1. Quick Energy
Often falsely criticised due to its saturated fat content, coconut oil is now blooming across all grocers and health food stores. This negative perception has quite dramatically shifted over last few years, casting light on the real health benefits of saturated fats, and coconut oil is today a staple in everyone’s home! Not only is coconut oil great for cooking due to its high smoke point, it also has numerous other uses such as for oil pulling, skin care, hair care and digestive health. Another, often forgotten use of coconut oil, is for athlete performance.
Coconut oil is one of the top sources of fuel for active individuals. Due to its limited processing, organic virgin coconut oil contains nearly up to 50% Medium-Chain Fatty-Acids (MCFA’s), which are directly absorbed in the blood stream and converted by the liver into energy, allowing the body to use the fat immediately for fuel, rather than storing it in the tissues. It therefore provides quick and sustained energy – perfect for athletes. Try incorporating coconut oil in your pre-workout snack, either directly from the jar, or into your smoothie or energy bars.
In addition, MCFA’s are easily digested, thus putting less strain on the digestive system and leaving you with more energy. The medium-chain fatty-acids in coconut oil also help balance the release of insulin in the body, contributing to balance blood sugars for long lasting energy, which is great for high-intensity and endurance workouts. Stabilizing glucose levels will prevent sudden insulin decrease and promote higher energy levels for longer. When used regularly, coconut oil can train the body to use fat as a source of energy rather than typical carbohydrates.
3. Nutrient absorption
The dietary saturated fats found in coconut oil are essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium, some B vitamins, amino acids and vitamins A, E, K & D. These are all important nutrients involved in muscle recovery and electrolyte balance, allowing your body to recover more efficiently.
4. Balance hormones
Hormones affect various different processes in the body including growth, metabolism, sleep quality, mood and sexual functions. The body uses fats to produce and regulate hormones. The saturated fats contained in coconut oil can promote optimal hormone production by allowing the body to convert cholesterol into pregnenolone, a building block used to produce hormones. Balanced hormones can significantly improve energy levels and metabolism, which are essential when performing physical activity.
5. Reduces inflammation
Coconut oil is considered a natural remedy to reduce inflammation in the body. It may be used to alleviate discomfort from inflammatory foods in the system or simply to treat local swelling or pain in the joints or tissue. This is due to the powerful antioxidant contained in lauric acid. Consuming coconut oil daily, as well as applying it to the affected joint or muscle can contribute to reducing inflammation and alleviating pain. For better results, warm up the oil and gently massage into the inflamed joint of muscle.
Coconut oil can be a great addition to your regular diet whether you are training professionally or simply performing your favourite physical activity. It can significantly improve your energy levels, endurance, digestion and metabolism during your training or workout session. It is best to consume coconut oil prior to physical activity as it will be directly converted into energy within the body. There are many way in which you can consume coconut oil as part of your daily routine. Enjoy a tablespoon right off the jar, add to your smoothies or coffee and use when cooking or baking high energy snacks and meals.
Choosing the right coconut oil is also essential as the content in Medium Chain Fatty Acids may differ. Favour an unrefined, cold-pressed, raw and organic virgin coconut, such as Coconut Magic virgin coconut oil, insuring the highest amount of nutrient for increased performance benefits.
AUTHOR: LIZ LEMIEUX
Liz grew up in the beautiful nordic city of Quebec in Canada. A qualified yoga instructor and a business graduate, Liz is passionate about health, sustainability and social entrepreneurship. Besides yoga, she enjoys surfing, outdoors, cooking, and planning her next travel adventure. Liz manages marketing and social media at Coconut Magic. You can learn more about Liz at lizlemi.