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Carbohydrates are vitally important for all athletes looking to improve their sports performance. Choose from low glycemic index sources, such as Instant Oats, to fast-releasing carbohydrates including Dextrose and Maltodextrin.
Carbohydrates are the body's main energy source during physical activity. The more intense the workout is, the more carbohydrates will be used by the body. As its primary fuel source, athletes should ensure they eat the adequate amount of carbohydrates. The body can store up to 400 g of carbohydrates as muscle glycogen and 100 g as hepatic glycogen.
It's extremely important for athletes to have an adequate intake of carbohydrates before, during and after exercise. This is particular relevant in moderate to intense physical activities lasting longer than 60 minutes.
If athletes fail to properly replenish muscle glycogen stores, their sports performance will be impaired and fatigue will be reached much more quickly.
Carbohydrates should make up 55 to 65% of athletes' daily calorie intake. As a rule of thumb, depending on exercise intensity, athletes should aim to consume between 5 to 10 grams of carbohydrates per kg of body weight. This will allow for a proper muscle glycogen replenishment and therefore maximize athletic performance.
Dextrose is a simple carbohydrate with high glycemic index. It's a very efficient carbohydrate in replenishing muscle glycogen stores. Dextrose causes an insulin spike which helps muscle cells to better absorb nutrients and the body to recover quicker.
Maltodextrin is a complex carbohydrate with high glycemic index. It can derive from either corn starch, rice or potato starch. Maltrodextrin's effect on insulin secretion is very similar to that of dextrose. This means that maltodextrin supplementation is also an excellent way of recovering faster.