Dextrose is a carbohydrate also known as glucose, which is a simple sugar monosaccharide. It is used as an energy source in plants and animals and is a white crystalline powder with a sweet taste.

Supplement Facts

Ingredients: Dextrose

Serving Size: 50g or take 0.5-1g per / kilo of body weight

Suggested Use:

Use Dextrose after an intense workout mixed with your protein powder in 750ml-1000ml of water to increase glycogen uptake 

Nutritional Information

Servings per pack: 100 Qty per 50g Serve Qty per 100g
Serving Size:  50g
Energy  766 kJ 1531 kJ
184 Cal  367 Cal 
Protein  NIL NIL
Fat NIL NIL
Carbohydrate  45.9g 91.8 g
Sugars  45.9g 91.8 g

All You Ever Need To Know About Maltodextrin & Dextrose For Post Workout Recovery

Maltodextrin and Dextrose are both easily digested carbohydrates, commonly used in post workout (PWO) drinks.

Dextrose goes by many names, including glucose, d-glucose, or blood sugar.  It occurs naturally in food, and is sweet.  It is a simple carbohydrate.

Maltodextrin is moderately sweet, easily digested carbohydrate.  It does not occur naturally, and is thus generally manufactured from rice, corn or potato starches.  Maltodextrin is technically a complex carbohydrate, but the bonds that compose Maltodextrin are very weak and are readily broken apart in your stomach. 

Exercise Recovery

Maltodextrin and Dextrose are commonly combined in post workout (PWO) drinks.  This is a critical time for athletes as hard training depletes energy supplies and creates a potentially catabolic (muscle burning) state in the body

This is primarily due to the release of cortisol; a catabolic hormone released during hard workouts.  Among the key functions of cortisol are the reduction of protein synthesis and the halting of tissue growth.

It is thus essential that cortisol release is controlled if you are to benefit from your workouts.  So how do you do that?  By prompting the body to release insulin.  The easiest way to do this is to consume simple carbohydrates as soon as possible after your workout, during what is termed the “window of opportunity”.

Post Workout

Getting the right nutrition Post Workout will therefore help you to:

1.    Gain or maintain lean mass

2.    Recover glycogen stores.

3.    Increase anabolic hormone levels.

By consuming protein and simple carbohydrates as soon as possible following a workout, you will maximise the benefits of your hard work.

However, although there is a need to get carbs in quickly, most simple sugars are not ideal post-workout.  Fructose, sucrose, and lactose all fail to fit the bill for differing reasons:

Ironically, for PWO uses, fructose (fruit sugar) is too low on the Gycemic Index (GI) – it is thus not digested as quickly, and therefore does not significantly raise insulin levels, a crucial factor in reducing the flow of cortisol.  In addition, fructose is used by the body to restore liver glycogen – it does not, therefore restore muscle glycogen.  Sorry but your banana just doesn’t cut it.

Sucrose (table sugar) is a disaccharide consisting of one molecule of fructose and one of glucose, and therefore half fructose, so again it will not restore muscle glycogen. Thus consuming products high in sugar (sucrose) is not beneficial PWO. Sorry, no excuse for junk here.

Lactose (milk sugar) has a moderate rating on the GI. It is also a disaccharide (one molecule of galactose and one of glucose), and again, galactose does not restore muscle glycogen.

As a result, the best options PWO are dextrose and maltodextrin. Both are absorbed directly through the gut into the bloodstream, and thus raise blood sugar and insulin levels faster than any other carb.  In addition, because Maltodextrin and Dextrose are in the form the body requires, glucose, they can be used immediately to replace muscle glycogen.

There is a difference between the two though.  Before the body can utilise maltodextrin for glycogen replenishment, it must pass through the liver. Therefore it breaks down slower than dextrose, meaning that when you combine the two you get the best of both worlds – the quick action of the dextrose, and a steady flow of blood sugar and insulin from the maltodextrin.

This has been supported by recent research that found that including two different forms of carbohydrates increased the rate of transportation out of the small intestine and into the blood. This had the additional benefit of increasing the flow of water into the blood (hydration), another key element of PWO recovery.

Because of this fast absorption rate, dextrose is therefore the primary ingredient in many isotonic sports drinks. They are simply a 6-7% solution of dextrose, with a little added flavouring and some minerals added. However you can make your own with a pinch of sea salt added for mineral content.

Other Uses:

Creatine Delivery Systems

Because of this fast absorption rate, dextrose is frequently combined with other products – for example, it is commonly added to creatine to create a more effective delivery system. Fast acting carbohydrate helps speed the delivery of the creatine to the muscles.  However, you can achieve a similar effect by simply adding some fruit juice to your creatine when you take it. Even though this may sound contradictory, this works because fruit (and juice) typically contain a mix of fructose, glucose and sucrose. The glucose speeds transport of amino acids into the muscles, while the mix of the three (plus the fibre) means that overall absorption is slower than the individual element (glucose) would be by itself.  Therefore it is not as effective for a PWO recovery drink, but nonetheless effective at other times.

Weight Gain Formulas

Both Maltodextrin and Dextrose crop up regularly in weight-gain formulas, and in PWO recovery drinks.  Given the mechanisms explained above, this is hardly surprising – they will be very effective in both roles. Be warned however if these two sugars are taken at times apart from post workout you are more likely to gain fat than muscle.

Dosage:

Most PWO formulas using these two sugars are based on body weight.  The typical ratio for a PWO recovery drink is a ratio of carbs to protein of between 1:1 to 2:1.  This is ideal for strength athletes, however, endurance athletes will typically aim for a ratio of up to 4:1.

Thus a typical formula might be:

  • Carbs: 0.5g per pound of bodyweight (half and half Maltodextrin and Dextrose)
  • Protein: 0.25 g per pound of bodyweight (pure whey protein)

Advanced Dosage

Depending on the amount of muscle mass you are working in any given workout would dictate if you varied these dosages. For example if you are working all of the muscles in your legs very hard, then you warrant this amount of carbohydrate. However if you are just working triceps and biceps there is not that much glycogen needed to replenish, so you may want to reduce your carbohydrates by half to about 0.25g per lb of bodyweight.

Stacks

As you might expect, post workout formulas are also sold that include not only Whey, Maltodextrin and Dextrose, but also other amino acids such as Creatine, Glutamine and Beta Alanine. The more products that are added the greater the marketing hype and the greater the cost. We suggest therefore doing your homework and buying your own pure supplements and mixing them yourself. We as a company have done ours and that’s why well only sell and recommend what works.

Conclusion

There is no doubting the effectiveness of Maltodextrin and Dextrose for post workout recovery.  However, there is no need to spend excessive amounts of money buying weight gainers, delivery systems, or indeed sports drinks.

Both Maltodextrin and Dextrose are inexpensive when bought in bulk, and can easily be mixed to the right proportion to create your own weight gainer or recovery drink.