T Nation

Thoughts about "Glycogen Sparing" MCTs (Coconut Oil)

What are your thoughts about MCT’s as pre-workout fuel instead of carbs?
Do they indeed avoid the usage of glycogen?

In theory they could reduce the use of glycogen for fuel as they are used a bit faster than fats for fuel. BUT in reality they are still “slower” energy than carbs and as such the effect on glycogen sparing is more theoretical than real. There will be some effect but not nearly as much a consuming carbs pre-during workouts.

I will add that during long duration, moderate intensity exercise it could very well have a more glycogen-sparing effect. During lower intensity work there is less need for a “very fast” energy source (intensity determines which fuel source is more adequate) and MCT oil might be “fast enough” to provide fuel, thus sparing glycogen. BUT during weight lifting activities the intensity of work is likely too high and if the body has the choice between glucose and MCT it will use more glucose for fuel.

It is an option I use from time to time with clients who follow a very low/zero carbs diet

That’s a clear answer! Thanks
I have been using mct’s pre workout for a while to continue the fat burning proces during the workout which doesn’t happen when ingesting carbs. Or is this just a myth?