increased by 4%.
Furthermore, the concentration of triglycerides in their plasma saw a 68% increase after the corn oil meals and did not change at all when they consumed the MCT oil! Now this is impressive! These findings led the researchers to state that consuming MCT over time could be beneficial in losing weight.
MCT Oil May Benefit In Shape Fighters More
Another research study done by M-P. St-Onge, P.J.H. Jones (2003) published in the International Journal of Obesity states that MCT consumption may stimulate energy expenditure and fat oxidation to a lower extent in men of greater body weight when compared to men of lower body weight, indicative of the lower responsiveness to a rapidly oxidized fat by overweight men. This study shows that it’s possible that MMA athletes can receive more benefit from MCT oil then an obese person.
If you are an MMA athlete it is likely that you aren’t too worried about fat on your body unless you cut weight to make a weight class. MMA training is the toughest most grueling training out there and there aren’t too many (besides big fat heavyweights) out of shape fighters especially in the UFC. However, the edge MCT oil could give the MMA athlete is a boost in energy since the MCT are broken down much easier and quicker than the long chain triglycerides (LCT’s). Since it would speed up their metabolism fighters can possibly consume more food thus improving the recovery process.
MCT & Muscle Milk by CytoSport
A lot of MMA fighters are already taking MCT and they don’t even realize it. After workouts a lot of athletes at the gym consume a product called Muscle Milk by CytoSport. This popular supplement which is marketed as a post workout muscle recovery drink. I have talked with several of these athletes and they notice a big difference in their energy levels when drinking the Muscle Milk after workout. They say they aren’t as fatigued in the mornings after a strenuous workout as if they hadn’t drank it. So, although the results are still out on whether or not MCT oil works or not I am still on the fence and actually bought some to try out myself.
Of course always check with your Dr. whether or not you should take an MCT supplement with your diet. If you start taking MCT oil make sure you start slowly as it can cause massive cramps and diarrhea if you take too much before you bodies acclimates to it.
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