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USP Jack3d Review
Waxy Maize Starch Supplement
White Flood by Controlled Labs
Yohimbe Bark Extract Info
ZMA Z Mass PM, Cyclo Zmass

What is Waxy Maize: Carbohydrates and Nutrition

It is well known in bodybuilding circles that consuming a high carbohydrate drink immediately following workouts is essential for replenishing depleted glycogen stores during intense workout sessions. A protein meal (shake) is taken within 15 to 20 minutes after a workout, and followed shortly by a post-workout meal. More recently, the bracketing method has become a popular method of timing your supplements that helps deliver the needed nutrients at the most optimal times. The bracketing method simply involves consuming a high carbohydrate drink typically with a serving of creatine, and sometimes with protein, glutamine, BCAA's or a few other key supplements. This is taken right before a workout, and then immediately after the workout - hence called the bracketing method.

Most probably know that intense exercise depletes your body's glycogen stores, and it is important to restore the lost glycogen stores. Delaying your consumption of carbohydrates post workout will result in reduced muscle glycogen storage, and because of this, it is standard for most serious athletes to consume a high carb drink immediately post workout. However, when it comes to carbohydrates, there are different types of carbohydrates, and not all carbs provide the same level of benefits of restoring glycogen.

Different carbohydrates will have different rates at which they enter the blood stream and cause a rise in insulin levels. For this reason, the Glycemic Index (GI) of foods is used to rate carbohydrate foods. The higher the glycemic index a food is rated, the faster it affects your insulin levels. Dextrose, also called d-glucose has a GI of 100, and because of this, is has been the carbohydrate most commonly used in a post workout carb drink. It is commonly used in creatine delivery mixes such as Muscletech Cell Tech, and you can see our rather old (many years) recipe of making your own homemade Celltech - simply using dextrose and creatine monohydrate.

This brings us to the key issue of this review - Waxy Maize Starch, also known as Amylocel. This is a type of carbohydrate known as a high molecular weight (HMW) carbohydrate that has gained popularity and recognition for its benefits as a post workout carbohydrate. Its cost is well above the old standard carbohydrate dextrose, so we will discuss the costs and benefits of Waxy Maize starch in this review with some interesting studies.

Waxy Maize Supplement for Post Workout Shake

So, what's the deal with the so called "High Molecular Weight" carbohydrates compared to something like dextrose? High molecular weight carbs have low osmolality rate, a much lower osmolality rate compared to high GI carbs such as dextrose, which have a much higher osmolality rate.

What does that all mean?

Osmolality simply means the concentration of particles in a solution. This is probably not the most scientific definition, but most of the scientific definitions are barely understandable. A solution that has a lower osmolality than blood is referred to as being Hypotonic, which means that a low osmolality solution passes through the stomach faster as compared to a high osmolality solution. What this simply means is that a high molecular weight carb such as waxy maize starch will pass through the stomach much faster into the small intestines than other carbs such as dextrose - in a nut shell, it will get to your muscles much faster.

To put things in perspective, a "high molecular weight carbohydrate", typically has a molecular weight of around 500,000 to 700,000. While dextrose has a molecular weight of about 180, and maltodextrin has a molecular weight of about 1,000 to 10,000 [1]. As you can see, the difference in molecular weight of a HMW carbohydrate (such as Waxy Maize) and a high GI carbohydrate such as dextrose is huge! Studies have determined that the osmolality of a carbohydrate drink will influence the rate of resynthesis of glycogen in muscle after depletion after exercise. See the study below:

Muscle glycogen resynthesis rate in humans after supplementation of drinks containing carbohydrates with low and high molecular masses.

This study looked at the rate of muscle glycogen synthesis during 2 and 4 hours of recovery after depletion by exercise using two energy equivalent carbohydrate drinks. the C-drink has a molecular mass of 500000 to 700000 with osmolality of 84, and the G-drink has a molecular mass of about 500 with osmolality of 350.

13 healthy and well trained men took the drinks after glycogen depleting exercise - one drink at each test occasion. Total carbohydrates consumed was 300g given in 75g doses in 4 settings - immediately after exercise, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and 90 minutes after exercise. Blood glucose and insulin concentrations were recorded every 30 minutes of the 4 hour recovery period.

The study found that the glycogen synthesis rate was significantly higher during the initial 2 hours for the C-drink compared to the G drink, leading to the conclusion that osmolality of the carbohydrate drink may influence the rate of resynthesis of glycogen in muscle after its depletion by exercise. [1]

>> Click here for Optimum Nutrition GlycoMaize Waxy Maize

Waxy Maize Starch Review

Because of its high molecular weight and low osmolality, Waxy Maize is able to basically bypass the stomach and get immediately absorbed in the small intestines. Because of this property, waxy maize also helps to improve the absorption rates of various supplements such as creatine and amino acids. Studies have found that HMW carbohydrates such as waxy maize raises insulin levels about the same as dextrose; however, because of its low osmolality, it bypasses the stomach, and you will not experience any stomach bloating that you might experience with dextrose. What's more noteworthy is that HMW carbohydrates leads to increased glycogen resynthesis post workout - as mentioned in the study above. So what you have is a carbohydrate that gets to the muscles fast, does not cause stomach bloating, increases nutrient uptake, and also increases glycogen synthesis post workout.

Another study of Waxy Maize found that supplementing a HMW carbohydrate results in a more sustained glucose and insulin response. [2] Furthermore, because of Waxy Maize's ability to increase glycogen resynthesis post workout, it is found that consuming a HMW carb improves performance for subsequent exercises. In a study involving 8 healthy men, the subjects cycled to exhaustion, and were then immediately given a one litre solution containing either a placebo, a 100g low molecular weight carbohydrate, or a 100g high molecular weight carbohydrate. A 2 hour rest followed the consumption of the drink, and then a 15 minute time trial was performed on a cycle ergometer. The study found that ingestion of the very high molecular weight carbohydrate resulted in faster and greater increase in blood glucose and serum insulin concentration compared to the low molecular weight carb and the placebo. The HMW carbohydrate group had a greater work output during the 15 minute time trial, suggesting that HMW carbohydrates such as waxy maize can help optimize performance by "facilitating rapid re-synthesis of the muscle glycogen store during recovery". [3]

Aside from scientific studies, there's plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that Waxy Maize is an optimal carbohydrate to consume immediately post workout. I won't make any assumptions based on what I read from other users, but personally, after some lengthy testing, I can say that I experienced no stomach bloating at all, my muscles felt fuller, and there was noticeably less muscle soreness in days following the workout - although I can't say if this is a direct result of using waxy maize starch or not. Regardless, I've been very happy with using waxy maize compared to dextrose.

Generally, there are two methods of taking waxy maize and other supplements. The idea is that because waxy maize is absorbed quickly, it will help improve the absorption of other supplements as well; however, by adding in too much of the "other" stuff, it could affect the absorption of waxy maize, so it would be best to simply keep the addition of other supplements to a minimum to only include some of the essentials such as creatine, glutamine, leucine, and some BCAA.

Some like to mix everything in one post workout shake - by mixing in waxy maize, creatine, glutamine, and 2 scoops of whey etc. But by mixing in so much extra stuff with the waxy maize, the overall mix of the drink may slow down the absorption. For me, I prefer to keep adding extra ingredients to a minimum, and take my whey separately from my waxy maize. I take 35g of waxy maize, 5g creatine, and 5g glutamine before workout. For my post workout shake, I take 70g waxy maize, 5g creatine, 5g glutamine. After 15 to 20 minutes after my waxy maize drink, I take 2 scoops of whey protein.

While Waxy Maize would appear to be a more optimal carbohydrate for post workout, its costs are also higher compared to dextrose. One pound of dextrose generally costs in the range of $1.50 to $2.50 per pound. Comparatively, one pound of Waxy Maize will cost in the range of $3.50 to $5.00 per pound - so roughly double the cost of dextrose. If you ask me if the extra cost associated with Waxy Maize is worth it, I would have to say it depends. After all, dextrose still works relatively well, and it is very cheap. If you're on a budget, then perhaps dextrose might make more sense in the overall scheme of things. On the other hand, while waxy maize costs a bit more, it is not going to break any budgets either. For me, I've really liked my results using waxy maize so far, so my plan is to use it as my post workout carbohydrate from now on.

>> Click here for Optimum Nutrition GlycoMaize Waxy Maize


1.Eur J Appl Physiol. 2000 Mar;81(4):346-51.
Muscle glycogen resynthesis rate in humans after supplementation of drinks containing carbohydrates with low and high molecular masses.
Piehl Aulin K, Söderlund K, Hultman E.

Department of Medical Sciences, University of Uppsala/LIVI, S-791 88 Falun, Sweden.

2. Nutr Res. 2009 Jun;29(6):383-90.
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.
Sands AL, Leidy HJ, Hamaker BR, Maguire P, Campbell WW.

3. J Sports Sci. 2008 Jan 15;26(2):149-54.
Post-exercise ingestion of a unique, high molecular weight glucose polymer solution improves performance during a subsequent bout of cycling exercise.
Stephens FB, Roig M, Armstrong G, Greenhaff PL.


Jan 2010