Though we have already dealt with how coconut oil is made in a few sections of our website, let’s have a quick recap: the flesh of mature coconut when they turn brown and woody on the exterior is processed into pure coconut oil. Generally, they are made use of cooking and in most Ayurvedic and some traditional medicines for skin and hair treatment. Coconut oils are extremely rich in healthy fatty acids or ‘Unsaturated fats’ that may help enhance endurance levels of your body and bring down the body fat levels. The presence of healthy fatty acids makes coconut oil as an ideal supplement for athletes.
The rich lauric acid and a medium-chain triglyceride or MCT present in coconut oil have a number of health benefits. Because they are easily digestible, absorbed and processed with ease, the body uses them as direct energy source. A study by the NYU Langone Medical Center shows coconut oil to contain approximately 15 percent MCTs. According to the centre, the recommended MCT supplement dosage for athletes is 85mg a day.
The centre reports that athletes may endure strenuous physical activities or workouts better with MCTV. The “Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology” published a study in 2009 found that the easy digestible nature of MCTs raised the energy metabolism of an athlete when he/she was subjected to high-and-medium intensity workout. The two-week experiment study found that there was appreciable reduction in the body’s reliance on carbohydrates, as energy source in athletes, who intake MCTs regularly. This led to significant cut-down in the lactate content produced during workouts with increased endurance levels.
MCTs in coconut oil are often attributed to changing body composition, which in turn reduces the overall fat content. An article published in the March 2003 Issue of ‘Obesity Research, a four week experimental study, concluded that a MCT high diet profile causes lower body-fat tissue throughout the body. Reports further proved that a MCT high diet profile would increase energy spends and initiate weight loss. Another study published in the Nov-2009 issue of “Diabetes” also proved that MCTs led to lowered body fat levels. The five-week study observed that a high fat diet with MCT supplements led to reduced overall body-fat percentages.
This said coconut oil, in addition to MTs, is also found to contain numerous unhealthy fats such as saturated fat. A 1-tablespoon serving of coconut oil contains 13.6gm of total fat, of which 11.8gm make saturated fats. The composition of MCTs is no more than 15% of the total saturated fat content, and this means what all you get is 10gm of saturated fat content per serving of coconut oil. The American Heart Association recommends a maximum intake of 5% to 6% of your everyday calories from saturated fat. This implies that if you take in 2000 calories a day, it is recommended that you have at least 16gm of saturated fat. On this basis, a 1-tablespoon serving of coconut oil has 63% of the recommended everyday intake for saturated fat.