Ok, So in my early years of bodybuilding I would take Dextrose post workout (pretty much all I knew at the time…).
Later on I learned about (and tried) Maltodextrin, waxy Maize, Vitargo and Karbolyn.
Now the thing with many supplements is that although we know on paper that they may be beneficial we dont always see instantaneous or direct results…
This was the case for me with most of these intra workout carbs, which was ok bc I felt/hoped they were doing their job regardless. At times I felt some bloating and discomfort during my training (especially with exercises that required bending like squats, deadlifts, rows) when taking intra workout.
So i took it upon myself to do some research and see what was really going on in my gut with these fancy carbohydrates VS lets say rice, bread or fruit.
I learned that although many of these intra workouts claim to be fast absorbing and clear the stomach (and digestion track) but in fact they were not doing so and even doing the opposite in some cases.
As I mentioned the first (and one of the most popular) intra workout carb I ever had was Dextrose and although it is known to absorb extremely fast into the small intestine it has a high osmolality, which delays gastric emptying into small intestine where the carb is actually absorbed. And like a BB in a buffet line, it blocks anything else (in this case Protein or BCAA!!) trying to make its way to the muscle… Then once it gets through its dumbed all at once which can cause fat gain… Also a huge surge of glucose causes for a huge supply of insulin and Insulin takes its job very seriously so you can ( I have many time) even experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) after having 50-100 grams of carbs, sounds crazy I know!
So fast forward a decade… HBCD (found in Plazma) is the new kid on the block and has some pretty impressive claims. HBCD passes through the stomach very rapidly, providing a quick but also sustained release of glucose into the blood stream. Unlike Dextrose in has a low osmolalty. Its all relative to their molecular weight I know this sounds like a different language but to give you an idea of the difference… Dextrose has a MW of 180 where as HBCD has a MW of 16,000 !!
There have been studies on athletic performance with HBCD, but forget all that. I will tell you what I noticed.
With Plazma I noticed a considerable increase in pump. I’m not taking about a feeling or some placebo BS, I noticed it in the mirror and so did everyone around me! But what was really appealing to me is my all out max intensity lasted longer… You may workout for hours and hours but your max strength only lasts a given time (certain number of sets and reps depending on the athlete)… I was stronger for longer is what I’m trying to say…
So I liked what I read about HBCD on paper and I liked what I saw in real world use. I literally get zero stomach discomfort (this should tell you something) and I truly look bigger and rounder in the gym (noticed by training partners as well).
One other important fact to mention is that I do cardio post training at times like many people… Now it can be said that I would burn less fat bc of the carbohydrates consumed during the workout (fair enough)… But it can also be said that i’d be less prone to muscle breakdown and wasting. So what I noticed (besides the fact that the cardio session was less dreadfull) is that I am able to get leaner BUT I’m not as flat as usual (with higher amounts of cardio), especially when doing HIIT which burns a lot of glycogen… !
P.S. I’m not sponsored by any supplement company or receive any endorsements lol, just my experience and 2 cents over 20 years of trial and error.
Ohh yeah, so there are a few other supplement companies out there that make an Intra workout carb that has HBCD in it… But when looking closely I noticed 2 things. 1- One of the very popular ones had Dextrose & Maltodrexrin listed in “other ingredients”. That threw me off bc I dont want nor am I paying for those carbs (they are cheap and inferior). 2- These other Intra workouts didn’t have the fast absorbing, extremely high quality source of protein (Hydrolyzed Casein) that I found in Plazma…