So the headline is fairly self-explanatory, but basically I have been dissolving about 250g (1,000 calories worth) of maltodextrin in 64oz of water and drinking it throughout the day, in an effort to increase the amount of carbohydrates I take in as well as total calories.

The reason for this is that I'm in a bulking cycle for weightlifting, and I read in a nutrition textbook [1] about the importance of having a very large intake of carbs, about 60% of total daily caloric intake. I was wondering if there are any possible negative effects of doing this long-term: I've been doing this for about two months now, and plan to continue for another two. For instance, could this put me at an increased risk of diabetes? I am careful to still get a lot of nutrients in my diet, both through eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as taking a daily multi.

Thanks in advance for your input!

[1] Advanced Sports Nutrition, Second Edition, ISBN 1450401619


Poor insulin sensitivity, obesity, diabetes. I would use oatmeal and sweet potatoes if you want to get your calories up. Those foods are much better at keeping your blood sugar balanced.

  • Agreed. 250g is a lot. Also, just reading one book and doing everything it says is dangerous. In this case I doubt the statement is valid. The recommendations change all the time but 60% carbs seems way too much. If you then get those carbs through a low quality source like Maltodextrin, it's really not healthy in the long run...
    – SebK
    Feb 6 '15 at 6:35
  • 1 cup of bucwheat has 100 g of good carbs. 1 cup of oatmeal has 50+g of carbs + they are delicious. They also contain like 10-12 of protein per 100 g, which is nice. If you are very lazy you can always buy some weight gainers. I think they pack like 160g of carbs per serving. Nothing replaces food tho.
    – s3v3ns
    Feb 6 '15 at 7:08

There is no definite science on this, what we know is that maltodextrine (glucose) is much less likely to be stored as fat in and around your liver (abdominal, visceral fat) than fructose (50% of table sugar, 55% of high fructose corn syrup) (1), and that kind of fat is much more strongly linked to metabolic syndrome and diabetes type 2 than subcutaneous fat is. In fact it's possible that such, normal fat is completely healthy.

I think this quotation is very interesting

There are very few National Football League players and sumo wrestlers who are insulin-resistant, even though they may be obese. Fat makes some good things—adiponectin, for instance, one of the “good” cytokines. But the minute they retire, NFL players and sumo wrestlers frequently become insulin-resistant and develop diabetes, because their fat moves from the subcutaneous compartment to the visceral compartment. (2)

So it seems that as long as you're active, fat is more likely to end up as normal fat, and that that fat is healthy.

What I would do if I were you is to keep an eye on my stomach, if your waist is growing eventhough you still look as lean, that would be a warning signal.

1: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2673878/

2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1336716/


Basically, you are drinking the equivalent of sugar water. Malto-dextrose is a glucose polymer, and because of that, it doesn't taste as sweet as sugar. It's great if you are an endurance athlete and want the carbs because of the reduced sweetness. It has a high glycemic index, so to your body, it's pretty much like you are just eating sucrose.

I don't see the point of anybody taking in that much extra sugar. The point of a bulk is to make sure that you have an excess of nutrients. Most lifters take in extra protein, because that's what you need most to build muscle.

If you want a good reference on bulking, try the reddit fitness forum. You will find a ton of useful information there.

  • 1
    Glucose and sucrose are very different though. Sucrose contains fructose, and while I don't want to sound like a fructose alarmist, there are many studies which show that fructose can be detrimental to health in ways that glucose can not.
    – Mårten
    Feb 9 '15 at 11:27
  • @Mårten - As an addititve. Fructose in its natural form (main sugar in fruits) has different effects in the body.
    – JohnP
    Feb 9 '15 at 15:00
  • Well yes, the amounts and the company (fiber) you get from fruit are unproblematic, but the amounts mentioned in the post is 250 g, which would be quite a lot of sugar water, and if you had that much it would have a much worse effect on the body than 250 g of glucose.
    – Mårten
    Feb 9 '15 at 15:03
  • @Mårten - Understood. I just wanted the clarification, as it made it sound as if fructose itself was bad, which isn't the case.
    – JohnP
    Feb 9 '15 at 17:03

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