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We all have our preferences when it comes to nutrition choices during training and racing – some prefer only liquid (as in sports beverage of some kind), others like primarily solid foods and many prefer a combination of both. Learning what works for you and what optimizes your performance doesn’t have to be a tricky task, but it certainly can be. We’re still figuring out how we like it, but the one thing we’re sure of is this: sports nutrition products are expensive, and we can think of many other things we’d rather spend money on. So. For the past 6 months, we’ve been experimenting with energy balls suitable for eating during running, and this recipe is the outcome of that. Using ourselves as guinea pigs, we’ve tried different flavors and ratios and found what both our taste buds and stomachs like the best. Practicing eating and testing out specific things is key to nailing your nutrition game come race day, and after a few stomach blow ups in the past, we’re trying to do it right this season! (We use nutrition when we go for runs 30k and up, by the way.)
The human body can process about 60 g of carbohydrates per hour, which is something that can be hard to get in (and keep in) when you’re running as fast as you can, with both your mental and physical selves busy just moving forward and not slowing down. Making the eating as easy and enjoyable as possible is therefore a good idea! One of these balls get you 14-15 g of carbohydrates (75 kcal total), and taste divine. Like, can-I-just-eat-this-for-candy-good. They’re also super easy to chew thanks to the soft consistency, and we find them light on our stomachs as well. Two per hour is no problem, which means on race day, you’re half way to your goal of 60 g already there. And of course, you don’t get ruined from having to buy ready-made bars and whatnot all the time. We’re super excited to share these with you, and really cannot wait to hear what you think after you’ve tried them yourselves on your next long run. Good luck!
Makes 16 balls
200 g (25) pitted dates
4 tbsp (24 g) rolled oats
2 tbsp (42 g) honey
2 tbsp (36 g) peanut butter
2 tsp (6 g) cocoa powder
2 tsp (4 g) instant coffee
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp (12 g) coconut flakes
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a more or less uniform paste.
- Shape into balls, and roll in coconut flakes (save any leftover coconut flakes in a jar for next time, instead of tossing them out!).
- Store in the fridge until show time.