As a fitness coach and nutritionist with over 8 years of experience, I get asked all the time if you can add coconut oil to protein shakes.
Yes, you can put coconut oil in your protein shake/drinks and enjoy its wonderful health benefits. According to Healthline, coconut oil has many health benefits, including burning fat, reducing hunger, and boosting skin and mental health.
- Coconut oil helps burn fat, curb hunger, and improve skin and brain health.
- Add 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil to your shake. Too much can upset your stomach.
- Use liquid or virgin/organic coconut oil for smooth blending. A powerful blender is recommended.
- Coconut oil boosts muscle recovery and growth after workouts. It’s also good for meal replacement and keto diets.
- Coconut oil may benefit weight, metabolism, brain, heart, energy, and liver. But watch out for saturated fat.
Can You Put Coconut Oil in Protein Shake?
Yes. You can put coconut oil in your protein/energy drinks. This versatile oil is made up of MCTs, making it a fantastic source of instant energy before a workout session.
In addition, coconut oil in a protein shake can reduce your hunger by making you feel satiated, which is great news if you want to lose weight.
Coconut oil also has many health benefits, including antimicrobial effects, and improves hair and skin health. According to one research, coconut oil can also potentially reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s, which is excellent news.
How Many Tablespoons of Coconut Oil do you put in a Protein Shake?
For beginners, start with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil per 20-30 grams of protein powder. This is a safe amount for most people’s daily protein shakes.
However, experienced bodybuilders or fitness fanatics can add up to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to their shakes.
Be careful not to use too much coconut oil, which can lead to stomach upset and unwanted extra calories.
Which Type of Coconut Oil Should You Use in a Protein Shake?
Organ and virgin coconut oil is the best type for your protein shakes. You should also look for coconut oil labeled ‘edible’ or ‘cooking grade,’ which has all the nutrients.
When to Use Coconut Oil in a Protein Shake
Although we know coconut oil is jam-packed with healthy nutrients, the following are the situations where the oil can yield optimum results.
Post your workout sessions
The MCTs in coconut oil help with your muscle recovery and also secrete insulin, help in muscle recovery, and build muscle, making it a great addition to your post-workout sessions.
As a meal replacement
You can also use coconut oil as a meal replacement shake as it has a lot of healthy fats that reduce appetite, so you don’t indulge in unhealthy snacking. MCTs in coconut oil also help control your blood sugar levels as well.
You follow a Keto/low-carb diet
If you follow a low-carb diet like keto, MCT is a great choice as it is low in carbs. The MCTs in coconut oil also increase fat burning, which is great for achieving ketosis.
If you want to lose weight
If you want to lose weight, the healthy fats in MCTs can suppress your appetite and reduce overall calorie intake by making you feel fuller. This leads to eating less and avoiding additional snacking throughout the day.
How to Add Coconut Oil to Protein Shake?
The best way to add coconut oil to protein shakes are as follows:
- Opt for liquid coconut oil, as it blends more smoothly.
- First, add all other ingredients before adding the coconut oil.
- Use a powerful blender or blender ball to mix thoroughly.
- Refrigerate any leftover shake rather than letting it sit out.
- Start with a small amount of coconut oil to avoid stomach upset.
- Complement the coconut flavor with chocolate, vanilla, or tropical fruits.
What Are the Potential Benefits of Adding Coconut Oil to a Protein Shake?
According to a Harvard article, adding a tablespoon or two of coconut oil to a protein shake may offer the following benefits:
Helps you lose weight
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fat that may boost your metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn.
MCTs may also help you feel full and reduce your appetite, which can lead to lower food intake and weight loss.
However, coconut oil is still high in calories and fat, so you should consume it in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
Improves your metabolism
MCTs in coconut oil are quickly absorbed and transported to your liver, where they are converted into ketones, a type of molecule that your cells can use as an alternative fuel source.
Ketones may have several metabolic benefits, such as improving insulin sensitivity, lowering blood sugar levels, and enhancing brain function.
Improves your brain and heart health
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, coconut oil has the potential to have neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects.
It could help prevent or reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain disorder that impairs memory and cognition.
Coconut oil may also lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
However, coconut oil is rich in saturated fat, which can raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol and harm your heart health if consumed excessively.
Therefore, you should limit your coconut oil intake and choose other healthy fat sources, such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados.
Gives you instant energy, especially for workouts
Coconut oil can provide you with a quick and sustained source of energy, as MCTs are rapidly digested and utilized by your body.
It can potentially enhance your physical performance and endurance, as coconut oil can spare your muscle glycogen stores and increase your fat oxidation during exercise.
It may also help with muscle recovery and growth, as coconut oil can stimulate protein synthesis and reduce inflammation.
Improves your liver health
Coconut oil has antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties that could help fight off infections and toxins that can harm your liver, such as hepatitis C, candida, and alcohol.
It also has the potential to reduce liver fat accumulation and inflammation, which can lead to fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.
Healthline Related Read: 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Potential Drawbacks of Coconut Oil in Shakes
Risk of damaging your heart
Coconut oil is over 90% saturated fat, so adding excess to your protein shakes can increase your risk of heart damage.
May add to your weight
Coconut oil has 120 calories per tbsp, so it can make you gain extra weight if you don’t watch the dose.
It may cause GI upset
Large doses of coconut oil can upset your belly and cause bloating and diarrhea if you have a sensitive stomach.
Coconut oil can make your protein shakes very greasy, which can be unappealing if you don’t like the smell or the texture.
Is it Safe to Put Coconut Oil in a Protein Shake?
Yes, you can safely put coconut oil in a protein shake without any problem. Adding one or two tablespoons of coconut oil to your protein shake is generally considered safe and will provide you with the many health benefits this versatile oil offers.
Coconut oil contains healthy fats called medium-chain triglycerides that can boost your energy, satisfy hunger, and support fat burning when consumed in moderation.
Recipes for Making a Delicious Protein Shake With Coconut Oil
Below, I have shared a couple of recipes for adding coconut oil to your protein shakes.
- Strawberry Banana Smoothie: Blend together frozen strawberries, banana, protein powder, milk/yogurt, and 1-2 tbsp coconut oil.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie: Mix chocolate protein powder, peanut butter, milk/yogurt, 1-2 tbsp coconut oil.
- Avocado Green Smoothie: Blend spinach, avocado, banana, protein powder, almond milk, 1-2 tbsp coconut oil.
How to Make:
- Gather all ingredients and add to blender.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Enjoy your nutritious protein shake!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any Alternative Healthy Fats for Protein Shakes?
If you’re searching for healthy alternatives to coconut oil, consider avocado, flaxseed oil, or chia seeds, all of which offer various health benefits such as improved gut health, heart health, and omega-3 dietary fiber.
Can I use coconut oil in any type of protein shake?
Yes, you can add coconut oil to any protein shake. Coconut oil is versatile and will blend well into various shake recipes and flavors.
Whether your protein powder base is whey, plant-based, egg white, or another variety, coconut oil can be mixed in for added health benefits.
Is There Any Nutritional Difference Between Regular and Virgin Coconut Oil?
If you’re concerned about the nutritional differences between regular and virgin coconut oil, there are none, except that the latter has lower trans fat.
Can I add coconut oil to my protein shake for weight gain on a keto diet?
Yes, absolutely – adding coconut oil to your protein shakes can be very beneficial if you are looking to gain weight on a ketogenic diet.
Coconut oil is high in saturated fats and medium chain triglycerides, which makes it ideal for boosting calorie intake on a keto diet. Each tablespoon of coconut oil provides around 120 calories, all from fat.
Which brand of coconut oil is used in a keto diet?
If you are concerned about the brand of coconut oil, it is not that important. However, you must buy organic virgin quality for the best results.