Maltodextrin is a complex carbohydrate made from either corn, rice or potato starch, with a molecular chain shorter than other complex carbs. It is largely used by athletes because it provides quickly the right amount of energy during the exercise. It also replenishes stores of sugar in muscles during recovery after intense activity.
Differently from other carbohydrates, Maltodextrin can be easily digested, so it doesn’t slow down the body. Its high glycemic index helps to provide a constant level of energy in time, without creating spikes of drops of glycemia. Maltodextrin has also the characteristic to be not too sweet as other additives used to make sports supplements, so it doesn’t leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth.
Following your workout, your body needs high glycemic index carbs to quickly restore blood glucose levels that may be dropping from a hard exercise session, and promote an anabolic (growth) state within muscle proteins. If you just take in a simple carb like dextrose though, you actually reduce the body’s ability to transport these carbs swiftly into the body due to a chemical state is known as osmolarity.
Maltodextrin is high in calories, so If you're trying to lose weight, you will want to avoid maltodextrin.