Disclaimer: I received a free sample packet of Generation UCAN SuperStarch as part of being a BibRave Pro. All opinions are my own. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
As a Bibrave Pro, I have the amazing opportunity to test and review all things running. But to be honest, I typically shy away from testing anything having to do with food, fueling and nutrition. Firstly, as a plant based athlete, most products do not align with my lifestyle. Secondly, my sensitive tummy does NOT like new things. So I just usually stick to reviewing gear and leave the nutrition reviews to the other Bibrave Pros.
I have been researching different endurance fueling methods as I prepare to start training for my 13th marathon this summer. Over the last few years, I’ve struggled to find the optimal race-day fueling method that keeps me performing late in the race without getting that “rotten gut” feeling. An avid fan and follower of Ben Greenfield Fitness, I read an article about how he changed his diet to train his body to burn fat as a primary fuel instead of carbohydrates for optimum endurance performance. This article convinced me that I had to sort out my gut if I wanted to perform at my best in a marathon.
Then the opportunity to try Generation UCAN Superstarch with Bibrave was presented to me. So exciting! What is Superstarch? This short, 1 minute video sums it up pretty well.
Furthermore, this description is straight from Generation UCAN’s website:
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.
How I Used It
While this product could be used before or after a workout, I tested it by drinking it only before my workouts. It is recommended that you take it 30-45 minutes prior to exercise. The biggest challenge for me is that I usually run at 5am! So, I mixed my SuperStarch the night before and kept it in the fridge overnight. I mixed the sample packets with about 12 ounces of cold water and some ice using the Blender Bottle they provided. On runs that were longer than 1 hour, I also ate a bit of food along with my SuperStarch.
How It Felt
I absolutely noticed a significant difference in how my stomach felt after long, hard efforts using Generation UCAN. I ran an extremely hilly half marathon in hot and humid conditions this past weekend. I drank my SuperStarch and ate my favorite pre-run avocado sandwich. The weather conditions combined with the challenging course made it very difficult to maintain my normal race pace. By mile 10, I was absolutely drenched with sweat and felt goosebumps on my skin. That is typically a red flag for me that my body is overheating. However, my stomach never once felt bloated or sloshy. I drank water on the course and ate some orange slices as my fuel. I finished the race strong and did not have any tummy issues even though my body was experiencing overheating! Usually after such a run, I would be out of commission on the couch for a few hours with nausea, exhaustion or some type of stomach pain. Instead, I changed my clothes and headed to the after party!
How It Tasted
There are two components to consider when gauging the taste of Generation UCAN SuperStarch - flavor and texture. Because this is a powder that you are mixing into a liquid, there can be a bit of a gritty texture to it, especially if you don’t mix it well! That said, I believe you can avoid the grit by aggressively shaking the Blender Bottle a few different times as you drink it. That way, the little silver whisk ball can really work its magic. If you don’t have a Blender Bottle, I would suggest using a small blender like a Nutribullet or definitely a small whisk. I tried mixing it with a spoon once and that didn’t go so well for me.
As for flavor, I think every person’s palette is different and you may have to see what you like best for yourself. Personally, I absolutely love the Tropical Orange flavor. It tastes like an Orange Julius smoothie except lighter and a bit frothier! The Lemonade tasted just as you might expect, but the slight grit of the starch kind of made miss an actual lemonade. The first time I tried the Cocoa flavor, I mixed it with cold water. It tasted kind of chocolatey, but was not exactly what I had hoped it would be. Then a Twitter friend recommended trying it in coffee! I had never thought of that! So I used half a packet in a cup of coffee and I quite enjoyed it. The only drawback is that I used a spoon and a lot of the starch fell to the bottom. The next time I tried, I used a tiny whisk that worked a lot better! My fellow Bibrave Pro, Heather, tried mixing her Cocoa flavor with almond milk, which she reported tasted quite yummy!
Bottom line is find the flavor you like most and drink it the way you enjoy! For me, I plan on incorporating Generation UCAN into my training for the Dublin Marathon this fall.
See what my fellow Bibrave Pros think about Generation UCAN SuperStarch: