Frequently Asked Questions
(answered in most part by the Vitargo Global Sciences, LLC scientific team - featuring Anthony Almada)
*Vitargo and Fastest Muscle Fuel are registered trademarks and are not owned by MuscleFuelNinja.com
**Vitargo and VitargoS2 are used interchangeably in this FAQ unless described as being different
Each batch of Vitargo is tested for banned substances through BSCG
Vitargo is certified gluten free via Elisa Testing
Vitargo is NCAA compliant - many NCAA schools and athletes are using it
So, perhaps the most common question born from the most common MISCONCEPTION. Why Carbs? You hear it all the time, 'I'm on a low-carb diet'. You probably also hear, '...no carbs, I totally avoid carbs... no carbs, no carbs, no carbs'. But, what you're hearing is total bunk. What these people don't understand is that carbohydrates are essential to optimize workout and athletic performance. In fact there is no scientific evidence showing that a low-carb diet is better.
... Although low-carbohydrate diets were popular in the 1970s they have resurged again yet little scientific fact into the true nature of how these diets work or, more importantly, any potential for serious long-term health risks in adopting this dieting practice appear to have reached the mainstream literature. Evidence abounds that low-carbohydrate diets present no significant advantage over more traditional energy-restricted, nutritionally balanced diets both in terms of weight loss and weight maintenance. Studies examining the efficacy of using low-carbohydrate diets for long-term weight loss are few in number, however few positive benefits exist to promote the adoption of carbohydrate restriction as a realistic, and more importantly, safe means of dieting. While short-term carbohydrate restriction over a period of a week can result in a significant loss of weight (albeit mostly from water and glycogen stores), of serious concern is what potential exists for the following of this type of eating plan for longer periods of months to years. Complications such as heart arrhythmias, cardiac contractile function impairment, sudden death, osteoporosis, kidney damage, increased cancer risk, impairment of physical activity and lipid abnormalities can all be linked to long-term restriction of carbohydrates in the diet. The need to further explore and communicate the untoward side-effects of low-carbohydrate diets should be an important public health message from nutrition professionals. -(Bilsborough SA 2012)
So, wanna low-carb your way to a leaner physique? It'll be like trying to run your car without gas in the tank. Not a smart choice and flat out just not going to happen. In fact, your brain, which powers your body and tells you when to run, stop, jump, swim, lift, bike, etc.. requires carbohydrate to operate. It (your brain) runs almost exclusively on carbohydrate. Ever been in the middle of a workout, race, marathon, triathlon, century, gym session, swim meet, tournament, game, match, etc. and felt like you couldn't go on - or felt like your energy got zapped? You hit a wall. You crashed. You bonked. Answer to this? Carbohydrate. Vitargo is the undisputed champion in this ring. No questions asked. It blows the competition out of the water! It blows other carb sources completely away. It is the A-bomb to their grenade.
So why carbs?
Vitargo is the world's "super-carb". There is NO better carbohydrate supplement on the planet and it's uses are multiple. Though most beneficial to extreme and intensive training, it is not restricted to (intensive training). Used be ELITE and OLYMPIC athletes, tech nerds, NCAA athletes (yes, it is ncaa compliant), desk ninjas , campus rec room goers and the average, every-day guy and gal. Consumption of Vitargo can be beneficial even beyond your workout. Its uses can be applied to multiple daily activities. Read Vitargo science here. It is a ground breaking, revolutionary body fuel. Completely sugar free, gluten free and stimulant free.
Flat out: Vitargo is incredible. Vitargo is amazing. Vitargo ROCKS! There is no comparison. Karbolyn, Cyto-Carb, GlycoFuse, CarBion, Karbolic.... not even close. Vitargo annihilates the competition. Proof before promises. All other companies use dextrose, waxy maize or maltodextrine. Vitargo is proven in studies on athletes to outperform ALL of these carb sources... regardless of variety, mix or matrix. Don't be fooled by fancy marketing and lower prices. Want the best results for your workout. Fuel on Vitargo. Read their studies.
Here are the benefits of the product as described by Vitargo (1/21/15):
"Vitargo, is a revolutionary break through sport fueling and recovery drink, provides the fastest muscle fuel and an unrivaled post-workout insulin boost to elite, Olympic and professional athletes worldwide.
It doesn’t matter where you train and compete - on the field, court, rink, road, snow or in the water - carbohydrate will be THE critical factor that determines how strongly you perform and whether or not you endure and fight to the finish. Timing is everything and to perform at your highest level you need a carbohydrate fuel source that moves through the digestive tract as FAST as possible.
With several refueling and recovery options on the market, you absolutely need PROOF that the product you choose will deliver on its performance promises and is PROVEN superior! Read more
Again, without carbohydrate your body will bonk, crash and/or hit a wall. You'll deprive your body of the vital energy sources necessary to optimize workout. Don't crash. Put Vitargo in your shaker today.
What is Vitargo® S2?
VitargoS2 - referred to by Muscle Fuel Ninja as a "super soluble complex carbohydrate barley starch". It is an INTERNATIONALLY patented molecular carbohydrate derived from a special barley starch. S2 means Super Soluble - much easier to mix. Vitargo S2 is unique because it is specially processed to yield a molecular profile that is massively different from the carbs that make up sugars (e.g. glucose, fructose, sucrose) and maltodextrin found in ordinary sport, energy, and recovery drinks. MOST IMPORTANTLY, VitargoS2 is PROVEN to work in ATHLETES - in university studies. Part of the secret of Vitargo's IVg technology is the molecular size of Vitargo. Scientists use molecular weight (how heavy the molecule is) to determine the size of the molecules. As shown in the table, Vitargo is hundreds and thousands of times larger than maltodextrin and sucrose (dextrose).
CARBOHYDRATE MOLECULAR WEIGHT
Vitargo 500,000 to 700,000 Maltodextrin 1,000 to 10,000 Starch syrup 250 to 1,000 Sucrose (Dextrose) 180
But, molecular size alone does not make Vitargo the Fastest Muscle Fuel. Vitargo is made through a special fractionation process that makes it rapidly digestible and therefore capable of delivering glucose to the blood, liver and muscle AT LEAST twice as FAST as other ordinary carbs. OTHER so-called "HIGH MOLECULAR WEIGHT" carbs are "WEIGHTLESS" when it comes to PROOF - they have ZERO university studies showing superior fuel delivery or performance in HUMANS.
Will Vitargo make me feel bloated or cramped?
Bloat-proof / cramp-proof -- Carbohydrate-based energy and recovery beverages can make you feel bloated. That's because the type of carbohydrate used in ordinary formulas act like sponges drawing water into the stomach, which can cause uncomfortable bloating, distension, and cramping. Vitargo is a patented molecular carbohydrate form PROVEN to empty from the stomach FASTER and be absorbed into the body more quickly. IN FACT university researchers found that Vitargo emptied from the stomach more than 2x FASTER than a comparable beverage with sugars and maltodextrin, the types of carbohydrates used in many popular sports/energy and recovery drinks and powders. This may explain why many athletes and users notice NO BLOATING or "heavy stomach" feeling when they use VItargo before, during or after training or competition.
When should I USE Vitargo?
Vitargo is a PRE, INTRA, POST and IN-BETWEEN workout supplement.
As a PRE workout (before training and/or competition) - to deliver readily available fuel for muscle and the rest of the body at the onset, take 1 serving of Vitargo (2 scoops) 30min prior to workout. Due to Vitargo's ability to move through the stomach quickly means NO BLOATING or DISCOMFORT associated with other sport drinks.
As an INTRA workout (during training and/or competition) - to maintain high intensity performance, Vitargo is ideal for consumption during halftime, in between periods, during innings, at the end of pool lanes, at the turn and in transition areas. Some athletes have found 1 scoop of Vitargo effective as a PRE workout and 1 scoop effective DURING the workout. MFNinja recommends 2 scoops for each training period. Water-ever the amount you desire, continuously sip on Vitargo during your workout to keep your energy/glycogen levels HIGH for PEAK performance.
As a POST workout (to be consumed immediately AFTER training/competition) - Vitargo POST. This product contains 75g of Vitargo and 20g of lactose-free hydrolyzed whey protein.
Alternatively, to accelerate RECOVERY, intake a serving of Vitargo at the very latest, 15-30min immediately AFTER training/competition. By doing so, your body will be able to perform at a higher level quicker and sooner than with carbohydrates found in ordinary recovery drinks and powders. This is especially critical if you are training or competing more than ONCE in a single day and/or on a daily basis. Muscle Fuel Ninja RECOMMENDS mixing a scoop of UNFLAVORED Vitargo with your FAVORITE protein for the ultimate recovery/POST shake. There are many excellent whey protein sources. 2 that MFNinja recommend are Allmax Isoflex and/or Xtreme Formulations. Please review our recommended article on the 4:1 ratio (carbs : protein). It is recommended that you purchase both a flavored tub and an unflavored tub of Vitargo.
As an IN-BETWEEN workout (ie: if you are training in both the morning and evening) - For BEST results after heavy training or competition use another serving 30-90min after your FIRST serving. Some athletes have found it effective to consume a serving mid-day between training sessions. It has been known that one HIGH LEVEL, gold-medal Olympian, has/is consuming 9 SERVINGS of Vitargo on a daily training basis. Vitargo IS the FASTEST MUSCLE FUEL. Ideal for carb-loading protocols.
Vitargo's unique molecular viscosity makes it feel thicker than other carbohydrate drinks. Be sure to experiment with Vitargo before and during training to see if you prefer 1 or 2 scoops. For optimal performance, MFNinja recommends ALWAYS using 2 scoops. Please, always follow mixing directions on back of package.
How do I MIX Vitargo in my shaker or cyclone bottle?
Please watch this excellent video presented by Vitargo CEO Anthony Almada. Please note: orders off other sites DO NOT offer free-shipping on ALL Vitargo sizes and flavors. Muscle Fuel Ninja does. As a member of the Vitargo team, you are able to request a single serve packet sent to your address through MuscleFuelNinja.com, please submit inquiry. We would be more than happy to send one to you.
I'm a competitive athlete and I get drug tested regularly. Is Vitargo free of BANNED SUBSTANCES?
EVERY batch of VitargoS2 is BSCG tested for banned substances. This is the same anti-doping lab that broke-open the Victor Conte, BALCO scandal resulting in the retirement of MLB and San Francisco Giant, Barry Bonds in the early 00's. Ready about the Banned Substance Control Group.
Who invented Vitargo?
In its beginnings, Vitargo has a deep association to the Karolinska institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Muscle Fuel Ninja understands that this same lab has strong research associations in the development of creatine monohydrate - and carb-loading. To help explain, the following was taken from Vitargo.com (9/24/2014):
"In the beginning of 1993 the entrepreneur Roger Sandström contacted the RND department at Lyckeby Starch to investigate the possibility to develop a sports drink like no-other for endurance athletes. What could be found on the market were only products with simple sugars which were not good enough for long distance athletes. Their energy reserves soon crashed once the sugar-spike had dropped. Due to the strained ability to digest and rehydrate whilst partaking in physical activity, athletes reported stomach discomfort and bloating.
A general understanding among scientists at that time was that a perfect carbohydrate should deliver a low blood sugar delivery and have a slow uptake. The current GI-models were simply not suitable for hard working athletes. All of a sudden, one had been found.
The team at Lyckeby Starch understood that athletes needed another kind of carbohydrate which did not cause stomach discomfort but could also deliver a rapid uptake. This new requirement of carbohydrate was not fully understood by other scientists who were only familiar with glucose, which passes the small intestine. The way this new carbohydrate had been sourced, it simply was not possible..
To be able to meet the skepticism from scientists and to present facts of the product´s superiority, discussions with Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden were initiated 1994. A preliminary report was presented in 1996 which showed a significant difference between Vitargo and all other carbohydrates. The research resulted in a highly regarded published study in 2000 which proved that Vitargo replenished glycogen levels in muscles 70 % faster than other sports drink carbohydrates. A second study was published later the same year which showed that Vitargo left the stomach even quicker at 80 % faster.
A patent application was filed early 1994.
Agreements with various distributors in Germany, USA and Sweden were signed 1997.
Lyckeby Starch started to negotiate early 2001 with the Swedish company Swecarb AB for a sale of the patent and brand name of Vitargo, which resulted in a takeover per September 1st 2001."
Today, Vitargo is led by industry expert and pioneer, Anthony Almada. Anthony is well known for co-founding the highly successful nutrition brand, EAS: Experimental and Applied Sciences. EAS is now a subsidiary of Abbott Laboratories and known as Energy Athletics Strength.
How does Vitargo work?
Vitargo is a molecule that DWARFS sugars (e.g. glucose, fructose, and sucrose) as well as maltodextrin, the carbohydrates found in ordinary energy recovery drinks. Vitargo's larger size minimizes its OSMOLALITY, which refers to how much water it draws around it. Vitargo's LOW OSMOLALITY allows it to MOVE THROUGH the stomach over 2x FASTER than other carbohydrates, which tend to act more like a SPONGE in the stomach. Spending LESS time in the stomach allows Vitargo to be delivered to the part of the intestinal tract - the duodenum - where it is rapidly digested and absorbed. THIS provides a near immediate surge in ENERGY to blood and muscle, SUPERIOR to other ordinary carbohydrates. AFTER training or competition is over Vitargo recovers glycogen 168% FASTER, allowing for an increase in performance up to 23% GREATER after just 2 HOURS when compared to carbohydrates found in ordinary sport and recovery drinks!
I'm on a LOW-CARB DIET because Ive been told carbs are BAD for me....
As far as Muscle Fuel Ninja is concerned, and that means this is not official Vitargo release; most research MFNinja has read shows that a low-carb diet restricts your body from receiving THE necessary nutrients and "fuel" needed to complete healthy workouts. Low intake of carbohydrate is also known to blunt the release of anabolic signaling factors; hampering gains in muscle size and strength. Think of it this way: the human brain operates, almost exclusively off of carbohydrates...it prefers glucose. Depriving the brain of this fuel leads to "crashing" and exhaustion. This leads to FATIGUE and lack of concentration during training and exercise. As the stomach digests the carbohydrate, it is metabolized into glucose. The glucose is then used by the brain to operate the body and stored in the muscle as glycogen. It are these glycogen levels that make Vitargo the fastest muscle fuel. Because there are no added stimulants in Vitargo, like most other pre, intra and post workouts, that attributes to the NO CRASHING effect when on Vitargo. What you want to remember are SIMPLE carbs (white sugars, flour, etc). Cut these out of your diet. We suggest augmenting the intake of COMPLEX carbohydrates. Vitargo IS A COMPLEX carbohydrate. And, if you're trying to loose weight? Here's actually a great read on incorporating COMPLEX carbs into a weight-loss regime. Depriving your body of glycogen during workouts leads to a low-level feel of energy (a "crash"). So, according to us, a low-carb diet is pure misleading bunk. Carb-up and hit your workouts harder than ever!
Can I add Vitargo to my favorite Creatine, PRE-WORKOUT, BCAA, or PROTEIN?
Muscle Fuel Ninja does suggest adding Vitargo to some of these products. Especially the unflavored or pure version. NOTE: MOST of these products use Dextrose or Maltodextrin as their main carbohydrate source. You are using an INFERIOR carbohydrate when you use these products. However, combining Vitargo w these products for the added benefit of some of the other ingredients, CAN be highly beneficial. Added Vitargo CAN decrease the risk of what you may feel as a "crash" off of other products. Vitargo added to your favorite protein (ie: whey, casein, soy, etc) makes for an EXCELLENT recovery shake. Adding Vitargo to your favorite pre-workout or BCAAs (ie: ones that contain Beta-Alanine, L-Arginine, L-leucine, Vitamin B-12, L-Valine or L-Isoleucine) makes for an EXCELLENT matrix. *All OTHER CARB sources are INFERIOR. When adding Vitargo to a creatine, MuscleFuelNinja recommends: Creapure®, a pure high-quality monohydrate manufactured by AlzChem Trostberg GmbH in Germany. Jarrow Formulas offers an excellent source. When considering combing Vitargo with creatine know this: carbohydrates improve creatine absorption. Insulin-mediated simulation improves the storage of creatine in muscle thus, a very beneficial substitute in collaboration with Vitargo. Ingesting Vitargo stimulates the secretion of insulin, an endogenous hormone. The creatine transporters are mediated by this rise in insulin.
What is the most common dietary mistake made by someone trying to build muscle and increase strength?
According to MuscleFuelNinja, the biggest dietary misconception is TOO MUCH protein and TOO LITTLE carbohydrate. From the research we have read one should remember this common ratio 4:1. Meaning to effectively build and strengthen muscle the body should be consuming 4 parts carbohydrate to every 1 part protein immediately after training. Many studies will suggest 1.5g of protein per lb of body weight. Remember, protein is essentially ONLY effective to muscle for tissue repair. It should NOT be consumed pre or intra workout and is most effective as a post workout. MFNinja does recommend consumption of protein supplements in the morning and at lunch and dinner whereas, Vitargo consumption as a carbohydrate for exercise is MOST effect as a PRE (30min prior), INTRA and/or POST (within 15-30min after) workout. Again, combined with your favorite protein as a POST workout.
Can I just eat pasta, pizza, bread or other carbohydrate sources to get the SAME results?
Without questions these foods WILL help refuel muscle and liver glycogen stores. HOWEVER, the question really should be WILL they refuel and recover glycogen stores as fast as VitargoS2 and without the bloating and "heavy stomach" feeling? If you are training or competing the NEXT day or SOONER, you need to choose the carbohydrate source that is RESEARCH PROVEN to accelerate refueling and recovery AFTER exhaustive exercise. Remember, unless a food or supplement is STUDIES in its actual form you CAN'T be sure it WILL work the way you want (or the product CLAIMS). We use the phrase: "Fastest Muscle Fuel" because it delivers these benefits WITHOUT the heavy stomach, bloating or cramping associated with the digestion of solid foods.
What does S2 mean?
Vitargo is made from barley and is considered a starch, amylopectin to be exact. In general, starches don't mix well in water. VitargoS2 is a Super Soluble form that mixes more easily in water than other staches, and even previous forms of Vitargo. The original Vitargo extract was from potato starch. It has also been extracted from waxy-maize, rice, corn and wheat starch. This, the most soluble version, VitargoS2, contains a barley extract. Do NOT confuse VitargoS2 with other carbohydrates (ie: Waxy-maize). Waxy-maize for instance, is a corn starch that was originally developed in the early 1900's in China and named for its waxy appearance under a microscope. It was then shipped to the USA. The properties of waxy-maize do NOT effectively increase insulin, does NOT rapidly increase glucose or glycogen. In fact it is very SLOW to digest.
Is VitargoS2 sugar-free?
YES! Unike most other sport drinks and recovery supplements Vitargo is 100% SUGAR-FREE! That means that you can enjoy Vitargo before, during and after training or ANYTIME and NOT be concered about taking in sugars.
Does VitargoS2 have gluten?
NO! VitargoS2 contains less than 20 ppm gluten. Which means, per testing (ELISA, r-Biopharm), it is certified GLUTEN-FREE!
Is VitargoS2 vegetarian?
YES! Vitargo is made from barley starch and will fit in any vegetarian nutrtion plan.
What is used to sweeten flavored VitargoS2 versions (ie: Orange, Grape, Tropical Fruit)?
The flavored versions of VitargoS2, use sucralose as a sweetener. Sucralose is a calorie - and sugar-free articifial sweetener. VitargoS2 also is available in an unflavored and unsweetened form. This contains just pure 100% Vitargo.
Is Vitargo safe?
Vitargo is a safe, natural carbohydrate derived from barley and has been used by both elite, pro and amatuer athletes world-wide for years
Im a diabetic. Is VitargoS2 safe for DIABETICS?
Because of its excellent absorption characteristics, Vitargo is EXCELLENT for use by diabetics. There are however no comparisons using Vitargo to glucose for diabetics. A nice read by Iron Man Magazine featuring an interview with Anthony Almada.
Can I use Vitargo for CARB-LOAD prior to competition?
Absolutely - We encourage you to! In fact, using VitargoS2 during carb-loading is common among elite athletes and OLYMPIC competitors. You can use Vitargo in shakes and smoothies as a sugar-free carbohydrate source. Each scoop provides 35 grams of glycogen-building carbohydrates (or 70 grams per serving). Many athletes use VitargoS2 between meals to ensure they meet their carbohydrate goals during loading and after exhaustive training so that they eat normally during regular meals.
I've seen the name Vitargo before but, I don't remember where I saw it...
Carbohydrate-loading was developed by a team of scientists in 1966 (Stockholm), in response to elite Swedish athletes looking for a better recovery. They found that an athlete gets 1.7x faster muscle glycogen loading taking Vitargo after exhaustive endurance training. Vitargo was introduced into products without fanfare in the 1970's. An EAS product contained Vitargo in it in the late 1990's. In 2002 the Nutrex company obtained the rights to combine Vitargo with creatine. Late bodybuilder, Art Atwood, obtained the rights to distribute Vitargo in various flavors. Since 2006 Anthony Almada and Vitargo Global Sciences, LLC have become the SOLE distributor of Vitargo. If ANY company is using the Vitargo name or claiming a Vitargo TYPE response to their product, they are completely misleading. For instance, it has been understood that some companies claim Vitargo-like responses in their products. THESE CLAIMS ARE FALSE. Most often the carbohydrate sources in these products are maltodextrin or waxy-maize. Do NOT confuse VitargoS2 with other carbohydrates (ie: Waxy-maize). Waxy-maize for instance, is a corn starch that was originally developed in the early 1900's in China and named for its waxy appearance under a microscope. It was then shipped to the USA. The properties of waxy-maize DO NOT effectively increase insulin, DO NOT rapidly increase glucose or glycogen and in fact, are very SLOW in digesting. DEMAND PROOF, before PROMISES. Educate yourself!
Why doesn't VitargoS2 contain vitamins and other nutrients?
VitargoS2 doesn't contain vitamins and other nutrients for two reasons: FIRST, the addition of vitamins and other nutrients CAN impact the ability of VitargoS2 to get fuel to muscle and the rest of the body quicker than other carbohydrte sources. This is the critical factor here. SECONDLY, in order for vitamins, most minerals and other nutrients to be absorbed and processed internally optimally they should be consumed with real foods.