Carbohydrate is an essential nutrient for our body, and it plays a crucial role in an athlete life; here are the MOST carbohydrates forms used in your supplements:
GLUCOSE POLYMERS: Those who study nutrition know that glucose is a simple sugar and a carbohydrate used by cells as an energy source and Polymers are extended chains of glucose.
The fact that they been scientifically proven to provide benefits, made them as an essential ingredient in sports drink because they provide a significant energy boost, and they are rapidly used by the system, so there’s a less likelihood of gastrointestinal distress during exercise.
Side Effects: SUGAR CRUSH... this side effect is known scientifically as the insulin effect. It is caused by a sudden drop in blood glucose levels which can cause dizziness, fatigue, mental confusion, and headaches. Although this side effect is rare it can still occur nonetheless.
Benefits: Delay the onset of fatigue, thereby allowing for greater endurance during exercise.
Studies have shown that individuals taking supplements containing glucose polymers are more likely to absorb calcium from natural food sources than those not using the substance.
WAXY MAIZE STARCH (WMS): Originated from the Chinese corn, these corns are different from regular corn because normal corns have starch made up of both amylose and amylopectin. However waxy maize starch contains the only amylopectin. Waxy maize starch is a complex, long-chain, super-high molecular weight carbohydrate.
other forms of waxy starch can be obtained from other cereals such as rice and barley.
Side Effects: The Steady release of carbohydrates which means inability to provide you with a sugar hit if you need it really quick... Therefore if you are after huge insulin spike (e.g. immediately post workout), you’re better off using a simple sugar.
Note: Some studies have suggested that WMS is a low-quality carb and is worse than white bread when comparing their Glycemic Index.
Benefits: Ranked by supplement factories as a very safe product. It's commonly used also in food manufacturing.
Waxy maize prevents an insulin spike and provides a more sustainable source of energy which is especially important for endurance athletes.
Side Note: There are different preparation methods for waxy maize. These treatments can change the properties of WMS such that it may be absorbed differently. For example, cooked starch is more readily absorbed than the native uncooked version.
BEFORE YOU PROCEED PERSONAL OPINION: it's important to state my opinion to highlight the fact that one can still get simple carbs from fruits, and complex carbs from whole grains. (Nature is the key)
DEXTROSE: Dextrose also known as glucose is a simple sugar that belongs to the carbohydrate family, is found in sweet fruits and honey. Sometimes used in medical applications when a patient is unable to consume enough liquids or to help with the injection of other medicines.
Side Effects: Hyperglycemia especially for Individuals that suffer from Type 1 and type 2 diabetics.
Fat Storage, Even in those without diabetes they should know that the body has mechanisms for storing extra fuel.
Hypoglycemia, too much dextrose leads to low blood sugar levels or hypoglycemia; Other side effects that are quite uncomfortable: nausea, hunger, and dizziness.
Benefits: You may need Dextrose in your Post-Workout supplements as it’s used as a fast absorbing sugar, thus by taking with a protein shake afterward you can rest assure that the systematic delivery of the protein to your muscles is done in an exquisite manner.
MALTODEXTRIN: Maltodextrin comes from treated grain starch, primarily corn or rice starch. It can also come from wheat and potatoes. Maltodextrin contains multiple dextrose molecules linked together therefor forming a complex carbohydrate.
Manufacturers produce this artificial sugar by applying acids or other enzymes to cornstarch, Food manufacturers commonly use maltodextrin as a food additive. Additionally, some bodybuilders use maltodextrin as a sugar substitute.
SIDE NOTE1: Although structurally it is a 'complex' carbohydrate the chemical structure is such that it is open to rapid breakdown, so it is digested and absorbed very rapidly
SIDE NOTE2: Maltodextrin is hydrolyzed to have less than 20% sugar content, whereas Corn Syrup Solids have more than 20%
SIDE NOTE3: it has not the same priority as REAL Complexes carbs like whole grain that are packed with fibers, an essential nutrient for your diet.
Side Effects: Being an easily absorbed carb like sugar, it gets into your bloodstream fast, too much of it will get stored as fat.
Benefits: Known as an endurance enhancer, it supplies athletes with the energy needed, in addition being the supporting hand for weightlifters/bodybuilders to gain weight and as a mean for refueling after exercise.