As much as I would love to believe that people come to my site to read my sage training advice and chuckle at my endless witticisms, I (sadly) know that’s not the main draw.

People want the recipes!

By far the most popular thing I have ever posted is my recipe for DIY Generation UCAN, a sugar-free race fuel made with slow-release carbohydrates that you can mix up in you kitchen for pennies.

So when a reader recently asked if I had a version of the Chocolate Protein UCAN, I decided to rise to the challenge.  I’ve already posted my chocolate version, but it’s naturally low in protein by design.

Of course, my version will not contain whey powder (obviously not vegan, but even if I weren’t plant-based, I wouldn’t recommend it, and here’s a few reasons why) xanthan gum (I’m okay with this ingredient, but I don’t like thick drinks), or sucralose (an artificial sweetener that definitely should be avoided) like the original contains.

The protein of choice instead is PB Fit Peanut Butter Powder, which makes this a rich peanut butter chocolate flavor.

PB Fit does contain a little sugar, so if you are looking to make this sugar-free, use a defatted peanut butter powder or flour that is sugar-free.

One scoop of UCAN’s protein version contains 110 calories for a 30 gram scoop, 18 grams of carbohydrate, 7 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fat.

My version is 122 calories, 19.6 grams of carbs, 7.3 grams of protein, and 1.9 grams of fat.  Mine also includes 354mg sodium, 87.5mg potassium, 4.7% of the RDA of calcium, 5.3% RDA of iron, and a touch of magnesium.

Now I’m not going to lie and tell you this tastes like drinking a luscious chocolate peanut butter milkshake.  But it’s still pretty good.

And let’s be real:  not even the pricey commercial version can claim that that people are ending their meals with UCAN milkshakes for dessert simply for the scrumptious flavor.

This is performance fuel, not dessert, and it works!

For me, this is far superior to any gel or other race fuel that I have ever tried and keeps me going without the crash!

Let me know what you think!

Make Your Own PB Chocolate Protein UCAN

Claire Bartholic, The Planted Runner
Liquid starch-based fuel that is an alternative to gels or chews. My version is 122 calories, 19.6 grams of carbs, 7.3 grams of protein, and 1.9 grams of fat.  Also includes 354mg sodium, 87.5mg potassium, 4.7% of the RDA of calcium, 5.3% RDA of iron, and a touch of magnesium.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons 16g cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons plus one teaspoon 14g PB Fit
  • 1 teaspoon 2g cocoa powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1/16 teaspoon Morton's Lite Salt
  • 10 drops stevia extract or other sweetener of your choice
  • 2 to 4 ounces of water or more depending on preferred thickness


  • Mix all dry ingredients except water in a small measuring cup with a spout.
  • Slowly add enough water to your desired thickness.
  • Stir thoroughly and pour into a small running bottle.
  • Shake before drinking.

About Claire

Coach Claire has helped hundreds of runners chase their dreams and conquer big goals. Her coaching philosophy combines science-based training, plant-based nutrition, and mindset techniques to unlock every runner's true potential. She's an ASFA certified running coach, sports nutrition specialist, a 2:58 marathoner, mom, and borderline obsessive plant lover.

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  1. Hi there! Do you see any reason you couldn’t use almond butter powder instead (PB&Me has the only one I’ve found)? Also, given there’s protein here, would you use this during a race, or just before? Thank you!

    1. I think almond butter powder would work just fine, Whitney! I personally have not used anything with protein during a marathon, but I could see how it could jump start the recovery process for long races or be used during ultras. Most people have protein before and after a race so this could be perfect for that. Thanks for asking!

  2. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipies. Your blog is inspirational! Two quick questions: do you substitute tapioca flour for cornstarch at a 1 to 1 ratio if avoiding corn starch? And, is almond flour usable instead of almond butter flour as an alternative to PB Fit? Also, have you ever tried adding coconut oil or another oil to the mix? Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Steve! I do sub the tapioca 1 to 1 for the corn starch. I have not tried almond flour instead of the PB Fit. It definitely has a grittier texture, but let me know if you like it. As far as oil goes, I’m not exactly oil-free, but I prefer to get my fat from foods so I typically avoid oil when I can. It’s just a too highly-processed and calorie-dense product for my taste. If I wanted to add fat to this recipe, I’d use nut butter instead in a blender.

  3. Wondering if a natural sweetener would cause GI upset. Could this be sweetened with plain sugar?

    1. You can certainly try it! Sugar is made up of glucose and fructose which need to be broken down to be used by the body. For some, sugar causes GI issues. Starch and sugar are both carbohydrates but the body processes them differently which why UCAN and starch products exist. But if that’s not your reason for using it, go for it!

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