How to Use MCT Oil

By Rebecca Paredes
Reviewed by Emily Gonzalez, ND for Scientific Accuracy

How to Use MCT Oil

  • MCT oil supports weight management, burns fat, boosts brain power and curbs cravings.† It’s also one of the most versatile supplements you can add to your diet.
  • Blend it in your morning coffee and tea for a creamy, delicious drink. Use it to make salad dressings you’ll actually love. Drizzle it over proteins and vegetables for an instant flavor boost.
  • For the best of the best, use Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil. It produces four times more ketones than coconut oil,† and it’s totally flavorless.

Whether you’re on the keto diet or just want to add more quality fats to your diet, MCT oil is one of the most versatile supplements around. MCTs, or medium-chain triglycerides, are fatty acids naturally found in coconut oil. Your body turns MCTs into molecules called ketones, which help burn fat, curb cravings and power your brain.†

Wondering how to use MCT oil? Here’s what you should know about this versatile supplement, plus some of the best uses for your new favorite smart fat.

Why should you use MCT oil?

Man pouring Bulletproof MCT Oil into a measuring spoon.

MCT oil is a specific type of oil that’s primarily extracted from coconut or palm kernel oil. The “MCT” in the name stands for medium-chain triglycerides, which are easier for your body to digest compared to long-chain triglycerides (like those found in food sources like avocados, olive oil and nuts).

Your body can convert these medium-chain fatty acids into ketones, which is helpful if you’re following a low-carb diet or ketogenic diet and want to stay in ketosis.

As with all supplements, not all MCT oils are created equal. The best of the best? Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil, which is sourced from coconuts and can help you stay focused, stave off cravings and give you fat-burning ketone energy.† Even if you’re not following a ketogenic diet, you’ll still reap the health benefits of MCT oil, since research has shown that it can fuel your brain and help with mental clarity and sharpness.†

How to use MCT oil

MCT oil on table with vegetables

If you’re not sure when to take MCT oil, know that you can use Bulletproof MCT oils much the same way you might use olive oil or butter. MCT oils, which are naturally gluten-free, have a low smoke point, so you’ll want to avoid high-heat cooking situations. If you’re new to MCTs, start with 1 teaspoon and build to the full 1 tablespoon serving over several days so your stomach stays happy.

It’s important to use high-quality MCT oils, much the same as it’s important to use high-quality olive oils and other pressed oils and sources of quality fats. Bulletproof MCT oils are not refined using organic solvents. Other conventional MCT oils may retain flavors from their sources or even the solvents used during the extraction process. Read reviews and see what other buyers say before committing to an MCT oil that may taste like coconuts or have off flavors from the production process.

MCT oil is commonly used as a dietary supplement, especially on the high-fat keto diet. Historically, it has been used in the medical field to help patients with nutrient absorption problems. Medium-chain triglycerides have also been used to boost the results of exercise in athletes. 

Even if you aren’t following a specific diet, there are still plenty of good reasons to incorporate MCT oil into your caloric intake. It’s a naturally occurring quality fat that can be a great alternative to highly processed sources like vegetable oil and canola oil.

Keep reading to understand when to take MCT oil throughout your day.

1. Make a delicious salad dressing

Brain Octane Oil sitting next to bowl of salad

Bottled dressings are usually stuffed to the brim with preservatives, franken-oils and sugar. So, whether you’re paleo, Whole30 or keto, you definitely want to make your own.

Use Brain Octane MCT oil to thin out your home creations and add a silky mouthfeel to your favorite dressing recipe. It also neutralizes the flavor of overpowering oils like extra-virgin olive oil. Oh, and the energy boost is always welcome.

Try this: Avocado-Cucumber Salad Dressing

2. Whip up some compound butter

Compound butter

Slices of lightly-grilled steak with gently roasted vegetables, all covered in herby compound butter…’nuff said. Once you start making your own compound butters, you’ll put them on everything.

To make compound butter, start with ¾ cup MCT oil to 1 cup grass-fed butter.

  1. Soften the grass-fed butter and mix in chopped herbs and pink Himalayan salt until incorporated.
  2. You can roll it up in parchment and refrigerate to mold it back into a stick, or you can mix in a little Brain Octane Oil while the butter is still soft for soft, spreadable butter to serve in a condiment bowl.
  3. Add more oil if you like it softer.

Make a bunch of different flavors, from savory to sweet. They’ll last up to three months, refrigerated.

3. Lower the glycemic index of carbs

roasting carrots and sweet potatoes

On carb refeed days, drizzle Brain Octane Oil on high-quality carbs like rice, sweet potato or squash. The fat serves as a steady source of energy instead of letting the carbs rush your system and spike your blood sugar.

Here’s how it works: Fat keeps you fuller, longer. You will eat far less if you swap empty processed grains and sugar for quality fats.[1] The reason? .

Every food has a GI score—a numerical score that indicates how the food affects your blood sugar levels. Low GI means it affects your blood sugar less, and a high GI means it affects your blood sugar a lot.

That’s why you feel hungry again pretty soon after eating a bowl of sweet cereal with skim milk. Sweet desserts and empty carbs have a high glycemic index. When all of those carbohydrates hit your system at once, they convert quickly to glucose. A spike in sugar creates a spike in insulin to tell your cells to get ready for a delivery of fuel.

When you make a lot of insulin, your cells rapidly take up the sugar, which tanks the glucose levels in your blood. When your blood sugar drops too low, your brain gets the signal that there’s not enough fuel. Soon, you find yourself looking for food again.

Quality fats have a lower glycemic index because they slow down carbohydrate metabolism. Your insulin will take its time, releasing at a steady pace instead of opening the floodgates. The result is steady energy, instead of a buzzy surge of energy followed by a crash and hunger.

Try this: Sweet Potato Salmon Avocado Toast

4. Make intermittent fasting easier

Hand grabbing MCT oil from bag

When you first start intermittent fasting, there’s an adjustment period. Your body is used to being fed first-thing, and when it’s not, it starts sounding the hunger alarm bells. And that’s distracting.

Until your body adjusts, you can use Brain Octane Oil to get you through your fast until it’s time to eat. Pure fat won’t kick you out of ketosis like carbs or protein will. In fact, it does the opposite—it quickly converts to ketones, which your body uses for energy. So, MCT oil can help curb your appetite and keep you focused, not hangry.

5. Power your workout

Man doing pushups

Research shows one of the potential benefits of MCT oil is that it may help your athletic performance. If you teach your body to burn fat like MCTs for fuel, you can work out intensely without “bonking,” or feeling weak after you’ve used up your blood sugar.[2]

Here’s how: Ketones start powering your body and your mind within minutes, minus the energy crashes that come from glucose-rich carbs. Ketones also help your brain produce more mitochondria, the battery packs in all your cells. This gives your muscles the energy they need for a high-powered workout.[3] In a mouse study, researchers noted that mice that consumed MCTs before endurance tasks performed better because they had increased numbers of mitochondria in their cells.[4]

Try this: Once you have taught your body to burn fat for fuel, you can work up to drinking 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil about 15-20 minutes before a workout.

6. Hit your fat macro goals

steak with chimichurri on a cutting board

When people first go keto, a common concern is, “How in the world will I eat enough fat?” If you’re coming off a low-fat, carbohydrate-rich diet, it can be a challenge at first to hit your macronutrient goals on a high-fat or ketogenic diet. MCT oil makes it easy. Just 1 tablespoon of Brain Octane MCT Oil gives you 14 grams of satiating quality fats, without even trying.

Try this: Steak With Chimichurri Sauce

7. Cook with it (at low heat)

MCT oil roasted brussels sprouts

MCT oil is heat-stable up to 320°F. Use it as a cooking oil for veggies, high-quality meats and other fresh, whole foods, or drizzle it over food as a finishing oil.

Try this: Slow Cooker Pot Roast and Brussels Sprouts

8. Make Bulletproof Coffee

Bulletproof The Original coffee, Brain Octane Oil and butter on countertop

Brain Octane Oil is a key ingredient in Bulletproof Coffee, which is an easy, satisfying and energizing way to incorporate quality fats into your diet. Thanks to MCT oil and grass-fed butter (or Bulletproof Grass-Fed Ghee), a cup of Bulletproof Coffee in the morning keeps you full and focused—and it tastes like a creamy latte. Get everything you need to make it with a Bulletproof Coffee Kit.

Try this: Bulletproof Coffee Recipe

9. Upgrade your non-coffee beverages

vanilla matcha latte recipe

Want to know how to use MCT oil to transform an ordinary beverage into a fat-fueled one? Because it’s totally flavorless, MCT oil works in plenty of different drinks—with or without caffeine. Try blending it in tea, bone broth or infused water for an extra dose of MCTs.

Try this:

10. Blend it in smoothies and smoothie bowls

Man pouring smoothie into glass

How long a smoothie holds you over depends on what’s in it. If you use straight-up fruit, you’re looking at an hour or two until your blood sugar crashes and hunger hits. If you keep your smoothie low-carb with satisfying fats and low-carb sweeteners, you’ll feel satisfied for hours.

Try this: Blueberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl

11. Use it as a carrier oil for essential oils

MCT oil as a carrier oil for essential oils

Essential oils are super-concentrated, which means they’re way too powerful to apply straight. MCT oil is lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly, bringing along with it whatever essential oils you mix in.

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