Vitargo: King of Carbs?
- 04 Jun, 2019
Consuming a fast digesting carbohydrate drink is common practice in many sporting activities and can serve multiple purposes. Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for energy production, therefore using fast digesting and absorbing carbohydrate drinks before and during training, particularly in endurance type activities, can be of great benefit, increasing blood and muscle glucose/glycogen levels allowing you to maintain performance with this rapid energy giving fuel. Carbohydrates are also used because they illicit an insulin response greater than any other food source, simple high GI carbs typically give the biggest insulin response. This insulin response can be used to our advantage as insulin is the most anabolic hormone in the body, it acts like a dump truck for the muscles transporting all nutrients into the muscles, you only have to note (that in those of us with low body fat) the effect taking sugars has on our body, creating almost instantaneous dilation of veins making them pop out, as the glucose courses through our body increasing nutrient and blood flow in to the muscle, therefore even those of us who weight train, the use of fast digesting carb based products intra and post workout are a must, firstly to replenish energy stores and secondly to help direct nutrients, such as proteins, to help the muscles recover and grow. So why not just use any old fast digesting carb sources, let’s say for example a bag of our favourite sweets, well actually there a number of reasons. Firstly, although insulin is a great builder of muscle it also can lay down fat, sugary foods create an insulin response but this is less controlled than using other carb sources. Secondly, although they are relatively quickly digested and absorbed they can, in high doses, cause gastrointestinal discomfort i.e. bloating, stomach cramps and other unwanted issues. Other carb sources such as dextrose, glucose and maltodextrine are also typically used for this purpose, but like your favourite sweets can have similar effects, although there are slight difference in absorption rates and insulin response profiles. This is where Vitargo comes into play, Vitargo was manufactured with three key aims, firstly to replenish muscle glycogen as quickly as possible, secondly to do this in a way that doesn’t affect an over the top insulin response and thirdly to reduce the effects of other carb sources on gastrointestinal discomfort. Vitargo is actually a patented manufacturing process, which uses amylopectin starch, a carbohydrate source with large molecules with low osmolality which makes it more stable and soluble in water, therefore is more easily digested. Most sports drinks are recommended to have less than 8% glucose/sugar content in order to prevent stomach issues, because of the unique carbohydrate source used in Vitargo much greater amounts of carbohydrate can be absorbed therefore energy replenishment occurs quicker, in greater amount with less chance of discomfort. Another major advantage of Vitargo is that as it is so quickly absorbed, this creates a larger initial insulin response to help do all the good things insulin does, but insulin levels also return to normal levels quicker, meaning its impact on insulin over longer time periods is lower and therefore the negative aspects of longer elevated insulin levels are reduced. Vitargo is something I, and many of the Team CSN athletes, use throughout the year regardless of sport. From personal experience there is a noticeable improvement in my training and recovery when using Vitargo when compared to the carb sources mentioned above and it’s something I always have tucked away in my supplement armoury. Also, the price works out as excellent value for money when compared to lower quality, lower carbohydrate, sports drinks. Paul Rimmer (BSc, MSc)