WHAT IS MALTODEXTRIN?
Maltodextrin is a form of sugar. It is a actually a hydrolysate of starch,
generally from potato starch, and is used in many energy boosting products, meal
replacements, weight gainers and often as a type of filler in liquid sports
drinks. Being an man made, altered form of sugar, it is actually quite a complex
molecule, unlike simple sugars such as dextrose. Rated against the glycemic
index maltodextrin shows a much slower release than typical sugar into the blood
stream as glucose and so makes it a perfect choice for sustained liquid energy.
In simple terms, all ingested carbohydrate enters our blood stream as glucose,
where it is either used for energy, stored as glycogen in muscle cells or
converted into triglycerides and stored as body fat. Only so much energy can be
used up in a certain unit of time and only so much glucose can be stored within
muscle cells until they are full. And so if a carbohydrate enters our system
very fast and in a large quantity, our bodies release insulin to deposit the
excess energy as stored fat to be used at a later time. If we can slow the
release of the carbohydrate down this makes it much easier for the body to deal
with, having small regular releases of copable amounts of glucose entering the
system over a period of time. This stabilizes our energy levels, blood sugar
levels and lowers the risk of gaining body fat. Typically a slow releasing
carbohydrate such as maltodextrin can sustain energy release for a number of
hours, fueling good workouts and feelings of fullness and good positive energy.
This is why maltodextrin, being liquid, is clearly a better choice for the
majority of good sports supplements rather than fast releasing high glycemic
carbohydrates often found in cheap weight gainers or poorly processed proteins.
The exception to this is often in good creatine transport systems where the main
ingredient is dextose a fast release carbohydrate, however the reason for this
is to force creatine into the muscle cell as fast as possible. Of course these
type of drinks should generally be avoided if the goal is to reduce bodyfat
HOW MUCH SHOULD I USE AND WHEN?
Maltodextrin is used in varying amounts depending upon the goal wishing to be
achieved. Often from as little as 10g in some meal replacements, which is less
than a small apple, to 100g in some weight gainers. Regarding the release speed
of carbohydrates, many companies now add fibre and a little essential fatty
acids to the formula, both adding to the slowing of stomach digestion of the
Maltodextrin tends to be the main constituent of most energy drinks and
rehydration sports drinks. Usually finding a dose of between 50 - 100g a serving
cited to be used before, during and after training. Of course this dosing
schedule is individualised depending upon the result required. These formulas
often contain small amounts of dextrose for a fast release of energy, a little
fructose to resupply liver glycogen fast and often mineral salts such as sodium
and potassium to aid the body to rehydrate - very important factor in most
sports especially those cardiovascular based.
There are 4 calories in 1g of maltodextrin.