6

votes

Coffee and MCT experiment (can't ketosis and carbs just get along?)

Asked on December 25, 2014
Created April 29, 2013 at 11:23 PM

Ok, I do basically leangains 16/8 IF, stay meat and fat rest days, and load tubers post work out.

In the past, uninterupted ketosis for five months changed my life. Hunger, mood, body, mind. Y'all know. But, alas, fat burning, mountain climbing, and weight training among other things need glycogen from carbs to be most effective.

So I got into leangains with great success in those endeavors. But I've found it very hard to switch in and out of ketosis. Every morning after a carb load, I feel like shit and take most of the next day to get back to feeling that keto-clean-burning-clarity.

I also found it harsh on my system to go a day or two keto, and suddenly eat a bunch of starch. My body doesn't seem to like switchg back and fourth. Perhaps I am a poor metabolic switcher, as it were. I tried a small tuber with dinner on rest days, didn't help.

Also, my bodyfat didn't want to drop with cal restrictions alone. A ton of multi hour backpacking high mountains was the only thing that burned my torso fat off (other leangainers can get ripped without cardio).

I think my body has a lot of trouble with enzymes and gut digestion (starting a ton of powdered enzymes with food two months ago has helped immensely), and utilizing long chain fats is such a long and laborious process for my body that by the time my cell mitochondria can get that energy, it's too late, they are tired, and that fat gets stored.

I've always known on a long hike that trail mix and nuts (LC FAT)throw water on the metabolic fire; there's no quicker way to slow down. Coconut oil has always been the friend of my climbing carbs.

I've always been the guy that took hours to warm up on a climb and got left by all others, then 6hrs later when everyone is bonked, I'm feeling strongest, and go on several more hours faster than ever.

Exercise, hard exercise, has always been a necessity for me, as without it, I feel like I'm starving and depressed. I always chalked it up to depression. But I am of the opinion now that that depression only results from low celluar energy levels of my starved but otherwise amazingly powerful mitochondria, ready and able to explode with potential but trapped in a prison behind impenetrable membranes, inefficient energy transportation, enzymatic conversion, and digestive absorption.

Only after hours of facilitation by hard exercise induced energy absorption and transport efficiency increases could those little dynamos get what they needed, upon which time they proceeded to clean the competition.

My gut is lousy at absorption, my enzymes seem low, and I'm very insulin resistant, and the only times in my life I've felt truly happy and satisfied, full of mental energy and power, is after long exercise and a huge pwo meal of carbs and protein, when the resulting indrease in insulin sensitivity and tGlut helps mitochondria actually get the raw energy across the cell membrane that they need!

So, I need carbs for glycogen to keep my muscle happy and ketones just aren't enough, I need ketones for mental clarity and easy energy to keep my neurons happy because my body can't handle glucose very well, and my enzymatic and digestive processes are so inefficient at using fats that they just get stored. Yet, carbs screw up the generation of ketones and I suffer every time I eat them, and carb free leaves me bonked.

What to do. Been reading a lot on here and see others had some great ideas about having your carbs and eating them too, as it were. I've been using most of my added fat as coconut oil, and with half of that being mct, I figured it was helping me get keto.

I was wrong. After meat/fat lunch I often feel super drained and sleepy, CO notwithstanding, ESP days after training. Was like someone threw too much big, hard-to-get-ignited logs on a growing little fire. I'm getting calories in case anyone is wondering. And carb nights make me wake up in the middle of the night hungry. I couldn't win.

So, Friday after reading here on the forum, and here, http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/02/ketogenic-diets-i-ways-to-make-a-diet-ketogenic/ I tried a new approach. I always enjoy copious amounts of coffee from an hour after wake up time (5am) thru the fast. Friday, I added a tablespoon of pure MCT over the course of my coffee, not for energy, but to kick start my ketone generation and initiate ketosis in my body.

I used it as a metabolic switch with an empty stomach, where the MCT could be unobstructed and hit my liver immediately. Coconut oil has a bunch of long chain fat and immediately causes my body to have to work hard to use all that mess. It negates the MCT effect.

Caffeine always made my neurons happy and ready to go, but they lacked the backing energy to potentiate. Glucose causes a crash so it's always black coffee. Cream is more fat, more oversized logs on the fire. But MCT IS PURE UNOBSTRUCTED KETONE BLISS.

Coffee plus pure ketones on an empty fasted body had the noradrenaline stimulation and the sustained energy to back it up! In here to say bulletproof coffee did nothing for me but make me tired. Long chain fats. Building a fire, one uses little ignitable kindling, not logs and a match! MCT people. Pure. That's it.

My God. I cannot describe it. Seriously. I've never felt so good in my life. Better than after a long climb. Every cell in my body screamed thank you. It's the only way I know how to say it. Alive.

My mood was happy, compassionate, energetic, loving, positive, and introspective. My true nature. Im a teacher and the kids saw it in my eyes. Negativity and depression, anger and pain, are not my nature, but only a tired mind and body starved of energy it needs and frustrated by the load of food eaten with no result but belly fat.

I reflected on many things. Solved many things. Accepted many things. It was amazing. And my energy was too much to handle. Not hyper and fidgety, but POWER. Calm, controllable, incredible power and focus like a laser. They don't make a drug like that.

It went on for almost 8hrs non stop until lunch after noon. The mere 120ish MCT calories couldn't account for that. So it wasn't about the exogenous energy intake, it was the action of the MCT-liver-ketone generation that kicked my entire body into ketosis and fluid utilization of energy in my body.

I have never felt anything like it. It was so pronounced because of the level of cellular starvation that had been present for YEARS.

Lunch that Friday was my usual lean beef, with added coconut oil and tallow. I still felt good afterwards, as if I stayed in ketosis, but I did slow down, and my evening deadlifts were good but I still felt that fire smothering effect of the long chain fats.

Saturday same 15g MCT coffee. Great. I lunch, I traded the CO added for more MCT, and finished with tallow. Pretty good. Better afternoon.

Sunday I made a wakame salad with a touch of vinegar and 15g MCT. No added other fats. Lean beef. Even better (no sleep sat night, hot date). Sunday night I slept like the dead all night, woke up rested.

Monday, morning MCT coffee. More energy than I could handle. Went to the park (holiday week here). Lunch MCT wakame, this time with added 3G leucine powder, a purely ketogenic amino to kick ketosis up, and my usual lean beef. So far, that's 30g total MCT and about 400 cal from lean beef.

Energy never stopped. The rush just kept going. Zero after lunch fatigue or drop. I was so eager to get home and get my evening workout I was foaming at the mouth. I met my good paleo friend and climbing partner late afternoon to tell him all this stuff (which he understands). He said he's never seen me so focused.

My workout was ridiculous. Never felt the need for more energy, in fact, I was trying to throw the kettlebell through the roof on every clean and press. Volume increased 20 percent. Never got hungry. This is at 7-8pm after eating a mere 600 cal at noon. Dinner was just something I needed to do, never craved eating pwo. Woke up this morning like I had worked out harder than a long time. Full, complete, whole body contractions.

So, the MCT switch got my body burning its own body fat very effectively all day long. My lunch minus obstructive long chain fats plus more quick keto facilitors kept that going, all day thru my workout.

I added beef tallow and fish oil for dinner, for membrane and hormone building raw material, not for energy. 275g Carbs for glycogen. Protein for tissue regeneration. The fat in the evening was enough for membranes and hormone construction, and at night I don't need to be so energetic so I can afford the slow down. Plus, my lipase hasn't had to work all day. Ready to go.

And another nice result? Try 1 cm off my waist in four days with no change in calories or food other than mentioned, and no change in exercise. Yup. My waist has been unchanged for months while I have tried and succeeded in finding my real maintenance calorie level, with strict calculations. No drop in months, then 1cm in 4 days.

Please all chime in, tell me what you think, and clarify anything I've missed or been mistaken bout. I want to help others feel this. I'm eating my carbs and being keto too.

UPDATE: I cannot stress enough, as this post is designed to explain, it's not just what you take in, it's absolutely what you don't take in also that has effect. This is what I've found above.

Bulletproof coffee includes long chain fats. This negates the effect. They get in the way. They take energy. MCT in an empty gut goes straight to the liver and ketones hit your blood quickly, and there are no long chain fats taking energy and resources to digest, for hours before their energy is utilized.

2-3 hrs after my 6am morning 15g MCT plus coffee, the MCT produced ketones have encouraged the switch to ketosis and have been burned off. The REAL feeling of ketosis and huge increase in energy and clarity come on AT THIS POINT when uninterrupted by long chain fats or other food. Again, the surge comes when the MCTs have burned off and cleared, so it's when BODY FAT begins to burn that really does it.

So, unobstructed MCT ketones encourage the quick switch to ketosis, facilitated energetically speaking by the adrenaline kick from coffee. When they burn off, the body quickly and easily switches to clean and efficient body fat burning which is non energy demanding, unlike exogenously ingested long chain fats which slow down this efficiency. This bodyfat burning is the rush of sustained energy and clarity that I've been feeling all day long. That's my idea.

UPDATE**.

My friend has confirmed my exact experience. I'm having more energy and better workouts than in my life. MCT switches the system instantly into clean keto with no long chain fats to disrupt and slow things. Coconut oil doesn't work. My friend and I both switched back and fourth from MCT to CO and back. Confirmed.

I've lost 2cm waist fat in one week. One. NO OTHER CHANGE. I have more MCT and lean beef for lunch, saving all my long chain fats for dinner. Morning, MCT coffee slams me right back into the sweet cruising keto.

Bulletproof coffee is NOT the same.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on May 04, 2013
at 11:39 PM

I've had bad sleep issues for a long time. They are getting better, but carbs in general screw up my blood sugar and disrupt my sleep. That said, I generally eat my carbs at night post workout, CBL style. The real issue is the next morning waking up feeling terrible all morning because my body is in glucose mode and getting none! The big find here is that coconut oil or butter coffee just loads the system with hard to burn fats when it really wants glucose, because that's what you just ate the night before. Pure MCT and coffee kick into ketosis immediately. It's a powerful SWITCH.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on May 02, 2013
at 11:01 AM

Have you noticed any differences in your sleeping patterns since you've increased your carb intake?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on May 02, 2013
at 01:36 AM

He and I eat mostly the same paleo way. It's a good experiment, with controls fairly constant.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on May 02, 2013
at 01:33 AM

2-3 hrs after my 6am morning 15g MCT plus coffee, the MCT produced ketones have encouraged the switch to ketosis and have been burned off. The REAL feeling of ketosis and huge increase in energy and clarity come on AT THIS POINT when uninterrupted by long chain fats or other food. Again, the surge comes when the MCTs have burned off and cleared, so it's when BODY FAT begins to burn cleanly. THIS is interrupted by long chain fats. That's my finding.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on May 02, 2013
at 01:21 AM

I cannot stress enough, as this post is designed to explain, it's not just what you take in, it's absolutely what you don't take in also that has effect. This is what I've found above. Bulletproof coffee includes long chain fats. This negates the effect. They get in the way. They take energy. MCT in an empty gut goes straight to the liver and ketones hit your blood quickly, and there are no long chain fats taking energy and resources to digest, for hours before their energy is utilized.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on May 02, 2013
at 01:18 AM

See my post "Coffee plus pure ketones on an empty fasted body had the noradrenaline stimulation and the sustained energy to back it up! In here to say bulletproof coffee did nothing for me but make me tired. Long chain fats. Building a fire, one uses little ignitable kindling, not logs and a match! MCT people. Pure. That's it"

Medium avatar

(2417)

on May 02, 2013
at 01:16 AM

I never stay keto on the trail. That's asking for bonk. I tried it. Sucked. Sustained heart rate over 130bmp cannot be fueled by fat on an 8hr climb. Rate of fat oxidation cannot keep up with time demand of tissues in that case. My mates eat what I give them often. They try my experiments happily. So yes, many times my late boost happens when we are all eating the same thing; coconut oil and rice with a touch of dextrose and maltodexterin.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on May 02, 2013
at 01:12 AM

No, I haven't. I can feel it though. With this experiment, I get back to burning my own body fat much more quickly the morning after a carb up.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on May 01, 2013
at 06:21 PM

Thanks Mark. I guess MCT and coconut oil would be even better then :)

D1d9b0d839144b72b5f5dae893a686d3

(602)

on May 01, 2013
at 03:43 PM

MCT oil definitely has more effect than coconut oil. As for butter, I have only used grass fed unsalted butter, never tried it with ghee or crappy butter. Butter and coconut oil is good, butter and MCT oil is better.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on May 01, 2013
at 06:11 AM

Have you also noticed a significant difference between bulletproof coffee with either MCT oil, coconut oil or butter? Have you tried it with ghee?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on May 01, 2013
at 04:19 AM

Are they eating the same stuff as you on the trail? You might also be slower to release the endorphins, and possibly adding to that a nice trickle of adrenalin if you are getting into deep ketosis while you are out on the trail.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on April 30, 2013
at 01:22 PM

Thanks for sharing your experiences. Have you actually tested your serum ketone levels to see how they fluctuate with carb intake?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on April 30, 2013
at 08:29 AM

275 grams of Carbs! NOT that much MCT, god! Runners high? Of course, any trained athlete gets it. Deadlifts included. So that equals us out. All I know is, I feel like I've never trained when I start, and when my buddies are exhausted, my power starts flowing. It's uncanny. I feel better at 6 hrs up a mtn than the first hour, better on pull-up number 75 than number 1. Yes, brain power a huge, but since all my mates are getting that same high, what makes me different?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 30, 2013
at 06:09 AM

This has got to be the longest question ever asked here....wow.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on April 30, 2013
at 03:24 AM

NOW Foods, twenty bucks a quart. Found another source that has a gallon for twenty five bucks, ordering and will try.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on April 30, 2013
at 01:41 AM

What MCT brand did you use?

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6 Answers

1
A386d1b63cd6edc8963968892bb176a9

on May 01, 2013
at 11:10 PM

I'm the climbing partner that animaleater mentioned in his original post. Let me tell ya folks, he's really on to something here. I used to take ghee and coconut oil in the morning both with and without coffee and I never felt the mental clarity of deep ketosis. In fact, I've been in a low-energy, depressed state for months now with persistent brain fog. I literally could not think and was terribly frustrated about it. What's worse, it was affecting my communication and language skills. My second language, Japanese, went from being at an advanced level to almost imcomprehensible to my Japanese friends during this period. Oh, and I believe I did it with MCT oil instead of CO a few times as standard bulletproof coffee, as well, but don't remember any significant change

With that in mind you can imagine how animaleater's experiment and n=1 results peaked my interest. I was dying to try it and he was kind enough to spare me some of his MCT oil for experimentation. I also bought a bottle of 5-HTP off him for it's purported enhanced sleep effect and took 100mg with the usual 400mg of magnesium before bed. Woke up feeling rested by no change in the ceaseless brain fog and mood and felt slightly confused as I often have the past several months.

Made my way to a coffee shop and got some black coffee and 30g (by mistake, he meant to give me two days worth at 15g a day for experimentation, but I misunderstood or wasn't paying attention when he said so) in my system. About 10 minutes later, BOOM, deep ketosis. Colors vibrant, mind clear for the first time in a long time, mood elevated, depression symptoms seemingly lifted and energetic, I was overjoyed and nearly moved to tears. Finally, a break in the clouds!! :-D

I was aware that there could be a placebo effect since I'd placed such high expectations and hope on this working. I believe I had chicken breast and low-carb veggies for lunch. I was in this blissful, energetic, focused state until about 7pm, when energy and focus dropped noticeably. I couldn't wait to try it again the next morning.

Out of MCTs, I took 20g CO with my coffee the next morning. Felt a similar ketosis state as the day before, but it wasn't pronounced. Met animaleater to chat and got 30 more grams of MCTs from him. Took 15g with more coffee and BOOM, deep ketosis with all the same pronounced effects from the day before. Had a can of water-packed tuna and 10g BCAAs after a tiring sprint workout at the park. I was in the same blissful, energetic state until after eating a heavy dinner at 8pm (naturally). Was relieved to find that my Japanese, which had been getting progressively worse with the persistent brain fog over the last few months, was as fluent as it's ever been. I'm me again! I can think, express myself and understand what's being said in two languages again! YES!!!

Anyway, **screw the ghee, screw the coconut oil! MCT oil and coffee only for me for the foreseeable future!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on May 02, 2013
at 01:36 AM

He and I eat mostly the same paleo way. It's a good experiment, with controls fairly constant.

0
6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

on November 28, 2013
at 08:36 PM

I always go back to basic principles - would our ancestors have eaten it (and I hate coffee and all caffeine). So whilst our ancestors might have eaten a handful of almonds or the fat off the meat they were cooking they would not have had large amounts of just pure oils of any kinds.

The post reminded me a bit of when I was on 100% cacao (chocolate). The first few times I felt I had found the secret of eternal happiness (must be like taking drugs) . It has the same effect as speed/amphetamines apparently and you can stay up all night and feel wonderful. Then the next day you need to take in a little more to have the same effect like all addictive products and on and on.

I would suggest no one drinks any coffee. It tastes bitter on the tree and our ancestors would not have gone near it. It makes you hyper. It keeps you awake when your body might well need to sleep so it masks the natural state.

Anyway do what works. Just my initial view. I need to look up what this MCT stuff is now.

And also I think the research into Alzheimers and diet and also epilepsy in children all of which point to paleo/keto/natural roods helps prove that eating naturally the paleo way is good for all kinds of people and all kinds of reasons.

B9b57107a27b0554cabd69d6d6cc8bc7

on December 25, 2014
at 06:23 PM

Ancestral mimicry or thinking "would they eat ____" is not a principle. It's an outdated, flawed, and dogmatic way of thinking with no scientific backing. What our ancestors ate may not have been optimal and what is optimal may not have been eaten by or ancestors.

0
Medium avatar

on November 28, 2013
at 10:33 AM

Not too sure why everybody is obsessed with this "coffee". Frankly I think it's pointless. I don't think black coffee is too good for the gut and it just ends up burning you out eventually when you're addicted. Not to mention that coffee messes with your creativity and boosts stress hormones. No thanks. I don't think it's desirable to be dependant on an unclean substance like coffee, but the world's coffee drinkers all seem to disagree. Talk about being brainwashed.

I just decided to make a blog post about this. Not gonna go into much detail for now but I think it's time to start putting some knowledge out there.

http://superiormindset.com/coffee-sucks-so-so-much-cant-you-see/

0
9d8b06a696a9e12bef10ad0663476b4d

on November 28, 2013
at 09:50 AM

@animaleater Thanks for sharing. Could you clarify where the long chain fats are contained in bullet proof coffee? Is it the grass fed butter your referring to? Cheers

0
D1d9b0d839144b72b5f5dae893a686d3

(602)

on April 30, 2013
at 03:53 PM

Have you heard of Bulletproof coffee? It sounds like you have independently invented basically the same thing. He also adds unsalted grass fed butter and blends it all together until it is foamy, but the MCT oil plus coffee is the same. There are large numbers of people who have been enjoying this kind of energy for quite a while, myself included. As people have said before, welcome to the dark side!

D1d9b0d839144b72b5f5dae893a686d3

(602)

on May 01, 2013
at 03:43 PM

MCT oil definitely has more effect than coconut oil. As for butter, I have only used grass fed unsalted butter, never tried it with ghee or crappy butter. Butter and coconut oil is good, butter and MCT oil is better.

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on May 01, 2013
at 06:11 AM

Have you also noticed a significant difference between bulletproof coffee with either MCT oil, coconut oil or butter? Have you tried it with ghee?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on May 02, 2013
at 01:18 AM

See my post "Coffee plus pure ketones on an empty fasted body had the noradrenaline stimulation and the sustained energy to back it up! In here to say bulletproof coffee did nothing for me but make me tired. Long chain fats. Building a fire, one uses little ignitable kindling, not logs and a match! MCT people. Pure. That's it"

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on May 01, 2013
at 06:21 PM

Thanks Mark. I guess MCT and coconut oil would be even better then :)

Medium avatar

(2417)

on May 02, 2013
at 01:21 AM

I cannot stress enough, as this post is designed to explain, it's not just what you take in, it's absolutely what you don't take in also that has effect. This is what I've found above. Bulletproof coffee includes long chain fats. This negates the effect. They get in the way. They take energy. MCT in an empty gut goes straight to the liver and ketones hit your blood quickly, and there are no long chain fats taking energy and resources to digest, for hours before their energy is utilized.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on May 02, 2013
at 01:33 AM

2-3 hrs after my 6am morning 15g MCT plus coffee, the MCT produced ketones have encouraged the switch to ketosis and have been burned off. The REAL feeling of ketosis and huge increase in energy and clarity come on AT THIS POINT when uninterrupted by long chain fats or other food. Again, the surge comes when the MCTs have burned off and cleared, so it's when BODY FAT begins to burn cleanly. THIS is interrupted by long chain fats. That's my finding.

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 30, 2013
at 06:32 AM

Interesting experiment. I don't think I exactly have the answer you are looking for, but you might find literature about ketogenic diets for Alzheimer patients to be of interest. They don't lower the carbohydrate intake much, maybe because it would be too disturbing to take oatmeal away from people who have been eating it every day of their lives once they develop dementia, they just add a shit-ton of coconut oil and MCT oil, and the results are pretty extraordinary.

I'm also wondering if some assumptions are being made about your success at long endurance hikes. You mention depression, could it be that the famed runners high is what gets you the amazing endurance? Mitochondrial function surely plays a role in endurance, but having just been through child birth, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that the brain juice is where it is at for those almost supernatural boosts of energy, where you feel like you could go on forever.

Just out of curiosity how did you fit 275g into one dinner? Or did I miss something?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on April 30, 2013
at 08:29 AM

275 grams of Carbs! NOT that much MCT, god! Runners high? Of course, any trained athlete gets it. Deadlifts included. So that equals us out. All I know is, I feel like I've never trained when I start, and when my buddies are exhausted, my power starts flowing. It's uncanny. I feel better at 6 hrs up a mtn than the first hour, better on pull-up number 75 than number 1. Yes, brain power a huge, but since all my mates are getting that same high, what makes me different?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on May 02, 2013
at 01:16 AM

I never stay keto on the trail. That's asking for bonk. I tried it. Sucked. Sustained heart rate over 130bmp cannot be fueled by fat on an 8hr climb. Rate of fat oxidation cannot keep up with time demand of tissues in that case. My mates eat what I give them often. They try my experiments happily. So yes, many times my late boost happens when we are all eating the same thing; coconut oil and rice with a touch of dextrose and maltodexterin.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on May 01, 2013
at 04:19 AM

Are they eating the same stuff as you on the trail? You might also be slower to release the endorphins, and possibly adding to that a nice trickle of adrenalin if you are getting into deep ketosis while you are out on the trail.

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