Fueling the Fire – Part 1: #UCAN Superstarch

Disclaimer: I received Generation UCAN SuperStarch Packets to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

This is Part 1 of a three-part series.
Find Part 2 here.
Find Part 3 here.

One of the many benefits of being fat adapted is having your wits about you as you greet the final few miles of an endurance event. I’m still in awe, that as I look around me at the end of a marathon, so many runners are more than whooped. They look scared, exhausted, disheveled, and emotionally spent. Of course, I understand. The marathon IS an endurance event. It is not easy and it is not for the faint of heart. Just toeing the line means you are made of something, of which the typical human who doesn’t run, is not.

I don’t wish to preach to any person, let alone a runner, about how to live their life, or how to train for an endurance event. However, if one comes to me for advice, listens intently, and then responds with a “Oh, there is NO way…” or “You have to be kidding me…you want me to give up what?” and then proceed to do what they have done time after time, then that is what I call insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting a different result.

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Seeing race course after race course littered with empty glucose gel packets makes me more nauseated than the race itself. Watching runners consume pouch after pouch of the stuff and still look completely spent at mile 20 answers the question of who is gaining the most benefit from the product sales. My gut tells me it’s NOT the runner. In fact, after mile 20, many guts have been emptied because of the overconsumption of such products.

fueling-fire

Feeding the endurance fire has been a topic that I have studied ever since I began running, and realized that any run longer than 10 miles in length, or an hour in time, needs to take into consideration a fuel source. Your body is burning some serious calories out there. However, the old adage about calories in = calories out doesn’t necessarily ring true for runners, or anyone else. It is the quality of calories, not the quantity of them that matter.

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Glucose is sugar. And yes, sugar can provide a surge of energy, but it is quickly followed by a severe drop in blood sugar. Then, you are forced to consume more sugar to keep the cycle alive. The trouble is two fold. One, you’ll never get to that initial super high you had when you started the race by fueling with sugar. And two, your belly will likely not be able to tolerate packet after packet of glucose gel. It really doesn’t matter if the source of the sugar is natural or unnatural, organic or inorganic, or filtered or not. Sugar is sugar. Glucose is glucose. It all reacts the same way in your system.

You may believe that because you run, you are one of the healthiest people on the planet. And you might very well be. But with all that glucose you are consuming, you instead may be teetering on the very edge of Type 2 Diabetes. Believe it or not, even among the skinniest of runners, this is more prevalent than you think.

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Generation UCAN SuperStarch was introduced to me first by a guy named Ben Greenfield. He has this super serious podcast that caters to the endurance athlete looking for a leg up on the competition. But if you aren’t willing to experiment on yourself, then don’t waste your time. You have to be willing to take a chance now and again, and refrain from your insane ways to find others that might just work better for you.

When BibRave offered my the opportunity to sample UCAN SuperStarch and share it with my readers, I jumped at the chance. Here is all you need toknow about Generation UCAN.

Generation UCAN is powered by SuperStarch, a healthy, natural, gluten-free innovation in carbohydrate nutrition. SuperStarch is a complex carbohydrate (derived from non-GMO corn) that uniquely stabilizes blood sugar and causes virtually no reaction from the fat-storage hormone insulin. It’s backed by proven science. Finally there’s a healthier, more efficient energy source than sugars, caffeine, or high-carb meals. Originally discovered for children with life-threatening energy imbalances, SuperStarch is a revolutionary fuel being used for ENERGY, SPORTS, and FITNESS.

Generation UCAN SuperStarch is a super alternative for those runners who are willing to disembark from the sugar fueling roller coaster. If you have successfully removed sugar from your everyday diet, as I have, the last thing you want to do is use it to fuel your marathon.

Caveman-Eating

Way before man was introduced to sugar, there were only two other sources of fuel available to him. That would have been fats and proteins. The original caveman needed something to propel him forward as that mastodon came charging after him. More than likely, it was the natural carbohydrates and fiber from the rich plant food he consumed that gave him the initial surge. But it was the fat from last night’s kill that allowed him to outrun the beast.

Here is the gist as to why the sugary drinks and gels are useless. From an article in Men’s Health Magazine:

Essentially, superstarch is digested more slowly than both regular starch and sugar. As a result, it’s absorbed into your bloodstream at a steady and much slower rate than the sugars in popular sports drinks. The result: sustained energy throughout 4 hours of battle… “Consuming a regular carb drink that is rapidly absorbed is like emptying your entire gas tank into your engine at once,” says Dr. Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., associate professor in the department of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut, “It’s overkill.”

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The way you teach your body to endure the marathon works on the same principal. Generation UCAN provides you with what you need for that initial surge. After that, your body will take over the process with it’s stored fat, of which we all have way more than you’d ever suspect. The great thing about using your stored fat is that fat feeds the brain, too. It keeps it humming on an even keel, and functioning on reason, unlike sugar, which acts more like a habitual drug hitting your system…and hard…in which afterwards the crash starves your brain, so it tells you that you are finished. You can’t go any further, aka “Hitting The Wall”. Burning fat, however, tells your brain “You got this. I got plenty of fuel for you. Keep running and enjoy the ride. And don’t forget to smile for the photographers at the finish line!”

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The easiest way to ingest UCAN SuperStarch is to mix it with water, add some ice, and shake it up. Generation UCAN suggests consuming an entire packet about a half hour or so before your event. Just beware that a packet of UCAN SuperStarch contains about 34 g. This should sustain you through about 90 minutes of hard exercise. If you use the scoop in the larger 30 serving canister, it contains about 25 g. Theoretically, this would get you through about 60 minutes of exercise. But realize that every human is different. Personally, being fat adapted, I don’t need nearly the recommended amount. I can typically run with about 10 g prior to an event, and then with an additional 10-15 g mixed into my hydration bottles with sugar free electrolytes that I consume on the run. And even then I rarely finish those unless it is a very warm day.

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UCAN SuperStarch appeals to the masses with some great new flavors for every taste. Try the fruity flavors, like Tropical Orange or Cranberry/Raspberry , or the savory flavors like Cinnamon Delight, or even Cocoa Delight for the chocoholics out there. They have also branched into the world of protein recovery products, and delicious sustaining bars, as well. In fact, I prefer bars on the mornings where the races start a little later and I’m craving a little something in my belly.

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If you are striving to be ketogenic or watching your carb count with diligence, you might be thrown off by the carb content of UCAN products. Be aware that you may not need to consume an entire serving prior to your event. Then again, if you aren’t quite fat adapted yet, then the full serving could be what you need to get you started. It’s all an experiment. And as you train, you will have plenty of time to determine what works best for you. And you should! What better way to save the environment than to be one who does NOT toss their empty glucose gel packets along the race course…or their cookies…they ones that they hurl.

I have a coupon code for you, too! Thanks to Bibrave and Generation UCAN. Use code BIBRAVE to save 15% on your purchase of Generation UCAN SuperStarch products! This code is good until the end of June.

Stay tuned for Fueling The Fire – Part 2: Energybits

3 Responses to Fueling the Fire – Part 1: #UCAN Superstarch

  1. Jen says:

    I love UCAN, 1 scoop gets me 2 hours about now. I ran a 50K last month with ~ 350 calories of UCAN startch/protein mix and a UCAN cinnamon bar and had no issues with energy.

  2. petitepacer says:

    Love the cran/raspberry.

  3. This post is awesome Theresa! Well written, knowledgeable. Makes me want to go out immediately to buy UCAN! Sad I didn’t respond to the opportunity to test it. You’re an inspiration!

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