Both MCTs and BHB are supplements that are able to help you transition into ketosis. They help ‘trick’ the body to believing that it is already in a ketosis state, and so can help reduce, or even eliminate the groggy feeling you get during transition. Although they help the body in a similar way, they are very different, and knowing their differences is important in knowing which one you want.
MCTs – These are primarily an energy source, and can be very easily converted into ketones. As far as fats go, MCTs are the most easily converted into energy. Taking MCT supplements can increase BHB production in the liver, however, after a few hours BHB levels drop below normal levels (i.e levels before taking the MCT). If you are taking MCTs to transition into ketosis, then this may be have an overall negative impact, despite the initial benefits to BHB levels. You can see more information on this here.
BHB – This is primarily a signalling molecule. It is naturally produced by the liver during times of carbohydrate fasting, and it tells the body to lower blood glucose and start metabolising fats (amongst other things). In addition to acting as a signalling molecule, it can also be converted into ketones, and so it can also act as a source of energy.
Taking BHB supplements can increase BHB levels to a greater extent than MCTs. After a few hours BHB levels will drop to the normal levels (i.e levels before taking BHB), and so if you take BHB to help transition into ketosis then it has no negative impact.
MCTs vs BHB
They clearly do have different roles in the body. MCTs are a source of energy first, and a signalling molecule second, whereas BHB is a signalling molecule first, and a source of energy second. You’d want to avoid taking MCTs in isolation if you are looking to transition into ketosis. However, because they are an excellent energy source they are a great supplement if you simply want to control your carbohydrate intake/ increase you fat intake.
BHBs on are generally only taken to help transition into ketosis. They do act as an energy source, but are inferior to MCTs in that sense. Interestingly, BHBs combined with MCTs are even more effective at helping with the transition into ketosis than BHB in isolation. More information on this and the evidence can be found here.
Where to buy BHB/ MCTs in the UK?
Regardless of your goals, The Health Cloud shop stocks an excellent range of BHB and MCT (oils and powders) in various flavours. You can view the full range (and many more keto supplements) here.