Dathan Ritzenhein Finding Success With Meb’s “Secret Weapon” – Generation UCAN (Sponsored)

by Generation UCAN (sponsored)
November 30, 2015

A top contender for a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic marathon team, add 3-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein to the list of athletes experiencing the benefits of Generation UCAN’s revolutionary nutrition.

“It’s an important part of the plan for me to try to change my metabolism before race day,” says Ritzenhein.

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Ritzenhein trained with UCAN for this year’s Boston Marathon and says that it’s helping him achieve more consistent energy levels and adapt to using his fat stores as fuel instead of loading up on sugars and simple carbs.

Fellow 3-time Olympian Meb Keflezighi has relied on UCAN since 2010, and points to his nutrition as a key factor in his ability to stay remarkably consistent with age, which includes a personal best 2:08:37 to win the 2014 Boston Marathon just a few weeks shy of his 39th birthday.

“I don’t feel the soreness or the aches and pains after a hard run,” say Meb. “UCAN allows me to recover so I can train hard consistently. It’s my secret weapon.”

The secret is out. Meb & Ritz, the top two fastest Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers, will both be fueled by UCAN when they get to the starting line in Los Angeles.

Meb & Ritz at a UCAN event before this year’s TCS New York City Marathon

Meb & Ritz at a UCAN event before this year’s TCS New York City Marathon


For Ritzenhein, it started with a desire to feel better in the later miles of the marathon and move away from a reliance on simple sugars. Metabolic testing and a consultation with his nutritionist revealed that a change in his fueling strategy could produce major benefits.

“I’m a really high carbohydrate burner, so I had struggled towards the end of my marathons because I would take things in and I would use it up very fast,” says Ritzenhein. “I had to become more efficient because it really makes a big difference in the marathon at the end. Even when I ran a 2:07 in the marathon, I didn’t finish strong. I had to try something different.”

One of the differences over the last year is his use of the UCAN drink mix.  It was an important part of Ritz’s training leading up to this year’s Boston Marathon, where he finished 7th overall as the top American.

“I started using UCAN as I led up into Boston and I was trying to do some more of the fast work, but also trying to metabolize fat better. I would use it leading up to a big workout when I didn’t want to have a full stomach. It helped me run so much faster in these long, hard efforts than I was before.”

“I also use the UCAN Snack bars in my daily diet,” says Ritz. “I crave sugar or something sweet after a hard workout and the UCAN bars help me get that chocolate fix without the sugar spikes.”


Since he started using UCAN before and after workouts and races, Meb has enjoyed a series of impressive performances and an amazing level of fitness at a point in his career when many expected him to slow down.

He’s been using UCAN since 2009, when his nutritionist introduced it to him while training for the New York City Marathon. “I had tried a lot of different products, but they always bothered my stomach,” says Meb. “UCAN gives me 2 to 3 hours of sustained energy without any stomach problems. I can have it before or after a workout, and even as a snack. I always have a packet in my bag or in my car.”

Meb will typically use  his favorite Chocolate UCAN 4 times a week after his hard workouts, a ritual he has followed since 2010.

“For me, it has been a game-changer with recovery,” says Meb. “I really look forward to having it after my hard workouts. During my cool down, it’s the first thing that goes into my body. I don’t feel the same soreness the next day and it also helps me keep me lean. I can go a few hours before I have to eat.”


UCAN’s key ingredient is SuperStarch, a slow-releasing carbohydrate that delivers steady glucose without the spike and crash of sugar-based sports nutrition products. This one-of-a-kind, natural energy source was originally designed for Jonah, a child with a rare disease that prohibits the body from producing its own blood sugar resulting in frequent episodes of hypoglycemia.


The discovery of SuperStarch allowed children like Jonah to sustain blood sugar levels for several hours, rather than being fed repeatedly day and night in order to maintain steady energy levels. As its founders ran further tests, they realized that this one-of-a-kind delivery of energy offered major benefits for athletes who also have to work at managing their glucose levels to sustain mental and physical energy for peak performance.

“I love the story of how the company was formed,” says Ritzenhein. “It’s amazing to see that UCAN started out with one kid and his parents and turned into something that can help athletes all over the world.”

“With UCAN you don’t have to mess with the spike and crash, you can have stable blood glucose and fuel less frequently, and you can burn more fat and spare those carbohydrates,” says running coach and exercise scientist Greg McMillan. “That’s the trifecta to avoid the bonk.”

UCAN products powered by SuperStarch are available in powdered drink mixes and bars. The benefits of UCAN drinks and bars include:

  • Steady, long-lasting energy without the spike and crash
  • No gastrointestinal (GI) distress
  • A unique dual-fuel energy profile that helps you burn both carbohydrates and fat efficiently.

The product family also include UCAN Hydrate, a zero calorie/no sugar electrolyte replacement specially formulated by former Olympic Dietitian Bob Seebohar with  a mix of 5 essential electrolytes to match the ratios of nutrients lost in average sweat.

For more information on how to use UCAN for running, visit generationucan.com/ucanrun

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