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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    The Gym-aka my garage :-)

    Question Crystal light and blood sugar

    Does it raise your blood sugar at all?

    I see in the ingreidiants it lists maltodextrin. Just curious because sometimes I like to come home after cardio and chugg a big glass of crystal light.

  2. #2
    rambo's Avatar
    rambo is offline The Lord God
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    It does not.

  3. #3
    GetPsycho's Avatar
    GetPsycho is offline Associate Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    What is Maltodextrin
    Maltodextrin is a flavorless, easily digested carbohydrate made from cornstarch. The starch is cooked, and then acid and/or enzymes (a process similar to that used by the body to digest carbohydrates) are used to break the starch into smaller chains (3-20 chains in maltodextrin). These chains are composed of several dextrose molecules held together by very weak hydrogen bonds.

    Lets do a quick review on the terms we just discussed; carbohydrates are molecules of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen produced by plants through photosynthesis. The term saccharide is a synonym for carbohydrate; a monosaccharide (mono=1) is the fundamental unit of carbohydrates. Disaccharides (Di=2) are molecules containing 2 monosaccharide units. Di and monosaccharides are also known as sugars, simple sugars, or simple carbohydrates. Next are oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. Oligosaccharides are made of 3-9 monosaccharide links. Polysaccharides consist of 10 to thousands of monosaccharide links. A complex carbohydrate refers to many monosaccharide units linked together. In addition, you will often hear the terms “long”, and “short” carbohydrate chains. Short carbohydrate chains are those under 10 sugar molecules. And long chains are those over 10 sugar molecules. Which fits in conjunction with the above terms, Oligosaccharides and Polysaccharides. Now, lets apply this to dextrose, and maltodextrin.

    As I am sure you have heard, dextrose is labeled a simple carbohydrate and Maltodextrin complex. And now this should make perfect sense. But don’t be fooled by the word, “complex.” The bonds that compose maltodextrin are very weak, and readily broken apart in your stomach, and the chain is still extremely minimal in composition. Because of these bonds, and composition, digestion and Gl of maltodextrin is a fraction slower than dextrose. Now, before we move on, I want to establish why this is so, and what exactly hydrogen bonds are.

    Hydrogen Bonds/Digestion process
    The first concept we need to cover is covalent bonds. A covalent bond is defined as atoms, which are held together by their mutual attraction for sharing electrons. Co is for sharing, and valent refers to valance electrons that are shared. Covalent bonds tend to form from atoms in the upper right of the periodic table, know as nonmetallic elements (with the exception of noble gases, which are the last group of the periodic table to the right. These elements are very stable and tend not to form bonds.) The next term we will learn is electro negativity, this is an atom’s ability to pull electrons toward itself when bonded. Electro negativity is greatest for elements at the upper right of the periodic table, and lowest for elements at the lower left. Noble gases again are not included, because primarily they do not participate in chemical bonding. To represent this, scientists use what is called a dipole (pronounced die-pole) to say a side is slightly negative, or slightly positive, because it has more or less electrons around itself. A bond with a dipole (remember, di=2, 2 poles) is classified as a polar bond. The higher amount of difference in electro negativity in the bonds, the more polar the atom is( greater charge difference ).

    Our next subject concerns much weaker attractions; known as Electrical Attractions between particles, which are based on polarity. The kind we will discuss today is called a dipole-dipole attraction, which is defined as an attraction between two polar molecules. We will further narrow in on one of the strongest dipole-dipole attractions, known as the hydrogen bond. This attraction occurs between molecules that have a hydrogen atom covalently bonded to a highly electronegative atom, typically nitrogen, oxygen or fluorine. In the case of maltodextrin, this is a H-O bond. The strength of a hydrogen bond is based on two factors:

    1. The strength of the dipoles involved (which depends on the difference in electro negativity for the two atoms in either polar molecule)

    2. How strongly nonbonding electrons on one molecule can attract a hydrogen atom on a nearby molecule.

    Recent research has revealed that a small amount of electron sharing occurs between the hydrogen and the nonbonding pair. Because electron sharing is the definition of covalent bond, the hydrogen bond is correctly named a covalent bond. However, any hydrogen bond is many times weaker than the typical covalent bond, and so it is also appropriate to think of the hydrogen bond not as a bond but as a very strong dipole-dipole attraction between separate molecules. When confronted with the proper enzymes though, this bond has no chance, and is easily separated from the above attractions. Which brings us to our next subject, digestion.

    Editors Note: I am extremely glad that Venom is covering this subject. Hydrogen bonds are one of the key subjects that one must understand if they are intent on understanding nutrition, and how sizable biological molecules are constructed.

    Maltodextrin digestion starts right when it enters the mouth. The salivary glands, located along the base of the jaw( there are actually three specific glands here - parotid, submandibular and sublingual ), continually secrete lubricating mucus substances that mingle with food particles during chewing. The enzyme salivary amylase (ptyalin) breaks the hydrogen bonds between the repeating glucose units, beginning the reduction of maltodextrin into smaller linked glucose molecules. When the food-saliva mixture enters the more acidic stomach, breakdowns in the chains from enzymatic action quickly cease because salivary amylase deactivates under conditions of low pH (lower pH means more acidity). After this, food enters the small intestine, and encounters pancreatic amylase, a powerful enzyme released from the pancreas. This enzyme, in conjunction with other enzymes, completes the hydrolysis (catabolism of larger molecules into smaller ones the body can absorb. Done by enzymes and water) of maltodextrin into smaller chains of glucose molecules. Finally, Enzyme action on the surfaces of the cells of the intestinal lumen's brush border completes the final stage of carbohydrate digestion to monosaccharides. Now, due to weak nature of these hydrogen bonds, this is a swift process. In addition, the shorter the chains, the quicker these molecules are separated. Therefore, maltodextrin at 3-20 monosaccharide links is very easily digested. Once absorbed from the small intestines into the bloodstream, the body uses glucose for 3 potential tasks:

    1. Given directly to muscle cells for energy.
    2. Stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver.

    3. Converted to fat for energy storage. (Again see Window of Opportunity for how to eliminate option three)

    As stated earlier, scientists simply try and mimic this process when breaking down starches to maltodextrin. Actually, as you venture further in the studies of chemistry, kinesiology, biomechanics, and such like you will see this is commonly the case.

    Importance of consuming a combination of Maltodextrin & Dextrose

    After reading Old School’s excellent article on post workout, you are now aware of the importance of consuming easily digested, high Gl carbohydrates at this time. But the question is, why a combination of dextrose and maltodextrin? Both are high in Gl rating, and easily digested right? True, but there is more logic than Gl rating to stacking these two powerhouses. Read on for the answer.

    Now lets go back to the first concept we learned called, “gastric emptying.” Our goal post workout is to maintain a prompt digestion rate so nutrients can transport swiftly, and efficiently to our muscles. With that said, it has been shown that this process slows when the ingested fluid contains a high osmolarity concentration (the second concept studied). Osmolarity again is dependent on the number of particles in a solution. That is, a100-milliliter solution with 20 glucose molecules will have a higher osmolarity then a100-millileter solution that only contains 10 molecules. The shorter chain length a carbohydrate has, the higher it raises the solution's osmolarity. Therefore, it is no surprise that a pure glucose solution (or dextrose, a monosaccharide) induces very high concentrations of solute (1,3,10).

    Fortunately these negative effects become greatly reduced when the drink contains a glucose polymer stacked with dextrose. But we still want a carbohydrate that is easily digested, and has a high Gl. Hence we use a combination of dextrose and maltodextrin. Osmolarity will be decreased, and glucose will still enter the blood stream at a proficient rate, thus maintaining its anabolic nature (1,3).

    A second factor concerning osmolarity must now be examined. From a clinical standpoint it is vital to take into consideration the fact that plasma (the liquid portion of blood) has an Osmolarity of 300 mOsm. This means that if one were to inject a solution with a greater concentration of solute into their blood, it would cause water from inside their red blood cells to leave by Osmosis (water always travels down its concentration gradient) and move into the plasma, in turn shrinking the erythrocytes (red blood cells). This is because the cells are iso-osmotic to the plasma (both have the same concentration of solute) (11).

    A similar concept can be applied to your post workout meal. If a competitor were to consume a solution that was hypertonic or had a higher concentration of solute then 300 mOsm it could dehydrate them (showing why digestion is rightfully slowed in a high concentrated solution). The addition of maltodextrin once again solves this problem (2,13).

    The next question is, why not just use maltodextrin, and eliminate dextrose since it is so proficient? Ah, once again it is not that simple. Shi. X et al. in an outstanding study tested the digestive effects of two substrates (any substance acted upon by an enzyme) as opposed to only one substrate in the small intestine. What they found was quite fascinating. The solution containing two substrates stimulated the activation of more transport mechanisms in the intestinal lumen, then did its singular counterpart. Therefore more carbohydrates were transported out of the small intestine (absorbed into the blood), which additionally aided a greater absorption rate of water into the blood stream (by osmosis). Thus, the higher activation rate of transport mechanisms, even with higher osmolarity facilitated faster energy uptake and hydration (12)!

    Editors note: Truly Fascinating!

    One of these mechanisms is the glucose/Sodium co transport system (discussed in further detail shortly). When a proper amount of sodium and glucose are combined, an even greater amount of glucose is absorbed, and in turn a higher rate of H20 is absorbed. Thus dextrose increases fluid uptake, and contributes to blood glucose maintenance. Which in turn helps spare liver and muscle glycogen from being depleted (4,5,6).

    As discussed in the Window of Opportunity, these factors make dextrose and maltodextrin the perfect post workout combo. You can purchase both of these in pure form from a local grocery store, or the Internet. Next we discuss the compound that composes 70% of the muscles in our bodies, H20.

    Editors Note: Speaking of H20, I need to grab myself a liter...

    entire article here....

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