Generation UCAN Review

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This is my first of two posts on Generation UCAN. This post will focus on:

– What it is
– What to use it for
– How to use it
– The history behind it
– How it works
– Critics

My second post will focus on:

– Flavor reviews
– Genearation UCAN recipes

What It Is:

Generation UCAN is a sports energy drink that uses SuperStarch, a complex carbohydrate derived from non-GMO corn.

What To Use It For:

Generation UCAN is used for sports, energy and fitness. Personally, I like to use it whenever I am running for two hours or longer.

How To Use It:

Generation UCAN comes as a powder that you mix with water. During my endurance competitions, I mix two scoops of powder with approximately 20 ounces of water – I try and take in 20 ounces every hour.

The History Behind It:

About twelve years ago, Jonah Feldman was born with a rare metabolic disorder (GSDI or von Gierke disease) that prevented his body from breaking down certain carbohydrates. He had to be tube-fed every two hours in order to maintain normal blood sugar. His parents, David and Wendy, started a journey that led them to the discovery of SuperStarch – and ultimately the founding of The UCAN Co. in 2006 (Generation UCAN “powder” did not become available to the public until 2010).

How It Works:

SuperStarch provides a steady release of glucose, keeping blood-sugar levels steady for several hours. Instead of the spike/crash you get from simple sugars, SuperStarch breaks down slowly over time. Not only that, it is a large molecule that passes through the stomach relatively quickly, so it does not cause GI distress like many other sports drinks.

Critics:

Not everyone is a believer. There was a study done at the University of Oklahoma that had mixed results (pun intended) (Roberts MD, et al., “Ingestion of a high-molecular-weight hydrothermally modified waxy maize starch alters metabolic responses to prolonged exercise in trained cyclists.” Nutrition (2010)). While I am not qualified to comment on the study, I am able to speak from personal experience. I really like Generation UCAN and I’ve had good success with it. Not only that, I will continue to use it in the future.

___________________________________

On a somewhat related note, check out this story that Runner’s World had the other day. Apparently, at the 2013 Copenhagen Marathon, those who followed a specified fueling plan ran almost 11 minutes faster than runners of similar ability who consumed whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted during the race. I’d like to see this study replicated – very interesting stuff!

What is your favorite sports energy drink?

Do you usually go into a race with a specific fueling plan? Do you usually stick to it?

***I did not receive anything from Generation UCAN for writing this post. However, I have requested samples of their new flavors for my follow-up post***

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10 Responses to Generation UCAN Review

  1. I really need to try this product; my only hesitation has been that they haven’t shared any information about what the “Superstarch” really is. How do you find the flavors? I don’t need it to be amazing, but I do like it palatable.

    • Jason says:

      You’re right – there aren’t a ton of details about what it really is – it is derived from corn, but I’m not sure how the “cooking” process alters it. With that being said, I do know what most other products are – a TON of sugar. I’m not sure which is scarier, the known or the unknown πŸ™‚ I’m going to do another post in the near future about the flavors, but in the meantime, I’ll leave you with this tidbit – don’t get Cran-Raz!

  2. emmelineruns says:

    Thank you! I’ve been so curious but felt like the website was lacking a bit in the info I wanted. Do you ever use it to fuel shorter (say 90 minute) workouts? I was curious about the suggested usage being consume prior to workouts for sustained energy through it. I’d be curious to know if you felt you needed less added fuel doing it that way, maybe for a half and not needing to take any fuel along the way?

    • Jason says:

      I don’t usually take any fuel for a half, but I have taken Gen UCAN prior to marathons and ultras and I think it has definitely helped. While that wasn’t exactly what you asked, yes, I think if you had some prior to a half, you could definitely go without any fuel during the race.

  3. I’ve heard of this before but haven’t tried it–thanks for the info! Love when people do real reviews πŸ™‚

  4. Do you eat anything solid during long runs or races? I can’t seem to find something my stomach can process during a long run/race.

    • Jason says:

      During my recent 50 miler, I ate two Picky Bars – about 400 calories total – not a ton but enough to put something solid in my stomach.

  5. Pingback: Generation UCAN: Flavor Reviews and Recipes | Must Love Jogs

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