October 31, 2012

Exercise & Physical Health

Introduction to Superstarch – Part II

Read Time 7 minutes

In part II of this series, as promised, I interviewed one of the nations top trainers of professional athletes to provide a “real world” look at how athletes are using Superstarch.  As excited as I’ve been using Superstarch and sharing my experience with endurance athletes, I was really interested to know his experience was, both personally and professionally, using it with the type of athletes I don’t work with.

As you’ll see in this interview, he gets just as much joy working with and helping troubled high school athletes in disadvantaged schools as he does working with the best football players and track and field athletes in the world.  It’s been a huge honor for me getting to know him and learning about the conditioning and training of athletes in sports I can’t really relate to.  Most amazingly, I’ve come to realize that whether you’re a Heisman Trophy winner, an avid cyclist, or a weekend warrior, we all struggle with the same problems when trying to refuel our bodies.

Tell me a little bit about yourself, your athletic background, and what you do today?

My name is Ryan Flaherty and I am the founder of Prolific Athletes LLC, a sports performance training company based in Carlsbad, California, that specializes in teaching athletes of all levels to be fast and injury free. We train all types of athletes including professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB, Olympic Track and Field athletes, NCAA All Americans, and high school athletes all the way down to middle school all-stars. Our facility is focused on two very important athletic principles, which are speed and injury prevention. As a kid growing up I was not considered fast. I vividly remember when I was playing in a Little League baseball game and I was thrown out at first base when I hit a line drive to center field. Those familiar with baseball know that should never happen. As I was jogging past my coach back to the dugout I asked him what happened and he told me, “well, apparently you forgot to unhitch the trailer from behind you.” Aside from my coach needing a lesson in coaching kids, he was right, I was slow. Shortly after my embarrassing experience in baseball my mom made me join a track and field club at my middle school. At the time I was so frustrated because I was the only one out of all my friends that had to run track. But, looking back on it today I can emphatically say it was the best ‘athletic’ decision my mom ever made for me. My youth track coach, Paul Clark, spent countless hours with me to develop proper sprint mechanics and running form. The hard work paid off and soon I was one of the fastest kids in my middle school, then high school, and then college. I played football at Utah State University and was one of the faster players on the team, despite my size (I weighed 255 pounds). My speed combined with my size was not common and I was fortunate to have a great college career. The competitive advantage I had was that I learned at a very young age a secret that not many people know: speed is not something you’re necessarily born with, it is actually a skill that can be learned.

I am fortunate to now teach the youth athletes I work with what I was able to learn at a young age so they can reach their full athletic potential. Along with speed training, our philosophy equally emphasizes injury prevention. At the end of my football career I suffered several knee injuries that forced me to retire prematurely. Because of the injuries I became very motivated to understand the reason why they happened. I educated myself on ACL injuries while I was in graduate school and realized the archaic training I was getting from collegiate and professional strength coaches is what led to my knee injuries. Their programs were based on getting bigger, lifting heavier, and training harder. Much like nutrition, these “experts” or coaches were indoctrinated in old-school science and methodology. Today, a big part of what I am passionate about is being able to deliver the latest and greatest in science and research to the athletes I work with and help them to avoid injuries. Every athlete I work with is given an in-depth biomechanic movement analysis, movement screen, and we review past injuries before I design their unique training program. The information we gather gives me what I need to know to ensure that we are going to pinpoint their imbalances and develop those weaknesses to build a strong, balanced athlete.

What type of athletes do you work with?

Athletes that I train range from a 12-year-old kid who plays for the local Pop Warner (youth football league) all the way to Pro Bowl NFL quarterbacks. We have multiple programs that we offer for youth athletes that teach them how to sprint properly, change-of-direction speed, stimulus response training, flexibility, and core strength. Our High School programs offer the same as the youth training and here we introduce weight training. We also have a large NFL combine training program that prepares future NFL stars for the NFL combine and draft. I work with over 100 NFL players including: Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Donovan McNabb, Vince Young, and Vincent Jackson. I also work with several Division 1 programs as a consultant to their strength staff.  And, we recently launched our Non-Profit that trains a local inner city high school that is nominated based on their need. We train their athletes for a year, train their coaches on our training programs, and we give their weight room a makeover. This past year, Kearny High School (San Diego) was chosen and it was an amazing experience for us. 

Prior to using Super Starch, what sort of products did you use yourself?  What about your athletes?

Over the course of my career I have tried a lot of supplements. I’ve used whey protein, casein protein, egg protein, branch chain amino acids, glutamine, creatine monohydrate, waxy maize, pre-workout supplements…the list goes on and on. I am not a big proponent of supplement use with my athletes because it’s a slippery slope with the lack of research associated with a majority of these products. I emphasize getting their nutrients from food as opposed to using supplements and I preach high fat, low carbs, and eliminating sugar from their diets. Most recently, however, I have become a huge fan of Super Starch.

How did you learn about Super Starch?

I was introduced to Generation UCAN by you, (Peter Attia). I had actually never heard of it prior to you giving me some to try on my own last year. At the time I was struggling in my own personal training after making the switch to a higher fat, low carb, no sugar lifestyle and it made a big difference for me personally.

What did you notice, personally, when you switched from other sports nutrition products to Super Starch?

I have always struggled figuring out when and what to eat prior to workouts. I became accustomed to either having an upset stomach while I was training or, to avoid a stomachache, I wouldn’t eat and would bonk in workouts. It was a constant struggle to figure out the right combination of certain foods or supplements and timing my digestion to optimize my own performance.  I never quite figured it out, until I found Super Starch. I take it about a hour prior to my workouts and it doesn’t upset my stomach, it gives me steady energy, and I get a carbohydrate source that allows me to keep burning fat stores.

What have your athletes been telling you about the changes they’ve noticed since switching to Super Starch?

I have about 20 NFL athletes that are currently using Super Starch. I train a NFL athlete for a total of 5 months throughout the year. Every workout is very important to their overall improvement and missing one of those workouts can be a major set back in their progress. I have had so many athletes over the years miss workouts because of getting nauseated or because they didn’t eat and they crash halfway through. So, for a lot of these athletes Super Starch is a big deal. I would say the overwhelming response I get from them is that they feel like they can make it through our workouts without getting nauseas, they feel like they are stronger at the end of the workout, and that they love the fact that it’s so convenient for them when they are on the road travelling or running short on time.

Have you or your athletes found any downside to using Super Starch?

The problem I experience most with Super Starch is the chalky taste. I usually have them try making a smoothie with Super Starch, almond butter, heavy cream, almond milk, and ice. It is so good that they usually all come back with rave reviews of the smoothie and that helps with the chalky taste issue.

A lot of the athletes you train seem to exercise so much – many of them are professional athletes – why do they even care about fat burning?

A big misconception is that elite athletes don’t struggle with weight issues. I have professional athletes I train who have struggled with their weight for years. Most of these guys have a target weight that they have to be when they report to the NFL team they play for and if they fail to meet the weight expectation, they can either get released or fail their physical. I have actually seen the biggest benefit of Super Starch with the 300+ pound NFL athletes because it gives them an energy source that will keep them burning body fat while they train. This past summer I had a defensive tackle from a NFL team go from 340 to 315 pounds just by using Super Starch and removing all other supplements that contained sugar from his diet.

Have you encountered athletes who do not benefit from Super Starch?

The athletes that have not benefited from taking it have been the ones who either haven’t enjoyed the taste and didn’t continue, or guys who didn’t give it a chance because they didn’t feel a more immediate effect. Supplements these days usually make the athletes feel the effects in their workout after taking it only one time. Whether it’s the caffeine or beta alanine, the effects are pretty immediate. The thing about Super Starch is the effects are not very noticeable unless you struggle with GI distress, which Super Starch immediately helps with.

What do you see as the most important factors necessary to give athletes and parents of youth athletes the best information possible to make an informed decision about what sports nutrition products they use?

Some products out there have incredible marketing and I see so many parents giving their kids crap and thinking because Michael Jordan is on the commercial it must be great. (Cough) Gatorade. I think educating parents on the truth behind other products and comparing them to Super Starch in a simple way is a start. In order to make a nutrition product something that athletes can’t live without, it needs to serve a purpose in their life or they won’t care about it. So, that’s where I think the benefits of no GI distress come in to play for a lot of my athletes. Once I was able to show the difference between eating a heavy meal or drinking a UCAN shake and how much better their stomach felt during the workout, that was a selling point for them. Now they can’t train without it and they are telling their teammates, family members, and so on.

What do you see as the benefit of Super Starch for average people and their relatively more moderate exercise regimen?

I think the benefits would be the exact same benefits as the athletes I work with: it’s convenience for people who don’t have the luxury of being able to time their meals with meetings, the fact that it will keep them burning fat and not spike insulin levels, and providing a steady carbohydrate energy source.

Photo by Kolleen Gladden on Unsplash

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  1. Dr. Attia,

    Hi neighbor! (I live in San Diego too) A question regarding testing fat… Not my fat, but lard from my pigs. I started raising pigs for my primal freezer, then my neighbors wanted some, later my coworkers wanted in on the action after a BBQ. I’ve tweaked their diet over the years for HIGHER fat content. (The pigs, not my friends). I’ve even switched to a heritage breed known for its higher intramuscular fat. No “other white meat” for me! I’m happy with the apparent results. However, I’m also aiming for maximizing the lard fat profile through an optimal feeding program. I’m flying blind at this point because I can’t test my lard samples. I have samples from 100% grain fed lard to 100% grass fed and varying combinations thereof. Currently I have a batch of pigs on a ration which includes coconut meal (imitating the Tokelau by guesstimation)…

    Are you familiar with a lab or test where I can have these samples tested? Preferably local to San Diego? Shooting for Uber Bacon! Google hasn’t been much help for this one. Hopefully you don’t mind the offbeat question. I’ve enjoyed what you do here. Phenomenal and generous. See this link from an article at Weston Price for an idea of what I’m getting at.


  2. So, I hope this question hasn’t been addressed elsewhere (I did look!), or isn’t simply so obvious that I’m the only one who doesn’t get it, but there’s something I don’t understand about the properties of Superstarch. The labeling describes one serving (one scoop in the tubs) as containing 90 calories, but how is that to be of any use for even a moderate level of activity, especially if to the that value is being absorbed slowly over the the course of one or two hours?

    For example, if I run a 12-minute two-mile, I’m probably consuming somewhere between 200-300 calories, and if only a portion of Superstarch becomes available in that time, how could it possibly sustain serious activity? I really hope this doesn’t seem like an assault on the product, because I love this site and have ordered and use Superstarch because of it. I’m assuming that the misunderstanding is due to a technicality in the labeling requirements, but I would like to understand how SS functions calorically in the real world, as opposed to the FDA’s. 😉 Thanks for your all your time and effort!

    • Great question, Tristan! The point is that you’re carrying over 100,000 kcal on your body. Calorie-for-calorie replacement during exercise is impossible, except at low levels. For example, a tempo ride for me is about 2700 ml/min O2, about 750 kcal/hour. But I can do that for several hours without eating a bite, even when glycogen stores are low, because at that level of exertion my RQ is about 0.80, so I only need about 150 to 200 kcal from CHO (glycogen + any ingested CHO). Does this make sense? Maybe worth re-watching the video in Part I where I explain this in better detail.

  3. Hi Peter!

    I’ve been following a LCHF diet and particularly a ketogenic diet for the past 6 months or so. I went from pretty chubby to somewhat leaner (about a 35lb drop) and feel better than ever. Now that I am beginning to lean out I would like to strength train in order to gain some muscle as I begin to cut. However, I am not really in a place where I can afford products such as Super Starch. I am limited to pretty basic supplements and real food. Do you have any suggestions for an ideal post-workout meal? Do I even need a post workout meal? Almost all the resources I have read are coming from a traditional carb-loading perspective. I have read “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance” and they only address this issue in passing with very little real world advice. What are your thoughts?

    • Probably most important thing you can do is ingest a bit of protein pre-workout (only 5-10 gm necessary), but more importantly, about 20-25 gm immediately after. There are other sits that will do a much better job of giving you insight into which foods could be most helpful in this regard.

  4. Hey Peter.

    I don’t know if you alrady talked about it, I’m sure someone asked but I can’t fin this information on this site (well, a bit in the last post here). Most of the people here are interested in losing weight but what about gaining weight? Is it possible without adding carbs at all or is a small quantity post-workout required? If so, what do you think is the safe amount to stay in ketosis? Thank you very much.

    • Read the article, Negg. It’s pretty clear what he’s saying. He’s not talking about “low” carb, he’s specifically addressing “zero” carb. A zero carb diet is nearly impossible to consume. I don’t know anyone who has (except him). I guess the Inuit did, though they seemed fine. Could be genetic differences, I suppose.

    • In addition to opposing zero carb diets, Jaminet has been outspoken in advocating pretty substantial carb consumption, around 150g per day, mostly from “safe starch.” He warns of various dire dangers of consuming inadequate glucose, even well short of zero carb and very much within then range of popular low-carb approaches such as Atkins (e.g., loss of mucous, hypothyroidism, suppressed immune functioning, facilitation of fungal infection via ketones).

      Jaminet opposes ketogenic diets (except as specific therapy for certain diseases, and even then insists that starch be eaten along with coconut oil, MCT oil, etc. to compensate). He advocates substantial starch consumption even for diabetics and obese people and has strongly criticized Gary Taubes, Ron Rosedale, etc. He has quite a following and has apparently converted many low-carbers to his “Perfect Health Diet.” He appears to have quickly became a major opinion shaper in the ancestral health movement and says he’ll be an editor of their new journal. In 2/12 he wrote:

      ” . . . we would say that a carb intake around 30-40% is neutral and fully meets the body’s actual glucose needs; and discuss the pros and cons of deviating from this neutral carb intake in either direction.

      For most people, I believe a slightly carb-restricted intake of 20-30% of calories is optimal.”

    • As I read it, the diet Jaminet writes about was “effectively” zero carb, but included a “high vegetable” component, amounting to 300 calories of carbs per day. For that to be “effectively” zero carb, I would assume that means about 75 grams of low carb vegetables, such as those recommended by Westman et al at Duke in the initial stage of their ketogenic diet, as well as in the initial stage of Westman’s New Atkins.

      Peter, do you agree that this would be zero carbs?

      What about Jaminet’s discussion of the long term effects of such a low carbohydrate Intake. Do you know of any studies that report those?
      Are they Biologically plausible?

      • I don’t agree with Paul’s suggestion, as I read it, but I’d rather not comment on it until I could speak with him directly. I hate when people mis-represent what I say/write, so I try to avoid doing it to others.

  5. Please excuse any naivete on my part with the next question, as I feel that I may be one of the least educated persons on this site, but there were just a few things swimming around as I have been poking through your postings and the blogs…
    1. I have been looking into effective ways to determine your bodily environment, i.e. acidic or alkaline. Urine strips and mouth litmus are offered, but have naysayers for each, saying they are basically ineffective indicators.. Have you tried anything in your blood panel that could give a clue as to how your unique ketogenic diet has affected the acidity of your body? Can this even be determined? (Cancer is very high on the concern list for me).
    2. Can you point to any well-founded, well-executed studies that show the effect of a ketogenic diet and pregnancy? Is there any risk to maintaining this lifestyle during those months?
    3. I am new at trying this personal experimentation idea based on your journey, and I wonder if there are any combinations of diet that are absolute No-Nos? I don’t believe I am ketonic at this point, and am far too sissy to get a blood panel, but am systematically trying to eliminate most carbs from my diet, save nuts, seeds and veggies. I have increased my fat intake, in the form of olive and grapeseed oil, flax seeds, cheeses, eggs, peanut butter and am trying the coconut oil thing. If I am not achieving ketosis, can a “half-assed” approach at low carb be detrimental? Because of the increase in fats and proteins(<120 daily) and probably overall calories (I know there is a post on calories, just humor me). I have a history of diabetes in my family, have no reason to believe that I am insulin resistant, but tend to hold a lot of water and weight when I do eat flour, sugar or other known criminals…and they really slow me down.
    I am again asking as a member of the general and uneducated public. I do try very hard to understand what you write, but am struggling a little bit from time to time. Please do not be offended if these questions seem far too simplistic or ridiculous. I have been debating for a week or two as to whether to even ask them… Thank you so much for all you do!

    • Lauren, all great questions.
      1. Addressed in previous comments, though I don’t recall where. Sorry.
      2. No, I’m not aware of any and I don’t think it’s necessary, even in the case of gestational diabetes. Though a well-formulated carb-reduced diet, especially one reducing sugar and refined carbs, would be advantages. Prospective studies are emerging to test this directly.
      3. I’ve never felt that a very high fat + high carb diet makes sense.

  6. Hi Peter, I enjoy your site and the great information on it. I’ve been primal/low carb for about 3 years after being an avid carb eater and have had no problem dumping the carbs. I’m 62, 6’4, 185, play hockey 4 times a week and after initially going primal hit the wall big time, while playing “carbless”.

    I migrated over to a book called something like primal for athletes and now carb up with a baked potato 3 hours before playing as well as a banana and my usually sports smoothie consisting of strawberries, orange, Mark Sissons whey powder, bcaa powder and walnuts.

    My question is with UCAN powder could I forgo the potato and still have the energy to play hockey.

  7. Peter,
    I’m a marathon runner and just received my first shipment of Ucan so that I can test it out. I am currently using Vitargo for my fueling needs during racing, another high MW carb product that is easier on my stomach compared to other options (but not perfect…gut rot at mile 21 is possible, trust me).

    The developers are proud that it spikes insulin levels higher than maltodextrin and they tout this as a benefit. In the back of my mind I always wondered if that was a real benefit when it comes to endurance. Weight lifting or sprinting, maybe, but not marathon running. Your talks have convinced me that it’s not a benefit…but perhaps a spike could be good for some individuals depending on how they burn carbs/fat ?? I’m not an expert so I’m wondering how an insulin spike during a marathon can be a benefit to anyone wanting to prevent hitting the wall.

    • No benefit to spiking insulin during aerobic or even anaerobic activity. Post workout glycogen replacement does not require a “spike” either. Even a modest rise in insulin a glycogen-depleted state will drive all available CHO into the liver and muscle as glycogen.

  8. Thanks, Peter. I see now that I’ve been doing everything wrong for years. My usual protocol involves eating carbs in the morning to “top off my tank” prior to the marathon and then consuming insulin-spiking carbs during the race. No wonder I hit the wall nearly every freakin time. I’ve done pretty well for myself so I cannot really complain, but I am VERY excited to test out my new nutrition strategy. Thank you!!

  9. Hi.
    I know there are many variables to consider but I have a question.
    I train with heavy lifting (deadlifts, squats etc, in the 5reps of 5 sets region) plus I also do some of the exercises recommended by Doug McGuff.
    Essentially I do high intensity bursts, lasting up to around 90 seconds, driving my anaerobic pathways hard, and the subsequently the aerobic pathways during recovery.
    I’m ‘assuming’ that I am predominantly using my muscle glycogen for emergency on site usage.
    My question is about recovery. I currently consume 3 wholegrain rice cakes (around 18g of carbohydrate in total) plus 20g of Vitargo (see here https://www.vitargo.com/) with the aim of getting my muscle glycogen replenished as quickly as possible. I’ve never tested my insulin response to this ingestion of Carbs post recovery.
    Do you think this is a) too much carbs in terms of grams; and b) having an adverse affect on my insulin sensitivity?
    Please feel free to advise in any way. I know you get stacks of questions and appreciate you might not be able to give me too much detail.

  10. I suppose having read through a lot of the information on your blog, I’m now questioning the concept of consuming ‘high quality’ carbs immediately post exercise in order to replenish muscle glycogen stores. Recovery from exercise is extremely interesting to me. I am low carb (around 100g or so each day) moderate protein and high fat. I follow many of the principals of intermittent fasting, and the Bulletproof diet, which is effectively coffee + grass fed butter + MCT oil in the morning, then eating between 2 and 9pm. I only eat any ‘root’ carbs after training with my main meal. train 3 – 4 times per week. I have no ‘sugars’ or processed foods. I’m 75kg and 5’10” body fat is around 14% (and falling)

  11. Hi Peter
    I would like to adopt your approach but need a little nudge in the right direction.
    Are you able to recommend any well conducted studies on the role of nutrition on recovery from exercise (high intensity preferably). Specifically on balance / quantities of macronutrients, timings, modes of ingestion etc.
    No problem if not, but I thought if anyone would know of well conducted studies it would be yourself.
    Best regards

    • There is very little WELL DONE research in this field, regardless of dietary approach. A colleague of mine spent a few years studying this in great detail and came away with very few solid conclusions. Much of what is known re: bodybuilding is empirical. Anyone who thinks bodybuilders are not bright would be surprised at their insight into maximizing anabolism, both chemically and nutritionally. As for HIIT/Crossfit-type work, much of work is limited. I do this type of training 3x per week and have been able to adapt, but it took a long time. My initial response to carb reduction was a reduction in performance, also. I think Volek and Phinney have a book about performance, that may be worth looking at.

    • Yes, I quite enjoyed it. I’ve never found the argument remotely compelling that one needs post-workout carbs to promote anabolism, which this seems to support. I do think — depending on intensity and RQ — there is a role for glycogen replacement, though this is a different issue.

  12. Everyone is different and I think Peter is saying that we need to take the facts about biology and apply it to our individual biology and individual lives – how we train, our genetic makeup, how we respond to diet, etc, etc – and see what works best for each person. There is no cookie cutter solution.

    I recently cut my carbs and upped my fat intake, but I’m playing around with the mix and the timing. I’m a runner and doing hard 800m intervals is doable with minimal carbs – much to my surprise. My problem is recovering from all my workouts during the week in order to do a longer, semi-hard 12-16 mile run. I’m finding that I run out of gas so I’m upping my carbs slightly during the week to see if that changes.

  13. Hi Peter, Thanks for all the great information. Your blog was recommended to me by a friend and I have not been disappointed.

    I have a question about Superstartch…I lived quite happily (and, I thought, healthily) on a ketogenic diet (albeit low fat) for a good five years. Felt amazing, endless amounts of energy and was very lean. However, after a 6 month period of sustained stress and sleep disruptions, in combination with the extreme and exercise regime i was undertaking at the time, started to suffer from adrenal fatigue/hypothyroid symptoms (and started to put on weight). All of my practitioners advised me to add carbs back into my diet, for the reason that the low carbohydrate/low calorie diet was downregulating my thyroid (I had very low free t4 and free t3) and was causing my RT3 to increase. I stopped my ketogenic diet at this point in time. Now I can honestly say that except for a 3 am wakeup every night, my energy levels and all symptoms have resolved, however,I am terrified to go back to a ketogenic diet again, principally because of these purported effects on the thyroid. However, if i were to add Superstarch to my diet, would this provide the necessary carbohydrates for T4 to t3 conversion, whilst still allowing me to extract the fat loss benefits of ketosis? Would this kind of diet be stressful on the adrenals?

    • I’m not sure if superstarch is the solution, but it sounds like things were not well before. Hard for me to know what is best for you just based on a short history.

  14. I’ve been training LCHF for quite a while now ~1.5 years, but in the last 2 months I’m really serious, I don’t cheat at all with carbs. ~25-50G per day, mostly in the form of vegetables. Cycling is my sport and my weekly average is about 150-180 miles, most of those miles are on an empty stomach with water/electrolyte.
    I did a century last week as my first experiment for a long haul. I used one SS shake 30 min before the ride began. The first 60 miles I felt pretty good, just on water. At the lunch stop, I decided that I ought to grab a few little potatoes and 1/2 banana, then put another SS shake in my water bottle. I drank about 12 oz and hit the road. About 15 minutes later, my stomach was clamped down in pain and I felt like screaming groceries. I never did, but I was not good at all for the last 25-30 miles. My riding buddy pulled me in the last 20. What happened? I was unable to eat at the end and it was about 2 hours before I could put anything down. Any advice would be great.

    • Hmmm, very serious GI distress, for sure. Hard to explain from 1/2 banana and a few little potatoes. I wonder if it would have happened without those foods, but additional SS? Or the reverse?

  15. …………………

    Stars Go Blue

    I decided to spike my insulin this afternoon – via – forcing myself to eat the following and I wasn’t hungry

    one cucumber( tolerable)
    one summer squash(tolerable)
    3 cups grapes(not so tolerable)
    one cup brown cooked rice(very boring)

    Unless this results in something great(fat loss) – this is the last time I’m doing this and even then – I think’s I’ll use whey protein instead – if there is a next time

    I was surprized how unenjoyable this exercise in spiking insulin was – and right now I don’y give a crap as I may need to perform surgery on myself to relieve the pressure – then call 911 to get some one to take me to hospital to fix my bad surgery – I think I’ll skip the self surgery on second thought

  16. I stumbled upon a athletic energy product out of the UK called Elivar Smart Nutrition which claims a slow release of glucose via Isomaltulose (chemical name: 6-0-?-D-glucopyranosyl-D-fructose), also known by the trade name Palatinose. It is a disaccharide manufactured enzymatically from sucrose via bacterial fermentation. There is a study on it showing a slow release of glucose. Holub, et.al. (2010). “Novel findings on the metabolic effects of the low glycaemic carbohydrate isomaltulose (Palatinose™)”. British Journal of Nutrition 103 (12): 1730–7. The peak glucose level for test subjects was 5.8 mmol/l and the max insulin level was 227.8 pmol/l which was 50% lower than sucrose which was 470.1 pmol/l.
    What you think about it’s effectiveness in still allowing for fat burning compared to SS?

  17. After reading your articles on Superstarch, I decided to try it. I LOVE it, but there’s one huge problem that I have…

    I am an avid crossfitter and I have been on a keto diet for many years. I do a strength program (mad cow) in the early morning and an intense wod in the early evening. I rest on Sundays. When I take Superstarch (3 scoops before each workout; 6 scoops per day), I have much more energy that I can put into my workouts and my strength seems to be improving at a much better pace. My wife, who is also an avid crossfitter has tried Superstarch and she loves it. She is setting new PRs in all her lifts and she continues to best her benchmark wods!

    So here’s my problem: Superstarch is Super expensive. Between my wife and I, we consume an entire tub (30 servings) in just 3 days. We go through 9 tubs a month ($540 per month). We can not sustain this expense and we are torn about it because the benefits that we see while taking Superstarch are tremendous. Are you aware of any natural food sources (or) products out there that may provide similar effects without the super high price tag?

  18. Peter-

    As a thought experiment, imagine I were to take several doses of SS over the course of a day, and then sit on the couch and watch TV shows. In this case, wouldn’t my glucose level have to increase at some point, and my insulin level follow shortly behind? Am I missing something? Unless there is some magical “only get absorbed when insulin levels are low” property of this product, the user still needs to insure they are not overloading on SS calories. Is that right?

    I am trying to control insulin levels as a way to treat a channelopathy. I have been controling insulin with a LC/HF diet and caloric restriction, but I am losing more weight than desired. I wonder if SS might be a useful tool.

    As always, thank you for spreading your insights and knowledge. This blog has been enormously helpful in using diet to mitigate symptoms.


    • It depends on how insulin sensitive the person is. Some people will “dispose” of the glucose with far less insulin than others. It also depends on the state of glycogen stores.

    • Dr. Attia,

      Firstly, thank you so much for this information. I have cerebral palsy and mild Aspberger’s and have been following the ketogenic protocol for about 3 weeks now with amazing benefits. I consider myself very active, not necessarily sports-wise. I do lift three to four days a week and incorporate a lot of functional fitness in addition to working my cleaning business every night and chasing my special education students around during the day when I substitute teach. I was wondering if UCAN Super Starch would benefit me daily. I have lost some weight, down to 139lbs and holding and am 5’10”. I do not want to lose any more weight and actually gain some muscular strength.

      I use the KetoForce supplement and it helps to fight the fatigue and adaptation phase of ketosis for me. My question is would UCAN Super Starch help regulate my energy levels, especially in the second half of the day when I do workout and am active the most? On days when I’m in my home office writing or seeing clients, would the SS be beneficial in regulating sustained energy levels or should I just use it on my more active days?

      I hope I made sense. Thanks again for helping me change my life around. I’m working with other persons with cerebral palsy and autism to adopt a LCHF lifestyle to see if it would benefit them as well.

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