T Nation

Question for Cass


Oh wise nutrition guru, are MCTs effective as a replacement to carbs for a morning meal? Do they have any ability to help maintain LBM used this way while on a cut? How about pre-workout energy/anti-catabolic boost? I still intend on using malto during the later half of my workout and in my post PWO shake. Give me the low down please, many thanks in advance.


I hope you don't mind my stepping in before Cass ...

Why do you want to eliminate carbs from your first meal?

One of your goals is going to be to make fatty acids as readily available to the body as possible. However, dietary fat isn't going to be available until at best, three hours after ingestion. (processed, packaged as chlyomicrons, enter the lymphatic system, finally reach fat cells, acted on by lipoprotein lipase, and then the fatty acids can finally be either stored in the fat cell or used by other tissues after being taken up in the blood)

MCTs however, unlike long chain fats, go directly to the liver and quickly become available for use by other tissues. They're also preferentially used to produce ketones which can be used instead of amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose by most tissues. This alone can have a protein sparing (LBM protecting) effect, or so some studies have shown.

So, I'd say yes, it can help.

Coconut oil is actually about half MCT I think btw.


Thunder = Smart

---->insert vivid memory of Homer Simpson dancing around in his livingroom singing "I am so smart...S-M-R-T...I mean S-M-A-R-T..." While setting the room on fire...---->Here *

"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life"

~ Terry Pratchett


Thunder is on the money 100%
The only thing I would say however is that carbs are overrated in general so go forth and cut them out, utilizing MCT's effectively


Thunder, could you point me to the source of information that gave you that timeline for fatty acids in the bloodstream. I've never heard anything so concrete on the subject.

I'm asking because it would seem to have application to the Massive Eating rules. For example, a P+F meal would see fatty acids entering the bloodstreams AFTER the insulin spike of the protein.


Thunder is right on - on this point.

Monsieur Lyle Mcdonald also agrees with our friend.


Thunder, thank you very much for the response! I tend to have a sleep meal so morning carbs on a cut end up being somewhat un-needed. I have access to a relatively cheap MCT oil preparation that is of decent quality and has little to no taste. I was thinking of forgoing carbs in the morning and adding MCTs to my protein shake along with eating other forms of protein mainly tuna or egg whites. I am low enough in the BF range that I have been doing clean overfeeding every 3rd day. The object is not to get a contest cut but an anabolic cut. I have actually gained LBM without even trying! The initial week saw me dropping nearly 7 lbs mostly water, glycogen, and some fat. The week after had me down another 3-4 pounds but suddenly the overfeeds are building lbm! I am crawling back to my pre cut weight while being a whole lot more cut and defined. My body, once adapted to the refeeds, has started using most of those carbs for glycogen and mass, not fat. My strength is even moving up as well though that is mostly due to my new routine. When I did refeeds before I would wait as long as 6 days before doing them, but this time I decided on every 3rd day no matter what. Overfeeding seems to be more effective if you do it for an entire 24 hrs and more often than the perscribed weekend cheat meal. Well at least more effective if you are under 10% BF anyway. Got any experiance or input on some similar practices?


Isn't the point of separating carbs and fats severely undermined if fats are in the bloodstream at least 3 hours later?
At breakfast, why would it matter at all?

It would seem the focus would shift to the transition meal when switching from meals containing fat to meals containing carbs.


Cass has since corrected me on the timeline error in this post. Fat is available immediately, and not 3 hours later at the earliest. Not sure if that changes the meaning of my post though.


Nice job babe! Pulling out the biochem textbook are we? Hehe.

Thunder has most of the fat metabolism aspect downpat, but he is mislead in one thing.

After a meal (known as the postprandial period), fat appears in the blood after about 30 mins. However, fat reaches a PEAK concentration in the blood at 3 hours, which is maybe what Thunderous was referring too. If fat wasn?t available until the 3 h mark, why would separating fat and carbs make any difference in preventing insulin from shutting fat into the cells right after a meal?

So, actually fat is available to the body almost immediately after you consume it... unless you have mal-absorption issues, or you eat too much fiber or calcium with the fat (because fiber inhibits micelle formation, and calcium forms salts with certain fatty acids).

And, Brian, if you want to get that info about fat metabolism, just pick up a nutritional biochem text. It?s all there. :slight_smile:



MCTs would be a great idea to replace your carb meal in the morning.

**And a reason for not eating carbs in the morning would be because you are saving your carb intake for the post-workout period right? (i.e. PW shake and then first meal thereafter). Muscles are most efficient at carb and energy metabolism in the hours after a workout, so it would make sense to limit your carbs in your pre-workout meals, and just focus on carbs in the post-workout period.

Like Thunder said, MCTs are absorbed directly as free fatty acids. They dont need to be packaged in micelles for uptake into the intestinal cells, like other fats have to. And they are quickly oxidized in the liver - meaning they provide immediate energy. They could be compared to high GI carbs as a type of fast acting energy.

Thunder is correct about how they can spare LBM.

Another cool thing about MCTs is that along with not being readily stored in adipocytes, they can effectively reduce fat mass in humans!

A recent paper by Guo et al, J Nutr, 2003, showed that MCTs impair the ability of the adipocytes to synthesize new triglycerides!

Translation:, MCTs can reduce body fat by inhibiting fat storage!

Sources of MCTs: Milk fat, coconut oil and MCT oil blends.

So along with sparing LBM and being a quick energy source, MCTs will also help you reduce body fat!


"Translation:, MCTs can reduce body fat by inhibiting fat storage!

Sources of MCTs: Milk fat, coconut oil and MCT oil blends."

Didn't everyone dog NeilG for using butter and saying coconut oil is good?



I think people dogged him because of his poor attitude.

He came across very rude in most of his posts, and insulted many people here.

Not because he recommended those fats.

BTW- Thunder, and many other people on this board are quite intelligent about fats and all things relating to nutrition. So, although I am flattered that this post was directed at me, I am not really the 'guru' as was mentioned. I know some stuff about fat, but my knowledge base is building every day and I'm grateful to this forum for challenging some of my current thoughts and ideas.

I luv you Thunder (grin). :-*


Thanks, Cass.


Cassanova, I agree that a lot of people dogged him because of his attitude, but lots of people said how his recommendations were nuts, crazy, stupid, etc.

I just find it odd that I'm reading things that seem to back up some of what he said, yet people thought he was an idiot for the recommendations (AND his attitude) :stuck_out_tongue:

Just an observation.

One question about coconut oil, though. Since it's so highly saturated, wouldn't supplementation of it increase testosterone levels in males? If so, does this have anything to do with the fat loss?



Ok, so my hunch was right. Thanks again Thunder and thank you Cass. I am using it already for exactly that, early morning energy source sans carbs. I keep all my carbs for pre and post workout nutrition. This helps me effecively do a more extreme version of T-Dog for an anabolic cut. For two weeks I did an extreme T-Dog style diet with the old MD6 as I had an old bottle on the shelf. Every third day I did a clean 24 hour refeed. Now I'm going to go more massive eating style. Basically every training day gets a 24 hour carb-protein diet, then non workout days get fat-protein. I'm going to use the MCTs on the fat-protein days. I'll workout in the morning and 8 hours later, eating exclusively carbs and protein for that day, then the next day I switch over to dietary fats and protein. I won't get super cut but I think I may end up with a lot more lbm in the end and prepared for the winter bulk.