MCT oil is going mass-market, thanks to keto lovers


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Let’s get something straight right now: MCT oil—which is suddenly everywhere —is nothing new. “It was a big deal around 2008,” says Mike Israetel, PhD, chief sport scientist for Renaissance Periodization fitness programs. But there’s a reason why the longtime staple of Bulletproof coffee went away (seriously, crickets for almost a decade), yet is back with a major vengeance: Call it the keto effect.

In 2018, nothing dominated the food scene—healthy or otherwise—quite like the ketogenic diet. Beloved by celebs and CrossFitters alike for its reputed ability to do everything from help with weight management to ease anxiety, the keto diet is all about putting your body into ketosis, a state in which you burn fat instead of carbs for fuel. This dietary choice certainly isn’t for everyone, but there’s no denying that it’s become the eating plan of the moment. Because of its rising popularity, MCT oil (which contains medium-length chains of fats called triglycerides, most commonly extracted from coconut oil) is really good at helping you stay in that state. It’s even better than coconut oil and other healthy fats, and this ketosis cred looks to be making the masses go crazy for MCT.

A report released by Grand View Research says that the MCT market is expected to reach $2.46 billion by 2025. And BevNet reports that the price has more than doubled in the past five years, jumping from $3 to $8 per kilo.

Hitting the market are more MCT-oil-laced products than ever, including ready-to-drink lattes and smoothie-ready gels and powders. Even Nestle is getting in on the game.

“More scientists have come out with studies showing that MCT oil is good for the body, unlike other saturated fats,” says Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey. Asprey has been a leading pro-MCT voice for years, initially within the Silicon Valley biohacking community, saying the oil boosts energy and mental focus, and can support weight-loss efforts. “With this fear resolved, more people are confident in adding MCT oil to their diets,” often stirred into their coffee or smoothies. He also credits celebs such as Alicia Vikander, who credited the oil with helping her get in Tomb Raider shape this year, and Kourtney Kardashian (who gives regular MCT shout-outs to her Instagram audience of 70 million) for making it go mega mainstream.

“MCT oil is also the number-one-selling SKU in the sports nutrition category, according to [consumer insight company] SPINS for the last two years,” says Bryan Morin, the brand manager for supplements line Now Sports, crediting Bulletproof coffee and keto trends as major reasons why.

Hitting the market are more MCT-oil-laced products than ever, including ready-to-drink lattes and smoothie-ready gels and powders. Even Nestle is getting in on the game, helping build the ketogenic creamer brand Know Brainer through an accelerator program. And in 2019, look for MCT to go beyond its role as a coffee add-in and start to sneak its way into nutrition bars and snack foods (hello, fat bombs). After all, keto’s not going away anytime soon.

Want to know more about how to use the trendy ingredient? Try blending it into your coffee for an energy boost:

This is just one of the healthy-living trends we’re predicting for 2019—check out the full list here!

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