Waximaize is a starch obtained from varieties of maize (mainly corn starch but can include barley or rice) consisting largely (99%) of amlyopectin, compared with ordinary maize starch with 26% amylose and 74% amylopectin. Starch is a complex carbohydrate (polysaccharide) made from thousands of glucose units. Chemically speaking, starch is a white, odorless, tasteless, solid carbohydrate, typically composed of long chains of glucose molecules (1000 or more). The most common forms are amylose and amylopectin. Plants store the energy produced by photosynthesis in the form of starch.
Amylopectin is defined as the branched chain form of starch, making up 75 to 80%. Amylose is defined as the straight chain form of starch, making up 20 to 25%. Waximaize is actually a complex carbohydrate but in theory it's key attribute is that it absorbs extremely fast, making it ideal as a post workout/early morning carbohydrate source. It does this by bypassing the stomach and going right to the intestines for instant absorption.
- Absorbs faster than simple carbohydrates such as dextrose.
- Allows for faster glycogen replenishment – this is critical after a workout, after a demanding sporting event or in the morning after 8-10 hours of not eating.
- Allows other supplements to be absorbed faster.
- Promotes cell volumization.
Typically, fast absorbing, or sugary, carbohydrates are used only at certain key times of the day. The reason for this is that simple, sugary carbohydrates cause insulin spikes. Why is this a bad thing? While it's true insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone, it has a downside: constant spikes throughout the day lead to storage of body fat. In fact, the current obesity epidemic is partly due to this reason. Think about it: how many “foods” are loaded with an excess of not only fat but also sugar (among many other things)? This results in an excess of calories as well as an increase in insulin spikes due to the sugar. This two-headed monster then leads to body fat gains as the calorie level skyrockets over daily needs and the insulin spikes promote fat storage. So this means we want to control insulin spikes to the few key times mentioned above, in so doing we can take advantage of the anabolic properties of insulin while keep the negative aspects in check. Now, for me the hours surrounding the workout are the best time to take in simple carbohydrates, not only as part of the post workout shake but also before and during your workout. The most common simple carbohydrate for this use has always been dextrose or dextrose combined with malto-dextrin ( many people will use the fruit sugar fructose but in reality, fructose digests much slower than you would think, making it less than ideal for this purpose). Waximaize now competes with that combination as the preferred carbohydrate for that purpose, the theory being it will absorb faster. Add to it the proposition that waximaize can allow faster absorption of your supplements and it's a win-win situation! Now, at this point some of you may be asking why it's so important to use a fast digesting carbohydrate. The human body can only hold so much stored glycogen, this is what the body will use for energy. This means that any activity will burn stored glycogen to fuel that activity.
Training, as has been said before, is a catabolic event: it tears down muscle tissue and depletes stored glycogen levels dramatically. The first step in the process of recovery is to quickly replace carbohydrate levels and to get a fast digesting protein, such as whey protein, in your system to halt muscle breakdown. This process will move you from the dreaded, destructive catabolic state to an anabolic one, which is ideal for muscle growth – it should be obvious that the faster you can do this, the better. Moving on, cell volumization is that enhanced “pump” effect that is so popular today and that so many products promote, this is mainly tied into products containing creatine and nitric oxide but certainly not limited to just those two. Waximaize also enhances the pump by forcing water into the muscle cells causing them to expand in size – this is how cell volumizing works ( by the way, creatine was the supplement pioneer of this concept). Think of the implications if you mix in your creatine and nitric oxide with waximaize! Additionally, it is now thought that this “volumizing” effect is one of several paths to muscle growth. It is controversial, to be sure, but I for one am open to the possibilities until absolutely proven otherwise.
Waximaize, sometimes spelled waxymaize, products come in two main forms: pure waximaize or as part of a formula, these can be pre, intra or post workout formulas. On their own, they are a fluffy, hard to mix up powder that can taste quite good. Originally, waximaize came in flavors such as grape or fruit punch but it now comes as a natural flavor which may be better suited for mixing in protein. The formula products are available as powders and should mix up a little easier and they are available in a variety of flavors.
As hinted in the “benefits” section above, I am a believer in all three uses- pre workout, intra workout and post workout- as part of your training. This approach works to help keep you in an anabolic state even while undertaking a catabolic event such as working out. Therefore, I recommend using a formula product – or two – that can be taken before you train and sipped on during training. Your choice really should contain creatine, nitric oxide to name two, as this will take full advantage of cell volumizing. Many pre workout drinks contain caffeine, you have to decide if that fits in with you want ( I don't use caffeine while I train because I train too late in the day). When it comes to post workout you can, again, use a formula or simply mix up some whey protein with Waximaize.
So use should be surrounding the workout as well as in the morning with some protein. It can be used with protein after sporting events such as football, hockey or basketball, to name just a few, to again, quickly promote recovery. These sports are really catabolic events just like training is.
As always, follow the instructions on the label, as they will vary from product to product and formula type to formula type.