You May Also Like

5 folic acid benefits that will convince you to become more familiar with the nutrient

4 health perks of folate and folic acid every woman can benefit from—pregnant or not

marathon training without carbs

How to marathon train without eating a ton of carbs

The anti-inflammatory ingredient Meghan Markle adds into her banana bread

The anti-inflammatory ingredient Meghan Markle adds to her banana bread

Get yuzu fruit in Trader Joe's new sparkling coconut water

Get an energizing splash of an Asian superfruit in Trader Joe’s new sparkling coconut water

Is having a vegan pregnancy diet healthy? We asked a nutritionist

Is it healthy to stick to a vegan diet when you’re pregnant?

The Ayurvedic reason to eat roasted celery all winter long

The Ayurvedic reason to eat roasted celery all winter long

Here’s why your super-charged coffee might be giving you the runs


Thumbnail for Here’s why your super-charged coffee might be giving you the runs
Pin It
Photo: Getty Images/Hero Images

Fun fact: The Internet is riddled with hilarious anecdotes wherein MCT addicts find themselves running to the bathroom after enjoying a supercharged coffee. (But like, don’t Google this—it can get pretty gross.) Why, I wondered after reading innumerable stories—it was a bit of a rabbit-hole situation—does this occur, and can it be prevented?

According to board-certified nutritionist and functional medicine practitioner Dana James, the answer is pretty simple. “MCT oil doesn’t cause diarrhea more than any oil,” she says. “Oils, such as castor oil, have long been used as a laxative.” Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS and member of The Vitamin Shoppe Wellness Council, however, adds that MCT oil does specifically contain isolated fatty acids like caprylic acid that are digested extraordinarily quickly and may mildly bother the gut lining at high doses. This irritation can then signal your digestive system to dump.

If inducing a bowel movement of any consistency is not your intention, James suggests cutting back on the amount of MCT oil you’re imbibing. Also, given that coffee is known to have a laxative effect as well for some portions of the population, partnering the two may spell disaster for some people. “Adding MCT to coffee is a sure-fire way to elicit a bowel movement because the fat seems to enhance the stimulatory effect of caffeine,” James explains.

She actually doesn’t recommend use of MCT oil in her practice at all because it’s processed rather than natural. “I would prefer someone to use coconut oil, which is 70 percent MCT and the remainder LCT,” she says. “There’s something about the wisdom of nature which we as humans can only ever hope to understand.” If you aren’t ready to ditch the cult-beloved oil, however, Dana Hunnes PhD, RD, a senior dietician at UCLA Medical Center, tells me that those who experience the diarrhea side effect should try to take their MCT oil with food, in a meal setting. (I should also note that she doesn’t believe the oil should cause diarrhea and has patients who take it in a hospital setting without issue.) Dr. Axe agrees and further suggests splitting up your serving throughout the day, taking doses about three to four hours apart. “Additionally, taking a digestive enzyme with lipase can help ease symptoms,” he says.

According to my extensive “MCT oil + diarrhea” forum research online, the “disaster pants” phenomenon does seem to wane for many users with continued usage over time, too. Just don’t do what this guy did.

If you’ve eliminated MCT oil and are still experiencing the runs, your keto diet might be more generally to blame. Plus, just for fun—this is why you fart in yoga class.

Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

tempeh vs tofu

Plant-based protein battle: Tempeh versus tofu

Is having a vegan pregnancy diet healthy? We asked a nutritionist

Is it healthy to stick to a vegan diet when you’re pregnant?

The Ayurvedic reason to eat roasted celery all winter long

The Ayurvedic reason to eat roasted celery all winter long

5 folic acid benefits that will convince you to become more familiar with the nutrient

4 health perks of folate and folic acid every woman can benefit from—pregnant or not

halloween avocado toast

Here’s how to give your avocado toast a Halloween makeover

Keto PSA: You've probably been using a cheese grater wrong your entire life

I’ve been using a cheese grater the wrong way my entire life