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The Bodybuilding Professor

Bryan Haycock MSc

Bryan haycock is an exercise physiologist, university instructor, writer, and consultant for the bodybuilding industry.

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Vitargo Or Waxy Maize?

I hear a lot about a carb powder called Vitargo. They say it’s the best to replenish glycogen after a workout. I also hear the same thing about waxy maize, which I can get a lot cheaper these days. Can I get the same effect as the Vitargo stuff from just using waxy maize?

First, let’s consider the differences between these two interesting carbs. Waxy maize is unlike most other starches in that it’s devoid of amylose. It’s composed entirely of amylopectin. This matters because amylopectin and amylose are digested differently. Amylopectin is easily and completely digested in the small intestine. Amylose is slower to digest and can even be converted into “resistant” starch, which acts as a type of fiber.

Now, Vitargo can actually be made from waxy maize. Vitargo resembles a glucose polymer more than a starch. Its claim to fame is that it has a high molecular weight and low osmolality. The practical difference between the two is their effects on insulin. Both have relatively fast gastric emptying times. Both are able to enter the bloodstream relatively quickly. Here’s where they differ, however:

Waxy maize continues to trickle into the bloodstream slowly over time with a small effect on insulin whereas Vitargo elevates both glood glucose and insulin significantly. The net result is that Vitargo has a profound effect on muscle glycogen replenishment in the short term, whereas waxy maize doesn't.

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