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If you’ve ever experienced dry or frizzy hair, skin issues like eczema or psoriasis, or something in between, chances are you’re pretty familiar with the cosmetic benefits of coconut oil. However, recent studies have proven that the benefits of this healthy fat might be more than skin deep.
Medium-chain triglycerides, otherwise known as MCT oil, is a manmade supplement created from coconut oil. The supplement has been proven to help with weight loss, appetit control, inflammation, and lethargy… which sounded like a pretty good deal to me.
I’ve had a bottle of Bulletproof Brain Octane MCT Oil just sitting unopened in my pantry for a few months, so when my editor asked me to document a week of using MCT oil I was happy to finally have a reason to open it up and test it out. Here’s what happened when I added a dollop to my coffee every day for a week.
For some reason, the idea of adding a spoonful of pure fat into my coffee seemed intimidating, which is why it took me so long to open up the bottle in my cupboard, but upon first sip, I realized it actually wasn’t so bad. It actually kind of reminded me of a more bitter version of a syrupy Starbucks drink.
I added about half a tablespoon of oil to my morning coffee and noticed right away that I was more awake and alert than I usually am after coffee alone. I practice intermittent fasting and usually eat my first meal around 1pm but the oil kept me feeling full well into the afternoon.
According to WebMD, medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are very easily digestible and send energy directly to your bloodstream while boosting your metabolism—which is why so many people use it for weight loss and digestive issues. By day two, I saw the appeal. I felt lighter, my mind was clear, and I was snacking a whole lot less than I was the week before.
By the third day, I was feeling really good. I had lost nearly two pounds, my mornings were way more productive than when I was fueled by coffee alone, and I was not reaching for snacks before lunch.
I decided to bump up my dosage to a little more than a tablespoon and let’s just say it was too much for my stomach to handle. Rather than my usual productive morning, I was running back and forth to the bathroom. I’ve done a handful of new age and holistic health challenges in the past, so it was nothing I couldn’t handle but I definitely recommend taking it slow if you’re not used to taking a laxative or if you’re not drinking your morning coffee at home.
After yesterday’s misstep, I was careful to scale back on the amount of oil I poured into my coffee, opting for a modest half tablespoon rather than the full thing. It was a much better experience for my stomach and I noticed the same mental clarity that I had earlier in the week.
Adding just half a tablespoon was also more than enough to keep me full until lunch time—I had a small smoothie and an energy ball (which incidentally also had coconut oil as a main ingredient) and I didn’t feel the need to snack until it was actually time for dinner.
By the end of the week, I was more or less used to adding MCT oil to my coffee in the morning—but I definitely recommend starting off with a smaller amount and working your way up to a full tablespoon once your body adjusts to the level of concentrated fat.
While it wasn’t necessarily my goal, I ended up losing a total of three pounds during my experiment (although this was coupled with a healthy diet and a daily HIIT routine).
I’ll definitely continue adding a few dashes of MCT oil to my coffee, not necessarily for the weight loss benefits but for encouraging healthy digestion and also for the added mental clarity that it seems to afford.