Best MCT Oils & Powders Review
Supplements can be your best friend when following a ketogenic diet. While it’s possible to get all your daily vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat, supplements take the stress away and allow you to meet your requirements without losing your sanity.
But one supplement that gets plenty of attention in the keto world is MCT oil. You’ve most likely heard of both MCT oil and powder. If you’ve tried a few or want to jump into the world of MCT for the first time, we’ve put together a buying guide that includes all the info you need along with reviews to help you find the perfect supplement for you.
What is MCT oil?
Have you taken notice of the coconut oil craze? Coconut oil has been one of the most sought out and talked about beauty products, with users claiming it helps hair grow, soothes skin, whitens teeth, and can do just about anything under the sun. Most of the claims make sense, because of the main component of coconut oil – MCTs, or medium-chain triglycerides.
MCT is a saturated fatty acid. At first, this may sound like a bad thing as we’ve been conditioned to believe saturated fats are to be feared. But the science world is starting to change their tune. MCTs are unique. Unlike their cousins LCTs, or long-chain triglycerides, MCTs are quickly digested by the body and are a clean source of energy for the body and brain. This is because they have fewer carbon molecules and by consuming MCTs, your body can rapidly absorb and metabolize its fat for fuel.
While you can find MCT naturally in products like coconut oil and dairy products, consuming MCTs in supplement form is often recommended. This is because products like coconut or palm oil, though high in MCTs, also contain LCTs. Your body can’t digest these as quickly as they’re often stored as fat, canceling out the positive effects of the MCTs. Try any of the following MCT oils to experience their benefits.
Viva Naturals Non-GMO Pure Coconut MCT Oil
When it comes to quality, Viva Naturals is a great product to consider. It’s free of fillers, flavors, and additives. The oil is extracted from fresh, hand-picked coconuts. But don’t worry that the oil isn’t as effective as others. Every batch is third-party tested, so you know it’s high in quality.
Another fact we love about Viva Naturals is that they recently made the switch from palm-sourced MCT oil to coconut-sourced because of the controversy over palm oil and orangutan habitats. This company and its products protect the environment. The energy experienced with Viva Naturals MCT Oil is intense yet without jittery or jumpy side effects. You’ll be able to tackle your to-do list without breaking a sweat.
USDA Organic MCT Oil
Here’s another MCT oil sourced from coconuts so you can rest assured it’s not damaging the environment. It’s extracted without the use of solvents or chemicals. This particular brand is one of the only with authentic certifications. It’s non-GMO project verified, USDA organic, and certified keto, vegan, and paleo friendly. Even the bottle is BPA free.
One of our favorite bonuses about this product is that it comes in a squeeze bottle. Whether you’re adding it to your morning coffee or squeezing it into a salad dressing, it’s convenient and won’t spill all over. You’re sure to notice higher energy and less brain fog after your first use.
Onnit MCT Oil
Onnit MCT Oil has been touted as the world’s most perfect MCT oil. While we haven’t tried every MCT oil in the world, we can’t say this claim is entirely wrong either. It’s harvested from coconuts and contains lauric acid, something most MCT oils don’t. While you have to be careful with how much lauric acid you consume, because it’s an LCT, it does offer antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
We found that this particular MCT oil is a bit less greasy than others, possibly because of the lauric acid. If you’ve struggled with the texture of drinks or sauces after adding MCT oil to them, try Onnit. You shouldn’t notice it as much. And just like most other MCT oils, Onnit is odorless and tasteless.
Bulletproof Brain Octane
We couldn’t put together a list of MCT oils and not include Bulletproof Brain Octane. If you’re looking into MCT oils because you want to start drinking bulletproof coffee, this is the best oil to start off with. It was literally designed for bulletproof coffee and helped start the craze.
The company has a great reputation and only uses the best coconuts to make their MCT oil. It’s high-quality and completely effective. It may not be the least expensive MCT oil on the market but the peace of mind you’ll get from buying an oil from such a great company is worth the expense.
Left Coast MCT Oil
We’ll round out our list of top MCT oils with a product from Left Coast. This oil has a reputation of being one of the purest on the market. It is expensive, but it’s also easily absorbed and digested, causing less stomach distress than cheaper products.
If you have a bit of extra cash in your MCT oil budget, we highly suggest giving Left Coast a try. It’s great to add to coffee, smoothies, or protein shakes as it quickly reduces blood sugar levels and raises ketone levels, exactly what you need from an MCT oil.
What is MCT powder?
Just as the name suggests, MCT powder is a powder version of MCT oil. Oils are converted from a liquid supplement to a solid form using a process called spray drying, giving it the appearance and convenience of a powder. If you’re familiar with other supplements in keto, don’t mistake MCT powder for BHB or ketone salts. Many assume that the two are interchangeable or often combined, which isn’t the case.
When choosing an MCT powder, it’s important to closely examine the listed ingredients. While the powder is made directly from MCT, it can include starch or starch derivatives. They can raise insulin levels and take you out of ketosis or counteract the benefits of using MCT supplements on keto. To help you make the decision, we’ve reviewed some of our favorites.
MCT powder reviews
Quest Nutrition MCT Powder
With 0 grams net carbs, 0 grams sugar, and no additives, Quest Nutrition MCT Powder is one of the best powders for those on a ketogenic diet. It helps make shakes creamier and when blended in coffee can help create a smooth and rich bulletproof coffee that’s sure to satisfy the taste buds. It’s also easy to digest and less likely to cause undesirable side effects.
This powder does contain milk-derived ingredients and soluble corn fiber so avoid excessive doses to avoid throwing off your macros. Don’t make the mistake of thinking an oil is a better value compared to Quest. It’s a great investment with plenty of benefits.
Viva Naturals MCT Powder
If you were hoping Viva Naturals made a powder version of their MCT oil, you’re in luck. Just like the liquid version, the powder is made with 100% organic coconuts, never palm oil. Compared to other powders Viva Naturals mixes in completely with your coffee, smoothie, or tea in just a few quick stirs. It’s never clumpy.
The product is designed with keto in mind and when used in correlation with a low-carb diet, proper exercise, and a keto-mindset, it can definitely help you achieve ketosis. You’ll experience plenty of energy, a boost in mental clarity, and even weight loss just by adding Viva Naturals MCT Powder to your routine.
MCT oil or powder?
Is an MCT oil or powder preferred? The choice is ultimately up to you and there are pros and cons to each. If you’re having trouble deciding, here’s what you need to know.
MCT oil is typically made through a process called fractionation, which involves extracting and isolating the MCTs from its original source, like palm kernel or coconut oil. It’s 100% natural and effective but it does have a few disadvantages.
For example, it’s not easy to travel with. Whether you need to travel long distances or just take some to the gym with you, it can be awkward to carry. There’s also the risk of it spilling inside your bag.
The oil can also give drinks an oily texture, which is to be expected but sometimes off-putting. If you add MCT oil to your morning coffee to make bulletproof coffee or add it to a pre-workout shake, be prepared for the texture change.
Finally, consuming large amounts of MCT oil without giving your body time to adjust can result in some unpleasant side effects, like vomiting and diarrhea. It’s always best to start adding MCT oil to your diet slowly and not on an empty stomach until your body’s adjusted.
MCT powder is newer to the market but does have its advantages against MCT oil. First, it’s much easier on your digestive system. If you’ve experienced issues with MCT oil, it might be worth giving the powder a try. It’s also easier to travel and use MCT powder.
If you want to incorporate MCT into your dishes instead of just beverages, it’s much easier to do so with a powder instead of an oil because of its low heat point. You can also easily combine MCT powder with other supplements to save time. The one major downside of MCT powder is that it often contains milk proteins or starch products, which can throw off your keto macros.
In the end, the choice is up to you. Your needs might also change over time. Some start with using a powder because it’s easier on their system but then switching to an oil because it’s a purer product. No matter which you choose, you’ll be able to experience the benefits of MCTs.
Benefits of MCTs
It doesn’t matter which type of MCT supplement you choose, as long as you’re enjoying the following amazing benefits. Everyone responds to MCTs differently, depending on their overall diet and how much they add to their diet. But here are benefits to look out for once you add MCT to your routine.
A diet rich in MCTs can cause greater fat burning and fat loss. Unfortunately, some studies suggest that there can be a plateau after two to three weeks of consistent use but if you’re following a ketogenic diet, you should notice less of a stall in weight loss.
One of the biggest reasons MCTs help with weight loss is because they help reduce overall calorie intake throughout the day. MCTs can increase satiety, or feelings of being full. If you start your day off with MCTs, you can expect to eat less and feel fuller for longer.
MCTs have been shown in studies to boost memory, improve learning, and speed up brain processing in those with the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease. It can also help those without brain and memory disorders. In fact, many start their day with MCT supplements simply to experience the improved cognitive functions they quickly notice. The brain operates better on fat and because the body is able to utilize MCTs so quickly, the effect is quick.
If there’s one reason alone to add MCTs to your diet, it should be for the boost in energy. You’ll be able to work harder for longer with less fatigue. Whether you work a demanding physical job, enjoy spending your days at the gym, or just have errands to run throughout town, MCTs can help you get the job done without a nap.
Adding an MCT supplement to your diet and routine can help you maximize your keto benefits. Choosing the right product can take some time, as the product that works for your friend may not settle right with you. But once you find the perfect MCT oil or powder for you, you’ll quickly experience mental clarity, faster weight loss, and a crazy boost in energy that will help you reach your goals in record speed.