Maltodextrin or Glucose for fueling?

I’m curious, when I went closer to 1:1 gl:fr using maltodextrin:fructose I could hardly take in the drink mix it was so sweet. I’ve done some more at 2:1 and found it much more palatable. I’m just not sure how to get to 1:1 with the sweetness not getting cranked up so high.

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Try Citric acid. I’m not sure if anything else that might help.

Plain fructose is the sweetest of the sugars so higher ratios you would notice.

I’ve made mix with cluster dextrin, sucrose, and fructose at 1:.8 for this very reason

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As noted above, maltodextrin is chained glucose. Some people don’t tolerate it well, others have no problem digesting it. The glucose comes from dextrose, which is simply glucose from corn - but glucose, regardless of the source, is just glucose.

A fairly inexpensive way to make your sugar water is to purchase a cannister of Gatorade powder (a 76.5 ounce container is around $12 on Amazon and will last a year if not longer) and add some sodium chloride (i.e. regular table salt) and some potassium chloride powder. For a large bike bottle in the summer heat I usually add 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp potassium (I sweat a ton of salt and have had heat stroke a few times so to each his own).

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Where did you buy cluster dextrin?

Direct from manufacturer Glico now. I started

Before that was from Europe that I had 3rd party shipped to US.

True nutrition also sells it at $20 a lb

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More salt or sodium citrate may help, too. Moving the ratio slightly closer to 2:1 gluc:fruc can also help attenuate the sweetness and is also usually well-tolerated in many cases. I personally find the best way to mitigate sweetness is

  1. Use a flavor of some kind (any powdered mix with flavor, in small quantity, or squeeze of lemon juice).
  2. Use plenty of sodium, with >70% of sodium coming from sodium citrate, but do include some sodium from table salt.
  3. Use sugar for most of the mix, instead of maltodextrin/fructose. Makes it less gel-like and more drinkable, which seems to help with the sweetness intensity.
  4. Don’t use a drink with strong flavor intensity because it can become overwhelming to the palate in flavor intensity and sweetness which is a lot of palate overwhelm.

All the above is very much a mix of my n=1 personal preferences and the food science.


@Dr_Alex_Harrison - What’s the quick reason for this one? Currently using ~1200 mg Sodium per Liter, but all from Sodium Citrate.

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Personal flavor preference. :slight_smile: (PS. the reason for still including mostly sodium citrate = gut comfort)


Gotcha. I’ve actually got no problem with 50/50 Malto and fructose with 100% sodium citrate, so I guess no need to change it up.


100% Cane Sugar(table sugar) here in Australia- 1:1 Glucose/Fructose

I regularly consume 90-120g per hour with no gut issues whatsoever

This is also taking in about 1litre water per hour .

(950ml bottles with 90gram sugar )


Thanks for the feedback guys. I do use sodium citrate. I found 7g is a good point per serving. I tried 15 once and got cleared out! I haven’t also included table salt in a serving too, so I’ll have to give that a shot.

I did try table sugar instead of fructose and was able to get to a 1.7:1 ratio doing it that way. Was going to try 1.5 the next go around with the table sugar to see how that tastes.

Experimenting like this definitely makes me appreciate how good Infinit has gotten at developing their product as it’s bulletproof for me, but I like to tinker so wanted to try this too.

Stay away from Maltodextrin if you can. At least be aware of what it might do to your gut and health

They do find that malto causes changes in intestinal bacteria in a lab environment. But then go on to note that it’s possible that in real life, it may not even reach those areas of your intestines due to quick digestion

“Such results are consistent with accumulating evidences demonstrating the detrimental impact of maltodextrin on the intestinal environment [9, 10, 30]. However, it should be pointed out that this polysaccharide is thought to be very quickly digested to glucose and absorbed in the small intestine and thus may never have the direct impacts with colon bacteria that we sought to model. Thus, discernment of whether the impacts observed really relate to maltodextrin’s impacts in vivo requires further investigation.”

Still potentially interesting

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You are right and of course everyone is free to conclude out of that what he wants. My own conclusion is to stay away from it until mentioned in vivo investigation exists. If I’d get paid to perform, that might look differently.

Wouldn’t that be the case for table of sugar also?

This guy breaks down why people like endurance athletes should use maltodextrin.

That’s not my understanding of maltodextrin vs glucose.


What’s your understanding?

My limited one is that all food is broken down in small instestine so “absorbed much more readily” doesn’t really add up. You’ll need an enzyme to break down the chains. It’s still fast to process malto to glucose. I think the only real benefit I understand is that with all that malto sitting in your gut waiting to be absorbed vs glucose, the lower osmolarity puts less stress on your gut where it doesn’t have to pull in water from the body to make it the “correct osmoslaity” to be absorbed.


maltodextrin is just long chains of glucose. Breaking that down into individual glucose units is as near instantaneous as makes any difference. ( you can think of it like a machine gun bullet belt! )

One thing to note is fructose needs to be converted by the liver into glucose, this process does take considerable time. Its a complex process because it presence also enhances glucose absorption As Well!. Some of it is also converted to lactate for the krebs energy cycle. Plenty of information on how all this works on pubmed.

Bottom line fructose is only recommended longer endurance activities ie 1.5 hours plus otherwise by the time the body is ready with it its no longer needed and the excess converted into fat.

One trick i have heard of is drinking a can of coke about 45 min before an event. This lets the fructose and the caffeine get ready for the start! Recommended or not ? not for me to say, but people do it.


Currently iv been using the 2:1 malto fructose mix with a scoop of electrolyte mix.
As most of my rides are about 90mins long should I discard the fructose? I use about 40g per bottle I’m just about to reorder more powder.
Would you go straight maltodextrin or is it worth mixing it with glucose too?

Tim Podlogar has a study out there showing longer TTEs when breakfast includes fructose. I think he personally sprinkles it on his oatmeal

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