Sunday, September 25, 2016

Generation UCAN: The Next Generation in Superstarch Nutrition

Disclaimer:  I received a sample box of UCAN Snack bars from  Generation UCAN 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.

In a world where nutritional supplements are everywhere.  How do you choose?  I find myself asking: 'Will I like it?' 'How much does it cost?' 'Will it do what it says it will do?'
 Around every corner, we are bombarded daily with unhealthy food choices.  Do I choose snickers for that afternoon pick-me-up?  Or what about Twix?  

Obviously, we all KNOW there are better options out there!!  For this review I'm going to highlight the positives of these little bars that pack a HUGE punch!

The history behind these super-food snack bars starts with the founder's son, Jonah.  He is suffering from a rare blood disease the requires him to maintain stable and steady blood sugar levels;  so evolves the SuperStarch.  SuperStarch is what makes these bars unique.  Consequently, they are the ONLY nutritional bar that contains it. 

This SuperStarch is very different from the other sugars found in other competing energy bars.  As athletes, we want our nutrition to sustain us throughout our workouts and give us the much needed energy to push to the next level.  These bars are designed to give quick bursts of energy over a longer period of time.  Here's the catch - without the crash!  Wouldn't YOU want a bar to do that for you?  

Here's an example of the way this SuperStarch works.  But to make it more fun... I'm going to use my favorite afternoon pick-me-up; Twix.  Yes - don't judge.  I have my weaknesses too.  But the point is:  If I would grab for a UCAN snack bar instead of the candy bar - I'd find myself a lot more satisfied and full! 

250 calories, 24 g. sugar (WOW - 24 grams!)

Here's the stats behind the UCAN bar! 
  1.  Between 170-190 calories
  2.  10-15 g. SuperStarch
  3.  5-6 g. of sugar per bar
  4.  4-5 g. of fiber per bar
  5.  5-6 g. of protein per bar

Now for the science!  It's always been thought that in order to maintain proper performance during an endurance event, we need to have sugars and carbohydrates delivered rapidly.  That is why energy chews and gels have been so popular.  They deliver a quick boost of energy, but oftentimes the athlete bonks because they run out of energy, or they are required to continue eating these chews or gels for sustained energy.  With UCAN - all of this changes! 

Here's the problem.  With the sugary carbs, like in the Twix bar, you will absolutely get a quick boost of energy.  But, you'll quickly crash.  The Twix bar delivers too many calories and too much sugar too fast.  This, in turn, causes highs and lows in energy.  With the SuperStarch that UCAN delivers, there is no need to constantly refuel, and no nasty sugar crash after.  This bar simply delivers all the stable energy you need to take one your day!  While eating a Twix can be fun, I think next time I'll reach for my UCAN bar for my afternoon slump.

I have used these bars in a variety of different ways.  Typically, I have eaten them within 30 minutes of my workout completion.  They did a great job at curbing my hunger and getting me to my morning snack.  I have also stashed them in my purse when I'm on-the-go.  They are easily accessible and help curb my afternoon jitters.  

Recently, I cut them into bite-sized pieces and tried them during my run! 

To be honest, this was difficult.  I should have cut them up even smaller.  The size and texture while I was running was not easy to swallow.  I had to drink a lot of water and it slowed me down and was cumbersome.  I think I'll stick to using these bars as an energy pick-me-up. 

  • 5 different flavors
  • Low sugar
  • All-natural
  • Gluten-Free
  • Vegan Varieties

  • Texture for me was unappealing
  • Flavors were ok - but this is absolutely unique per person
  • Expensive at $2.75/bar (multi-packs are less expensive)
  • Difficult to eat for runners during long runs

Unfortunately, I had a very difficult time with the flavor and texture of these bars.  But, they do smell absolutely fantastic!  The peach literally smelled like a fresh peach, although this was my least favorite flavor.   You can see from the photo below just what these bars look like.   Pretty package, but not appealing to the eye while eating it.

The coffee bean bar was my least favorite.  Unfortuatnely, I am not a coffee drinker, and I think that that this bar actually had grounds in it!  The flavor was too much for me so I just couldn't finish. 

My favorite and easiest to digest bar was the cinnamon swirl.  I found this bar flavor to be appealing and it had a hint of sweetness as well. I was lucky to have a few of this flavor so I found myself reaching for this flavor over the rest.   The chocolate came in close second,  but it is very rich. I ate that one in phases over about 10-15 minutes.

In my opinion, food reviews are difficult because everyone's taste buds are all across the board.  I found that even between my fellow pros we all had differing opinions of what bar was our favorite.

What this bar did confirm for me was that the SuperStarch really did work.  I found that I did have a sustained energy and I didn't feel a crash.   I also appreciate the all-natural ingredients and the low sugar content. 

Will I be a life-long lover of these bars?  The jury is still out.  But, if you'd like to give them a shot and find out what this SuperStarch is all about use code "BIBRAVE" to save 15% off your order!  Here's a fun fact:  Meb loves UCAN!

REMEMBER:  Don't forget to check out the Bibrave Twitter chat - #bibchat on Tuesday, October 11th at 8PM, CST.  Just by participating in the chat you could win some bars to try for yourself!  I'd be interested to hear which flavor is your favorite!

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