In early 1993 the entrepreneur Roger Sandström contacted the R&D department at Lyckeby Starch, a farmer-owned cooperative in Sweden, to investigate the possibility of developing a sports drink like no-other for endurance athletes. The only products found on the market at that time were produced with simple sugars which were not good enough for long distance athletes. They couldn’t drink enough to fully fuel their training and competition needs. Due to the physical difficulties of digesting and absorbing fuels and fluids while exercising intensely, athletes reported stomach discomfort and bloating from the sports drinks, so they always underfueled and experienced energy crashes.
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.
Having developed this new groundbreaking, very fast high molecular weight starch, and to present the facts of the product´s superiority, discussions with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden were initiated in 1994. A preliminary report was presented in 1996 which showed a significant difference between Vitargo and all other carbohydrate-based sports drinks available at the time. The research resulted in a highly regarded published study in 2000 which proved that Vitargo replenished glycogen levels in muscles 70 % faster within 1-hour than other maltodextrin-based sports drinks. A second study was published later the same year which showed that Vitargo left the stomach 2.3 time (130%) faster than other maltodextrin-based sports drinks.
A patent application was filed early 1994.
Agreements with various distributors in Germany, USA and Sweden were signed 1997.
Lyckeby Starch started to negotiate in early 2001 with the Swedish company Swecarb AB for a sale of the patent and brand name of Vitargo, which resulted in a takeover on September 1st 2001.
Today Vitargo is still the fastest muscle fuel and recovery drink, used by athletes in all sports to fuel their drive.