In this article you will learn interesting facts about maltodextrin

What is maltodextrin?

Maltodextrin is a water-soluble carbohydrate mixture of different carbohydrate forms. The name maltodextrin is a word formation of two carbohydrate words, namely malto (malt sugar) and dextrose (glucose). Maltodextrin is also one of the most important substances used to increase calorie intake.

Different types of maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is available in different versions:

  • Maltodextrin 6
  • Maltodextrin 12
  • Maltodextrin 19

Thus the rear index number indicates the ratio of carbohydrates contained. 

Maltodextrin 6 and 12 have longer carbohydrate chains (more complex carbohydrates) than maltodextrin 19 (simple carbohydrates). In this article we refer to maltodextrin 19, which is particularly suitable for strength training due to its rapid utilization.

The use of maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is mainly used after training for the fast supply of simple and complex carbohydrates. Because of the high glycemic index (between 120 and 136) and a short residence time in the stomach, the body can quickly absorb these carbohydrates and thus fill the glycogen stores after training, maltodextrin is extremely important, especially for strength athletes. 

Due to the high glycemic index the blood sugar is strongly increased. This results in the body releasing insulin. The anabolic hormone insulin causes the blood sugar to be transported away and thus reaches the inside of the cells, including the muscle cells. Here the muscle glycogen is used to a large extent for the regeneration of the muscles. Insulin transports not only blood sugar, but also creatine, protein or BCAA. 

Weight gain through maltodextrin

Maltodextrin consists of 99 % carbohydrates. As you learned in the article “Your Macronutritional Values”, 1 gram of carbohydrates provides 4 calories. Because maltodextrin is water-soluble and easy to take in powder form, people with a fast metabolism or high calorie requirements can take advantage of its energy density. Because even a small portion of maltodextrin (50 g) already has 200 calories. If you add 30 grams of protein powder to this, the calories increase by 130, so a shake with maltodextrin not only gives you important macronutrients, but also 330 calories.

In what form is maltodextrin available?

Maltodextrin is available in powder form. So the body can easily process it and the product is easier to dose.

In which sports is maltodextrin used?

Numerous athletes rely on the energy-boosting effect of maltodextrin. This carbohydrate mixture is not only used in weight training, but also in other sports. Maltodextrin is also used in cycling to replenish glycogen stores as quickly as possible and to supply the body with long-term energy, but it is also a common method of improving performance in running and swimming.

Why do you need maltodextrin for strength training?

With maltodextrin you can positively promote muscle building. The mixture of different carbohydrates can not only serve as an energy source, but maltodextrin also increases the insulin level, one of the most anabolic hormones in our body.

In addition, insulin is considered a means of transport and can transport other food supplements, such as creatine or amino acids, more quickly into the muscle cells and thus be used by the body.

When is it taken?

Maltodextrin is preferably taken after training as a quick energy supplier.

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