The UCAN Company markets its Generation UCAN products as delivering several “scientifically validated” benefits to people engaged in athletic activity. From the serious beginner to the most highly-paid professional, athletes are notorious for their susceptibility to being taken in by products that claim to improve performance. The Generation UCAN marketing materials – including the UCAN website and product labels – have several characteristics often associated with nutrition scams that make fabulous claims while trying to sell untested or poorly tested products to vulnerable consumers.
What Is the SuperStarch UCAN Uses?
UCAN claims that its Generation UCAN products are made from an all-natural, revolutionary carbohydrate called “SuperStarch.” But what is it exactly?
According to a vague description on UCAN’s website:
Generation UCAN is powered by SuperStarch, a healthy, natural, gluten-free innovation in carbohydrate nutrition. SuperStarch is a complex carbohydrate that uniquely stabilizes blood sugar and causes virtually no reaction from the fat-storing hormone insulin. … Originally discovered for children with life-threatening energy imbalances, SuperStarch is a revolutionary fuel being used for ENERGY, SPORTS, and FITNESS.
But the FAQs on UCAN’s website reveal that SuperStarch is nothing more than corn!
SuperStarch is just ground up corn (non-GMO) that is cooked with a unique patent pending natural process. This scientifically proven complex carbohydrate has been shown to break down slowly in your body giving you lasting energy. It’s like no other.
In reality, SuperStarch is merely hydrothermally modified waxy maize starch. The starch is processed under conditions of higher than normal moisture (hydro) and heat (thermal) which changes the chemical properties of the starch molecules. UCAN refers to this starch as “SuperStarch,” which is an obvious and transparent marketing ploy. What they’re selling is hydrothermally modified starch or HMS.
Is SuperStarch a Performance Booster?
The bottom line regarding HMS (or SuperStarch) is that it is supposedly better for performance – presumably specifically in endurance activities – because it effectively provides a slow release glucose source that is low GI, which means it doesn’t spike glucose much, doesn’t elicit a significant insulin response, and therefore doesn’t suppress fat burning.
The problem is that HMS simply doesn’t work. According to laboratory tests and peer-reviewed research, ingesting SuperStarch at recommended rates before and during exercise does not enhance performance and, in fact, impairs performance due to HMS-induced increases in gastrointestinal distress. Accordingly, UCAN’s claims are false, misleading and deceptive.
Are You a Victim of UCAN’s Unsupported Product Claims? Talk to an Experienced Attorney Today!
The lawyers in Sommers Schwartz’s Complex Litigation Group are currently interviewing Generation UCAN consumers about their experiences with of the company’s alleged misrepresentation and product mislabeling. If you are a UCAN user and suspect that the products you purchased don’t offer the promised benefits, please contact us today!
UCAN says that the main advantage of its “uniquely formulated” carbohydrate sports drinks is their ability to prevent insulin spiking. According to the UCAN product information, the slow release of HMS into your body can independently stabilize your blood sugar, which is supposed to make you feel “steady energy” during athletic performance.
But metabolic testing and scientific research suggest otherwise. One prominent study involving male cyclists demonstrated that HMS’s slow-absorption properties offer no real benefit over maltodextrin carbohydrates commonly found in fruits, potatoes, pasta, white rice, and cereals – as well as mainstream sports drinks.
Another claim UCAN makes is the gentleness of its “SuperStarch” on your stomach. UCAN says that sugar-based alternatives with “small molecules that sit in your stomach and apply pressure to your GI tract” can result “in an upset stomach after repeated use.” The evidence proves that the opposite is true – one recent study demonstrated that consuming HMS before and during prolonged exercise actually increases gastrointestinal distress without changing performance.
Are You Being Duped?
UCAN may be luring athletes and non-athletes alike into buying an expensive product that offers no increased performance advantages and which may, in fact, impair performance. With no demonstrative proof that the products boost performance, an increased chance of GI distress, and a hefty price tag, it seems that UCAN consumers may be purchasing nothing more than an expensive stomach ache.
The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Complex Litigation Group are interviewing UCAN consumers regarding their experiences to determine the extent of the company’s misrepresentation and product mislabeling. If you are a UCAN user and believe the products don’t offer the advertised benefits they promise, please contact us today!