Monday, May 30, 2016

Product Review: UCan Superstarch

During a 90 minute run in IA on Memorial Day with Cran-Raz Ucan in the bottle.


"Disclaimer: I received 6 packets of UCAN Superstarch to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"

Originally when I signed up to product test Generation UCAN Superstarch, I thought, well, this should be interesting as I really don't like changing out my hydration sources as I have found two very good companies I really like.  UCAN sent me 6 packets to try, 2 each of Tropical Orange and Cocoa Delite, and 1 each of Cranberry-Raspberry and Lemonade.  Again, as soon as I saw the flavors, I thought. well this should be interesting as I am not a big cranberry-raspberry flavor guy for drinks as they are often too acidic, and cocoa delite I worried would be too milky for a run.

The cool little sports bottle whisk thingy to help mix up the UCAN.
Along with the mixes, UCAN sent a sports bottle to shake it up in that came complete with a little ball whisk thingy to help get the mix to...well...mix.  The recommendation for the mix process is one packet per 8-16 oz of water.  However, for the sake of my testing and my runs, each packet I tried, I used a 24 oz water bottle so I could easily get it out of my OrangeMud HydraQuiver.  Though this might be considered a little thinner for the mix, it worked perfect for me and is what I would personally recommend.

Sports bottle is plenty big and will make a nice drinking/shake cup.
UCAN is a natural, slow-release energy mix made originally to help kids with life-threatening conditions manage their energy levels.  In terms of its sports applications, it is made to help sustain energy, optimize performance, and enhance fat burn.

Cocoa Delite was much better than I thought it would be!
The other day I took Cocoa Delite with me and drank part of it before and after a 4 mile run.  It was very good and tasted like a lite chocolate sports shake.  It didn't bother my digestive system and seemed to help with consistent energy levels.  A few days later I took a bottle of the tropical orange on a 90 minute run and it worked just as well.  Again, it tasted very good, (and I froze it the night before), settled well, gave consistent energy.  Today I went out for another 90 minute run in high humidity and thought, well, we will see how acidic this cranberry-raspberry flavor is during a run,  I fully expected it not to settle well on my stomach as cranberry typically is a little harsh for me.  I was wrong again.  I froze it the night before and it was like drinking a light cran-raspberry sports shake during the run, again giving consistent energy.  I really have enjoyed testing all the flavors, though I still have the lemonade one left to attempt.


Back of the lemonade drink mix packet.
In conclusion, the product does what it says.  It doesn't bother your GI tract, tastes great, delivers consistent energy, and a solid performance.  If you'd like to give it a try, you can take 15% off with the following discount code through 6/30/16:  BIBRAVE.  

Enjoy!

Some big names use Generation UCAN.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Product Review: SPI H2O Venture Series Hydration Belt

The Components of the SPI H20 Venture Series Hydration Belt

"Disclaimer: I received a SPI H20 Venture Series Hydration Belt to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"

The SPI H20 Venture Series Belt is a great little piece of gear offering some interesting options.  Since the bottles attach to the 2 inch wide belt by slipping onto it and being held firm against the body, it can be used as a hydration belt with a little bit of storage, or simply as a mini-pack belt when you have no pockets but need to take your keys, phone, a bit of money, and so forth with you on a run.  
Note the large black plastic piece that slides over the wide 2 inch belt.

This makes the SPI Belt a great accessory when running those early morning runs when you need just a small amount of storage and a little bit of hydration, especially in the early morning Summer Sun that will be hitting us shortly.  Since each of the two bottles holds eight ounces, you can decide if you need to carry one or both, or perhaps even add more for longer runs.  I think this version of the "Small Personal Item Belt" (hence SPI) is great for driving to the trailhead on an early morning, storing your keys and a gel (and there are two loops for gels next to the pocket where you can attach them) and taking just enough hydration to help get you through a tough run.

I do need to note one thing: many of us are use to wearing belts with the pocket in the back, the hydration oriented towards the back, and the belt clip in front.  The SPI Belt reverses the pocket and belt clip, putting the pocket in front and the clip in back.  If you can make this work, then you are good to go.  If you primarily use the pocket as storage for keys, phone, and other things you don't really need during a run, then you are good to go.  If, however, you like putting the pocket in the back but also expect to turn the belt around mid-run to access any food items, then there is one snag, and that's that you will have to also move the bottles around carefully or they will fall off.  That's the only con I can see with the belt, but it's more of a user issue, not a manufacturing or product issue.  You have to rethink how you are planning to use the belt and where to best position the belt and bottles for each run you are doing.  

The pocket is very good sized and will store a large cell phone.  I shoved in several Gin-gins and a full sized double crunchy granola bar on one run and it was plenty of room.  The bottles are easy to put together and use, just squeeze and they pour right out but they do not leak while running.


A good sized pocket, you can see my granola crumbs in it!

Overall, the SPI H20 Venture Series Hydration Belt is a great tool to add to your summer arsenal for running in the heat, especially if traveling and you just want to take something light and easy to head into the woods for an hour or two.  You can save 10% right now when you use the code: brad10.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Product Review: First Impressions of the SPI H2O Venture Series Hydration Belt

Trail Running Faith


Posted: 03 May 2016 10:49 AM PDT
The SPI H2O Venture Series Hydration Belt components.

Disclaimer: I received a SPI H20 Venture Series Hydration Belt to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!


Today I went out on my first run with a SPIbelt I received to test and review. (SPIbelt stands for small personal item belt.) The idea of the SPIbelt is to have an easy, convenient way to carry small items like an ID, cell phone, keys, credit card, etc.   The SPIbelt is a great tool to use when you need a pocket, but don't have any of the particular gear you are running in that day, or if you need an extra pocket.  Since this is just a first impressions review, I will detail more fully the specifics of the belt on my complete review in the next couple of weeks.  However, let me note, that the Venture series hydration belt does have two 8oz bottles that attach to the belt.  

The bottle, plastic piece that holds it on the belt & finally the cap.
I had initial concerns as I prepped the SPIbelt last night when I first tried it on and found that the bottles slightly angle to the inside, meaning there might be a possibility for them to poke/rub against my body. However, during the run, I didn't really feel them in that way, although it was only a 5 mile run, so there might be possibility that could be a problem on a longer run.  What I did notice was, that when I shifted the belt around, (moving the belt so that the bottles I had placed in the back, turned around to the front so I could access them easier as well as the zippered pocket), the bottles moved and fell off.  I also noticed you need to make sure that you get them fully on the belt, or they fall off. This may just be first time usage, meaning that it's more my error than the way the belt and bottles are manufactured, we will see as I try them on more runs. Surprisingly, the bottles do not bounce if they are put on the belt correctly.   

The pocket on the belt is very spacious, and I fit in several of my pieces of my favorite ginger candy as well as a good sized granola bar.
So, a few picks, a few thoughts, and I will be back for more in a week or so with a fuller review. Plus, if you'd like to try out the Venture Series and get yourself a belt, you can take 10% off with this code: brad10.

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