Cyclic Dextrin is Toxic Crap

The supplement-shills over at the “fitness website” T Nation continues with their disguised advertisement articles based on flawed science and backwards thinking. This time it is (once again,) their CCO Chris Shugart, who obviously knows absolutely nothing about human physiology, pushing Cyclic Dextrin also referred to as Highly Branched Cluster Dextrin (HBCD,) a type of high-molecular-weight maltodextrin.

Now, HBCD is nothing new, it’s been around for a long time. It’s simply a dextrin, produced by applying a branching enzyme to cornstarch. The branching enzyme works on the joint of the cluster structure of amylopectin and degrades it by cyclization. The result is a dry powder of a sugar that is easier and more quickly absorbed, meant to provide “fast-acting” energy, as in a rush of short-burst energy to help power endurance.
Those of you who know a little about human physiology already understand how incredible stupid this is, and we’ll get to that. But first, for a laugh, let see what little supplement-shill Shugart has to say.

Shugart begins his article with a silly little story of a T Nation staffer who for some reason visited a CrossFit Game, perhaps the most damaging, and thus retarded, “sport” in history. Their protagonist then witnesses two athletes who filled their water bottles with a suspicious white powder. And lo and behold, it was highly branched cyclic dextrin or HBCD, also known as cluster dextrin.

After that cheesy introduction, Shugart claims that the research behind HBCD is clear and he lists a drove of bullet points, which he likely hoped would appeal to their weight-training and bodybuilding readers.

Shugart’s list was dotted down as the following:

  • It increases work capacity
  • It increases muscle pumps
  • It decreases stress hormones after exhaustive exercise
  • It increases VO2 max time to exhaustion by 70%
  • It replenishes glycogen stores
  • It boosts endurance and energy levels
  • It maintains hydration and electrolyte balance during prolonged physical activity and competition.

In short, athletes who take it perform better than those who don’t, and multiple studies back that up.”

While we will get to these “effects” as they are both true and false, depending on who is stupid enough to use it, Shugart continues with the “doping” card, appealing to their readers through the notion that this supplement is just as good as banned drugs, stimulants, and other “gray-area” supplements. It’s a classic tactic, which work extremely good on teenagers and young people who are attracted by the “forbidden fruit,” but instead can buy this secret ‘holy-grail of gains’ supplement – and it’s fully legal and readily available. Imagine that!

To quote Shugart, he goes on with:

The anti-doping policy of the CrossFit Games prohibits several drugs, stimulants, and gray-area supplements that provide these same performance-enhancing benefits. So why are their athletes allowed to use HBCD?
Well, because HBCD is a carbohydrate, dummy. It’s food.”

Well, Mr. Shugart does clearly not have any high standards for what he calls “food.” To be honest, no carbohydrate, or anything derived from plant matter, should be considered a food for human consumption, as humans are obligate hyper carnivores. In truth, carbohydrates are inherently toxic to humans as we already have a process that provides us with the exact amount of glucose we need for any situation. That process is called gluconeogenesis, where our body convert fatty acids and amino acids, as in protein, into glucose and keep our blood sugar levels at a precise stable level, as many of our tissues are very sensitive to glucose and will be damaged if blood glucose is high. And what do you think happens when you add exogenous carbohydrates, as in HBCD or any other carbohydrate source, which breaks down to glucose? Yes, you upset the balance, you force your body to overproduce insulin, to shut down fat metabolism and gluconeogenesis, to do everything it can to clear out that glucose as quickly as possible to limit the damage. However, if you continue to consume carbohydrates, the damage will accumulate and we see this in damaged tissue (especially our cardiovascular systems and organs,) rapid ageing, the formation of tumors, and so on.
But, so what, the brainwashed sheep bleats, it improves performance. No, not really, it actually does the opposite, and we’ll get to that.

After this introduction, Mr. Shugart takes a moment to remind his readers that they have a supplement – a “workout booster” – which provides 25 grams of HBCD along with other toxic chemicals to really stress your body and inflict a fight or flight response. Yeah, I wouldn’t touch that even if you paid me handsomely to try it.

Now, let’s go on with the backwards and faulty science used to back these toxic and damaging carbohydrate supplements.

HBCD is used by bodybuilders, endurance athletes, field and court athletes, CrossFitters, and just about every other type of person who trains hard and plays hard. But how does one carbohydrate appeal to so many types of athletes?

Likely because they have been indoctrinated from the start with false and damaging “science.” They do not know any better, and they have never experienced what it is to be really healthy and perform in perfect harmony with our physiology, as in being fat adapted and never touched a toxic carbohydrate. So, let’s revisit Mr. Shugart’s bullet points and explain what is really going on.

Sustained Energy: HBCD provides a steady and sustained release of glucose into the bloodstream, which helps maintain energy levels during long or intense workouts or competitions. This continuous trickle of carbs delays fatigue.

Yes, it does release toxic glucose into the blood stream, and thus your body is forced to use it as energy and store the excess as glycogen and body fat, or you would die from blood glucose poisoning. And let’s not forget that while blood glucose is elevated over its natural limit, and your body pumps out insulin to neutralize the threat, your body and tissues does take damage. That is NEVER a good thing.

Also, if you were to do the same physical labor, the same demanding activity, but while in a fat adapted state without any carbohydrates what-so-ever, relying on our natural source of glycogen (glyconeogenesis,) fats, and ketones for energy, you would perform just as good or even better, as your body would not be stressed by trying to survive.

Humans who eat according to their physiology, to their species, as in only animal fat and animal protein, never run out of energy. We can go on for hours if we need to – but most of us do not want to, because we know that excessive exercise and training is extremely damaging and will age us rapidly. It’s simply stupid.

Rapid Gastric Emptying: Unlike some carbs, HBCD has a low osmolality – it can be quickly digested and absorbed without causing gastrointestinal discomfort or bloating. This rapid gastric emptying makes it an ideal carb source to use before, during, or after exercise without causing digestive distress.”

Actually, according to studies, HBCD has the same gastric emptying rate as maltodextrin and glucose. And while a rapid gastric emptying with little digestive stress might sound good, it’s still toxic and damaging, and also totally useless as we humans can manufacture all the glucose we need from gluconeogenesis.

Enhanced Glycogen Replenishment: Consuming HBCD after exercise helps rapidly replenish glycogen stores in muscles. Glycogen is the primary form of stored carbohydrate in the body. It’s a critical energy source during exercise.”

Yes, it will, because it’s toxic. Your body has no other choice than to clear out that excessive blood glucose as best and quickly it can. It will fill your glycogen stores and also your fat cells. And filling your cells with glycogen is not a good thing, as it strains the cell and damages it over time. Cells are only meant to hold on to a specific amount of glycogen as presented with big meals of animal protein (where some of the protein turns into glucose and then is stored as glycogen.) Storing more than their natural capacity because you foolishly gulped down carbohydrates will damage these cells. And once they reach a threshold where they might die from continuously storing such large amounts, they will simply shut down their receptors. And that is what “scientists” calls “insulin resistance” and when it becomes more severe, as in a lot of tissue has shut down to try to survive the onslaught of unnatural carbohydrates, they call it “diabetes.”

Improved Hydration: HBCD supports hydration and electrolyte balance during exercise by promoting rapid fluid absorption and carbohydrate delivery.”

Yes, with every gram of glycogen that is stored, the cell has to attach it with 3 to 4 grams of water. And that is part of what is straining the cells when the cells have to store above their capacity. It’s not a good thing.

Reduced Fatigue and Muscle Soreness: Research shows that HBCD before or during exercise helps reduce perceived exertion, fatigue, and soreness. Basically, you can go longer and harder in the gym, and then recover faster.”

Backwards thinking. When you consume carbohydrates, as in exposing your body with an unnatural exogenous source of toxic glucose, your body has to do everything it can to neutralize it, to return blood glucose to its stable baseline in order to protect our tissues/cells. This means that cortisol is blunted, as that hormone helps in releasing energy and assists the natural manufacturing of energy. And in such an emergency situation, your body will not produce its own energy as it’s clearing out massive amounts of toxic glucose. Actually, all natural sources of energy production are shut down. Also, all healing is temporarily shut down, as survival by removing blood glucose takes priority. If healing stops, that means less inflammation which is part of the healing process. That means that gullible idiots who does not understand human physiology thinks that the carbohydrates magically helped with their recovery in only a few hours. Actually, it slowed down your recovery, which means that you’re either getting less gains or you’re slowly tearing down your body, setting you up for an injury or a burnout.
Also, the quick energy boost you feel is a stress response as the body signals to you to help with using up some of that toxic glucose as energy. Again, that is not a good thing.

And that was it for T Nation’s advertisement. But now, before we end my little review, do you remember that I said that the statements made by Shugart were both true and false?

Indeed, the important thing to understand is that the studies that show that this-or-that carbohydrate improved performance are only conducted on people who already consume carbohydrates. People who thus are unhealthy and are running on an unnatural glucose metabolism – stressed bodies that are always forced to try and survive by eliminating unnatural amounts of blood glucose daily. These people have never tapped into our natural fat metabolism and the natural state of ketosis. They have never experienced real unlimited energy.
Thus, all these studies are performed on sickly and compromised bodies, bodies forced to run on unnatural fuel sources because their survival depends on it.

So, claiming that HBCD increased performance by a few percent compared to simply “carb loading” or compared to another “carb supplement” is only relevant and comparable in a sick and toxic carb-junkie, it’s only relevant to a slave of the inverted backwards-thinking pseudo-science, and not to a real living human being, a human that follow his or her species-appropriate diet of strictly animal fats and animal protein, a real human who lives fully natural in accordance to his or her physiology.

And the really funny, or tragic, thing is that these completely fooled athletes, trying to gain an upper hand on their competition by seeing who can poison themselves the most, would perform even better if they actually healed their bodies, restored their fat metabolism, and never touched a carbohydrate or a plant-based food ever again in their lives. As it is now, they’re simply living and competing in a twilight zone, a fake made-up reality by their slave masters where they slowly are killing themselves. It’s an illusion since they do not know how it is to actually perform as a real human being running on our natural fat-based metabolism.

For more on this subject, please read the articles in the ‘carbohydrate section’ of my nutrition quick-start archive.

If you need real help with health issues and/or transitioning from your current way of eating to our natural species-appropriate, species-specific way of eating, I’m available for both coaching and consultation.

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