What is Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder?
MCT oil is a top-rated nutritional product, especially in the ketogenic diet world. MCTs, short for medium-chain triglycerides, are special fats that are digested differently to other dietary fats.
Long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) like olive oil, must go through a multi-step digestive process before they can be used for energy. If you eat a lot of LCTs, your body tends to store them as adipose tissue (body fat), which is the stuff currently residing around your waist!
In contrast, MCTs are digested much more quickly and easily. Shortly after eating, they are transported to your liver where they can be used for energy or converted to ketones, another source of energy. Because of this, they are typically burned off faster than LCTs and are much less likely to be converted to and stored as body fat.
MCTs occur in nature and can be found in foods like butter, beef, palm oil, milk, and coconut oil. However, all these foods contain varying proportions of short, medium, and long-chain triglycerides. In contrast, MCT oil contains 100% medium-chain triglycerides.
MCT oils are usually odorless, flavorless, and liquid at room temperature. They can be consumed straight from the bottle or added to things like smoothies, salads, or used to make bulletproof coffee, a popular ketogenic diet drink. Some MCT oils are packaged as soft gel capsules, although you have to take a lot of capsules to get a tablespoon of oil, which is the standard MCT oil measurement.
In contrast, Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder has been processed to produce a stable powdered MCT oil supplement. This involves adding several other ingredients, but the result is an MCT powder that is easier to store, transport, and use than MCT oil.
Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder is one of a range of products made by Quest Nutrition. Known more for their protein powders, protein bars, and protein cookies, this product is the company’s first foray into MCT oils and ketogenic diet products. They do, however, also make coconut oil powder but this is lower in MCTs than their MCT oil product.
Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder is sold in 50-servings/16 oz containers and contains seven grams of MCTs and 70 calories per serving. It is carb, protein, and sugar-free.
Why use Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder?
Many ketogenic dieters use MCT oil, both liquids and powders. When you first cut carbs from your diet, your body must make the transition from using carbs for energy to using fats. This can take several days to two weeks. It takes this long to fully deplete your onboard supplies of glycogen. Glycogen is stored glucose.
Once your glycogen stores are low enough, your body will start using more fat for fuel, except that it cannot use fat alone for energy. To replace the missing glycogen, your body starts converting fat into ketones – a type of fuel it can use.
Taking MCT oil speeds up and increases ketone production. This helps ease the transition from using carbs for fuel to using fat and can also alleviate many of the symptoms of the keto flu. Keto flu is the name given to how many people feel during the transition into ketosis.
Many keto dieters take exogenous ketones to artificially increase the number of ketones in their body. In contrast, MCTs increase ketone production naturally.
MCTs are present in a lot of foods but in relatively low amounts. Using MCT oil means you can add a lot of this special fat to your diet, and also carefully control the amount you consume.
Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder makes using MCT oil very easy. Simply add the powder to any meal or spoon it into smoothies, carb-free sports drinks, coconut water, or even coffee. Because it is a flavorless, odorless powder, you can add it to almost anything to increase the healthy fat content of your diet.
Because it’s a dry powder, Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder is very easy to transport, store, and use. This is especially good news if you are a frequent flyer and want to carry an MCT oil product on board with you. MCT oils over 100ml are not allowed, but there is no such restriction on dry MCT oil powder.
What are the ingredients
Many MCT oil products are pure medium-chain triglycerides. Quest Nutrition MCT Oil powder is not 100% pure, but that’s because certain ingredients must be added to create a useable, soluble, stable product.
According to Quest Nutrition, the ingredients in MCT oil powder are:
Medium Chain Triglycerides, Soluble Corn Fiber, Sodium Caseinate, Sunflower Lecithin, Silicon Dioxide.
Ingredients are listed by order of weight, and it’s good to see that MCTs are at the top. However, it’s also worth noting that MCT oil powder also contains milk (in the form of sodium caseinate) and is processed in a facility that also processes eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, fish, and tree nuts. This means, unlike most MCT oils, this product may not be suitable for people with food allergies.
Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder might not be entirely pure, and does contain a few innocuous additives, but, compared to most processed foods, this really isn’t a big deal. With the exceptions of the potential allergens, none of the ingredients in this MCT oil powder should be considered harmful.
How to use Quest Nutrition MCT Oil properly
The most significant advantage of MCT oil powder over regular MCT oil is that it is more versatile. According to Quest, you can use this product in a lot of different ways to boost your intake of MCTs and increase ketone production.
With regards serving size, one scoop (included) is equal to about 9 grams, and Quest recommends you take 1-4 servings per day. MCT oil powder can be added to warm and cold liquids to make keto-friendly drinks or mixed into food. You can also use it to make bulletproof coffee. Because it is a powder, it blends very easily and is less likely to rise to the top of liquids, as pure MCT oils are prone to do.
The benefits of Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder
Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder offers several benefits, including:
Increased energy and endurance – in normal circumstances, your body uses glucose for fuel, and glucose comes from carbs. In the ketogenic diet, carbs are off the menu, and your body has to use fat and ketones for energy instead. Because MCTs bypass normal digestion, they are very quickly converted to ketones and provide a rapid-acting but sustainable source of energy. This can be very welcome if you are an exerciser, and MCTs can help you work out harder and for longer.
Improved mental focus – MCTs increase ketone production and ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier. Your brain usually uses glucose for fuel, but it actually functions better on ketones. A ketone-fueled brain tends to focus and concentrate better, leading to greater productivity. In contrast, on carbs, your brain will probably experience energy ups and downs that could also include brain fog. MCTs are often described as rocket fuel for your brain.
Weight management – MCTs can help you lose weight through several different pathways. MCTs contain fewer calories than regular fats and also boost your metabolism for a higher daily calorie expenditure. They also provide you with the energy you need to exercise, but any unused MCTs are unlikely to end up being stored as unwanted body fat. MCTs are also linked to increased satiety, less hunger, and fewer cravings, all of which can help you avoid breaking your diet.
Better cardiovascular health – heart disease is one of the leading causes of premature death in the developed world, especially amongst older men. MCTs can help reduce cholesterol, inflammation, and body weight, three critical risk factors for developing heart disease.
A pleasant texture for smoothies, coffee, and baked goods – MCT powder mixes more easily than MCT oil and gives your food and drinks a smooth, creamy texture. In contrast, MCT oils do not always mix very well, and may even end up floating on top of whatever you have added them too.
Better digestive health – a healthy digestive system is crucial for a healthy body. Your digestive system is full of beneficial bacteria whose job it is to keep the lining of your gut in good working order. This, in turn, is important for proper immune system function and for preventing fat gain while speeding up fat loss.
MCTs have been shown to be very good for your good bacteria and can also help reduce harmful bacteria. This creates an ideal environment for a healthy digestive system.
A smoother transition into ketosis – getting into ketosis can be challenging and is usually accompanied by the keto flu. While not contagious, the keto flu can be unpleasant and lasts for as long as it takes to make the shift from using carbs for fuel to using ketones. Symptoms include nausea, headaches, increased urination, brain fog, fatigue, and hunger. Taking MCTs increase ketone production, and more ketones mean fewer keto flu symptoms.
This is an important benefit because some people experience such unpleasant keto flu that they are unable to stick to their low-carb diet for long enough to reach the health and fat loss nirvana that is ketosis.
Possible side effects of using Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder
Like all MCT oil products, MCT oil can cause some side effects in some users but, in most cases, this is caused by using too much product too soon. If you experience any of the following side effects, just reduce the size and frequency of your doses and increase gradually after that.
Stomach upset – despite being good for your digestive health, too much MCT oil too soon can lead to things like abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. While unpleasant, these side effects are not serious and should soon vanish once you reduce your MCT oil powder intake. It’s also worth noting that because MCT oil powders contain sources of starch and fiber, they are not as prone to causing stomach upset as pure MCT oil.
Weight gain – ironically, a supplement that many people use for weight loss can, when misused, lead to weight gain! Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder contains 70 calories per serving. If you take three servings per day, that adds up to a not-insignificant 210 extra calories per day. If you already have a calorie surplus, this could speed up fat gain.
Avoid this problem by using MCT oil powder as part of a ketogenic diet and also reducing your regular fat intake to reflect the extra calories in your supplement.
Presence of allergens – turning a substance that is liquid at room temperature into a stable, easy to mix powder is not easy and requires a degree of processing plus some carefully-selected additives. Some of these additives can cause allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. If you have a lactose allergy, you should stick to a pure MCT oil rather than risk any problems associated with these added ingredients.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – this is very rare, but it’s also serious enough that it’s worth mentioning. MCTs are processed in your liver. For most people, this does not present an issue. However, if you have a history of liver disease, MCTs could cause a buildup of fat in this crucial organ.
There are four stages of fatty liver disease, and the early stages don’t usually produce any symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with fatty liver disease in the past, you should speak to your doctor before using MCT oil powder or any MCT oil product.
Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder is an excellent alternative to regular MCT oil. It offers all of the benefits of a liquid oil but is more versatile, easier to transport, and easier to measure and use. Because it’s a powder, it mixes better than most MCT oils and won’t float to the surface of beverages – good news if you want to use it to make bulletproof coffee.
To make such a versatile powder, Quest Nutrition have had to add some additional ingredients to their MCT oil product. Some users may find this somewhat off-putting and view MCT oil powder as impure or inferior. While MCT oil powder might not be 100% pure, it’s very close, and is undoubtedly much less tainted or processed than almost every other food on your supermarket shelves.
If you currently use MCT oil, you will probably find MCT oil powder much more convenient to use. Odorless and flavorless, you can add it to almost any liquid or food to increase your intake of MCTs and boost ketone production naturally.
Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder
Quest Nutrition MCT Oil Powder has been processed to produce a stable powdered MCT oil supplement. This involves adding several other ingredients, but the result is an MCT powder that is easier to store, transport, and use than MCT oil.
- Increased energy and endurance
- Improved mental focus
- A pleasant texture for smoothies, coffee, and baked goods
- A smoother transition into ketosis
- Stomach upset
- Presence of allergens