Alternatives of maltodextrine


At first, I’d like to excuse for my english. I’m from Russia.

I’ve been researching about healthier nutrition for a while, when I discovered Soylent.
I’ve read, that fast carbs are not the best ones. There some reasons, like glycemic index, or fast energy boosts for a short period of time and low energy in couple hours. Can it be replaced by slow carbs? And can I use for it?


I don’t see any reason why not. Some options:

Psyllium Seed Husk Fiber



Whole Grain Brown Rice Carbohydrate

Potato Starch Carbohydrate

Swedish Oat Starch

Waxy Maize Starch – Amylocel

Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin


That’s very helpful. Thank you


Dextrose & fructose aren’t “Slow Carbs”.

This is simplified, but you can think of carbohydrates as molecular chains, with each link in the chain being a glucose molecule. The longer the chain, the longer it takes to break it down in the gut, so the “slower” the release of energy.

“Fast” carbs, i.e. high GI index, means either monosaccharides (one single link, that can be absorbed directly high up in the digestive tract) or short-chain polysaccharides (a few links, broken down quite easily to monosaccharides and absorbed).

Only monosaccharides can pass across the gut wall into the blood, so all carbohydrates have to get broken down into their building blocks of glucose or fructose before we can absorb them. Some common examples:

Mono-saccharides, one link long:

  • Dextrose (also known as Glucose or D-glucose)
  • Fructose

Di-saccharides, two links long:

  • Sucrose (fructose+glucose)
  • Maltose (glucose+glucose)
  • Lactose (galactose+glucose)

Short chain polysaccharides:

  • Maltodextrin, dextrins (3 to ~17 glucose units)

From this point on, your gut bacteria are doing most or all of the work of breaking these down for you:

Medium chain polysaccharides:

  • Inulins (~20 to ~3000 fructose units) - a type of soluble fibre, not very digestible.

Long chain polysaccharides:

  • Amylose (300-3000+ Glucose units)
  • Amylopectin (2000-200,000 Glucose units
  • Glycogen (30,000 glucose units)
  • Cellulose (10,000+ glucose units)

Amylose and Amylopectin and the building blocks of what we normally call ‘Starch’, things like Brown Rice Carbohydrate, Potato Starch, Psyllium Husk, Tapioca Starch - anything with the words ‘Starch’, ‘Bran’ or ‘Fibre’ in the name, etc… - i.e brown, tough stuff.

Carbohydrates this long and complex are really hard to digest - in some cases the human gut can’t do it at all (cellulose) and in most other cases we rely completely on our gut bacteria to break these down into monosaccharides for us, so we can absorb them.

Also, starches in their crystallized form (i.e. dried & powdered) are even harder to digest than normal, sometimes completely impossible - this is why they’re normally always cooked with water before eating (to gelatinize them), so I would be careful adding powdered starches to Soylent - it might not be very digestible. Probably the worst that will happen is that you’ll get a stomach ache, bad gas and won’t get much energy out of it - it won’t kill you, but it might not be very nice :wink:

TLDR; Maltodextrin is probably a fairly good choice, actually. Go much lower GI than that and you’ve switched from a ‘sugar’ to a ‘starch’ and this changes the way they’re digested - which might be a problem if you’re not cooking it.

Using Corn/Potato Starch as a Temporary Carbohydrate Alternative

I’ve found Glycemic Index can be offset by the addition of soluble fiber.

I use DE 15-20 maltodextrin and 1.2g of soluble fiber. Women seem to have a faster metabolism and need slightly less soluble fiber.

I also recently found a source of insoluble fiber that does not interfere with the maltodextrin absorption, allowing me to get 40g of fiber total.


How do you take the insoluble fiber if by its nature it sinks to the bottom of your drink? Mix it each time? Ahh I’ll probably just wait for your 3 month update blog post.


Rob, so you are getting 40g total fibers per day? Can you give me some details about your source of fiber? Thanks


Yeah, I’d love to know your fiber source, too! I can’t find one I like!


What about those who are concerned or working to limit/control Candida Albacans? Probiotics & avoiding foods that can be easily converted into sugars is required for this. I’m uncertain if Maltodextrin would be the best choice in this case because the chains can be broken pretty easily/quickly.


i found this in my local eshop. I found that it should have lower glycemic index tham maltodextrin (32)
do you think it could be good alternative for maltodextrin?


you forgot about amylase, the enzyme found first in saliva and then released once the fod bolus enters the small intestine. Does a great job of breaking things down, before bacteria get involved.


This was also my take on the matter, and @duncanlock, you’ve put very nicely and clearly. Now, these things being true, my question is then: in what way does the addition of oat powder to the official soylent formula represent a step forward? I would have thought quite the opposite. Would @rob (or anyone else involved in that decision) please explain the reasoning that led up to that decision, and also explain why the addition of an uncooked flour to the formula is not a matter for any concern?


Very good point, more here:


I use it in my low carb formulation. Apparently it can cause digestive issues in amounts higher than 40g or so in some people (I use maybe 50g ish per day without issue). It might not be suitable in its entirety for a higher carb recipe therefore for some people, but I think it is probably worth at least partially using to keep the gi down (or fully if you go lower carb etc).


@SaladFace - Where do you get your Isomaltulose? I’d like to try it, but I only found two sellers on Amazon and they seem to be charging quite a bit for it.


myprotein (uk) -

For once beneficial to be in the UK when buying stuff :wink: