Super-pancake: builds muscles and burns fat

If you make pancakes by adding whey to your batter and replacing the flour with resistant starch, then according to sports scientists at Skidmore College in the US you’ll have a kind of super-pancake. They provide the proteins your muscles need to grow, but at the same stimulate fat burning.

Resistant starch

If you browse the medical literature you’ll find dozens of cases of steroids users developing dangerous blood clots. But why do these affect one steroids user and not the other? It probably depends on your genes, doctors usually say. But they don’t know for sure.

Ordinary flour, like pasta and bread, contains digestible starch. This is made of glucose molecules that digestive enzymes can detach so that your body can absorb them. Enzymes can’t do this with resistant starch.

But that doesn’t mean resistant starch is not a source of energy. Beneficial bacteria in the gut convert resistant starch into miniscule fatty acid chains, which the gut is capable of absorbing. By the way, these short chain fatty acids have all sorts of interesting effects, but that’s another story.

The researchers used an industrially produced resistant starch. They don’t name the product, but it could well be hydroxypropyl-distarch phosphate made from waxy maize starch. Click here for more information on the stuff. A bit of surfing will take you to online stores where you can buy natural forms of resistant starch.

The researchers divided 70 women into four groups. The members of each group were given a couple of pancakes for breakfast. After breakfast the researchers measured the amount of extra energy the women’s bodies produced, and the amount of fat and carbohydrates the women burned.

The women in all four groups consumed the same amount of pancakes. The composition of the pancakes was different for each group, but the caloric value was the same.

The women in the WMS group were given pancakes made using digestible starch.

The WMS+WP group were given pancakes containing digestible starch and whey.

The pancakes given to the RS group were made using resistant starch instead of digestible starch.

And finally, the RS+WP group got pancakes that contained resistant starch and whey.


You can see in the figure below that the women’s calorie expenditure rose after eating the pancakes, especially after eating pancakes that contained ordinary digestible starch.


But the women who ate pancakes containing whey and resistant starch started to burn more fat.

The researchers think that foods that contain both high amounts of protein and high amounts of resistant starch can help overweight people to achieve a normal weight. The same foods may also be interesting for athletes aiming for a muscular physique with a low fat percentage.

The study was sponsored by Scott Connelly, the founder of the sports supplements manufacturer Met-Rx.

Resistant starch and protein intake enhances fat oxidation and feelings of fullness in lean and overweight/obese women.


Diets high in either resistant starch or protein have been shown to aid in weight management. We examined the effects of meals high in non-resistant or resistant starch with and without elevated protein intake on substrate utilization, energy expenditure, and satiety in lean and overweight/obese women.

Women of varying levels of adiposity consumed one of four pancake test meals in a single-blind, randomized crossover design: 1) waxy maize (control) starch (WMS); 2) waxy maize starch and whey protein (WMS+WP); 3) resistant starch (RS); or 4) RS and whey protein (RS+WP).

Total post-prandial energy expenditure did not differ following any of the four test meals (WMS?=?197.9?±?8.9; WMS+WP?=?188?±?8.1; RS?=?191.9?±?8.9; RS+WP?=?195.8?±?8.7, kcals/180 min), although the combination of RS+WP, but not either intervention alone, significantly increased (P <0.01) fat oxidation (WMS?=?89.5?±?5.4; WMS+WP?=?84.5?±?7.2; RS?=?97.4?±?5.4; RS+WP?=?107.8?±?5.4, kcals/180 min). Measures of fullness increased (125% vs. 45%) and hunger decreased (55% vs. 16%) following WP supplemented versus non-whey conditions (WMS+WP, RS+WP vs. WMS, RS), whereas circulating hunger and satiety factors were not different among any of the test meals. However, peptide YY (PYY) was significantly elevated at 180 min following RS+WP meal.

The combined consumption of dietary resistant starch and protein increases fat oxidation, PYY, and enhances feelings of satiety and fullness to levels that may be clinically relevant if maintained under chronic conditions. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02418429.

PMID: 26514213 [PubMed – in process] PMCID: PMC4627411

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26514213

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