Apr 13, 2012

What is UCAN?

By Peter Blumert, MS, CSCS, USAW

For those of you who have visited Prevail in the past month, you may have noticed a new product in shiny blue and gray packaging next to the Advocare products. Many of have asked, “What is it? What does it do? Would I benefit from it?” Here are the answers.
The primary ingredient in UCAN is cornstarch. If you search your kitchen cabinets, you may find that you already have some. You may be thinking, “I’ll just mix it with my chocolate protein shake and get the same benefits.” I’m sorry to say that the only thing you’ll get is chocolate protein gravy. The difference with the cornstarch in UCAN, superstarch, is that it has been modified through a specific heat-moisture treatment, which alters the way it gets used by the body. Because of it’s unique genetic make-up, superstarch empties from the stomach very quickly, but is absorbed very slowly by the small intestines and then eventually into the bloodstream.
Superstarch was originally created for the treatment of a genetic disorder called glycogen storage disease. People with this disease are not able to convert glycogen (stored sugar) to glucose (usable sugar) in the liver and muscles. If they are not fed a carbohydrate source every two to three hours, they run the risk of becoming hypoglycemic, which if severe enough, could lead to death. The addition of superstarch to their diets allowed for the release of glucose for up to 10 hours. This allowed them, for the first time, to sleep through the night without having to wake up and eat something!
So how can this benefit you? Now we are getting to the good part!
After the extreme success of superstarch, the developers were curious as to what other areas it could be of great benefit too. Due to its slow, sustained release of energy, the arena of athletics seemed like the perfect fit to compare it against other popular sport drinks. The resulting difference on blood sugar after ingestion of maltodextrin (commonly found in popular sports drinks) and superstarch was quite astounding:
Typical results of sports drinks comprised of carbohydrate sources similar to maltodextrin are:
·       High osmotic stress (leaves stomach slowly, higher potential for gastric distress)
·       Rapid increase/rise and decrease/fall of energy levels
·       Prevents fat from being used to recover from exercise
Alternatively, superstarch promotes the following:
·       Low osmotic stress
·       Longer, more evenly sustained energy levels
·       Encourages fat breakdown and usage during recovery from exercise
As you can see, UCAN is a more effective and healthier alternative to typical sports drinks, which contain sugar-based solutions.
In the next couple installments I will address how to best utilize UCAN depending on the duration of your workout or competition, how UCAN can assist in your attainment of better health by helping to improve your body composition, and different recipe ideas to experiment with the superstarch.
Due to UCAN being a starch, it can have a thicker consistency and a little “chalkier” taste than what you may be used too. Blending the product with 16 ounces of water can be used to counteract this potential side effect. For best results, consume UCAN approximately 30 to 45 minutes prior to your activity.
If you are interested in finding out more about Generation UCAN, please refer to the following video or their website below:

No comments: