I’ve been a UCAN user for over 8 years and have found it to fit well in my personal “nutrition arsenal” for my endurance training/competition and as part of a periodic daily snack. In a nutshell, UCAN is a unique zero-sugar carbohydrate source that stabilizes blood sugar and provides a long-lasting energy source. I’ve made UCAN smoothies, slurries, gels, balls, and bars… but never ‘til now a porridge!
Before we go further, I can see some eyes roll and some of you getting close to moving your attention elsewhere. WAIT! Some things you need to know before you move on:
I don’t profit from any UCAN product sales, nor am I a representative of the UCAN company. I have participated in a few webinars from merely an educational standpoint (which you can find on their youtube channel if you are itnterested).
Although many of my athletes do really well with the UCAN fueling product, it is not the only company I recommend. I carefully assess the fueling issues, struggles, and goals of athletes before recommending products. You know - the “one size does not fit all” approach.
Athletes need to be particular and strategic with their use of sports nutrition products. As I write this piece in early February, we could argue that sports nutrition is not necessary for my personal level of training at the moment. However, UCAN is technically designated as a “food” with a real Nutrition Facts label (just like oats, for example), so I don’t view it as the same type of fueling source as other engineered sports nutrition.
If you are still reading and you have no idea what UCAN is, I recommend visiting the company website to get introduced to the origin of the product and learn more about the unique nature of SuperStarch®, the carbohydrate source in the energy products.
Overnight oats are all the rage these days and that’s cool for people who like and/or need oats as a part of their meal. I, personally, am not a huge oats fan but really dig the “prep ahead” method for “grab and go” the next morning. Hence, this porridge recipe.
Plus, I just like using the word ‘porridge’ in verbal and written communication.
For what purpose did I make this concoction, you ask? The short answer is: pre-workout fueling.
Although I’m still into endurance sports, I’ve been loving HIIT classes at my favorite hot spot in Boulder, REVO Physiotherapy and Sports Performance, as I work to build strength (and other things that a future blog post will detail). Because I’m a fan of morning workouts more than midday or late afternoon times, my first meal of the day also serves as my pre-workout fueling. Usually I go for a UCAN-based smoothie to get in easy-drinkable-reliable-steadyenergy-yum calories before I go get my sweat on.
But sometimes I want to chew some food instead of drink it. And porridge-eating sounds like a hoot. Combine that with a homemade UCAN-containing blend and we’ve got ourselves a fabulous way to get primed for A$$-kicking workouts at REVO.
So, here’s the recipe:
1 Tbsp chia seeds
2/3 cup water (split into half, so 2 x 1/3 cup)
25 gram scoop of UCAN Cocoa Delite
1 scoop Tera’s Whey grass-fed plain whey protein powder (11 grams of protein; you can swap out for protein powder of choice)
1 Tbsp cacao nibs (I use Navitas)
1 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 oz raw pecan halves
few dashes of cinnamon
Use a 8 oz (250 ml) Mason jar or equivalent container with a tight-fitting lid. Add the chia, 1/3 cup water, UCAN, protein powder, cacao nibs, coconut, pecans, cinnamon, and the remaining 1/3 cup water. Put the lid on tightly and shake really well. Store in refrigerator overnight and enjoy the next day!
Note that if you want a much thicker consistency, you can decrease the water amount. This mixture was not extremely thick, nor too soupy or gel-like (from the chia), so I thought it was perfect for my palate. The chocolate-y UCAN and cacao nibs made the porridge very rich-tasting and enjoyable.
Basic nutrition information:
33 grams carbohydrate (10 grams fiber / 1.5 gm sugar)
18 grams protein
25 grams fat
1.5 to 1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein
You’ll notice this is NOT a low-calorie, wimpy porridge. It is a metabolically efficient meal that provides good “sticking power” with its ingredients. Due to the higher fat content (and for some athletes, the higher fiber content may be of concern), you’ll want to eat this at least an hour before any workouts for ample digestion time. I can tell you that my workout was stellar and I loved this UCAN porridge.
Have fun and let the Nutrition Mechanic know if you try this recipe!