Energy And Resistance

Maltodextrin or Dextrose Before and After Training?

When it comes to gaining muscle mass, feeding and supplementation are just as important as training in the gym.

And in addition to the usual diet, what you consume before and after your workout can also make all the difference in your objectives, as these are two critical periods for obtaining essential nutrients for contraction and recovery muscular.

On what to take in pre and post workout many people have the doubt between maltodextrin or dextrose, two carbohydrates that are used both as a source of energy for the series and to nourish the muscles after Exercises.

Check out the key differences between the two supplements and find out the best time to use maltodextrin and dextrose.

Learn more about Dextrose

Dextrose is basically a simple carbohydrate, which has a high glycemic index that makes it quickly absorbed by the body. Being a small molecule of glucose, dextrose is used by bodybuilders (and others sports) because their digestion and absorption are very fast, especially when compared to other types of carbohydrates.

In practice, opting for dextrose as a supplement means you will have more energy (and in less time) to the cells move all the processes involved with the contraction, regeneration and hypertrophy muscular.

In addition to the commercially concentrated supplement, dextrose can be found in table sugar and honey.

  • Maltodextrin - What It Is, What It Is Used For And How To Take It
  • Dextrose - What It Is, What It Is Used For And How To Take It
  • Fatty Dextrose?
  • Waxy Maize: What It Is, Benefits and How to Take



Maltodextrin (also popularly known as malto) is a complex carbohydrate, formed by several molecules of sugar - among them we have dextrose, maltose, fructose and others. Some natural sources of maltodextrin include corn, rice and cassava.

Although it is in fact a complex carbohydrate type, maltodextrin has a high glycemic index. which has a shorter chain than other slowly digested carbohydrates (such as wheat and rice integral).

This means that although it has slightly slower digestion than dextrose, maltodextrin still has faster absorption than most carbohydrates, whether refined or complex.

Comparison between Dextrose and Maltodextrin

Before we know if it is better to opt for maltodextrin or dextrose before and after training, it is important to understand the differences between the two types of carbohydrates.

First, as we have already seen, dextrose is a monosaccharide (ie, it is a simple carbohydrate type, not hydrolyzate), while maltodextrin is a polysaccharide composed of several glucose molecules bound in the form of chain.

In a very simplified way, we can say that maltodextrin is a polysaccharide formed by a series of monosaccharides.

Thus, it is easy to understand that in order to absorb maltodextrin, our body must first "break" the chemical bonds to loosen the bonds in the chain formed by several glucose molecules.

- Advantages of Dextrose


The same does not occur with dextrose, which does not need to go through such a process arrives more quickly into the bloodstream and from there can freely go to the muscle fibers.

This is due to the fact that dextrose does not have to go to the liver before reaching the cells, which does not occur with maltodextrin, which needs to travel all the way stomach / intestine / liver before it can be used as a source of energy.

To summarize: both dextrose and maltodextrin are excellent sources of rapid energy, but dextrose provides even faster fuel for the tissues.

- Advantages of Maltodextrin

Absorption time, which is the main advantage of dextrose, also makes maltodextrin interesting for other purposes. Since it is not a source of energy so concentrated and its absorption is slower, the energy is released more slowly in the circulation.

For those who train, this is synonymous with energy for a longer time, and not just for the beginning of the exercises.

Imagine, for example, a long distance runner who opted to take dextrose in pre workout. The likelihood that it would be out of energy even in the first half of the training is very great because glucose a single time in circulation, stimulating the action of insulin that removes all the excess sugar from the blood and throws it into the cells.

Result: the runner "breaks" as their glycogen stores run out and there is more energy entering the system to replenish the muscle cells.

Maltodextrin can prevent this from occurring by allowing energy to flow into the circulation in a less concentrated manner, ensuring fuel for longer.

It should be remembered, however, that this does not mean that maltodextrin is a slow digestion carbohydrate source: it is, in fact, only slower than dextrose, but still more rapid assimilation than sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats, and all other carbohydrates complex.

Malt or Dextrose?


Now that we know the main difference between them, we will finally know the best time and the best choice between maltodextrin or dextrose.

- Before the training

If we think of our body as a racing car and compare bodybuilding with an auto racing that the minutes before the "start" (beginning of training) are essential to fill the tank and guarantee fuel for the whole proof.

This fuel, however, should last for the whole race, not just make you run faster in the first few laps.

At this time, therefore, the best option is maltodextrin, as it will ensure that you have energy for all your series. And you already know: more energy is synonymous with a more quality workout and result, because you can perform your repetitions correctly and without shortening the movement due to muscle fatigue.

And if the tank is full, you can accelerate with more intensity without running the risk of having to leave the race for lack of fuel. That is, maltodextrin will ensure that your cells receive glucose to effect muscle contraction and absorb essential amino acids for protein synthesis.

In a situation, however, in which you have been for several hours without feeding yourself and are going straight to the dextrose can be an alternative because it will guarantee energy in a instantaneous.

- After training

We can say that this is the most important part of the day for the bodybuilder, because that's when the cells need more nutrients. And these nutrients need energy to enter the cells.

After an intense workout lasting 40-50 minutes, virtually all of your glycogen stores have run out, so the body begins to resort to its own muscles for energy.

Considering that glycogen is the form in which glucose is stored in both muscles and liver, consuming a source of sugar at this time is critical not only to replenish glycogen stores but also to inhibit catabolism muscular.

Research suggests that for 45 minutes after training the organism would open an "absorption window a period immediately after the end of the exercises, where the cells would be able to absorb more easily the nutrients needed for the reconstruction muscular. Insulin is essential in this process because it facilitates the entry of amino acids into cells.

And nothing better than a fast-absorbing carbohydrate like dextrose to stimulate the release of a large concentration of insulin into the circulation.

Therefore, to initiate recovery and stimulate muscle growth, it is critical that post-workout proteins be consumed with a simple carbohydrate source, such as dextrose.

That is, if your question is to choose maltodextrin or dextrose: before training is better to take maltodextrin, and after training the best option is dextrose.

Malto + Dextrose

While insulin is beneficial because it stimulates the entry of nutrients into cells, it also has the potential to cause an increase in the body's fat reserves, since sugar that is not used to generate energy is stored in the form of lipids.

One way to prevent this from occurring is to combine malt and dextrose in equal proportions both before and after training. So changes in blood glucose will be less pronounced, which will mean less release of insulin by the pancreas.

Of course this is an individual option but it is worth knowing that there is no problem in making a 50/50 blend, ie half malt and half dextrose.

How much to use

The exact amount of malt or dextrose before and after training will depend on your daily diet and your specific needs as well as your goals.

The general guideline is to consume 30 to 40 grams of maltodextrin in the pre-workout, and 0 to 0 grams of dextrose per pound of body weight after the end of physical activity.

Protein + carbohydrate


A big mistake made by many physical activity practitioners is to consume pure protein in the pre- or post-workout. Whether it is because they do not know that nutrients need glucose to enter the cells, or because they are afraid of gaining weight, many end up choosing to consume whey protein without a source of carbohydrates together, such as maltodextrin or dextrose.

The result is that, in addition to not completely avoiding catabolism, you will still be wasting part of your investment in whey, since the use of proteins will be much less. Not to mention that you will run out of energy to train because the main source of fuel for the cells is the sugar obtained from the metabolism of carbohydrates.

For this reason, those looking for muscle hypertrophy should always consume protein with a little carbohydrate of slow absorption in the pre-workout, and with a simple carbohydrate after exercise.

If you prefer a more "natural" source of sugar, try a glass of high-glycemic fruit juice, such as orange or grape.


People with a history of hypoglycemia and diabetics should avoid the consumption of maltodextrin or dextrose, since both carbohydrates rapidly change blood glucose levels.


Have you used maltodextrin or dextrose supplementation? How were your results? Was the supplement done correctly? Comment below.

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