Ever since Mike Rashid debuted his supplement line, ImSoAlpha, the brand has quietly been releasing unique supplements to guys looking to become the most Alpha of the Alpha Males. The latest newest product from Mike and Co. is a carbohydrate supplement that combines a mixture of slow and fast absorbing carbs.
Alpha Carb represents a wave of carbohydrate supplements entering the market that blends whole food sources, like sweet potatoes, with ultra-fast carbs such as cluster dextrin to maximize carb uptake and glycogen replenishment. A best of both worlds situation!
Sound pretty familiar? It should – two brands we closely follow are already quite successful with similar strategies. The first is Rich Piana’s 5% Nutrition REAL FOOD (which we reviewed here), which uses sweet potato, oats, and wild yam. The second is NutraBio’s Muscle Matrix MRP, a meal replacement using cluster dextrin as their carb.
Alpha Carb is more like Rich Piana’s REAL FOOD, so that’s the one we’ll want to compare this to… but it also brings a whole lot more, like creatine, glutamine, and BCAAs.
The label is just ahead, but first, make sure to sign up for PricePlow updates and check the best deal:
Alpha Carb - Best Deals and Price Drop Notifications
Get Price Alerts
No spam, no scams.
Alpha Carb Ingredients
Alpha Carb uses a combination of whole food sources and cluster dextrin to provide an ideal blend of carbohydrates either during or after high intensity workouts:
Carbohydrate Blend (27g)
Didn’t expect this to be the first ingredient in the Carb Matrix did you?
Sweet potato is primary source of carbs and fiber in Alpha Carb. It’s high in sugar, which makes it ideal to use during or after a workout, when carbs are needed the most. Additionally, they’ll provide a richer flavor and a healthy hit of antioxidants in comparison to the rest of the carbs to follow.
This is easily our favorite carbohydrate source, and we’re happy to see that it seems like Rashid’s too. We waited for a powdered sweet potato source for quite a while, and when we got it from Rich Piana’s REAL FOOD, it lived up to expectations. Sometimes eating baked sweet potato gets old, and drinking it makes life a bit easier.
Cluster Dextrin is another name for Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (HBCD). This carb is formed from the breakdown of amylopectin, a type of sugar found in plants. Cluster Dextrin has become increasingly more popular in carb-based products due to its lower osmolality and higher molecular weight than any of the other carb sources typically seen in supplements.
Basically, HBCD is digested rather rapidly compared to Dextrose or Maltodextrin. It is digested incredibly fast and then rapidly absorbed and transported to your muscles where they’re most needed. When used during your workout, HBCD provides a sustained release of energy and can help offset any sort of DOMS you might feel after your long sessions.[3,4]
Dextrose, or glucose as it’s more commonly known, is a simple sugar (monosaccharide) that’s approximately 30% less sweet than pure sugar. It’s derived entirely from corn, making it another natural carb that’s easily utilized by the body.
Dextrose has a high glycemic index (GI) rating which allows it to enter the bloodstream quickly and get to your muscles to begin the process of recovery, repair, and replenishment. Simple sugars like dextrose have been shown to be the most effective in replenishing muscle glycogen after exercise compared to other forms like fructose, which are better at filling liver glycogen.
The last carb in Alpha Carb is Maltodextrin, a complex carb composed of short chains of molecularly linked dextrose molecules. Maltodextrin is most commonly produced from corn, potato or rice.
Much like the other carbs included, studies show that including maltodextrin either during or after exercise greatly enhances endurance and glycogen replenishment, while also combating fatigue.[6,7]
Moreover, it’s time for the carbo-phobes to realize that their irrational fear of “carbs make me fat” is not valid. If you’re truly looking to maximize performance, muscle growth, and recovery, you NEED carbs either before, during, or after your workout!
Here’s where Alpha Carb really starts to separate itself from the majority of carb-only supplements on the market! Glutamine has long been used as a way to enhance recovery following intense workouts. But that’s not all this non-essential amino acid does.
Research has shown that glutamine is extraordinarily beneficial when it comes to glycogen replenishment.[8,9] Furthermore, glutamine is also an endurance booster as it increases plasma bicarbonate, an intracellular buffer. Plasma bicarbonate is extremely alkalizing and quickly neutralizes the buildup of lactic acid in the body.[10,11]
Di-Creatine Malate (2.5g)
Creatine Malate is one of the “sexier” forms of creatine that packages creatine alongside malic acid (malate). The reasoning for this hybridization is that it improves the bioavailability of creatine, thereby ensuring it gets absorbed by the muscles and not degraded in the stomach to creatinine, a useless creatine byproduct..
Creatine malate supposedly confers all the same power and strength benefits as creatine monohydrate[12,13] without the “bloat” typically attributed to monohydrate use. The malate component of creatine malate also enhances endurance by acting as a buffer in your muscles, similar to what was discussed with glutamine above.
BCAAs 2:1:1 (4g)
Lastly, Alpha Carb contains a healthy dose of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in the clinically proven 2:1:1 ratio. That means each scoop of Alpha Carb contains you’ll get 2g of Leucine, 1g of Isoleucine, and 1g of Valine.
BCAAs stimulate muscle protein synthesis[15,16] as well as quicken recovery and help alleviate DOMS.[17,18] This makes Alpha Carb not only a great performance supplement, but a stellar muscle-building and recovery product all in one!
So far, Alpha Carb is only available in Fruit Punch, and each tub of the carb blend contains 21 servings. That’s basically enough for a person who works out 5x per week each month, plus an extra serving if you have any miscellaneous workout days.
Carb supplements are coming back in a BIG way, and all the better that they now have more food-based ingredients. More people are finally realizing that carbs don’t need to be feared, and should really be embraced if you want to maximize your workout performance.
Alpha Carb uses high quality sources of carbohydrates that elevate it above the great majority of products available. The combination of simplex and complex sugars provides a sustained release of energy that will power you through your workout and go a long way to ensuring optimal recovery.
The question is, when will the masses finally start to embrace carbs and get past the early 2000s carbophobia? And one last thing on that matter: if you’re afraid you’re carb-sensitive, take a look at taking a glucose disposal agent alongside this – two of our favorites are Performax Labs SlinMax and Magnum Nutraceuticals MIMIC.
Alpha Carb - Best Deals and Price Drop Notifications
Get Price Alerts
No spam, no scams.
Like this Post? We have more on the way…
PricePlow is a price comparison site that asks one simple question: is this worth it?
The honest truth lives here. Follow us on social media below:
- WebMD: Nutrient Profile
- Takli H, et al. Fluids containing a highly branched cyclic dextrin influence the gastric emptying rate. Int J Sport Med. (2005)
- Hiroshi T, et al. Enhancement of Swimming Endurance in Mice by Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, Vol. 63, Issue 12 (1999)
- Takashi F, et al. Effects of ingesting highly branched cyclic dextrin during endurance exercise on rating of perceived exertion and blood components associated with energy metabolism. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, Vol. 78, Issue 12 (2014)
- Ivy, J. (1998). Glycogen resynthesis after exercise: effect of carbohydrate intake. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 142-5
- Malfatti C, et al. Maltodextrin’s Effect on the Performance of Elite Mountain Biking Athletes During Simulated Competition and on Power Output at the Ventilatory Threshold; Human Movement. Volume 12, Issue 3, Pages 232–236, ISSN (Online) 1899-1955, ISSN (Print) 1732-3991, DOI: 10.2478/v10038-011-0023-9, September 2011
- Pascoe DD, Costill DL, Fink WJ, Robergs RA, Zachwieja JJ. Glycogen resynthesis in skeletal muscle following resistive exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1993;25(3):349-354.
- Bowtell JL, et al. Effect of oral glutamine on whole body carbohydrate storage during recovery from exhaustive exercise. J Appl Physiol. (1999)
- Piattoly T.; Louisiana State University; “L-GLUTAMINE SUPPLEMENTATION: EFFECTS ON RECOVERY FROM EXERCISE ;” August 2005
- Koo GH., et al.; Journal of physical therapy science; “Effects of Supplementation with BCAA and L-glutamine on Blood Fatigue Factors and Cytokines in Juvenile Athletes Submitted to Maximal Intensity Rowing Performance;” August 2014
- Welbourne T.; The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; “Increased plasma bicarbonate and growth hormone after an oral glutamine load;” May 1995
- Bemben, M; The effects of supplementation with creatine and protein on muscle strength following a traditional resistance training program in middle-aged and older men.; Neuromuscular Lab, Dept. Health & Exercise Science, U. Oklahoma; 2010
- Chilibeck, P; Effect of creatine ingestion after exercise on muscle thickness in males and females.; College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan; 2004
- Giannesini B., et. al.; European Journal of Pharmacology; “Citrulline malate supplementation increases muscle efficiency in rat skeletal muscle;” September 2011
- Norton LE, Layman DK. Leucine regulates translation initiation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle after exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Feb;136(2):533S-537S.
- Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R; Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S
- Howatson G, Hoad M, Goodall S, Tallent J, Bell PG, French DN. Exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced in resistance-trained males by branched chain amino acids: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Jul 12;9:20.
- Sharp CP, Pearson DR. Amino acid supplements and recovery from high-intensity resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):1125-30.