Carbohydrates have always been something that I have stayed away from. Or at least, kept them very low in my diet. I recently (the last year or so) increased carb intake to my normal diet but also have implemented them in my intra-workout supplementation.
Personally, I love to train fasted in the morning. But there are a few issues with that. Number one being that I tend to fatigue much quicker. Number two, that in general, I can't move as much weight. Hence my reasoning behind incorporating Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin during my workouts.
But, you need to realize that not all carb sources are created equally and that you should choose which ones you use wisely.
Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin
The purpose of consuming carbs during your workout would be to increase energy, endurance, something that is easy on your gastrointestinal tract and doesn't spike your blood sugar.
This is why I chose to use NutraBio Super Carb. Yielding 25g of carbs using Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin. (HBCD)
HBCD is created from the breakdown of starch by an enzyme that forms clusters of sugar molecules. These clusters are then formed into long chains using additional branching enzymes. Essentially by pre breaking down these molecules it’s more readily available and easier to digest. HBCD has a low osmolality and high molecular weight compared to other more traditional carb sources like glucose; which increases gastric emptying. Basically, HBCD spends less time in your stomach compared to traditional carbohydrates and will be absorbed in the intestines and sent to your muscles quicker. This makes it superior to simple carb sources in the past like dextrose and waxy maize.
This rapid gastric emptying is beneficial for many reasons. Most importantly, you do not want all the blood rushing to your digestive tract to attempt to digest complicated and slow materials. You want that blood to be diverted to muscles for greater pumps, recovery, and ultimately muscle gain. Studies have shown that gastric emptying of HBCD to be almost as high as a general saline solution.
Once fatigue starts to set in during exercise, your body tends to drop production of ATP. A key process/function for your body to perform at optimal levels. this is where a intra-workout carb source will come in handy.
Intra-workout carbohydrate consumption helps provide a rapidly available fuel source, which keeps your energy high for subsequent sets. Rather than stopping short or needing to reduce the weight, you'll be able to continue working hard.
Lower Mental Fatigue
Training fasted, or even just having low consumption of carbohydrates can be draining mentally. Anyone who has done this before know what I'm talking about. Having a steady source of carbs during your workout can provide fuel for your brain to function at optimal levels.
Increasing awareness, reaction time, focus etc. This will allow you to keep the intensity high and focus on the task at hand, in this case, executing your lifts to the best of your ability.
Avoid going into a Catabolic State
Carbohydrate ingestion during prolonged exercise can also blunt the increase in cortisol concentration both during exercise, and for up to several hours thereafter. If your body falls into a a state where it's producing too much Cortisol, you can create a catabolic environment which will make it even more difficult to build muscle or even burn fat.
If you haven't tried utilizing carbohydrates during your workout, give it shot! There are plenty of options out there and at NutriFit we carry around 7 products. You can find them here: Intra-Workout Products
I personally went with the Super Carb because I was interested in seeing the benefits strictly from HBCD. Check out Super Carb below!