With recent news revealing shocking sugar highs of up to 25 teaspoons in our favourite café beverages are you looking for a sugar swap that still gives you that kick of energy? Although plopping a teaspoon of oil into your coffee sounds like a weird (and super greasy) thing to do, there are claims it can help your body burn more fat, keep you more focused and alert and energise your workouts. In a society that’s desperate to remove fat and reduce calories, should we really be adding more?
First things first, let’s debunk a myth before we look into this further, fat does not make you fat. In fact, eating certain kinds of fat can boost your metabolism and burn more fat. Glad we cleared that one up.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Weight Loss
Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids instead of long chain fatty acids. Medium chain simply refers to the arrangement of the carbon atoms in the chemical structure. Unlike long chain fatty acids, medium chain fatty acids are readily utilized by the liver, which leads to greater energy expenditure and enhanced thermogenesis. Medium chain fatty acids occur naturally in low levels in milk fat (butter, milk, yogurt, and cheese), but the highest quantities are found in coconut and palm-kernel oils. Research by The International Journal of Obesity suggests that consuming more medium chain fatty acids can help to lower body fat percentages, participants who were fed diets higher in medium chain glycerides over a four week period finished with higher weight loss and less fat tissue, along with increased energy expenditure over those whose diet lacked the medium triglycerides.
General Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
- Research has shown medium triglycerides go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
- Coconut oil can increase your energy expenditure, helping you burn more fat.
- Coconut oil contains Lauric acid which can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, potentially helping to prevent infections.
- Coconut oil can curb hunger, keeping you full for longer due to the way which medium triglycerides are digested by the body.
- The fatty acids in coconut oil are turned into ketones which have been shown in research to reduce fits in epileptic children.
- Coconut oil can improve blood cholesterol, saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease.
- Coconut oil is an effective moisturiser and repairs hair damage.
- Why Start The Day with Coconut Oil Coffee?
When you first wake up, your body has been fasted for the duration of your sleep and is in prime ‘fat burning’ mode as insulin and sugar levels are low, but not unstable. What this means is that your stored fatty acids are released and utilised for energy, rather than food consumed. Starting your day with a coffee help to increase fat burning hormones which use these fatty acids for energy. Creating a concoction of coffee and coconut oil prompts the body to enter ketosis (fat burning state) and kick starts your day with an energy boost, as well as all the benefits above.
For more on the benefits of caffeine read our post on caffeine and training.
Coconut Oil Coffee Creamer Recipes:
There are many ways you can mix up your coconut coffee to benefit from the creamy combo, here’s our favourites:
The Basic Burner:
- Add one teaspoon of organic coconut oil which has been at room temperature to the bottom of your coffee cup.
- Add instant coffee granules or brew your coffee if you like the posh stuff.
- Pour over the coconut oil and stir to ensure the coconut oil melts into the coffee to create a creamy mixture.
Cinnamon and Vanilla Coffee Creamer:
This one's a little naughtier than the basic coffee combo, but a delicious and still (reasonably) healthy drink, plus the sugars are all natural unlike our café bought beverages.
- 150g coconut oil, organic (soft but not melted)
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use flavdrops by Myprotein, as a calorie free sweetener in vanilla flavour)
- 1 teaspoon Cocao powder
- Combine all your ingredients until the mixture is creamy and then store in a sealable jar.
- Melt into brewed coffee for a deliciously sweet creamer.
Nutritional Value of Coconut Oil:
One average teaspoon (4.5g) of coconut oil / 100g is thought to contain:
- Calories: 39 / 862
- Carbohydrates: 0g / 0g
- Protein: 0g / 0g
- Fat: 4.5g / 100g