Coffee Flavored DIY UCAN Race Fuel

I love coffee.  Probably even more than I love running.

I drink about a half a pot of coffee most mornings, and if I’ve got an early morning gym session, I bring my to-go mug of coffee with me.

So of course, I’ve thought about running with my coffee as well.

Obviously trying to sip a steaming cup of black coffee while running isn’t going to work so well, but I’ve come up with the next best thing!

Caffeine is a well-known performance enhancer as long as you don’t overdo it.  A little goes a long way and for me, that’s not much.

I love racing with starch instead of sugary gels, but I’ve found that adding a little bit of corn syrup pumps up the glucose but does not sour my stomach.  But with only one teaspoon, it’s not quite sweet enough for me in this recipe, so the liquid stevia helps with that.

Feel free to adjust according to the amount of sweetness you like!

For more DIY UCAN recipes, check out my previous posts.

Coffee DIY UCAN Race Fuel

Get your caffeine and fuel in one place! One 8 ounce serving supplies, 153 calories, 40.1g carbohydrate, 88.3g potassium, 224mg sodium, plus small amounts of calcium, magnesium, and iron.

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  • 40g (about 1/4 cup) raw cornstarch or tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp corn syrup (optional for extra glucose)
  • 8-10 drops liquid stevia
  • 1/16 tsp salt
  • 1/16 tsp Morton's Lite Salt
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 4-8 ounces water, depending on preferred thickness


  1. Mix all ingredients except water together. Dry mix needs no refrigeration and can be prepared ahead of time.
  2. Just before running, add water, and mix or shake in a running bottle.
  3. Another option is to skip the dry espresso powder and use COLD coffee as your liquid. Do not use hot coffee as it will change the properties of the starch!

8 Responses

  1. Hi. Argo corn starch is approximately the same as ucan? But what about waxi maze starch? It's still the same? Or are they operating differently? Cool recipe, il try in the morning
    • Hi Chris! UCAN is a modified corn starch and waxy maize is slightly different as well. They are all starches made from corn, but I have not experimented with waxy maize. The biggest difference between UCAN and corn starch is price! Let me know how your experiments go!
  2. Hi Claire, I just bought a cannister of UCAN (at recommendation of sports nutritionist) but am looking to make my own. Not a runner but a cyclist training to ride 160 miles in one day. I stumbled across your post. Can you substitute anything else for the glucose and liquid stevia so everything is powder (easier to transport??). Thanks!!
    • You can try powdered stevia, but it doesn't taste as good to my palate. You could also try any powdered drink mix, but if you are worried about stomach issues, you need to pay attention to what works for you. Sugar, maltodextrin, and other sweeteners can upset some people's stomachs after a while. Let me know what you come up with!
      • Thanks! I am going to try a combo of stevia and monkfruit that I have on hand. I can't taste Stevia like I can other zero calorie sweeteners (chemical ones) so I have my fingers crossed. I also have some maltodextrin (quick burn carb) that I might sub in for the liquid glucose. I'll let you know how it turns out. Great page by the way.

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