Amylopectin
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Amylopectin

What is amylopectin?

Amylopectin is a carbohydrates, which is the reason why it is a source of energy that comes from the carbohydrates, more speficically from a type of polysaccharide that is made of a branched structure that is made of multiple units of glucose at the same time. Each amylopectin molecule can have from 100000 to 200000 units of glucose, and each branch has around 20-30 units of glucose, which will give it an spherical structure. 

Amylopectin is part of the structure of starch, a heteropolysaccharide, in which we can find another polymer: amylase. Starch is made of approximately an 80% of amylopectin.

Amylopectin is a Complex Carbohydrate

Amylopectin belongs to the complex carbohydrates group, a designation that is applied when they have more than two glucose polymers.

Let's not forget that glucose is a monosaccharide, which is the basic unit of carbohydrates that the body uses. If there is a polysaccharide structure, like that of amylopectin, it will be necessary to previously break the molecular structure down to its basic unit (glucose).

Amylopectin has certain peculiarities when it is broken down and absorbed by the body, which is where we can find its beneficial effects for our health.

Amylopectin provides quick and absorbable energy.

Table of contents

    1. What is amylopectin?
    2. Amylopectin is a Complex Carbohydrate
    3. Characteristics of Amylopectin
      1. Molecular weight of Amylopectin
      2. Osmolarity of Amylopectin
    4. Amylopectin and Glycemic Index
      1. Insulin and Amylopectin
    5. What are the types of Amylopectin?
    6. Properties and Benefits of Amylopectin
      1. Amylopectin and Sport Performance
      2. Recharge energy after the workout
      3. Amylopectin and Carbohydrate Loading
    7. How and when to take Amylopectin?
    8. How to combine Amylopectin?
    9. Who can benefit from Amylopectin?
    10. Where to buy amylopectin?

Characteristics of Amylopectin

There are two features that stand out when compared to other sources of carbohydrates:

  • High molecular weight
  • Low osmolarity

Molecular weight of Amylopectin

The first property is an index that points to the breakdown rate of the molecular structure when it enters the organism: the lower the index, the lower the breakdown. Therefore, amylopectin will arrive at the intestine practically intact, where it will be absorbed. 

It has a high molecular weight, which indicates the number of glucose molecules that will be broken down (for its later transformation into energy). In this sense, amylopectin maintains an optimal number of these. So, amylopectin will provide and effective and optimal supply of our glycogen reserves without altering our glycemia (insulin) disproportionately and which also prevents the hypoglycemia that would occur later on due to the increase in insulin, something that would definitely happen with high glycemic index carbohydrates. 

Osmolarity of Amylopectin

La baja osmolaridad indica que no absorberá agua ni fluidos estomacales, reduciendo problemas derivados, como los calambres, y además su paso por el estómago se realizará de manera muy rápida, sin producir ningún tipo de malestar estomacal.

Its low osmolarity indicates that it will not absorb water nor stomach fluids, which reduces problems like cramps. Moreover, when it will go very quickly through the stomach, without producing any kind of stomach upset.

Amylopectin and Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) indicates how the insulin levels rise depending on the type of carbohydrate. Despite having a high IG, amylopectin will not be broken down in the same way as other elements like simple sugars. This is another reason why its consumption is beneficial for athletes, because the glucose will be steadily supplied to the bloodstream.

Insulin and Amylopectin

A carbohydrate is a macronutrient that stimulates the release of insulin, an anabolic hormone which enhances the amount of nutrients that enter the cell. If we focus on this aspect we can see the behavior of this hormone according to how it is released due to the type of carbohydrate, which means that we can see how its glycemic index produces a higher or lower release of insulin from the pancreas. 

We can find:

  • Simple carbohydrates -> high glycemic index -> high insulin response
  • Complex carbohydrates -> low glycemic index -> low insulin response

But in the case of amylopectin, it is a complex carbohydrate with a high G.I. which provides a sustained energy supply (low G.I) because it has been enzymatically modified, producing a medium insulin response.

What are the types of Amylopectin?

Amylopectin is known as "waxy maize" in the field of sport supplementation, and it mainly consists on sources of carbohydrates that can be found in:

  • Corn
  • Barley
  • Potato

Glycogen, which is stored in the liver (hepatic glycogen) and within the muscles (muscle glycogen), is similar to amylopectin in terms of its molecular structure.

Moreover, we know that starch is mostly made of amylopectin, which is in fact the vegetable equivalent to glycogen. However, there are other sources available, like the amylopectin from potato.

Properties and Benefits of Amylopectin

  • Improving sports performance
  • Recharging the energy that has been spent during the workout or as a previous "loading” phase

The main purpose of consuming amylopectin is its effective loading of muscle glycogen, or the recharge of the energy from the glucose substrate that has been spent after the physical activity, or to provide enough energy before the workout in order to maximize the performance.

Amylopectin and Sport Performance

When it comes to enhancing the athletic performance, amylopectin is mainly involved in the following activities:

  • Use of glycogen (high intensity)
  • Prolonged duration

Athletes who carry out high-intensity interval activity (HIIT workout) or weight lifting can also benefit from this product.

Examples of such activities or sports are: Athletics, CrossFit, Team Sports (Football, Basketball...), or Individual Sports (Rowing, Tennis)...

Amylopectin and Physical Performance

The athlete undergoes a heavy workload in all these sports where the glycolysis prevails (mostly anaerobic exercise). This is a metabolic pathway through which we obtain high performance energy from the glucose that is stored in the corresponding glycogen deposits to maintain the level of demand and intensity all the time.

Sometimes, the carbohydrate deposits are limited, and in such cases the individual has a reserve that will last roughly two-hours, operating at our maximum capacity. However, the body will be able to detect the next energy expenditure and it will hinder the performance by "forcing us" to cease said activity.

From this, we can conclude that it is important to provide an adequate supply in order to successfully complete the event we are participating in, and to be able to maintain our physical capabilities and performance.

Recharge energy after the workout

Depending on certain factors such as: the type of activity, our physical condition, the state of our energy deposits, and the duration and intensity of the activity in question, we may experience a depletion of the energy reserves.

This does not only result in the expenditure of muscle glycogen, but also it will also involve the mobilization of the hepatic glycogen. If they are not optimally recharged, the following performances in future workout sessions will not meet our expectations.

Based on the factors that have been previously mentioned, we can prolong the recharge of the energy deposits from 24 to 48 hours.

Amylopectin and Carbohydrate Loading

The pre-competition "Carbohydrate Loading" has been used by the most of athletes when they have had to face a competitive event, which has provided remarkable results.

This strategy consists on producing a "super-compensation" by following these two steps:

  • 1.- In the days leading up to the competition, the intake of carbohydrates is reduced to almost 0 in order to achieve the maximum depletion of the reserves.
  • 2.- Carbohydrate loading. The consumption of carbohydrates will be done around 2-4 days before the competition, and it will consist on increasing even up to an 80% of the calories from the diet of the sportsperson, depending on the demands of the event, as well as the experience in previous loadings.

In this way, we will increase the glycogen stores above the normal levels to which the athlete is normally used to.

The role of amylopectin in a carbohydrate loading will be to help with the energy support and to meet the necessary requirements during the carbohydrate load. The sportsperson will not experience any stomach problem thanks to the special properties of amylopectin, which is what makes it an excellent resource to take into account.

We can take amylopectin during carbohydrate loading with the different meals of the day, as well as before, during and/or after the workout.

This technique, which is generally more relevant in performance sports, is also used by bodybuilders, because it helps to produce some of the desired esthetic effects when it comes to the competition. Amylopectin also helps with carb loading for bodybuilding competitions.

How and when to take Amylopectin?

Amylopectin can be labeled as a pre-workout supplement, which are those that are taken before, during, and/or just after sport sessions.

Amylopectin has been designed for those activities that require high glycogen deposits in order to make the most of our athletic capacity. Moreover, due to the characteristics that we have mentioned, we can use amylopectin before, during, and/or after physical activity, because it is going to produce an effective recharge and support of the energy so that we can mantain the intensity and duration of the exercise.

The treasured properties of amylopectin make it a perfect supplement for these specific moments:

  • Before starting physical activity (from 30 to 45 min before): in this way, we will contribute to the partial recharge of the muscle glycogen deposits, optimizing the later response during the workout. The recommended amount of amylopectin would be around 25-50 g.
  • During physical exercise: it will allow an almost instanteneous recharge of the energy that we use, which will result in better responses in terms of physical performance. We can estimate a glycogen depletion of around 2-3 g per minute in trained athletes. Therefore, taking 25-50g of amylopectin drinks every 30 minutes is a good choice to carry out high-intensity activities.
  • After the workout: we should take advantage of the insulin sensitivity, so that we obtain an optimal glycogen re-synthesis. The recommended amount of amylopectin is around 50-100 g.

How to combine Amylopectin?

Amylopectin can be combined with practically any other supplements that are aimed at the recovery phase and muscle growth.

How to take Amylopectin
  • Amylopectin with Whey protein: we can drink a pre or post-workout shake made with fast absorption proteins and amylopectin, in a 2:1 ratio in favor of the carbohydrate.
  • Amylopectin with Creatine: we can take a post-workout shake with amylopectin and creatine to recharge both the glycogen and ATP deposits. If we are carrying out a creatine loading phase, this would be achieved with one daily serving, otherwise, we will directly add 1g of creatine for every 10kg of body weight. 
  • Amylopectin with Glutamine: an excellent choice would be making a shake of amylopectin and 5-10g of glutamine to recover from the physical effort
  • Amylopectin with Pre-workout supplements.

We can create a supplementation plan by combining the previous ingredients as follows:

  • Pre-workout: 1 serving of Pre-workout Supplement with 25-50 g of amylopectin
  • Post-workout: 25-50g of Protein + 50-100g of amylopectin + creatine + 5-10g of glutamine

Who can benefit from Amylopectin?

  • Sportspeople who want an extra energy supply, specially those who perform endurance activities with high energy demands.
  • Those who practice endurance or strength sports who are going to carry out prolonged workouts or competitions.
  • Fitness sportspeople during bulking phase who want to mix it with proteins and achieve a better caloric intake that will promote the development of the muscle.

Where to buy amylopectin?

You can purchase amylopectin on this website. One of the best products from our catalog is the Amylopectin by HSNraw, available in 1 or 3 kg in the following flavors: Neutral, Lemon, Strawberry, Orange or Tropical.

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