It was a cold, Saturday morning when I took a chance on a new method of fuel. I had a 10 mile run scheduled and it was about 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and the ground was covered in snow. Seemed like the perfect time to try something new.
I had ordered a sample pack of UCAN to try after I had heard about it on an endurance sports podcast. The claims made about it were a little wild: assist in burning fat for fuel, optimize athletic performance, sustain energy, and aids in weight loss. I have a tendency to be skeptical when it come to a “magic pill” solution for things like shakes or supplements, but I decided to dig a little further and see the science behind it. (Which you can read here.) It was actually developed to help a little boy with a life-threatening decease.
So I bought their sample pack and gave it a go.
After that first run, I was floored. I drank it before my 10 mile run, and took nothing else with me. My legs felt fresh and energized. Even after I finished, I felt I could have kept going. My recovery was great, my energy levels stayed up throughout the day, and I wasn’t even fatigued. I was sold.
UCAN is a superstarch carbohydrate derived from non-GMO corn. Essentially, it is a steady release of glucose to keep your energy levels high, but without the crash that follows. Since there is no spike in blood sugar, your body doesn’t have to freak out about a sudden ingestion of sugar and therefore produce insulin to bring sugar levels down. Insulin is the fat-producing hormone. (Producing fat cells in order to store sugar.)
I was hooked. I have no intention of going back to sugar-based gels or chews for my fuel, and even use the UCAN with protein in my morning smoothies for sustained energy throughout the day, a fat-burning boost, and recovery after my morning runs. My husband loves it instead of coffee or sugary snacks in the afternoon for a pick-me-up or before his workouts.
UCAN really is the best option for fueling, considering all the fantastic things it promotes.
No Nasty Gels
I hate energy gels. The nasty consistency sticks in the throat. It’s way too sweet and in the middle of a tough run when your slightly dehydrated, trying to choke down a strawberry-banana gel while running is almost impossible. Gels and other sugar-based fueling offer a surge of sugar into your blood stream to give muscles the glycogen needed at high levels of endurance. The problem? They often burn off quickly, forcing you to refuel as you blood sugar crashes again. They can also lead to a host of digestive issues if you have to keep taking gels; your poor gut can’t handle that! I’ve been in a race where I’ve had too many gels and not enough water – it’s a bad mix! UCAN doesn’t do any of that! You mix it into water and take it like a sports drink which is much easier to do during exercise than taking a gel. It’s easy on your stomach, and provides you with sustained energy!
It Contains Fewer Calories
One serving of UCAN is 100 calories. In comparison, 4 gels (or the equivalent needed) contains 400 calories. Even if you’re not watching your calories, your energy sources and calories matter! The chemistry within your body and the reactions matter! If you are trying to lose weight and are using running, or a race, or another form of exercise to help you do that, UCAN is a great choice!
It Aids in Fat-burning
Since UCAN isn’t sugar based and keeps your blood sugar levels stable, it keeps you in fat-burning mode. There are no spikes and crashes, and since blood sugar is stable, not only will you burn more fat, but taking UCAN after a workout can help with recovery and post-workout cravings. UCAN releases carbohydrates as you need them, improving your overall body composition.
It’s Easy on the GI System
Since UCAN is a larger molecule, it is gentle on the stomach and exits rapidly. And since you don’t need to consume as much as you would with gels, there is less potential to harm your stomach or give you issues. Gels and other sugar based fuel options are a much smaller molecule and can sit in your stomach for a while. In fact, if not taken with the correct about of fluid, gels can sit in your stomach causing a host of issues without actually giving you the carbohydrate you need during a run!
I love UCAN and have found success with them. I used UCAN to help me run a sub-2 hour half marathon, and I am currently using it in my marathon training. You can check them out by clicking here.
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