|December 15, 2021

MCT Oil vs. MCT Oil Powder: How to Pick the Best Fat-Burning Supplement

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

MCT Oil vs. MCT Oil Powder: How to Pick the Best Fat-Burning Supplement

  • MCT oil can help you stay in ketosis by providing fat for fuel.
  • MCT oil powder is convenient, but read your labels: Some powders are made with ingredients that can kick you out of ketosis.
  • Liquid MCT oil is best in terms of product purity, and you can easily find it in travel packs. If you prefer MCT oil powder, keep reading to find out how to read your labels.

Whether you blend it into your coffee or add it to your favorite salad dressing, MCT oil is a powerful supplement that can help you stay in ketosis by providing fat for fuel. But what about MCT oil powder?

Real talk: MCT oil isn’t the easiest thing to transport, which can make it tough to supplement your low-carb, high-fat diet on the go. That’s what makes MCT oil powder so convenient: It’s easy enough to mix into your favorite beverage on the go without missing out on the satiating, ketone-generating benefits of MCTs.

But how does MCT oil powder stack up against MCT oil?

The answer: It depends on the MCT oil powder you choose. Not all products are created equal, and some MCT oil powders might even kick you out of ketosis. Here’s what you should know when considering MCT oil powder vs. MCT oil.

First, a quick primer on MCTs

Closeup of molecules

Are you following a low-carb, high-fat diet? Supplementing with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) helps ensure you’re getting enough quality fat to stay in ketosis. (That’s the state in which your body burns fat, rather than carbohydrates, for fuel.)

But that’s not the only reason people use MCT oil. If you’re new to ketogenic supplements, here’s how MCT oil works.

The key thing to know is that your body processes certain MCTs differently than other fats. Caproic acid (also called C6), caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10) go directly to your liver, where they’re converted into ketones—the fuel source your body produces when it burns fat for fuel.

Ketones are awesome. They help increase energy, metabolism, promote satiety and brain function, and they’ve been shown to help curb food cravings, which makes it easier to stabilize your blood sugar and stay in ketosis.[1] [2] [3] [4]

So, MCT oil supplements are an easy way to add more ketones to your diet. But in terms of MCT oil powder vs. MCT oil, which supplement reigns supreme?

The difference between MCT oil powder and MCT oil

Person pouring MCT Oil into tablespoon

With MCT oil, what you see is what you get. It doesn’t require a carrier oil or extra additives. For instance, Bulletproof Brain Octane C8 MCT Oil is triple-distilled C8 MCT oil. It’s expeller-pressed, sourced completely from coconuts and not mixed with any unnecessary chemicals.

MCT oil powder is a little different. It’s generally produced via a process called spray drying. MCT oil is sprayed onto a carrier material, which forms a powder. This process introduces two important variables into the equation when you’re considering MCT oil powders: What type of MCT oil did the manufacturer use, and what is the carrier?

What to look for with MCT oil powder

Powders on table

When you’re considering different MCT oil powders, keep these factors in mind:

  • What type of MCT oil are you getting? C8 is the best MCT because your body most easily converts it into ketones. A C8 and C10 blend is a close runner-up. The manufacturer should clearly disclose what type of MCT you’re getting in your powder. Learn more about the types of MCT oils.
  • What is the carrier powder? Some carrier powders will actually kick you out of ketosis because they spike your insulin levels, which defeats the whole purpose of using an MCT oil supplement. If you see maltodextrin or glucose on the ingredients list, just say no.
  • What is the source of the MCT oil? MCT oil is also found in palm oil, but the palm oil industry is problematic, to say the least. If you use palm-sourced MCT, purchase from companies that sustainably course their palm oil.
  • What are the other ingredients? The ingredients list on your MCT oil powder shouldn’t be a mile long. If it’s flavored, make sure the manufacturers aren’t sneaking in artificial sweeteners or added sugars that will kick you out of ketosis.
  • How much fat do I get? You might not consume as much fat per serving with MCT oil powders, in comparison to liquid MCT oil.

Another note on carrier powders: Acacia gum and resistant dextrin are great carriers, which is why we use them at Bulletproof. These ingredients are resistant starches, which can support gut health.[5] [6] You’ll find acacia gum in Bulletproof Original Creamer. Although acacia gum is technically a carb, resistant starch isn’t digested by your body. Instead, it functions as a prebiotic, which feeds your good gut bacteria.

Pros and cons of MCT oil powder vs. MCT oil

Still confused about the differences between MCT oil powder and liquid MCT oil? Although the benefits are similar, they have pretty different applications. Liquid MCT oil is great for recipes and blending into Bulletproof Coffee at home. MCT oil powder mixes easily into drinks when you’re on the go.

Here are a few of the pros and cons of each:

MCT oil powder

Powder in scoop next to canister

Pros:

  • Convenient to travel with
  • Easily mixes into drinks
  • Gives hot drinks a creamy texture

Cons:

  • Fat content may vary
  • Some carrier powders can throw you out of ketosis
  • Requires a closer look at ingredients list

MCT oil

Oil going into tablespoon

Pros:

  • Available as a pure oil without additives or fillers
  • Simple to drizzle over foods like salad and sashimi
  • Flavorless

Cons:

  • Must be blended or shaken with hot drinks
  • Difficult to portion, unless you use single-serve packs

When considering MCT oil powder vs. MCT oil, it boils down to convenience. The purity of MCT oil in liquid form can’t be beat, and when you use single-serve packs or travel-sized bottles, you can easily take it with you on the go.

If you don’t want to tote around oil in your gym bag or purse, there’s nothing wrong with MCT oil powder. Just make sure you’re purchasing a product that is sustainably sourced from coconuts, consists of C8 MCT Oil or a C8/C10 blend and uses a keto-friendly (and gut-friendly) carrier powder like acacia gum or resistant dextrin.

Want an easy-to-use MCT oil powder to make rich and creamy Bulletproof Coffee? You get better-for-you ingredients in Bulletproof Original Creamer: Each serving is made with C8 and C10 MCT oil powder, plus grass-fed butter and acacia gum as a carrier powder. To make Bulletproof Coffee, just add a scoop to coffee and mix until dissolved. Learn more about how to choose the best keto creamer.

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