Isomaltulose Powder as a Weight Gainer?

Most commercial weight gain supplements are basically protein powder and maltodexrin (corn sugar). I’ve had enough experience with maltodextrin to know I can do better. I’m also a fan of Finibars and know that Biotest is big on promoting the value of Isomaltulose in the bars as a “functional carb”.

So, immediately, I wonder about making Isomaltulose my primary carb source during a muscle gaining phase of training. The powder can be bought in isolation, so I can mix it in whatever ratios I need.

Anyone have any experience with this approach, OR, anyone foresee any issue with such an approach that I’m not considering?

I looked up the wiki on it and the stuff looks great. Like, why aren’t we using this stuff in everything great.

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That’s where I am with it. Curious if I am overlooking something.

Is there any harm with trying for a week or two?
The stuff isn’t that pricey, especially since you seem to keep carbs in the lower side during gaining phases.
I’d imagine a powder is a lot more convenient than most other carb sources too

I don’t know. It’s what I am asking.

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The stuff isn’t poisonous, so why not?

Yes, again: that is my intent with this topic.

Eric Helms wrote in his Pyramid of Muscle and Strength: Nutrition, paraphrasing:

There aren’t foods that are actively harmful. What’s harmful about a food is if consuming it leads to not consuming other foods in a way that leads to deficiency of essential nutrients.

What I gathered from that book, which I would recommend any day, is that, as long as your diet has your bases covered (which definitely seems to be your case, even in light of the various steps you said you’ve been taking to check your health), there aren’t any foods that will single handedly cause adverse effects (that’s barring medical conditions, of course).

The takeaway is that your food selection should be based off of an inclusive paradigm, rather than exclusive. That is, the question is not what should you be eliminating, but what should you be eating which you’re not.

I realize it might look like I’m not answering your question, but here’s the thing: eating a single source of carbs, or mostly a single source, isn’t something I’d recommend under normal circumstances but the reason is you risk depriving yourself of nutrients found in other sources. However, you aren’t eating a lot of carbs to begin with, so you’re likely getting the nutrients you need from other foods.

Therefore, I don’t see anything wrong with what you’re suggesting.

Also, to give my n=1 experience, I used isomaltulose for a while a couple years ago. Didn’t observe any noteworthy changes or effects, although I was having around 30 g per workout, so much less than what you’re discussing here.

I’d very much like to hear more about your n=1 experience: it’s basically what this topic is about. How did you go about implementing it? Pre/post/peri workout?

I’ve used it before, but I found I preferred highly-branched cyclic dextrin more, because I can use it in an intraworkout shake, along with hydrolyzed whey isolate and potassium chloride. Isomaltulose is very slow- relative to sucrose and HBCD- to be absorbed in the small intestine, so it would be a good slow-release carb source for this reason. It also does not contribute to tooth decay.

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Really appreciate that info dude! So it’s looking like a poor choice for something to consume during the workout, which is actually something I never do in the first place. Slow-release suited for endurance activities, which tracks with a lot of what has been written about it before, and Finibars are what I used to fuel up for my last half marathon.

Sounds like it wouldn’t be ideal in any sort of post workout capacity either. Might suit me well pre-workout, which was where I traditionally took in weight gainers before.

Thanks for throwing in!

Sure thing man! Yeah, that’s exactly right, it’s perfect for endurance training. Since it’s digested about 4.5x slower than sucrose, it has a very small insulinogenic effect, so is not as anabolic as other carbs postworkout. And yeah, preworkout would be ideal.

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I am curious if it’s alleged fat oxidization properties would lend to it resulting in less bodyfat accumulation in instances of equally matched calorie/carb intake from a different source during weight gaining phases of training. Carbs are such a mystery world to me, haha.

The mechanism for the increased fat oxidation is the relatively low induced blood glucose concentration, due to its low glycemic index. This low insulin response allows the body to also use fat as fuel instead of burning through a bunch of sugar. Presumably, any carb source with a similar glycemic index (which is 32/100, compared to 67/100 for sucrose) would have the same effect.

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I wanted to try and answer your question about there being any potential negatives @T3hPwnisher, but was not able to find out how much fructose is in isomaltulose. Maybe someone else has that information. If memory serves, <25g of fructose per day does not run the risk of fatty liver but beyond that there could be problems. That’s why I wanted to find the percentage. I don’t expect this to be a problem, as I don’t imagine you’d use a lot of powder given your low-carb history, but you deserve to have the information on your radar at least.

To add utility to the thread at large, HBCD can also be used pre-workout but one would not want to consume it as far out from the workout.

For you specifically, @T3hPwnisher, isomaltulose appears cheaper, and unless you start drinking during your workouts which is something you haven’t done historically I don’t see any utility in you purchasing a powder that you can use both pre- and intra-workout so for you isomaltulose might be the best option but for someone that’d consume a powder pre- and/or intra-workout HBCD has more use-cases.

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Isomaltulose is a disaccharide, comprised of 1 glucose monomer and 1 fructose monomer. Each monomer has the same molar mass, so it’s an exact 1:1 ratio. 2 grams of isomaltulose has 1 gram of each monomer.

Cheers! So then, to be absolutely sure of not running adverse affects stemming from its fructose content you’d want to cap your intake at 50g assuming zero fruit was ingested on a rest day,

But on a training day you can get away with more

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Thanks for linking those, I needed the refresher. I miss mertdawg, I hope he’s okay.

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Me too, it’s not everyone I trust to know their stuff well enough that I don’t feel the distinct need to verify myself and can instead just defer directly to their posts through quoting


Since I couldn’t get my hands on Plazma, I tried to reverse engineer its formula. Looking at the nutrition facts, Plazma has 13 g of “sugar” per serving, and since cyclic dextrin isn’t listed as sugar in nutrition facts, I assumed those were from the isomaltulose.

So I was having the equivalent of two servings of Plazma, so around 26 grams of it. I would consume the first half about 30 minutes before training, and the second half usually during training. On top of the isomaltulose, I was having cyclic dextrin and peptopro.

Overall, my pretty boring finding was that I didn’t observe any particular effects versus training without having it. But at the time I probably wasn’t training as hard as I have been in more recent times, so I’m not ruling out the possibility that, given a harder training stimulus, I might have beneditted more from it.

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