Waxy barley flour and waxy barley starch are popular sports supplements. It's a carbohydrate with a low glycemic index, and is used to help replace glycogen after a workout, to increase endurance during exercise, or for athletes who are carb loading.
Barley has been a staple food around the world for centuries. It is a good source of antioxidants as well as a particular dietary fibre, or soluble starch, known as beta-glucan. Agronomic research has recently been directed at generating new barley cultivars with increased beta-glucan content specifically for use as food. Different sources of barley offer opportunities for using barley flour which include beverages, baked goods, breakfast cereals, pasta and snack foods.
Studies show that the betaglucan soluble fibre from barley can reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels, and thus contribute to a reduced risk, or even prevention, of cardiovascular disorders. Waxy barley has a much higher beta-glucan content than other types of barley flour.
Beta-glucans seem also to enhance the activity of the immune system and can help to prevent infections, heal injuries and wounds. Its low glycemic index means that waxy barley flour can also be of benefit to diabetics and dieters.