Heralded as a breakthrough in post workout carbohydrates, waxy maize starch is believed to be absorbed far quicker than traditionally used ‘recovery’ carbohydrates like dextrose and maltodextrin because of its higher molecular weight and a lower osmolality. Furthermore it’s believed that upon consumption waxy maize starch bypasses the stomach wall and goes straight into the intestines where it is absorbed and processed rapidly which is why it’s the preferred carbohydrate source for many athletes who need to replenish muscle glycogen levels as quickly as possible. Tennis players during a tournament, for example, will use waxy maize starch as a way of refuelling ready for another match which may occur in 1 or 2 days time.
Waxy Maize Starch And Creatine?
As well as being used to replenish muscle glycogen stores and aid recovery, waxy maize starch also serves as an ‘uptake agent’ for other key nutrients such as creatine. What this means is because waxy maize starch is rapidly absorbed it can also help to transport other nutrients to the muscle along with them. Obviously this is of huge importance since many scientists believe that when creatine isn’t taken with an uptake agent it’s delivery to the muscles, where it positively has an effect on ATP stores, is detrimentally affected.
Waxy Maize Starch And Lean Muscle?
Lastly another benefit of waxy maize starch is that unlike other high glycaemic index carbohydrates (like dextrose) that cause insulin levels to rise which in turn can make your body more prone to storing fat, Researchers at the Department of Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University in West Lafayette, USA found it doesn’t spike blood sugar levels and insulin levels as much. This is why it’s often the preferred choice of carbohydrate for athletes who want to keep body fat levels low but at the same time increase muscle mass, since you effectively get all of the recovery benefits without the added insulin and fat storage.
- Amanda L. Sands, Heather J. Leidy, Bruce R. Hamaker, Paul Maguire and Wayne W. Campbell (2009) ‘Consumption of the slow-digesting waxy maize starch leads to blunted plasma glucose and insulin response but does not influence energy expenditure or appetite in humans’ Nutrition Research, Volume 29, Issue 6, June 2009, Pages 383–390
- Michael D. Roberts, Christopher Lockwood, Vincent J. Dalbo, Jeff Volek and Chad M. Kerksick (2011) ‘Ingestion of a high-molecular-weight hydrothermally modified waxy maize starch alters metabolic responses to prolonged exercise in trained cyclists’ Nutrition, Volume 27, Issue 6, June 2011, Pages 659–665
- R. Wildman, C. Kerksick and B. Campbell (2010) ‘Carbohydrates, Physical Training, and Sport Performance’ Strength & Conditioning Journal: February 2010 – Volume 32 – Issue 1 – page 21-29