Five Benefits of MCT Oil in Coffee

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are health-promoting fatty acids that enhance ketone production, promote balanced blood sugar levels, and can help prolong your fasting periods. 

Discover the impressive health benefits of MCT oil in coffee and learn why you should put MCTs on your keto diet plan. 

MCT oil and coconut

What is MCT oil?

MCT oil is a popular dietary supplement that contains medium-chain triglycerides, a group of fatty acids with profound benefits for metabolic health. 

Most MCT oil products are derived from coconut oil, a particularly rich source of MCTs such as lauric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid. 

MCTs are extracted from coconut oil through fractionation, which involves cooling the oil to trigger its crystallization. Different fatty acids have different crystallization points, which helps selectively harden and separate the MCTs from the other fatty acids in coconut oil.

Watch the video below to learn why you should be putting MCT oil in your coffee. 

Why are MCTs important?

As their name implies, MCTs have a shorter carbon chain than long-chain triglycerides, making them easier to digest and allowing for rapid intestinal absorption. 

Because MCTs are shorter, they require significantly less bile for digestion than other dietary fats. This makes MCTs particularly beneficial for individuals with a sluggish gallbladder, poor bile flow, or liver issues who often struggle to digest fats.    

MCTs are rapidly absorbed and converted into a group of acids called ketones, a by-product of fat metabolism and a readily available energy source. 

MCT oil’s ketone-boosting properties promote ketosis, a metabolic state that burns fats instead of sugars as a primary fuel source. 

Maintaining ketosis is a crucial goal of the ketogenic diet, which explains why MCT oil is a popular choice for individuals on keto and those practicing intermittent fasting.

Butter coffee

Five health benefits of MCT oil in coffee

MCTs have a shorter carbon chain than most other fatty acids in the body, and your liver can metabolize them quickly, which is linked to various metabolic advantages. 

While you can use MCT oil in salad dressings and smoothies or mix it into dips and spreads, many people enjoy adding this healthy fat to their coffee. 

Not only does this create a delicious wellness-promoting drink, but it also enhances the health benefits of black coffee.  

Here are five MCT oil benefits!

1. Boosts energy  

Your liver rapidly converts MCTs into ketones, providing a readily available energy source for your body. 

In fact, your heart, brain, and muscle cells prefer using ketones to generate energy rather than relying on carbs and sugar as a fuel source. 

Athletes, individuals following a low-carb ketogenic diet, and those practicing intermittent fasting often use MCT oils to boost their energy levels. 

2. Brain health

Adding MCTs to your morning coffee is an excellent way to promote a healthy brain. 

A study published in BMC Geriatrics confirms that substituting healthy fats like MCTs for carbohydrates is associated with improved mental clarity, enhanced cognitive function, and better memory. 

“Ketones aren’t just a preferred energy source for brain cells, they also increase blood flow to your central nervous system, " explains Dr. Berg. “This supports healthy tissue oxygenation and nutrient exchange, which has neuroprotective effects linked to a lower risk of dementia.”  

Young woman in big jeans

3. Reduced appetite 

Research published in Fats and Satiety found that MCTs are amongst the most satiating fatty acids, and adding MCT oil to your coffee can reduce appetite and help diminish hunger sensations. 

Ketones affect the endocrine system and have been found to reduce the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin while, at the same time, stimulating the production of leptin, also known as the satiety hormone. 

4. Weight loss

Regular MCT intake has long been recognized to promote weight loss and support long-term weight management.  

MCT’s ability to suppress appetite and curb cravings and hunger may explain why dietary intake of these fatty acids is linked to reduced risk of excessive weight.

In addition, MCTs help push your metabolism into a fat-burning mode and regulate the rate at which the stomach empties its content, which can prolong feelings of satiety and reduce the frequency of eating.

5. Longer fasting periods 

Because MCT oil increases satiety and curbs hunger, MCTs can help prolong your fasting periods.

Prolonged caloric restriction triggers autophagy, a cellular process that breaks down and eliminates damaged cells and cellular components linked to improved health, disease prevention, and longevity.  

According to Eileen While and Joshua Rabinowitz, research scientists and authors of Autophagy and Metabolism, “Autophagy preserves the health of cells and tissues by replacing outdated and damaged cellular components with fresh ones. In starvation, it provides an internal source of nutrients for energy generation and, thus, survival.”

putting MCT oil in bowl

How much MCT oil should you add to your coffee?

While MCT oil can help you burn more fat, it’s important to remember that consuming too many calories from fats slows down fat loss

Most standard bulletproof coffee recipes call for one to two tablespoons of MCTs, which provides 14 to 28 grams of fat.   

Depending on your overall fat intake, you may need to adjust the amount of MCT oil in your coffee, especially if you are trying to lose weight or noticed that your weight loss plateaued after introducing MCTs to your routine. 

MCTs are generally easy to digest. However, MCT oil can trigger mild gastrointestinal symptoms in individuals with sensitive digestive systems. 

To minimize the risk of intestinal discomfort, it’s best to start with half a tablespoon of MCT oil in your coffee and slowly increase your daily intake to allow your digestive system to adjust.  

Bulletproof coffee recipe

Quick keto coffee recipe

Bulletproof coffee, or keto coffee, is a mixture of black coffee, unsalted butter, and MCTs. Because of its fat content, bulletproof coffee doesn’t break a fast and keeps your metabolism in fat-burning mode. 

Making Bulletproof coffee is simple and takes just a few minutes! Here’s how. 


  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee 

  • 1 to 2 Tbsp grass-fed, unsalted butter or grass-fed ghee 

  • 1 to 2 Tbsp MCT oil 



  1. Use a blender to combine coffee, butter, and MCT oil for 20 to 30 seconds or until mixture has the consistency of a creamy latte.

  2. Bulletproof coffee can be served warm or iced and topped with cinnamon, nutmeg, or Himalayan salt.   

Cortisol illustration

Key takeaways

MCTs have a unique chemical structure that enables rapid intestinal digestion and quick conversion into ketones, an efficient fuel source for heart, brain, and muscle cells. 

There are several impressive health benefits of MCT oil in coffee, including enhanced mental clarity, the potential for more extended fasting periods, appetite reduction, and weight loss. 

While you can use MCTs for cooking and salad dressing, mixing it into coffee is a convenient way to consume this healthy fat in a delicious drink that won’t break a fast.  


1. What is MCT oil?

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a type of fatty acid that's rapidly absorbed and converted into ketones, an alternative fuel that provides a quick boost of energy for your cells.   

MCT oil is typically extracted from coconut or palm oil and is widely available as a supplement and cooking oil in health food stores and supermarkets. 

2. What does adding MCT oil to coffee do?

Adding MCT oil to coffee is a popular way to boost ketone production and energy levels, promote a healthy weight, achieve longer fasting periods, and support brain health.  

3. Is it okay to put MCT oil in hot coffee?

Yes, MCT oil can be added to hot coffee.

MCTs have a high smoke point and can be heated to around 350℉ (177℃) without losing their chemical structure. Freshly brewed coffee has a temperature of around 180℉ (82℃), which won’t impact MCTs quality or health benefits. 

4. Can I just stir MCT oil in coffee?

Mixing one to two tablespoons of MCT oil into your coffee is a convenient and easy way to consume these health-promoting fatty acids.

5. Can I take MCT oil if I'm not on keto?

Yes, you can take MCT oil if you are not on keto. While MCT intake is often associated with the ketogenic diet due to its ability to increase ketone production, it can boost energy, support brain health, and promote weight loss even if you aren’t following a low-carb diet. 

6. What are the benefits of MCT oil in coffee?

Adding MCT oil to coffee has been found to promote steady energy levels, enhance mental clarity and focus, lower appetite and hunger sensations, and may prolong your fasting periods, associated with increased cellular repair and rejuvenation.  

7. How much MCT oil should I add to my coffee?

Most keto coffee recipes use one to two tablespoons of MCT oil. While many people find MCTs gentle on the stomach, some sensitive individuals can experience digestive discomfort after taking MCT oil, and it’s best to start with half a teaspoon and gradually increase it to minimize the risk of side effects. 

8. Can I have MCT oil every day?

Yes, you can consume MCT oil every day. 

However, it’s important to remember that two tablespoons of MCT oil contain 28 grams of fat, which, depending on your overall fat intake, may exceed your caloric needs and slow down or stop weight loss. 

9. How do I make MCT oil coffee?

Making MCT oil coffee, also known as bulletproof coffee, is easy. Use a blender to combine one cup of freshly brewed coffee, one to two tablespoons of butter, and one to two tablespoons of MCT until creamy. 

10. Does MCT oil coffee break a fast?

No, MCT oil coffee doesn’t break a fast. It’s carb-free and won’t impact your blood sugar or insulin levels, keeping your metabolism in fat-burning mode. 

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