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Carbohydrate Supplements

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Hammer Perpetuem
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Gen-Tec Nutrition Pure Carbs
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$44.95 - $69.95
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International Protein Extreme Carbs
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JD Nutraceuticals Clean Carbs
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About Carbohydrate Supplements

Carbohydrates are a major dietary macronutrient, along with protein and fats. Long-chain carbohydrates are referred to as starches or complex carbohydrates and are composed of chains of sugar, just as protein are made up of chains of amino acids. Carbohydrate supplements can be helpful for anyone wanting to gain weight or minimise weight loss. Carbohydrates are an integral part of post-workout recovery drinks to replenish muscle glycogen reserves, while endurance athletes and bodybuilders may use them during exercise to promote energy and enhance performance.


Carbohydrate supplements may be mixed with a protein powder and taken between meals or before bed to support weight gain. This effectively creates a mass gainer product, which can be tailored to your needs. This means, as your workload and carbohydrate needs increase, you can increase the content of carbohydrates. Glycogen is a storage form of carbohydrate found in the muscles and liver, which provides easily accessible glucose to meet the energy demands of the cell, just as triglycerides are stored in fat cells. Glycogen stores are depleted during exercise, particularly high-intensity exercise, making replenishment important to fast recovery. Though many do well on ketogenic programs or low carbohydrate diets, evidence still points towards carbohydrates for anyone engaged in high-intensity exercise in order to maximise performance and recovery. This was reported in Nutrition Today in 2018.


Carbohydrate powders may also be a great addition to a protein shake for labourers and tradesman, whose energy demands are high. This ensures energy levels are kept relatively constant throughout the day and prevents weight loss. If you are engaged in strength training or endurance, experiment with varying carbohydrate concentrations in water to see which level best keeps energy levels maximised.


Carbohydrate powders stimulate the release of insulin, and when taken prior to exercise with amino acids, help them to more effectively enter the muscle cell. Insulin is actually considered to be a powerful anabolic hormone that triggers the uptake of all the nutrients required for muscle growth. Glucose and amino acids both enter the cell after stimulation by insulin, which is why carbohydrate powders work so well for this purpose. It has been reported in The Journal of Nutrition in 2002 that there is an inherent synergism between essential amino acids and glucose, when taken together to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. This means the effects of the two supplements taken together are greater than the sum of them taken apart.


This effect is due to the ability of glucose to stimulate insulin release, allowing for an increased muscle cell uptake of amino acids. Theoretically, any high-glycemic index carbohydrate, like those found in this section, will create a significant enough insulin spike to allow amino acids to enter the cell in greater levels. You may als find these supplements beneficial when added to standard pre-workout or intra-workout supplements.