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Intra-Workout Carbs: Plazma vs The World

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…

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So what about the Isomaltulose contained in Plazma? Sounds like it would be better to have a supplement relying on Cyclic Dextrin alone…

Does anybody know the ratio between the Cyclic Dextrin and Isomaltulose within Plazma? The ingredients label sums those two components up as Nutrient-Partitioning Functional Carbohydrates, but that does not tell me whether its maybe 50% Isomaltulose instead of the great Cyclic Dextrin (which, by the way, does not prove superior to other carb supplements in certain studies).

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Did you find an answer? interesting question

I’m going to assume it’s to prevent your blood sugar from spiking like a toddler on an 8 ball, improve fat oxidation when compounded with the HBCD, and possibly to round out any mental fog that could be brought on by high intensity training.

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Agree Plazma is my favorite, but why must it cost so much? $70 seems a bit steep.

We have to compare the ingredients in order to justify cost…
I dont know of any other intra workouts that are PURE HBCD along with Hydrolyzed Casein (this is very expensive protein)

@megabro25, Agreed, quality of ingredients factors in to cost. Additionally, with the protein in Plazma (same protein in Mag-10) it eliminates the need for a post workout protein isolate, the protein in Plazma is actively assisting with recovery as you train, so some additional cost in the Plazma saves you money later. You can finish your training and within 45 minutes to an hour have your usual post workout meal without needing the shake before it.

Another thing to think about if you’re trying to justify spending the money on it, is what else you get from aside from quality ingredients. You’ll notice on Plazma your post workout recovery is increased, less soreness, and your training sessions will be vastly improved. This is what I have found training on Plazma for the past few years. Is it more expensive than the garbage you’ll find in a retail store? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

It’s about priorities. Personally, I don’t spend needlessly, I don’t drink and waste money at the bar, or have a million pairs of shoes or spend on technology I don’t need, I invest money in myself and my health by buying great supplements, training hard, and eating well. It’s an investment in yourself if you’re able to do it.

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I don’t have a post training protein powder.
Plazma during workout
Meal post workout (white rice & white fish or chicken breast)

I’m one of the unfortunate people who gets this message when attempting to order Plazma: “We do not currently ship to your location. Please provide / select a different shipping address.”

Canadian problems, eh?

Would it be beneficial for me to simply invest in some HBCD in its bulk form and just mix it with some protein intra-workout? Ideally that protein would be Hydrolyzed Casein (like Plazma), but would I still be receiving some benefit from mixing it with, say, whey isolate?

Pre/intra/post workout nutrition is unfortunately where I’m a little sloppy and need to tighten things up.

Thanks in advance for any comments!

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Yeah why not… I just wouldn’t want to degrade the highly branched cyclic dextrin by adding in a low-quality protein that may block it’s uptake

Ah, ok. I was just checking to see what the major disadvantage would be. So if I were to only have one protein source in my supplement stack, Hydrolyzed Casein should be my #1 choice?

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I never thought of it in that sense, but yeah that makes the price much more justifiable. Plus they ship overseas to military members for free, which is very nice ( Thank you Plazma people), and it eliminates the need of another protein shake.

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From what I’ve read yes

@arash_rahbar @robstein @megabro25

So, I know that Arash uses this and his post workout meal includes cream of wheat. My post-workout meal usually includes oats. I’ve read, though, that with the intra-workout carb, it’s not necessary to eat a bunch of carbs like this post workout. I’m slightly ignorant with this debate. Enlighten me?

My other question is this: John Meadows endorsed the crap out of Plazma for a long time. He then, for business purposes I’m assuming, went over to Prime Nutrition and helped create IntraMD. Now he endorses the crap out of that. They are very similar…

Does anybody have any knowledge on what differentiates them, or what makes one better than the other? (I thought IntraMD had the hydrolyzed casein, but I can’t find that in the label or description…perhaps that’s the difference…)

So it’s all relative to your overall carbohydrate intake…
Obviously carbs are calories and you don’t want to over due it…
I like more simple carbs post workout over oatmeal (cream of rice or white rice).
The HBCD found in Plazma will be available in the blood stream and utilized immediately, and if you trained hard will most likely not be lingering around after your workout

So let’s say you have 80 g of carbs post workout what I would do is have one scoop of Plazma to start intro work out and then have about 40 to 50 g of carbs post workout from Rice, cream of rice or oatmeal. Then access and raise slowly if you can…

As far as the differences between intro M.D. and Plazma a this is what I found:
Intra-MD does not have the hydrolyze casein which is a very superior and expensive protein source !
And the main thing that turned me off about Intra D is they say the carb source is highly branched cyclic dextrin but in the ingredients maltodextrine and dextrose are also listed which are very inferior and cheap when compared to HBCD… So I really don’t know how much is in there or why it’s not pure HBCD…

Hope this helps man!!


In regard to protein blocking the hbcd uptake, do you have any more info on this?

I’ve found a few bits of info regarding whey lowering the insulin response to carb intake, is this what your referring to? Or something different?

I add bcaa to my cyclic dextrin intra workout, same issue?


Thank you, very much! Much appreciated

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I would like to share some anecdotal evidence of the intra md.

For about 2yrs I used torrent intra nutrition, got good results but was bloated to hell and back, then I used Gatorade and oat starch, with hydroslates same thing. This was around the time plasma came out. I wanted to try it but it is on the expensive side, I switched back to amino acids and no bloating. Then intra md came, I think John is a great. But when I used the Surge post workout back in the day I would go pretty hypo after the end of training. Probably from the dextrose. I noticed with the intra md the same thing. Now I use glycofuse and aminolast, problem solved no hypo and a great pump. So in conclusion I would say the intra has a fair amount of the other carb sources in it.

Side not the carb free intra md is pretty great for the pump too. Lots of hydromax

This is great info because a lot of us are just going by what we’ve read and ingredients and not necessarily real lif use…
I haven’t tried intra and but you confirmed my thoughts…

Also the “fast acting” cabs like dextrose and other intra workouts are actually not fast acting at all. They sit in the gut and take a very long time to get into the bloodstream and then when they do it’s like a flood gates opens and all the carbs dumps in the bloodstream at once which is why a lot of guys experience hypoglycemia which is really weird considering hypoglycemia is usually from a lack of carbohydrates. Also when that much carbs dump into your bloodstream a once you’re very very likely to store fat.

Another thing to take in consideration is that Wendy’s carbs are waiting to be digested they’re blocking anything else you take along with them like a branched-chain amino acid or very expensive hydrolyzed protein . So it’s bad I’m more than one level in my opinion

research studies ingredients and reviews are great but when you try something and actually “feel” and see the real life difference like you did and I did, that’s when your sold…
For me I noticed a crazy swell and pump with Plasma during my workout and a longer duration of “high intensity” (the max weight being used during workout).

That is a really helpful testimonial.

One further question concerning Plazma. The Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin without any other “filler” carbs is what we’re after for nearly-immediate blood-stream uptake and cell-level utilization.

Plazma also has the di- and tripeptides from casein. I understand, on a theoretical level, that they are processed this way for nearly-immediate blood-stream uptake and cell-level utilization (just like the HBCD). BUT!!! Here’s my question: Is the protein component necessary or is it the carb we’re really after in the intra-workout drink?

(Intra-workout drinks haven’t gone past amino acids for me…so I’m just trying to learn. if you go to the product pages, it’s mostly marketable information rather than real-world use information…)

Thanks for anybody that might have an answer to that question.