Carbohydrate supplements have been widely accepted in the bodybuilding universe especially among the elite. Those who go through a carb-loading phase find that they offer the easiest path to packing on the bulk. For others, they are part of the pre-workout routine as they offer a high energy reserve. The market abounds with many offerings, and below are three of the most popular ones.
Karbolyn is made up of simple sugars of monosaccharides that are fused together by glycosidic bonds. It is designed to be very easily digested, thanks in part to the manipulation of its molecular mass. It is ideal for those looking for a sugar free carbohydrate supplement that can psyche them up for a high endurance event. The recommendation is to take 50g 2 to 3 hours before working out.
Dextrose is a simple sugar that is known for its high glycemic index. It causes an insulin spike which leads to your body absorbing more sugar from your blood. This makes it ideal as a post workout when your glycogen stores are depleted and your muscles are in need of it. Dextrose is basically sugar in one of its most pure forms.
Waxy maize is a relatively new addition to the family. It is a starch with a high molecular weight and has no sugar. Despite being a complex carbohydrate, it is absorbed relatively quickly as it passes through the gastric lining without the routine emptying that regular carbohydrates have to go through. It works as a pre, intra and post-workout supplement.
How do they compare?
Opinions are divided when it comes to the best carbohydrate supplement to take. When the end goal is packing on as much mass during the bulking phase, any of these three can be used, but with varying degrees of effectiveness. Karbolyn has been a mass favorite for long and has attracted both criticism and praise. It has been the gold standard for carbohydrate supplements for a while.
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Dextrose is the most readily digested. When it comes to replenishing the glycogen stores, it does a splendid job. However, it is only ideal for those who don’t mind the sugar. Most people who use dextrose prefer to combine it with maltodextrin for the best effects. Waxy maize, the new kid on the block, has the test of time to pass first. There are those bodybuilders who have adopted it and found it likeable, especially since it has no sugar.
Regardless of the carbohydrate supplement you choose, you have to make sure you match the portions with your protein intake. This ration shifts depending on whether you are bulking up or cutting down. The timing also matters. Carbohydrates should be part of your breakfast plate. After a night of fasting, your glycogen stores need to be replenished. Consuming the supplement before during and after your workout will help with your gains. Ensure you determine how many carbs you actually need based on your end goals.
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