Discover SuperStarch – a NEW Kind of Carb that’s GOOD for You

 

– The MOVEMENT Movement with Steven Sashen Episode 103 with Peter Kaufman

 

Peter Kaufman was inspired over a decade ago, along with three other folks, to help a child and his family better manage a very rare disease. They started The UCAN Company and after several years of research and discovery, they were successful in making his disease more manageable, allowing Jonah, one of ​UCAN​’s​ ​founder’s sons, to maintain his blood sugar for eight hours and sleep through the night for the first time in his life in 2009 when he was 7 years old, and significantly improved his family’s life.

 

The nutritional solution, a unique, patented, completely natural carbohydrate they have named SuperStarch, has since improved the performance of many elite athletes and it has helped tens of thousands of individuals exercise better, improve their health and lose weight.  This new revolutionary carbohydrate is so different than anything in the world today, that it even helps those on keto and low-carb diets get past energy deficits to improve their exercise performance, while not taking them out of ketosis!

 

Listen to this episode of The MOVEMENT Movement with Peter Kaufman about SuperStarch, a new kind of carb that’s good for you.

 

Here are some of the beneficial topics covered on this week’s show:

  • How SuperStarch keeps anyone’s blood sugar stable for hours.
  • Why resistant starches provide no form of energy, unlike SuperStarch.
  • How you can throw SuperStarch into a yogurt or smoothie for more energy.
  • How most people stay in ketosis when they eat SuperStarch.
  • Why SuperStarch is great for runners and other athletes alike.

Connect with Peter:

Guest Contact Info
Twitter
@GenUCAN

Instagram
@genucan

Facebook
facebook.com/GenUCAN

 

 

Links Mentioned:
ucan.co

https://Ucan.co/xero (use code XERO at checkout for 20% off)

 

Connect with Steven:

Website

Xeroshoes.com

Jointhemovementmovement.com

Twitter
@XeroShoes

Instagram
@xeroshoes

Facebook
facebook.com/xeroshoes

Steven Sashen:

We all know that carbs are bad, right? I mean, we’ve been hearing that for years. Carbs are bad. They make you fat. I mean, stay away from carbs, right? Wrong. Not with every carb though, some carbs may be better or worse. We’re going to talk about one that you’ve probably never heard of that could be the best carb you’ve never heard of. On today’s episode of The MOVEMENT Movement, the podcast for people who want to know the truth about what it takes to have a happy, healthy, strong body.

 

Normally, we start feet first as your foundation, but your gut is also your foundation. So, that’s why we’re diving into that today. I’m Steven Sashen from xeroshoes.com, your host of The MOVEMENT Movement, where we break down the propaganda, the mythology, sometimes the outright lies that you’ve been told about, what it takes to have a happy, healthy, strong body whether you’re running, walking, hiking, doing yoga, CrossFit, hanging out with your friends, whatever it is you’d like to do.

 

And we want you to do that enjoyably and efficiently, and effectively, and did I mention enjoyably? I know I did, because it’s a trick question. Because the simple thing is like, if you’re not having fun, do something different until you are. We call it The MOVEMENT Movement because we’re creating a movement about natural movement, helping people realize or rediscover that letting your body do what’s natural is the better obvious healthy choice, the same way we talked about natural food.

 

And we’re going to be talking about food today. So, also, that movement part, the first part of the movement or maybe the second part, I don’t know which involves you. Nothing complicated, doesn’t cost anything, just spread the word. If you believe that letting your body do what’s good for you by letting it do what’s natural is better, tell people. You can come to our website, www.jointhemovementmovement.com.

 

Find all the previous episodes, all the places you can interact with the podcast, all the places you can share, YouTube and Facebook, and Instagram, and all those, where you can give us a thumbs up or like, or hit the subscribe button on YouTube. I mean, you know the drill. If you want to be part of the tribe, please subscribe. And of course, if you’re looking for awesome super comfortable shoes, so lightweight and comfy, you might fall asleep still wearing them because you forgot that you had them on.

 

Not because you passed out drunk, although that may happen too, then check out xeroshoes.com. So, that’s the prelude. Let’s get started with something super fun. Peter Kaufman, do me a favor, say hello, tell people who you are and what the hell you’re doing here.

Peter Kaufman:

Hi, Steven, and hi to all the people in the movement. Great introduction, by the way.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. I do what I can.

Peter Kaufman:

We’ve been pushing toward a movement of our own for a number of years. And that movement, as you had mentioned, has to do with food and nutrition. Our company has something unique in the space of nutrition. It’s unique in the world. It’s unique to our company. It has some unique characteristics. And we’re all about allowing bodies to do what they naturally want to and should do. And we enable that with our food technology, our very special carbohydrates, which I can tell you more about.

Steven Sashen:

Well, yes. Say more. So, that was all wonderfully tangential, circumventing the actual thing. I mean, this is going to sound crazy. But when we met, you said something that I thought was fascinating. You invented a new carbohydrate, one that’s actually… and I’m not going to say that all carbs are bad. I’m a high carb kind of guy, sprinters, we all tend to be that way. But in the zeitgeist right now is that carbs are bad. That’s not the important argument.

 

The cool argument or the cool point is that you guys invented a new carbohydrate that has a whole different set of properties, that for people who think carbs are bad, and people who have issues with carbs, medically, this is a game changer. So, dive in if you would.

Peter Kaufman:

Yeah. I appreciate that. So, we have a carbohydrate which we have named because it’s unique to us into our company, we call it SuperStarch. It was developed for a very specific, unique purpose, which is why it has such unique qualities or characteristics. And as we’ll get into, you have to have carbs, and you have to have an energy source in your life. But we address some of the negative aspects of carbohydrates very, very nicely.

 

So, our SuperStarch was developed originally to help children with a very rare disease called Glycogen storage disease. One of my co-founders, there are four of us that founded the company a number of years ago, has this disease. Jonah has Glycogen storage disease. He’s David Feldman’s son. And the way it manifests itself as a genetic disorder that inhibits the production of an enzyme in the body specifically in the liver that converts glycogen to glucose.

 

So, when all of us eat something, including Jonah, it breaks down immediately into glucose blood sugar, it gets stored in the liver, converted and stored in the liver as glycogen. And then, when we need to feel our bodies, it’s converted back from glycogen to glucose to blood sugar to fuel our bodies. For these kids, they can’t convert it back. It just gets stuck in the liver. They have no way to fuel their bodies the way the rest of us normally would. It’s a very rare disease.

 

Only 3000 kids are estimated to have it in the country, about 30,000 in the world. And before the ’70s, because these kids couldn’t feel their bodies and this disease wasn’t as well understood as it is today, none of them survived infancy. But it was discovered in the ’70s that if these children would eat plain cornstarch, stuff you buy in the supermarket, you bake into our cake, that it would convert to glucose, the blood sugar outside the liver feed directly into the bloodstream and do so slowly enough to keep these children alive for two to three hours.

 

So, the routine from these kids from birth is to be fat. As they get older, they eat corn starch, plain corn starch, eight to 10 times a day. And if they miss one dose, they go into hypoglycemic shock and they don’t live. So, they never throughout their lives can miss a dose. To keep the short story relatively short, in 2009, when Jonah was seven years old, he actually got eight hours of a livable level of blood sugar and his parents were able to sleep for the night for the first time in his life.

Steven Sashen:

Well, to be clear, you left out a sentence in the middle of that. So, that’s after developing SuperStarch, yes?

Peter Kaufman:

Sorry, using SuperStarch, Jonah was able to sleep through the night for the first time in his life. That’s right. It gave him eight hours of unbelievable level of blood sugar instead of just two to three.

Steven Sashen:

And was this by doing the similar process of the… cornstarch would do where the glucose is… well, basically, it’s bypassing the liver? Let’s do the shorter version of that.

Peter Kaufman:

That’s right. It feeds directly into the bloodstream. But it does it in a very slow time release manner. And that was what allowed him to live longer than otherwise would with plain cornstarch.

Steven Sashen:

Which is amazing. God, there’s so many places I want to go with this. So, obviously or not too surprisingly, I’m guessing that this is a product that other people who have this disease are also now using, yes?

Peter Kaufman:

They are. They are. Kids with this disease and across the world.

Steven Sashen:

Amazing. Now for people who don’t have this disease, most people think about eating carbs. The way it’s presented is the problem with carbs is it spikes your blood sugar. And then, insulin kicks in and then your blood sugar drops, then you get super hungry, then you have to eat again, this is leading to obesity because you’re overeating. There’s again, arguments to be made about that. But that’s not the important part. The important part is this spike phenomenon, which is true.

 

I actually had a blood glucose test in a hospital as part of a study where they literally injected like 150 grams worth of plain sugar for all practical purposes right into my bloodstream, got my blood sugar level of about 150. Then they hit me with a half a unit of insulin. And 10 minutes later, I’m down at 35. And I tap out and what was fascinating… and they started feeding me orange juice and just high carb foods. I was ravenously hungry for almost a week.

 

I mean, it really messed with my brain, it was crazy. The first three days, insane. I just couldn’t stop eating. But the next four days, I was still super, super hungry. My brain had just like gotten the hint, something very bad was happening here. Never let that happen again. But that was in a medically controlled situation. But again, most people get that spike and talk about what SuperStarch does or doesn’t do for… let’s call them, for lack of a better term, normal people.

Peter Kaufman:

Right. So, what it turns out, it does. And it took us quite a while to figure this all out, back it up with science, do a lot of testing on ourselves. And then, we paid to have a clinical trial conducted at the University of Oklahoma. And then, we sent out samples to sports dieticians, and strength coaches with pro and college teams. And over a period of about two and a half years or so of that testing process, we found out that the SuperStarch in fact, that keeps anyone’s blood sugar remarkably stable for hours.

 

And then, the implications go to all the things you were just getting at. One, your energy doesn’t drop when your blood sugar doesn’t drop. So, you’re literally less fatigued as you get further into exercise. Two, you’re not starving because normally when you get that spike fall followed by a crash, as your blood sugar is coming down, you start to get hungry because your brain tells your body, this is not a scientific term, but it tells your body, “It’s time to eat again, your blood sugar’s low.”

 

And that’s what causes cravings. So, we help with those cravings. We help people not be starving at the end of a workout and eat twice as many calories is just burned off, which for the average person is quite self-defeating when it wasn’t working out. Often just to keep our weight in check or to drop a few pounds. And then, there’s one other, it’s a little more subtle issue that goes to the side. You were describing around insulin, your body normally, when your blood sugar goes up, insulin is produced in the pancreas to bring it back down.

 

But insulin has a second function of the body. It’s a storage hormone, it tells the body to store fat. It’s one of the most sensitive hormones in the human body. So, even a little insulin stops your body from doing what it normally would like to do and normally would do. And that it use fat as a fuel source. Because we don’t have that insulin response or almost no insulin response to the SuperStarch because there’s no spike in blood sugar for the bankers to react to.

 

You burn on average about 50% more fat calories while exercising. If you’ve had UCAN before you start, compared to having a simple carb whether it’s a sports drink, a Clif Bar, a KIND bar, a banana. I often joke around and say the banana is our biggest competitor. But I will tell you, that was brought home to me when I visited the Miami Dolphins about a year a half ago. And their sports dietitian told me when he introduced as UCAN to a new athlete that hasn’t been exposed to it before.

 

He holds a banana one hand and serving of UCAN in the other. And he says, “See these two things, same number of calories. You eat this one, you’re going to be tired and hungry in 40 minutes. You eat this one, you won’t be tired or hungry in two hours.” So, that brought home the banana for me.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. That’s a good sales pitch. Now, just to be clear, so you mentioned they met the company and the product is UCAN, U-C-A-N. And yeah, I think it’s really important to give people really easy to grasp metaphors. And when you have a physical one like banana versus UCAN, that’s a great one. Now, again, I have so many questions. But I want to get to this one, talk about how this is different than resistant starch, which has been getting more attention lately.

 

In fact, I saw a book about resistant starch maybe 15 years ago. And it struck me as so utterly ridiculous, the idea being that you can take potatoes or pasta, and there’s way of eating these things where you’re not going to get the same insulin response that you do, that the carbs are somehow magically transformed into some different form, just by letting them basically heating them up and cooling them. And I literally, completely dismissed this.

 

Because this book came out maybe, actually maybe even longer than that, probably 10 years before resistant starch got enough popularity that people actually took it seriously. So, for anyone who does know about it, I’d love for you to talk about the difference. And for anyone who doesn’t, if you want to elaborate on what I just said as an intro, that would be super helpful.

Peter Kaufman:

So, the way, we’re similar to a resistant starch is we resist digestion. Resistant starches don’t digest. They pass through fibers. And it does come through a cooking process applied to certain carbohydrates. The reason it took almost eight years to fully develop this, we have a patented cooking process that’s applied to a specific type of non-GMO corn. That’s our starting ingredient. We get it from one source. It’s tested for GMOs. It gets cooked and such, it took eight years to develop this process and scale it for commercial purposes.

 

Well, it turns out, it is a cooking process. There was a cooking process applied to resistant starches. But the key was the subtle and most important differences, our carbohydrate had to resist digestion, break down slowly, but break down virtually completely. So, it allowed you all to get the eight hours of energy. You get no energy from resistant starches. It just passes through. It doesn’t break down.

 

So, it is our very specific cooking process that changes the molecule, does it completely naturally. Because the understanding of the premise of the front was don’t do it unless it can be completely natural. Because the only intended users were kids or babies with the disease. So, there’s no chemicals, there’s no enzymes. It’s literally a cooking process that involves heat and moisture in a very subtle way, applied to this specific type of corn that produces the SuperStarch, gives you the characteristic of time released glucose into your system, energy over time, steady and slow.

 

And then, it breaks down virtually completely as I said compared to resistant starch, it doesn’t break down.

Steven Sashen:

So, I’d love for you to talk about how people are using this especially if they are exercising during the endurance activity. Now, before you do that, I have to confess and say something sort of bass-ackwards. So, as a sprinter, sustained energy is not my thing, not something that happens. I’m all ATP. And basically, I go all out and then I’m done. In fact, I was at a track yesterday, had 20-minute warm up and then I ran for 13 seconds. That was it. I was done.

 

So, in playing with UCAN, it’s not something where I’ve noticed a significant difference certainly in performance because I’m just not processing energy the same way. I’ll say two things though. This stuff tastes great. So, the different products you have tastes amazing. My wife who has hypoglycemic issues is using the granola basically as part of her breakfast and sustains her longer than anything else. The energy bars you have tastes awesome.

 

I have gotten into a habit lately of having oatmeal for breakfast and I’ll throw a couple of scoops of the powder into my oatmeal. Same thing, I’ll have that for breakfast, half a cup of dried oats, and then a scoop or so of UCAN and maybe I’m hungry again, I’m doing that around 7:30, 8:00 and then maybe I eat again around 1:00 or so. So, I definitely notice an effect just in my normal daily life, not performance life. But I really want to highlight the taste part.

 

In part, because look, it’s a carbohydrate. It’s basically, it’s a form of sugar if you will. And so, the things that you make taste splendid. How many times I have to say how good it tastes?

Peter Kaufman:

We don’t actually put… we put either very, very small amounts or no sugar, no products.

Steven Sashen:

No. I’m not saying that there’s added sugar. I’m saying, I mean a carbohydrate, part of the taste is the sugar feeling even though it’s not sugar that you’re using in the product.

Peter Kaufman:

Yeah. But in fact, SuperStarch doesn’t have any taste. There’s no sweeteners.

Steven Sashen:

Really?

Peter Kaufman:

Yeah, there’s none at all. That’s what I was getting out. So, we’re using zero calorie sweeteners like allulose and erythritol, and then extract.

Steven Sashen:

Got it, then ignore the SuperStarch version of taste.

Peter Kaufman:

We’ve had to work to overcome that chalkiness that has no taste per se. But because it’s a starch, there’s a chalkiness. And we’ve always have to overcome that with some ways of producing decent taste and sweetness.

Steven Sashen:

Interesting.

Peter Kaufman:

We sell the SuperStarch by itself, by the way. I mean, you can just toss it into yogurt or mix it into any smoothie and get better satiety, and better energy from any smoothie you might have. And then, using the version that’s just SuperStarch, no added flavor or sugars, or sweetness is fine and good, all by itself if you have it. So, if you take a scoop of plain SuperStarch with water, you’re just drinking chalky water. I’ve got a few Olympic wrestlers that like to do it. And I actually do it myself in the vein of… you remember the movie Rocky, where he had the dozen eggs?

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, the eggs.

Peter Kaufman:

I think of myself as Mr. UCAN. So, I feel obliged to just take plain SuperStarch. I mix it with just four ounces of water. I shake it up quite violently. So, it all disperses. And I drink it all as a shot before I go out and swim.

Steven Sashen:

I think the better analogy is from Heaven Can Wait, which came out when… I must have been about 16 or so. So, Jesus, 42 years ago, 43 years ago. And this is when I was an all-American gymnast and my gymnast friends, we’re always trying protein powders and things, which by the way in the mid ’70s tasted horrible. And we’re watching that movie. In Heaven Can Wait, they talked about having a liver and whey milkshake, which is the most disgusting sounding thing I can think of. And yet, I’m watching this with my other gymnast pals. And we look at each other and go, “Oh, we should try that.”

Peter Kaufman:

I like it.

Steven Sashen:

I just realized I’m shocked that I haven’t just taken it straight because I’m totally the guy who would do that. And it never occurred to me to, for some silly reason. So, needless to say, tonight when I get home, I will be doing that.

Peter Kaufman:

I recommend as a shot with four ounces of water.

Steven Sashen:

Oh, no. Well, no. Yeah, yeah. I would do that. But I’m also just going to try some straight which of course, I’m having flashbacks to cornstarch, which cornstarch is the secret ingredient. And this would be hysterical if SuperStarch could do the same thing. Cornstarch is the secret ingredient for the best oven fries you can possibly make. You want to the secret?

Peter Kaufman:

Yeah, please so. Yeah, yeah. Sure.

Steven Sashen:

I’m all about the food.

Peter Kaufman:

I’m thinking about fries with UCAN now, but go ahead. Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, yeah. So, here’s the recipe. I got this from America’s Test Kitchen. And the gist of it is you take three tablespoons of cornstarch, mix it with three quarters of a cup of water, heat it in the microwave, like in 22nd doses till it becomes pudding like texture. And then, you coat the potatoes in that. And then, I’m abbreviating grammatically. And then, you put that in the oven. And so, a little bit of oil on the pan so that they don’t stick. But what happens is the cornstarch makes a super crispy exterior. And the potatoes just cook perfectly like mashed potatoes in the inside. So, you have to try the SuperStarch version of that.

Peter Kaufman:

Okay. And you won’t get the SuperStarch effect when you do that. Just to let you know, because the heat… SuperStarch, it’s created with the heat moisture process. So, too much heat and moisture applied to it, breaks it back down and reduces significantly its efficacy. But while I say that, I don’t have it right here next to me. But I have in the lab, if you will, we may come out, this as a product in the next few months, cookies that can be baked.

 

A cookie mix that you can bake with SuperStarch. And because the moisture level is so low, it’s more like a shortbread. We put it on the microscope and the SuperStarch survives. The way you describe that, putting it in the oven for that long and mixing that much equal parts water and SuperStarch, probably won’t survive from an efficacy perspective. But I don’t think that’s the purpose in French fries.

Steven Sashen:

No. But now, you’ll have to try the French fries. And if you discover that they’re amazing, it will give you a new product to work on.

Peter Kaufman:

Yeah. It will. Yeah, fair enough. No, you ask me how the products being used and you talked about how it might not be applicable to sprinters. I will tell you that for almost all athletes, including as an example, I don’t know how sprinters train. Maybe your training is only 20 minutes a day. But there’s a swimmer right now. He’s going to be in the Olympics named Michael Andrew. And Michael is a world class sprinter. He has a good chance to meddle in one or more swimming events.

 

But they’ll all be 50s, maybe 100, maybe even doing a 200 this time. He was the first swimmer in history to qualify for the finals in all four strokes in 50 yards in the all championships. They don’t have all those yard. They don’t have that in every stroke in the Olympics. But anyway, my point is he’s a sprinter. He happens to be extremely unusual. He’s on a keto diet. Not many swimmers on keto diet.

Steven Sashen:

And I don’t know any sprinters who are. In fact, someone put me on a keto diet as an experiment. And after two weeks, I called, this guy’s a big deal nutritionist. And I called and I said, I set him up. I said, very excitedly, “Dude, I just did something in a workout that I’ve never done before.” He said, “Oh, what was that?” I said, “Bailed out because I couldn’t get off the ground.” And he said, “Well, maybe you just need to adapt.” I’m, “No.”

 

I literally don’t know any high ranking or highly competitive sprinters who are not eating carbs. I mean, it’s again, ATP is what fuels getting from the starting line to the finish line. And you don’t get that when you have no carbs.

Peter Kaufman:

So, a couple comments about Michael Andrew. So, one, he’s still swimming in number of hours a day, despite the fact that his events have sprints. So, UCAN in extremely helpful for training, when you’re training for hours, even if you don’t, you can run 13 seconds.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. No, I mean, like running, track sprinters. Our training is, I mean, it’s a fraction of that with tons and tons of rest in between. Because basically, you just do a quick exertion, and then you rest to let your ATP restore, and then you just repeat. But you can’t put the same effort on the track that you could swimming simply because it’s just too much pounding. It’s just too much force. And I mean, my favorite thing is, I can train as hard as I want.

 

And maybe I’ll be a little sore the next day. I ran for 13 seconds yesterday. And I won’t be able to do anything until for two more days. So, there’s a whole different neurological hormonal thing that happens when you’re competing. It’s the difference between walking up to pick up after your dog and being chased by a lion. So, it just does a whole different thing in your whole nervous and endocrine system when you’re competing. But anyway.

Peter Kaufman:

But then, the other thing I wanted to point out, which is really points out how different our SuperStarch, our carbohydrate is, is that Michael Andrew is using this with his keto diet and stay in ketosis. Because the insulin response, again is so low. The insulin response to our carbohydrates are SuperStarch, is actually lower than the insulin response to most proteins. And many people, sure, sometimes you come out of ketosis when you have certain proteins, but you don’t always.

 

And so, most people stay in ketosis when they use our SuperStarch. It takes care of the energy deficits that you experience when you’re on a keto diet. So, you’re absolutely right. You have to have carbs for exercise. But we are a mechanism for you to in fact, have carbs and if you’d like, still be on a low carb diet. So, what kind of the carb for low carb diets, even though we workout. In fact, our head science advisor since the beginning of the company, well before we had products, is Dr. Jeff Bullock.

 

He’s out of Ohio State University. He’s one of the top keto researchers on the planet. But he’s our head science advisor. He’s been the head of the Atkins Science Advisory Board for over 20 years. But yeah, he’s our head of science, even though we’re a carb. And that’s because he felt we had significant implications for diabetes. And that’s why he actually joined us.

Steven Sashen:

So, most people who are using this, obviously the handful of people who have actual issues, the athletes who are seeing the benefits from it, what’s happening with adoption beyond that? I mean, the most obnoxious way I can ask this question is, how has this not become unbelievably popular, given everything we’ve just talked about?

Peter Kaufman:

So, two different questions. First, I’m going to go back to the one you asked, and you just added to, which is how is this being used? So, I’ll give you a rundown of how it’s used or how it can be used. And then, I’ll tell you why we’re still under the radar. So, we’ve got 21 NFL teams, 39 pro teams in hockey and football, and basketball, buying the product from us over 400 college teams at 65 to 70 schools. They’re all buying it.

 

We’re not giving it away like Gatorade and Muscle Milk and other companies, in the biotech because it works. So, they’re using it with elite athletes. And those athletes, the benefits they’re getting are one, they just aren’t as fatigued as they get further into their exercise. A conversation I have when I meet a new NFL strength coaches, imagine coach if the last 20 to 30 minutes of every workout, every practice and weight room workout over an entire season was significantly higher quality with your athletes.

 

Think about the level of fitness improvement you could achieve overseas. So, that’s one. That’s the most obvious benefit. You have this beforehand, ideally 30 to 60 minutes before but because it’s slowly absorbed. And then, you get a better second half of your workout, certainly a significantly better last part of the workout. Second, important to most athletes at some points, but not all athletes all the time. Hockey players are often trying to put weight on, is this issue of, you’re just not stopping at the end of the workout.

 

We’re having a lot of traction right now. We’ve done a deep dive in wrestling over the past four months. Just in that four months, we have six members of the Olympic wrestling team that will be wrestling on UCAN when they go to Tokyo. We’ve got all kinds of top wrestling schools now and clubs that are starting to use UCAN, weight classification sports, that whole issue of not being starving at the end, helping you fill the deficit, the energy deficit when your weight cutting in wrestling, all just really important applications and uses for UCAN.

 

And then, we’ve also had the third thing besides the satiety and the better energy in the workout is we’ve seen strength coaches and sports dieticians. Again, pro college teams specifically use UCAN to change their athlete’s body composition. Think of a high school football player that joins a college team. First thing they want to do is put on 30, 40 pounds of mass. If you’re burning on average 50% well fat calories in the weight room while you’re putting on that mass, you end up with a better distribution of muscle and fat at any time period when you put on that weight, that mass.

 

So, those are uses for athletes. And the last thing to mention, very important for runners, perhaps the number one reason runners start using our product before they learn often about these other benefits is we generally don’t cause gastric distress. We’re really easy on the stomach. The scientific reason for that is our molecule is so large, it’s about 4000 times larger than a sugar glucose molecule. Large molecules leaving the stomach quickly, small molecule sit in the stomach, osmotic pressure that draws water in.

 

You can have bloating and different issues with your stomach. We leave the stomach so quickly, large molecules exit the stomach quickly that we’re not in the stomach to bother essentially. So, yeah, there’s two or three people out of every 100 that any food is going to bother somebody’s stomach. But generally, as I said, that’s the number one reason runners come to our product. They hear from a friend, didn’t kill my stomach like those gels I was using, all those sports kind of things.

 

And then, to go further to your question of how else this is being used, we’ve become the number one selling nutrition product at Lifetime fitness for the last several years. And there, we are used as the primary weight loss nutritional tool, by personal trainers with their clients. They tell me if you can before they come to see them, you’ll be less hungry at the end. You’ll have a better workout second half. But they tell them to use it in their daily diet at least once a day to replace the least healthy carbs in their diets.

Steven Sashen:

Can you say more about how they’re doing that, or what that application is? Because obviously, there’s going to be people listening to this to the idea of changing their body composition and dropping weight is going to be something they’re very interested in.

Peter Kaufman:

So, if you’re trying to change your body, it doesn’t always involve a lot of weight loss. It usually involves some weight loss. So, the simplest thing if you want to drop some pounds, is you replace some carb in your daily diet with UCAN. If you’re having cereal, bagels, oatmeal for breakfast, consider a healthy UCAN shake as your breakfast, turn it into a shake, you want to have a couple of eggs with it. They don’t spike your blood sugar, your insulin, all power to you at 10:30.

 

At work, you shouldn’t feel like you need a snack. You should feel good energy both your muscles and your brain. By the way, if you’re not on a keto diet, if you’re not in ketosis, the only thing that feeds your brain is glucose. We’ve had emails from a couple of parents, a few parents, who’ve told us that kids do better in school with attention deficit issues when they have UCAN for breakfast. Because you get extended into the brain instead of a spike across from your breakfast, then an hour and half later you’re sitting in math class.

 

So, you feel that steady energy through lunch. At 3:07 in the afternoon, the peak of hunger and fatigue at work. Instead of reaching for a protein bar or a Clif Bar, or KIND bar. Have a stable blood sugar UCAN bar, you’ll feel good the next couple of hours or a night, if your nighttime snacker. I was actually myself out of control about seven years ago, took my own advice. I turned the UCAN powder. This may have been even more than seven years. I don’t think we had bars yet.

 

So, I turned that into a desert shake. And about 8:00, about an hour after my dinner every night. And I cut out a lot of calories because I was, when I said I was out of control, I was like 600 to 1,000 calories at night. I worked till… this is a problem I have, but I’m not a good sleep guy. So, I worked at 1:00 in the morning, five-hour window to eat junk while I was working. My daughter made brownies. They’d be half gone by the morning across then down. I was really bad. So, I didn’t eat anything else. I didn’t feel I needed to. For four months, I lost 28 pounds.

Steven Sashen:

Wow. So, wait. So, what was your dessert shake? How’d you make that?

Peter Kaufman:

Well, at that time, well we still have a version of it. It was just an older version of our chocolate protein powder which has some SuperStarch in it for better satiety blood sugar control. I would throw in unsweetened almond milk, some spinach, either some nut butter or some peanut butter powder and blend that up with ice, and turn into a good 20-ounce shake. And I didn’t have any issues not eating the rest of the night.

Steven Sashen:

I haven’t done the UCAN version of that but that’s actually one of my favorite evening snacks. It’s like the protein powder version of that without the UCAN part. I’ll have to try the UCAN version.

Peter Kaufman:

Yeah, it’s just awesome. It just makes everything last longer.

Steven Sashen:

This is going to sound totally ridiculous. I have no problem putting spinach in a shake if I’m having it in the morning. For some reason, when I’m doing it at night, my brain just doesn’t want to do it. It’s like mental accounting. It makes no sense. I don’t know what it is. I’ll have to see if I can break-

Peter Kaufman:

Personally, I actually dislike cooked spinach. But in the shake, it’s just makes it creamy.

Steven Sashen:

I know. Yeah, no. There’s no flavor. Again, this is totally irrational. I understand what spinach does and doesn’t do in a shake. But in my head, it’s like I can do that in the morning, I can’t do that at night. And I hadn’t realized that till just now. So, I’m going to have to play with that.

 

I know. If I discover a pattern that I have, I like trying to see if I can break it. This is way too much information. I’ve been doing a thing lately where I make sure I’m putting my underwear on with the other leg first than the one I’ve been using for most of my life. So, in other words, I realized-

Peter Kaufman:

So, you don’t have patterns in your life that you’re stuck with?

Steven Sashen:

I’m sure I do. But whenever I find one, I try to see if I can snap out of it. So, I realized I was putting my pants, underwear first, sometimes, on left leg first. And so, I’ve been learning to do right leg first. And it’s really weird and awkward. For a while years ago, I did a thing with crossing my arms. And now, I can’t remember which way I used to cross my arms habitually. And I just switch pretty effortlessly.

Peter Kaufman:

Well, we don’t want to have too much information. I won’t ask you the order of how you wash yourself in the shower.

Steven Sashen:

The magic question is, this is the question for guys, is do you actively wash your legs, or do you just let the soap drip down and assume that that was good enough? That’s a question for most men. Women think that question is absurd. I will not tell you which I do or don’t do.

Peter Kaufman:

Okay. Neither do I wash my legs, but okay.

Steven Sashen:

So, yeah, yeah. I know I had another question. But from this topic, we got way off it. And I don’t know where the hell it is. What have I missed?

Peter Kaufman:

You asked about usage.

Steven Sashen:

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, basically, no, part of it was just how normal people do things. If I asked something else, I don’t remember what it was because we already addressed the quote in normal people. And we dove into how people are using this for body composition, which is very interesting. Are you seeing any… this is going to sound wacky.

Peter Kaufman:

Well, I should tell you something about body composition. Because there’s something about it that makes our product actually more important for women than men.

Steven Sashen:

Interesting.

Peter Kaufman:

So, when you’re trying to change your body composition, there’s a window that your body will utilize more fat during exercise, right? You can best change your body if you don’t spike your insulin before you exercise. It’s also a two to four-hour window post exercise where your body continues to burn fat unless you shut it off. And you could do that by having a bunch of cogs right after you. So, when the Lifetime fitness trainers are helping their clients change their bodies, they say don’t go down to the cafe and have a double banana smoothie with 60 grams of sugar right after your workout.

 

Because if you don’t, but you can have UCAN if you’d like, your body will continue to burn fat for a number of hours. Women are far more insulin sensitive than men. By the way, I should have said this way upfront. I’m not a scientist nor nutritionist. I just repeat what all the experts that we work with tell me. Well, this was from Dr. Cathy Yeckel, she’s a metabolism researcher at Yale that works with us. She’s an advisor to us. And she explained that women are more insulin sensitive.

 

So, women have a more focused window on when they can actually burn fat throughout the day, and it’s with exercise. Women can’t burn fat like men throughout the day. It’s easier for men to do it. And as you eat things that spike your insulin, women will shut off that fat burning capability more quickly and more significantly than men. So, women need to take advantage of making sure they don’t, even more so than men, if they’re trying to change their bodies to burn fat to lose some of that.

 

They especially don’t want to have any simple carbs before they exercise and shut off that opportunity to do that because they were spiking insulin.

Steven Sashen:

And then, afterwards, keeping the fat burning going by not having carbs, which is interesting because the typical advice which has been disproven, but I’ll say it this way to begin, is that what you’re supposed to do after a hard workout, especially resistance training, is high carbohydrate, high protein, the carbs despite your insulin and bring the protein into the cells. Brad Schoenfeld, a number of others have demonstrated that that’s not necessary that there is no optimal protein window after working out.

Peter Kaufman:

And talking about the fact that the insulin response to the protein alone is enough to drive protein synthesis and drive those nutrients to the muscle. And especially if you’re trying to change your body, you’re trying to develop more muscle and less fat. You don’t have to have that spike post workout.

Steven Sashen:

Right, right. Yeah. It’s amazing how some of these things, these ideas continue despite the screamingly obvious research that, “Oh, I know what that question was that I forgot.” Despite the screamingly obvious research saying, “Yeah, that’s all mythology. And here’s reality, and the mythology is, there’s this anabolic window after you work out where you need to have a lot of carbs and a lot of protein. Otherwise, you’re wasting everything.”

 

And the research shows that that’s completely not true. And that was the question which is, so what do you think it’s going to take to get out from being under the radar, and having more people really get what you’re doing and be integrating this into their lives?

Peter Kaufman:

Yeah. Our biggest challenge. And by the way, I didn’t mean you don’t need the spike post workout. I mean, you don’t need additional carbs to get an additional spike because you can get it from the protein. Yeah. So, our biggest challenge as a company, because we do have enormous implications for virtually anyone to improve their metabolic health, and thereby improve their overall health, improve their fitness, help with weight loss, help with diabetes, we don’t spike insulin.

 

So, we’re not working on pancreas. So, we don’t contribute to the issue that causes type 2 diabetes. And we help with hunger, which helps you correct ultimately. If you’re working on that type 2 diabetes, most of it is reversible. We have all these opportunities. So, of course, one point, it’s not the main one is that we can’t focus on everything. We’re still a relatively small company. We got to focus. So, right now, we’ve been focused on fitness and performance.

 

And we’ll get to those other things, weight loss and diabetes at the right time or through significant partnerships. But our biggest problem is that our SuperStarch is so counter intuitive. A carb that doesn’t act like a carb. A carb that allows you to stay in ketosis. It makes no sense to anybody. And it’s actually not very believable, until you try it, until you read the science. We have a bunch of clinical trials have been conducted. We haven’t paid for some of them.

 

So, it’s very authentic. And all universities, no private institutions that conduct these trials. So, we have a lot of data, scientific data. So, every cell we’ve had over the last 10 years has been influenced cell, virtually every cell. It’s either a trainer, a nutritionist, a coach, it could be a friend telling a friend, plenty of word of mouth. But the story always has to be told to at least some extent. And in fact, it’s so true that we had to pull ourselves off of shelves at 340 sprouts stores.

 

So, we were out. We were in Sprouts, and we just could not differentiate on the front of a package. How different and important the product was, and useful to people. We had to set up so many demo tables in the stores across the country, just to move the product. We pulled out of that. We only sell direct now to Lifetime fitness directly to about 300 or 350 running bike and triathlon stores where it’s a very consultative sales environment, people can people ask questions.

 

So, as long as we make sure the salespeople in the store owners are familiar with our products, they have the opportunity to tell people about it. And then, we sell directly the pro and college teams. Other than that, we’re direct to consumer now. We can tell our story online, get somebody to watch a video, listen to an influencer, talk about the products through a quote or a video or something. And then, we also haven’t paid all the athletes and teams to use their names.

 

I told you we have 21 NFL teams buying this product. There’s a team out there that’s played in several Super Bowls over the last 11 years. They played them all on UCAN. And they used UCAN before it was even a product. I delivered to that team, white powder in plastic bags. And yes, believe it or not, they used it. I had a credible, credible referral into that dietician. But we have all kinds of top athletes, who does CrossFit Games. We’ve had teams using UCAN every college and professional basketball, hockey and football championship.

 

But we’re still under the radar. And by the way, we didn’t have a head of marketing until two years ago, but now we do. And he’s figuring out how to make sure the messages that are usually one to one, or one to a few.

Steven Sashen:

Well, I’m going to say two things. The first is, look, I think it’s a good thing when the experience sells the product more than anything else. Because then, you know you’ve got real legs. You know there’s a there, there. I mean, you already knew this. But that’s the kind of thing that makes something spread. I mean, look, we have the same thing happening here. Say it again.

Peter Kaufman:

This has been your story, right?

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. I was going to say. It’s the same thing. People put on a pair of Xero Shoes. They go, “Oh, my God.” And then, they tell their friends and thanks to other things like being on Shark Tank. People are aware of who we are. But the biggest thing is people are going, “Oh, my God. You got to wear these.” And that, it’s the majority of our business. And so, that’s the good news. The second thing I’ll say is, I probably could have done a better job in the intro to this conversation about how to pattern interrupt people and get them to think just to go with what.

 

And just to get their mind open just enough to get to the next sentence that you can lead them into the story. So, I did something with our product. I have a video. It’s at xeroshoes.com/comfy. And the opening line is, “Do your feet feel better at the end of the day than they did at the beginning of the day?” And it makes people ask, and then I just go on about why regular shoes cause problems. And what the solution is. I don’t mention Xero Shoes.

 

It’s a 10-minute, four-second video, I don’t think I mentioned Xero Shoes till the eight minute and 32nd mark. Because I’m just telling the story. And that video does something that most marketers think is impossible, it walks people who are from being in a position where they’re not even thinking about shoes, let alone think about buying shoes or looking at shoes to buy. It stops them in their tracks and walks them through an entire story that makes them over and over, and over go, “Oh, my God. That makes sense.”

 

And has some good chuckles in it as well. So, it’s entertaining. And then, at the end, people go, they do one or two things, they either tell me I have my head completely up my butt. And then, I just come back and show them all the research to back up everything I’ve said, to which they never respond. Or they go, “Oh, my God. I got to go buy these.” And most people think that you need to get them interested in the story, then hit them with more content.

 

And they need to see something seven times. It’s like, no, no, no, people are smart. If you can make them go, “Oh, man, that totally makes sense.” But you have to start by getting them into the conversation with some pattern interrupting something, then you can do that. And so, you guys have the ability to do the same thing. I mean, because the story is so counterintuitive. It can stop people in their tracks.

 

You can explain it with some cool visuals that make people understand that you do have enough testimonials and experiences, and whatnot that you can add to that equation where I think there’s a there, there for really blowing this thing up. I mean, just my marketing two cents.

Peter Kaufman:

Yeah. Well, I mean, there’s a reason all those coaches and dieticians are using our product with their athletes and Lifetime using it as a primary weight loss tool. It’s not because we’ve been a good marketing company to start.

Steven Sashen:

Right. I mean, the irony, this is going to sound somewhat upside down, is that having pro athletes use something can be good, but it’s often less good than normal people who’ve had incredible results.

Peter Kaufman:

Well, we had those tens of thousands of people like them. So, I think it’s…

Steven Sashen:

Exactly, exactly. And I mean, I hope it happens for you. Because look, the reason we’re having this conversation, and this is a little tangential for the podcast, because I don’t talk about nutrition very often, is because there’s so few people who actually are doing anything different, although it doesn’t have to be different, anything real, that I get approached all the time, like, “Hey, can we talk about my whatever the hell it is?”

 

And I go, “No. Because I know that science. There’s no there, there for what you said.” “We have a lot of testimonials.” “Yeah, I get it. But there’s nothing behind what you’re saying other than placebo effects.” With this conversation, a whole different game. I mean, I find this fascinating. And I mean, I’m having a flashback to when we first talked and you said, “Yeah, we have this SuperStarch.” So, it gets digested really slowly. And it’s not like resistant starch.

 

I said, “Do you have this weird, like heating and cooling process that you go through?” Because immediately it occurred to me, the only thing you could have done is somehow made a very long chain carbohydrate. That’s the only thing that would do that.

Peter Kaufman:

We’re pretty smart and diverse thinkers, Steve. You’re so familiar with that concept.

Steven Sashen:

Well, I’ve been around and yeah. But more importantly, ditto, meeting someone equally as who’s taken a dive into some things and look for answers where people didn’t even know they were questions. That’s what I always find fascinating about our conversations and why I wanted to have this with you. So, here we are.

Peter Kaufman:

Also, it was out of necessity. And you’re right though, there are very few food nutrition companies that are anything but off the shelf ingredients. There’s a lot of companies that call themselves food technology, but-

Steven Sashen:

Not even close. Oh, my God. I had a friend way back when… we haven’t talked in years, because we just travel in different paths. He was a consultant for companies who wanted to create nutritional supplement companies. And it was all like, how do we mix and match the things that exist, so you can claim that what you have is somehow different than what else is on the shelf? And it’s all the same stuff. It’s just variations of a theme.

Peter Kaufman:

Yeah. Right. It came out of necessity for us, obviously. And everything for us was accidental discoveries, except for just helping Jonah. So, it’s been quite amazing actually.

Steven Sashen:

No, it’s fascinating. I mean, in fact, it was the one question that was popping into my head, and we can just dive into this for a little bit is to go from, “Hey, here’s these kids who are in this horribly compromised situation. And they have to cornstarch,” to thinking, “I wonder if there’s a better way that we can do something similar, but that would be even better that isn’t like eating cornstarch.” I mean, just that one little twist of thinking, how the hell did that happen? Because that’s craziness.

Peter Kaufman:

That’s a story in and of itself. So, I will tell you that originally, we were a biotech startup. We were hoping to cure Jonah’s disease. We abandoned that fairly early on and instead focused on better helping manage the disease. So, Jonah’s parents had started years ago when he was one-year-old. He’s now 17. They had started a not-for-profit organization to fund anyone in the world that was interested in working on curing Jonah’s disease.

 

It happens that it’s an interesting disease to try to cure. It’s been resolved in the mouse and the dog models, and now there’s even human trials. So, not ours, unfortunately. But quite fortunately someone. And so, they had a foundation. They raised millions of dollars. They approached the biotech, a very, very successful biotech entrepreneur in Connecticut, which is where we’re all based. And said, “Will you help me cure this disease? Will your company help me cure it?”

 

It wasn’t the right solution for their company. They weren’t going to work in the spaces of gene therapy replacement. That’s not what their company did. He became an advisor to their not profit. I was acquainted with him through my synagogue actually. And we were on the roof together, we got talking and I was a tech startup guy at the time. I had my own tech company, and I got really interested in the family.

 

And this was my first, personally, my first opportunity to be involved in something that was going to help individuals not… I’ll use the word just even though I enjoyed it for many years, not just helped companies be more efficient in their businesses. That’s where I was focused on, my tech companies. So, I just fell into this thing that way. And we did all kinds of research. We talked to researchers, the World Health Organization, every kind of carb you can think of was looked at, all kinds of cooking processes, took years to figure out as I mentioned, this cooking process.

 

So, there’s more of a story. But it was all just one step after the next step. You just take one of these say, “Oh, there’s a question that comes up, you have to answer that question.” And I guess if you thought back, if I was to think back over that… now since 2006, it was probably hundreds of 1000s of questions that just have to get answered one to the next, to the next, to the next, just think we wandered about.

Steven Sashen:

What I love about this is the experimenting and research and iterating that it takes to go from just getting the idea that it’s possible to creating a stable product. That is so not the way my brain works. I don’t have that patience that kind of meticulousness. So, anyone who’s done that, I just adore because I know I couldn’t. So, I just love that you guys were able to-

Peter Kaufman:

I certainly didn’t know I could. I’ve never invented a product before. Now, I’m the guy responsible for product development in the company.

Steven Sashen:

Well, in any products that I’ve done, but what it takes to do the molecular transformation that you’re talking about. That’s a whole different bench science. That’s amazing to me, that developing products, that’s my favorite thing. But my favorite thing is when I have an idea for a product, and then someone else comes up with it, because then I go, “Oh, thank God. I can just buy it now. I don’t just start to come up-”

Peter Kaufman:

Well, that’s not the way I think right. Somebody comes up with an idea that I thought of. Good for them, good for them.

Steven Sashen:

Well, but the thing is, that I had so many. There was a time where… because every time I had some new idea for some new product, we created a new corporate entity for it. There was a time where we’re managing like nine companies. And Lena just thought that was getting a little much. So, the fact that we’ve only focused on Xero Shoes for 11 and a half years makes her very happy.

Peter Kaufman:

Well, thinking back in 1999 right now, when a partner of mine in the tech world and I, we developed an idea called givecash.com.

Steven Sashen:

What is it?

Peter Kaufman:

givecash.com. And we even talked to… it was a mechanism for people to give money to their college students or to their friends. And then, we worked on it that summer. But in November, right before Christmas season, shopping season, PayPal came out. And so, we better not work because it had a lot of similarities. But I wasn’t happy.

Steven Sashen:

I’ve been around long enough to know that PayPal evolved out of X.com. So, that’s a whole other thing. But yeah, no, we all have stories of the one that got away. I could show you the drawings that I made in 1991 for 3D printing. It occurred to me one day… for I don’t know how, it occurred to me that if you could take the right composite, and just take two lasers and direct them properly, you could take something that was just basically any soft material and make it hard.

 

So, I just mapped that out. I’m not an engineer. It just popped into my head one day. Or around that same time, I did have one of the first personal digital assistants and I started thinking how you could expand that by putting in all these other features that took 15 years, so they showed up in smartphones. So, I didn’t have the skill set to turn those into anything. I’m thrilled that I could buy one of these things now and not have to deal with it.

 

Yes, there’s all these thoughts of the billions of dollars and blah, blah, blah, but whatever. So, that’s a whole other story. So, is there anything else happening for UCAN that we want to tell people about before we can just tell them how they can experience this for themselves, and see what results they have?

Peter Kaufman:

You touched on all of it in our conversation we did. There’s a lot of ways to think of trialing it and using it. And we’re always available to answer questions. So, best way to try it for exercise, the way a lot of our pro athletes tried for exercise for the first time, is they’ll use it for a few workouts often, like a week, and then not use it the following week. Do whatever it was you did previously. You don’t miss it; you don’t need it. And the two obvious effects, you’re not as tired and you’re not as hungry at the end of the workout.

Steven Sashen:

That’s great. And so, if they want to get their hands on some product and get it into their bodies to do that experiment, tell them how they can do that.

Peter Kaufman:

Well, we’re at ucan.co. We’re on Amazon. But if they want, they should take advantage of the link that we gave to you, for Xero. There’s a discount. So, you should maybe get that out to people.

Steven Sashen:

I will put that in the show notes, so that they can get the benefits of what you offered with that link. And I’ll make a note about that in the show notes as well. That sounds totally and wherever else we post this, I’ll put it there too. So, anything else we left out, Peter?

Peter Kaufman:

No. But thank you for giving me the time today, Steve. You’re really good at the questions and the conversation. I really appreciate it.

Steven Sashen:

Oh, that’s very kind of you. Thanks. I think the same. So, for people who do try UCAN, make sure you leave in the comments what your experience is. We want to hear more about that. And again, just about the podcast in general, go to www.jointhemovementmovement.com. Again, you’ll find all the previous episodes, all the different ways to interact with us. If you have any questions, comments, people you want to recommend who you should be having a conversation with me or anything you want me to rant about because I do some rants as well, drop an email, move@jointhemovementmovement.com, happy to do that as well.

Steven Sashen:

Most importantly, I can’t think of anything else other than… again, Xero Shoes, if you want to get some super comfy shoes, you know where to go, xeroshoes.com. But most importantly, go out, have fun, and live life feet first.

Peter Kaufman:

Stay well.

 

 

 

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