Difference Between Glycogen and Starch

Difference Between Glycogen and Starch

Glycogen and Starch are some of the essential sources of energy for our body! And, without energy, we humans will not be able to survive. So, we hope you understand how crucial it is to understand these two things and their differences.

Now, the bigger question is, where will you find everything about Starch vs. Glycogen? Well, all the answer lies in this topic.

Here you will get a  clear-cut picture of the two terms and the difference between Glycogen and Starch. Furthermore, we have made sure to write the thing in a very easy-to-understand manner.

You should know, both of these are complex compounds, and if you do not have a history in biology, it might get tricky for you to understand the difference and everything else.

So, the way we wrote the entire article, you should have no trouble understanding everything regarding the topic.


What Does Glycogen Mean?

Glycogen Structure

Since we have a somewhat of a good idea of what Glycogen is, it is time that we get a piece of more in-depth knowledge on the matter. And this is the best place for that!

Glycogen is the energy-saving or stockpiling carbohydrate that you will find in all living creatures.

It has a very simple formation, mainly being made from alpha glucose or, in simple terms, sugar. Each of the monomers in Glycogen is strongly bound and supported by glycosidic bonds.

One of the best definitions of Glycogen is the fact that it is called animal starch and is found in body parts like the stomach, muscle cells, and liver cells. Whenever our body or animal body is low on energy, the Glycogen is instantly broken down and converted to glucose to give us the necessary stuff.


Some Other Attributes of Glycogen

Well, apart from the ones we have talked about, Glycogen does come with several other perks like:

  1. It resides in the adipose tissue and immediately breaks down to provide sufficient energy.
  2. Glycogen is found in our blood that is stored in our pancreases to prevent diabetes.
  3. Allows you to do extremely rigorous exercises and other demanding tasks.


What Does Starch Mean?

Starch Components

If Glycogen is the component that all living things require, Starch acts as the same carbohydrate source for plants only. For some plants, it is their only means of producing and storing energy.

Starch is made of two monomers: amylopectin and amylose. Amylopectin has a branched formation, while amylose has a more straight and coiled formation.


Some More Attributes of Starch

Starch has some interesting facts, do you want to know about them? Here they are:

  1. Starch is a form of polysaccharide carbohydrate that is constructed of monomers known as alpha glucose.
  2. Apart from eating and providing energy, Starch is also used for other stuff like manufacturing paper.

You can also read the differences between Ionic Bond and Covalent Bond.


Key Differences Between Glycogen and Starch

By now, we have a clear idea of everything that both of these products have to offer. So, it is time that we start looking up the differences between the two.

  • Glycogen is the energy stocking carbohydrate found only in animals and fungi. On the other hand, Starch is the same, but only for plants.
  • Starch has two molecules in its chemical structure. Glycogen does not!
  • Starch has a complex molecular structure contain coils, liners, and branches. Glycogen has a simple liner formation.
  • Starch can be used for commercial purposes while Glycogen cannot!
  • Glycogen is stored in the liver and in muscle cells. Starch is found in the amyloplast inside plants.


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Starch vs. Glycogen: The Table

In this article, you will find two parts! One of them is the tabular summary, where you will have all the necessary information on Starch vs. Glycogen  in brief and a very easy-to-understand manner.

All you have to do is keep reading, and every single confusion on the topic will be erased.





Starch is a very intricate compound that is a relative of the glucose family. It acts as the main storage system of plants to store carbohydrates.

Glycogen is another cousin of the glucose family. Instead, it is a polymeric compound that is the keystone source of carbohydrates for animals and fungi.

Compound Structure

Starch consists of two more polymers compared to Glycogen, which is amylopectin and amylose. Right before these two new polymers, the compound has a straight coiled chain, and afterward, it has a branched-chain.

Glycogen, on the other hand, constructs short monomers that branch into short chains. It is constructed with monomer units (alpha glucose) that are bound by glycosidic bonds.

Chemical Formula

(C6H10O5) n



Starch has a very grainy and sandy feel.

Glycogen is available in granules.


Acts as an energy-saving carbohydrate source for plants. It does the same thing as Starch, but it does that for animals.


Final Words

Glycogen and Starch are two different things that have the same functionality. The first one is for animals, and the latter is for plants.

Apart from their functionality, the two compounds practically have no similarity, and thanks to our article, you are now aware of the difference between Glycogen and Starch.

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