Maltodextrin vs Dextrose


Most people seem to go for maltodextrin for fast carbs. Why no sugar? Is this because of fructose in sugar ?
And what about dextrose ? I’m not sure why maltodextrin would be better choice than dextrose.

Does anybody no the pro/cons between maltodextrin and dextose ?


I think people are concerned maltodextrin is already on the fast end, which is partly why oat powder has replaced some of it.


What would be bad about fructose?


@JTown Yes, I think maltodextrine are both fast carbs, but dextrose tastes better imo. And dextrose is slightly cheaper.

@Nicklbak Complex carbs (such as in bread/rice/patotoes etc.) consist of long chains of glucose. In this sense it is some what similar as dextrose. As dextrose is pure glucose.

Sucrose (table sugar) consist of 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Most soft drinks,honey, fruits etc. contain 50% glucose+50% fructose. One of the problems of fructose is the following fact:
"Fructose is absorbed in the small intestine without help of digestive enzymes. Even in healthy persons, however, only about 25–50g of fructose per sitting can be properly absorbed. People with fructose malabsorption absorb less than 25g per sitting.[3] "

That is one reason why you can’t eat sugar as it pasta. People tend to eat sugar (50%glucose+50%frucotse) in small sittings, as a snack. For example, one glass of cola, one banana etc. For large meals, people tend to eat carbs which are 100% glucose. So especially if you eat soylent as a big meal, I think it wise not to add too much fructose.


Is there any reason for not mixing?
20% sugar, 20% dextrose, 40% maltodextrin and 20% (of the carbs) from oats?

To have a better distributed energy release.

I’m the opposite of an expert, this might be a very stupid question. :stuck_out_tongue:


Okay very nice explanation there. I just didn’t get this one point with the pasta. Are you saying I can’t use regular sugar on my pasta cause it would have too much fructose to absorb?


He’s saying people can’t eat sugar in the same amounts they would eat Pasta.


@Nicklbak Let’s say someone eat one meal of pasta. And this pasta gives you 120 grams of carbs. A person with a normal digestive system should be able to digest this without problems.

However, sugar is much harder to digest as a large meal. So if someone would eat 120 grams of carbs in the form of 120 gram of sugar in one meal, it will very likely cause digestive problems. Intuitively, people know that I guess, as not many people would be attracted to the idea of eating so much sugar in one sitting.

@CuriousBen I don’t think this a very stupid question, and don’t confuse me with an expert either !
I’m still not sure why one would choose for dextrose or maltodextrine. Besides of taste, they seem almost equal to me. I would have guessed that dextose may be some what easier to digest, but it seems like they are both very easy digested. They have similar glycemic index, they both end up as glucose. The only reason I can think of is taste/price if someone would choose for one of the two. I’m curious why Rob has chosen for maltodextrine.

As it comes to your mixture, to add some sugar doesn’t sound to bad to me, I think there are very few people living on 0% fructose in their diet. There are some experts that claim it is good to decrease fructose in the diet, but I don’t think they mean it as drastically as Rob does in soylent. If it comes to glycogen synthesis (after workout), it is better to add some fructose. They compared the following drinks:

  • 2/3 maltodextrin, 1/3 fructose;
  • 2/3 maltodextrin, 1/3 glucose;
  • 2/3 maltodextrin, 1/3 galactose.

Liver glycogen was measured every two hours with carbon-13 magnetic resonance imaging. Here were the results:


So 67% glucose / 33% galactose did the best, 67% glucose 33% fructose was close behind, and 100% glucose lagged.

Why does the 100% glucose drink underperform? One reason is that fructose and galactose, but not glucose, are preferentially targeted to the liver:

A factor of potentially larger magnitude in enhancing liver glycogen
synthesis is the differential postabsorptive fates of fructose and
glucose. Glucose is a relatively poor direct substrate for liver
glycogen synthesis (24,27). Much of it is released from the liver into
the systemic circulation to be stored as muscle glycogen (3,7). In
contrast, fructose is primarily taken up by the liver … [1]



Reviving this thread:
Is a 50/50 mixture of Glucose and Maltodextrin any worse than pure Maltodextrin?


If any, not by much. As they both are basically pure glucose, though maltodextrin is just a long chain of glucose molecules with bonds between them. But our body’s enzymes can easily break those bonds. So they are both very similar in insulin response and their impact on blood sugar.

Not saying that they are good sources of carbs, as they turn into sugar in our bloodstream very fast. Which yields some bad effects if used in high amounts everyday.


In and of themselves, they do, but fiber slows the rate at which they’re broken down and absorbed. Also, consider the consumption rate. If you want to drink your Soylent all day long, rather than in big “meals” then maltodextrin might start to make sense. Consider the protein glucogenesis cycle, as well… the digestion of maltodextrin doesn’t happen in a vacuum, but in conjunction with the digestion of the fats and proteins.

Maltodextrin isn’t bad. Hell, pure table sugar wouldn’t be bad, if you could time the consistent dosage correctly throughout the day. What you digest and your body uses is what matters. The digestive process that converts the macros into glucose and amino acids is what matters, and I would think a primary goal would be to maintain the optimum blood sugar throughout the day (and night.) Instead of focusing on matching your ingredients to a presupposed cycle, why not match the cycle to the ingredients available. If you want to have 3 big Soylent drinks, design accordingly. If you want 8 smaller drinks to consume steadily throughout the day, then it makes sense to design it differently.

If I’m not entirely mistaken, then it boils down to this: the longer it takes between “refueling”, the more complex your carbs need to be.


I realize this post is from May, but thank you very much for the link, @Kasper. This might be some really good information that will change how I eat to recover after workouts. I’ve generally avoided fructose as much as possible due to it’s combination of low GI (meaning I thought it wouldn’t be very useful after workouts) and the fact that it is only metabolized in the liver (which Lustig et. al. believe causes serious problems), but this is going to make me reconsider a lot.

That said, I think most people, even those who generally workout, are not going to need to concern themselves with rapid glycogen synthesis. It takes quite a bit of effort to actually deplete muscle and liver glycogen, so I’m not sure that most people really need to be concerned with what will most quickly reload glycogen. And if those extra carbohydrates aren’t converted to liver/muscle glycogen, I think they’re just going to end up as adipose tissue. Plus, from all the studies I’ve seen, glycogen will replenish itself fully within 25 hours on pretty much any diet with a sufficient amount of any type of carbohydrate. But if you’re doing two-a-days that each take a toll on glycogen, this could be very useful info.


By the way, here’s the link to the actual study that @Kasper is referring to:


I just realized, that while Dextrose and Maltodextrin share almost the same GI, the spike should still be (much?) higher on the Dextrose. The GI only describes the Integral.


…that makes a lot of sense. Welp, ordered some dextrose already, will report on how this goes. I’m guessing not much better, but thankfully it’s cheap.


Really interested about whether or not you will notice it :slight_smile: I’ll probably get some too for my first recipe but just 1/4 or so.