Your Ironman Diet and Coconut Oil - Part 1

Over the years I've always been on the look-out for a diet or diet supplement that would enhance my training and improve my race times.

It was almost by chance that I happened upon "coconut oil" and its use as a diet supplement. I was cruising the net one day and came across an article on the subject and like many other intriguing diet "ideas" I've stumbled upon in the past, decided to give it a try.

I've always believed that I had no business writing about any diet unless I had tried it myself. To my way of thinking that's the only way to pass on relevant, honest information to readers. As a result I've tried a variety of different diets and supplements over the years and coconut oil is one of them.

To be quite honest, I was just blown away by the results I experienced when I incorporated coconut oil into my training diet.

First a bit of science behind the coconut diet:

Coconut oil is comprised of fatty acids called "medium chain triglycerides" or MCT'S. In nature, coconut oil has the largest concentration of these MCT'S outside of human breast milk. Vegetable oils, on the other hand, are made up primarily of "long chain fatty acids" or LCT'S.

For quite some time now scientific literature has claimed that LCT'S tend to produce fat in the body, while MCT'S promote what is called "thermogenesis". Thermogenesis increases the body's metabolism, producing energy.

This has been common knowledge in the animal feed business for years. It you feed animals vegetable oil, they gain weight and produce more fatty meat. If you feed them coconut oil, they will be very lean.

Tests on rats published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" concluded that MCT rats gained 15% less weight than rats fed LCT'S. The conclusion:

MCT diets result in decreased body fat related to increased metabolic rate and thermogenesis.

Similar tests were conducted on humans at Vanderbilt University in 1989 with the same basic results.

Regardless of scientific study result, I prefer to try these things on my own and see the results first hand.

Over twenty years of competition and numerous diets, the LEAST I ever weighed was 150-151 pounds. This was my competition weight. If I were to weigh myself on any given race morning, my weight would be in this range, give or take a pound. That all changed when I included coconut oil in my diet.

See part 2 on the next post for the rest of the article.

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