What is Cluster Dextrin® and Why is it Beneficial in a Pre-Workout?

by Erik Tremblay

Our crazed pre-workout N.O. SPOT™ changes the game by featuring 5g of Cluster Dextrin®. In this weeks post we'll breakdown what Cluster Dextrin® is, why it's beneficial in a pre-workout, and why your body prefers carbohydrates as it's energy source. Check out what Cluster Dextrin® has to offer below:

(Highly branched cyclic dextrin) is a type of dextrin that is synthesized from corn using a specialized branching enzyme (BE,1,4-α-D-glucan: 1,4-α-D-glucan 6-α-D-(1,4-α-D-glucano)-transferase,EC that works on the joint cluster structure of amylopectin (a type of dextrose found in plants) to degrade it via cyclization. This produces a long chain of dextrose molecules that fold into a unique helical structure which gives t many advantages other carbohydrate sources don’t offer. These include:

  • Although it is of high molecular weight, the helical structure allows the carb source to be highly soluble in water. This makes it a great compound to include in supplements that are mixed with water.
  • The structure allows the compound to have a less sweet, more favorable flavor
  • The high molecule weight and solubility allows the molecule to pass through the stomach quickly and into the small intestines where it is absorbed and can be used to fuel the body.

Having a simple carb source that can mix well in water and pass through the stomach quickly (within 20 minutes) allows this carbohydrate source to be a great pre-workout secret ingredient. Carbohydrates, particularly glucose (dextrin is dextrose which is the name given to glucose produced by corn), is the bodies preferred source of energy as it produces ATP most efficiently in the process of cellular respiration.

By consuming Cluster Dextrin pre-workout, you will for sure notice a decrease in the onset of fatigue due to your muscles access to this important nutritional macromolecule. We used the trademarked Cluster Dextrin® as it is the most pure and science-backed highly branched cyclic dextrin out there.

Why Are Carbohydrates important as a Pre-Workout?

Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred energy source due to the amount of cells that require the macromolecule, how efficient the process is to convert it to a useable energy source, and how much can be stored in your body.

Your body can easily store carbohydrates as it breaks them down into glucose (except cluster dextrin does not need to be broken down as it is already a simple carbohydrate) which is used to fuel the energy needs of the body. Glucose circulates in the blood and, through the use of insulin, the glucose enters cells where it is used for the cell to undergo cellular respiration and generate ATP to allow them to carry out their functions.

When there is an excess of carbohydrates, your body stores them as glycogen in the liver and skeletal muscle tissue where they can be tapped into to generate ATP when the body is demanding more energy than is available in the current circulating glucose levels. However, the body can only store around 500g of glycogen before the storage is maxed out. This is one reason why your body prefers to use carbohydrates as an energy source over fats.

Although fats carry a higher energy potential (about 9 calories a gram compared to carbohydrates that carry about 4 calories a gram), your body can store almost all the extra fat you consume in adipose tissue. So while you max out storage of carbohydrates at 500g, 98% of the fats you eat can be stored no matter how much you consume. Your body can convert excess carbohydrates into fat, but would then have to turn it back into carbohydrates to use it for energy, making it a less efficient process than prioritizing the consumption of carbohydrates as the initial energy source.

Also, your brain cells require the most energy out of any cells and it is more efficient for your body to use carbohydrates as the energy source. Fats have to be broken down which converts them into ketones to be used as energy in brain cells. Not to mention the central nervous system must have glucose to operate and cannot use energy from fats, so while ketones provide an energy source for most of the body, carbohydrates fuel the entire body.

The demand of glucose to provide energy for your entire body is why it is vital to include in your pre-workout. Having the glucose source dextrin in the cyclical shape allows the carb source to pass into the small intestines and absorbed within 20 minutes, making it a pre-workout secret ingredient. It offers a noticeable difference in delaying muscle fatigue and improving “pumps.”

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