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Generation UCAN: Gluten Free Sports Supplement: Part 1

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Generation UCAN is a sports supplement company I recently was made aware of, and the more I’ve learned about their company philosophy, people who comprise the company, and products; the more I like them.  This is an introduction to them, and part one of a series because there is so much to share with you about the company, the product and the science behind it, and then my testing of it that it will require a few posts.  Plus I blabber.

First of all, you’ve got to love that name.  After all my talking about “do what you CAN do” of course I dig the statement that “Generation UCAN is an idea, a feeling, an attitude, a fresh perspective. We are a new generation with a ‘Today’s the Day’ mentality…We intend to empower minds and prove that “can’t” is a thing of the past. After that, we plan to host charitable fundraisers, tackle childhood obesity and stick a flag on Mars.”  Right?!?!

The main unique component in the products that UCAN makes at this point is called SuperStarch.

SuperStarch

It is a complex, slowly digesting form of a specially processed (non GMO) corn starch.  SuperStarch was formulated originally for one of the founders of the company’s son, Jonah, who was unable to process carbohydrate like most of us can.  He was requiring feedings every two hours, and his family wanted to find a way to make him less dependent on constant influxes of food.  Scientists were commissioned, and SuperStarch was formulated.

From UCAN’s website:

This complex carbohydrate provides a steady release of glucose, keeping blood-sugar levels (energy) steady much longer. This discovery is like gold for our athletes. But for Jonah, it just meant a chance to sleep through the night. It meant a chance to get out and play baseball or on the ice and play hockey in the cold Connecticut air with his parents watching proudly. It meant a chance to live.

So what does this mean to us?

Again from UCAN’s site:

Generation UCAN powered by SuperStarch puts the body in its ideal performance state, allowing for:

  • Optimized performance with energy when you need it, without the spike and crash.
  • Sustained energy with extended delivery of glucose, keeping you above baseline longer.
  • Enhanced fat burn from suppressed insulin response, tapping into your body’s fat stores.
  • Speedier recovery as your body begins rebuilding with our protein enhanced products.
  • No gastric distress, by emptying the slowly quickly and digesting slowly in the intestine.
Testing

I want to mention that Dr. Jeff Volek has been involved with the testing of SuperStarch, and if you have heard anything about Dr. Volek, you probably know that he is known as a low carb guy for sure.  The majority of his research and writings have been dealing with the benefits and usage of a low carbohydrate diet.  When UCAN wanted their product tested, they wanted a skeptic.  Someone who would truly test the product with no preconceptions of its efficacy.

They found that in Dr. Volek, and an independent double blinded study SuperStarch was found to be the carbohydrate that really doesn’t act like a carbohydrate.  It gives the beneficial aspects of carbohydrate on performance, but without an insulin spike that can be detrimental.  If you are interested in the sciency stuff, there is a lot of information on UCAN’s website that you can peruse.  It’s really interesting (if you are a nutritional science nerd like me, that is.)

Gluten free

Plus, UCAN’s products have been independently tested and found to be free from gluten.

They are also pursuing gluten free certification.  They currently have 2 main lines of products, an electrolyte/SuperStarch blend sports drink mix (primarily for endurance cardio events, like cycling/running/etc) and a recovery powder (a whey protein and SuperStarch blend, can be used prior to or after activity dependent on what you are doing.)  There are additional products in the pipeline which will be coming soon.

This information was all very cool for me to learn personally.  I have reactive hypoglycemia, which means when I ingest a large amount of carbohydrate, my blood sugar tanks (as in, goes too low) afterward.  My husband has the same issue, and we both experience it primarily related to exercise.  Fueling a long bike ride of greater than 2 hours can be a challenge.

Also, I have had issues with osmolality of common commercial sports drinks (basically my stomach gets upset because the liquid doesn’t digest properly, that whole pesky sodium/potassium/sugar balance thing.)

Osmolality.com describes it well:

When eating foods with high osmolality due to high electrolytes, amino acids and simple sugars, why do people suffer discomfort?  When nutrition of high osmoticity is ingested, large amounts of water will transfer to the stomach and intestines. Large amounts of water in the gastrointestinal tract can cause distention, cramps, nausea, vomiting, and shock.  The body tries to keep the osmoticity of the contents of the stomach and intestines at approximately the same level as that of the fluid surrounding them.  There is great variation from one individual to another in sensitivity to the osmoticity of foods.

Um, yeah.  So I’m sensitive. What of it?

The upshot of all this is that there were lots of reasons that Generation UCAN products appealed to me.

(Side note: If you are doing exercise lasting less than one hour, you do not need a “sports drink” of any kind.  Yes, nutrition before and after.  But let’s not go nuts and replace all the calories you’ve expended if you are trying to lose fat, mmmkay?)

Then, there’s the company attitude and philosophy.  If you check out their Facebook page, you’ll see all sorts of inspirational quotes and pictures.

Generation UCAN is an idea, a feeling, an attitude, a fresh perspective. We are a new generation with a ‘Today’s the Day’ mentality.

You can see why I identify with this company’s perspective.  It’s like I’m talking to myself 😉

If you are interested, I highly recommend you spend some time clicking around UCAN’s website.  It’s super user friendly and intuitive with a ton of information.

See, this is why I’m splitting this stuff up.  I’m over a thousand words already, for Pete’s sake!

As always, if you need more info on living a healthier Gluten Free and Fit life, there’s lots of resources on Gluten Free and Fit 101 that can help.  Have at it.

Gaspari’s New Myofusion Probiotic: Gluten Free Protein Powder Review

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Gaspari Nutrition has been a very gluten free friendly company to deal with in the sports supplement industry.

And for that, I extend a huge thank you to the company in general and all the associates I have had contact with.

Myofusion probiotic

I first corresponded with Gaspari regarding their gluten free products back in September 2009.  They were very helpful then, and continue to be helpful.  In fact, they have recently added a new protein powder to their product line, the Myofusion Probiotic which is marketed as gluten free.  When I heard this exciting news, I contacted Gaspari directly to confirm.  Sean at Gaspari was very helpful and assured me that the product is gluten free.   They do not currently have a gluten free certification, but are moving in that direction.  (YAY!!)

The powder is not made in a dedicated gluten free facility, but the facility is SQF 2000 level 3 certified, which means that stringent controls are in place for allergen control.  (If you are interested, here is the SQF 2000 code, and the section on allergen control is 6.13.  Because I’m a nerd like that.)

Myofusion Pro has no gluten, aspartame, or artificial colors.  It has a shelf stable probiotic blend, and is amazingly very tasty.  It is a blend of different protein sources (it is NOT vegan or dairy free) but because of that it behaves nicely in baking.  And it tastes awesome just in a shaker cup with water, which is generally how I take my protein powder anyway.  (Or made like a pudding with a sliced banana-it’s like a chocolate covered banana treat, you should try it!)

Without further ado, here’s the product review video! Enjoy!

FitFluential product review: The Chia Co Chia Seeds, found at GNC stores!

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My first vlog product review! Going forward, you will be seeing more vlog product reviews.  They give a much better feel for the actual product, I think.  However, I am a newbie to the whole video thing and am still getting the hang of volume, where to put the camera, etc. so bear with me.  They will get better, I promise!  This video is about 6-7 minutes long.  I am trying to keep them fairly short. 🙂

This review is part of my work with my Fitfluential family and our partnership with GNC.  The Chia Co chia seeds can be found at GNC online and also at your local store.  Chia seeds are naturally gluten free (be aware of any cross contamination issues-these are free of any possible contamination from gluten, but are processed in a facility with other nuts and seeds, so be aware of that if you have any sensitivities.)

In the video I talk a bit about the benefits and uses of chia, and also about this product specifically.  Let me know your thoughts, and I’d also love to hear your favorite way to use chia seeds.  Feel free to post a link to a recipe in the comments!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!

Enjoy your Omega 3 goodness!

Now, these recipes are delicious and healthy, but they all have calories.  Calories count.  Gluten Free and Fit 101 gives you some more information on fitting treats like this into a healthy diet.

What’s your favorite way to eat (or grow 😉 ) chia?