Carbohydrates are an important part of the diet in bodybuilding and fitness. They serve as an important source of energy to carry out hard training sessions and to regenerate the body. But what type of carbohydrate is best for optimizing exercise performance and muscle growth? In this post we will compare the two carbohydrate sources cluster dextrin and maltodextrin and find out what surprises there are in these two.
What is cluster dextrin?
Cluster dextrin, also known as hyperbranched cyclic dextrin, is a carbohydrate source that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It is a type of carbohydrate made up of glucose molecules bonded together. Unlike other carbohydrates, cluster dextrin has a branched structure that makes it easier for the body to absorb and process it quickly.
Another advantage of cluster dextrin is that it has low osmolarity, which means it can be easily absorbed in the stomach and intestines. This is especially important for athletes, as carbohydrates that are difficult to digest can make your stomach feel full and interfere with your workout.
What is maltodextrin?
Maltodextrin is another commonly used carbohydrate source derived from starch. It consists of a chain of glucose molecules that are broken down by hydrolytic cleavage to form short chains of glucose molecules. These short chains can be easily absorbed by the body and quickly used as an energy source.
Maltodextrin has a high glycemic index (GI) compared to other carbohydrates. This means that it is quickly absorbed into the blood and increases blood sugar levels quickly. This can be beneficial for athletes, as elevated blood sugar levels during exercise provide a quick source of energy for the body.
Although both carbohydrate sources are suitable for athletes, there are some surprises when comparing them to each other. Here are some of the key differences:
Although both cluster dextrin and maltodextrin can be rapidly absorbed by the body, there are some differences in speed. Because of its branched structure, cluster dextrin is absorbed more quickly by the body than maltodextrin. This means that Cluster Dextrin provides a faster and more consistent source of energy for the body.
As mentioned earlier, maltodextrin has a high glycemic index, which means it absorbs quickly into the blood and raises blood sugar levels quickly. Cluster dextrin has a lower GI level in comparison, meaning it raises blood sugar levels more slowly and evenly, resulting in a more consistent supply of energy. This can be beneficial for athletes who need a sustained source of energy to get them through long and intense workouts.
effects on digestion
Another difference between cluster dextrin and maltodextrin is their effect on digestion. Cluster dextrin has lower osmolarity than maltodextrin, meaning it can be absorbed and digested faster by the body. This can help keep the stomach from being less full and bloated, which makes exercising less difficult.
Another important factor that athletes must consider when choosing their carbohydrate source is price. Cluster dextrin is more expensive compared to maltodextrin, which means it may not be a realistic option for every athlete. Maltodextrin, on the other hand, is an affordable option used in many sports nutrition products.
So overall, there are some surprises in choosing between cluster dextrin and maltodextrin as a carbohydrate source. Both sources can be a good source of energy for athletes, but there are differences in absorption speed, GI level, digestive impact, and price. It is important that athletes consider their individual needs and goals to choose the most appropriate carbohydrate source.