Sunday, June 5, 2016

yes ucan: a generation ucan review

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

I'm always looking for ways to improve my fueling process for running. I'm not always great at following a scheduled plan while on the run, which can lead to some bonking. Also, if I'm running early in the AM, I have trouble eating breakfast. I usually can't eat until about 9 or 10, no matter what time I wake up. This obviously can cause some issues during the long runs. A certain product I like to use helps with this, but I feel like I could find a good combo to work together.

All done and ready to run!

I was interested in trying out UCAN to see if this was something that I would help me in this problem area. Since it was a liquid, it'd be easier for me consume over actual food, which I don't like pre-early runs. UCAN is powered by SuperStarch, which delivers steady, long-lasting energy without the spike and crash, and GI distress of sugar-based fuels. UCAN keeps your blood sugar stable and allows you to better burn fat, minimizing the need to refuel frequently. UCAN is liquid food that's easy on your stomach and it has no sugar, added electrolytes, and is gluten-free. 

I asked around to see if any of my twitter friends have used it. The response was incredible (probably my most commented on tweet ever). Not one person had anything bad to say. The words game changer came up often. This got me pretty stoked to give it a go.

The pack I got included 2 Cocoa Delite, 2 Tropical Orange, 1 Cran-Razz, and 1 Lemonade along with a shaker bottle. I decided to go with the Cocoa Delite since there were two, and someone recommended it (and the Cinnamon, which I'll have to try). 

Some of the contents inside the UCAN delivery.

According to the instructions, you were to mix it with 8–10 oz of water. Since I generally prefer the consistency of shakes, smoothies, etc to be on the thinner side, I did 10 oz of water. It was thin how I liked it, so I kept my water measurement the same throughout. I don't think I would have liked it as much with less. You really could do any amount of water that worked for your tastes – the amount doesn't change the effectiveness of UCAN 

I had heard that having it really cold is when it tastes best, so I decided to mix it with ice in my NutriBullet. Honestly, I wasn't a big fan of the flavor. I would like to note I'm more of a fruity flavor fan than chocolate, so I had higher hopes for the other three.

Good news is, I did prefer the other three flavors. In order of my favorites: Lemonade, Cran-Razz, then Tropical Orange. 

Tropical Orange was my second flavor test. I liked this one a lot better than the cocoa, so I was happy about that. I mixed this one in the blender bottle and put it in the fridge overnight. Nice and cold when I drank it, which definitely makes a difference (I gave it a taste test before tossing in the fridge). The blender bottle works great for mixing the powder with the water. 

Bottoms up.

There's a bit of a chalky consistency with it, but I feel like the more I drank it, the more I got used to that. Also, not loving the mixture with water, I learned you can also use Almond Milk or mix it with your coffee (UCAN is pretty great at responding to tweets and answering any questions on twitter – I appreciate that a ton). I don't drink straight coffee, but I love making smoothies with Almond Milk. I did the Cran-Razz with Almond Milk and it was awesome! A bit sweet, but for me, way better than the other two with water. 

Last up was the Lemonade. I had a feeling it would be my favorite, and it definitely was the winner of my tastebud test. I made it in my NutriBullet (10 oz water + ice) the night before the Volition Half and then drank it on my way to the race. I gave it a taste after mixing it up, and it was almost icee-like. Loved it. I poured it into the shaker bottle and tossed it in the fridge, then grabbed it before leaving the house. I gave it some shakes before drinking just in case anything settled or separated during the evening hours, and drank it down.

I found UCAN to be quite filling. It was sometimes difficult for me to drink an entire serving. My longest run having drank it beforehand was the Volition Half Marathon. I definitely noticed having a longer, steadier energy level than usual, so I do believe that it works as it says. 

Some tips/bullet points on UCAN:
  • Drink 1 serving 30 minutes before a 1–2 hour workout
  • Experiment with 2 servings before workouts over 2 hours
  • If you want to curb hunger during your long workouts, try the UCAN with protein (that's on my list to try, as I do tend to get hungry a few miles in... again, going back to that whole not eating before running problem). 
  • You make your calories count – (UCAN vs other sorts nutrition during 90 minutes of activity) 1 UCAN = 130 calories, energy bar + sports drink = 30 calories, and 3 gels = 300 calories. This means UCAN is less than 100 calories per hour.
  • Steady energy – no spike and crash
  • Burn fat for fuel – stabilize blood sugar and insulin
  • No GI distress – high molecular weight, gentle on the stomach
  • Healthy, efficient calories – steady release; curb sugar cravings
  • Optimize recovery – spare muscle glycogen
  • Improve body composition – become metabolically efficient
  • UCAN can be a snack between meals to help curb cravings caused by low blood sugar. Try blending with some healthy ingredients for a meal replacement shake (definitely going to be trying this, as I always seem to be snacking or hungry!)
  • Gluten free
  • SuperStarch
  • Electrolyte
  • No added sugars

I'd really like to try their other products as well – UCAN snack, UCAN Protein, and UCAN Hydrate. Luckily I can save some money while I test more products out, and so can you! Use code BIBRAVE to save yourself 15% on any/all UCAN products! Woot woot! I would suggest one of the trial/sample packs so you can try the different flavors before committing to a tub or case of one you haven't tried yet.

Since I'm not great at getting myself up early/on time on race days, I
make sure everything is ready the night before. Including my UCAN.

P.S. Don't forget to join BibRave, the running community, and sponsor UCAN for #BibChat on Tuesday night (June 7) at 8pm Central Time. I bet they'll be giving away some product ;)

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1 comment:

  1. Great review Heather! Thanks for sharing with me. Something to add to my list of things to try.


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