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The humble homemade energy ball; is this the answer to your running fuelling and hydration needs?


Getting your nutrition right to support your energy needs pre, during and post workout is essential if you're going to perform at your best, and the requirement for carbs as your main energy source should not be underrated.


The market is awash with energy bars, gels, chews, powders and drinks to supply just that; a highly concentrated source of carbs; from simple to complex to a mix of both. But have you tried making your own fuel for exercise? Not only will you know exactly what's going into them but you'll save some money too. And we can all do with that right now.


The recipe below has a good mix of fast, medium and slower release energy sources. Allowing you to; top up your energy levels pre-workout; fuel with them during your next big adventure (whether that's a run, hike or cycle); and replenish your depleted glycogen stores post-workout. The added cinnamon and ginger may also help combat any stomach issues or nausea you experience during a long workout as research has shown both spices to be good for the stomach.


Not only that, these energy balls contain a good amount of sodium and together with the electrolytes you should be adding to your fluids, they will help you avoid dehydration. You can read more on that in the article on 'How to avoid dehydration and achieve the best possible performance'.


Now research and recommendations vary, and every individual will be able to tolerate different amounts of carbs (that's why you need to practice and dial this in during training) and will lose sodium at different rates (sometimes radically different rates), but on average you should aim for 30-60g of carbs, and 500-800mg of sodium per hour of exercise.


This recipe will make approximately 40 energy balls. With each ball containing c. 56cals, 8g carbs, 1.75g fat, 1.5g protein and 100mg sodium.


Ingredients

  • 150g Oats

  • 100g Dates

  • 125g Raisins

  • 125g Smooth Peanut Butter*

  • 1tbsp Honey

  • Pinch of Ground Cinnamon

  • Pinch of Ground Ginger

  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract

  • 2tsp Sea Salt


*Meridian Smooth works a treat (just enough oils to help bind the mixture)


Instructions

  1. Pulse the oats in a food processor to a fine dust

  2. Finely chop the raisins with a knife on a chopping board

  3. Add the dates, peanut butter, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, honey and sea salt and pulse until the mixture comes together

  4. Add the finely chopped raisins and pulse again to mix

  5. Evenly divide the mixture and squeeze together into small balls

  6. Lay the balls on a baking tray and freeze until solid

  7. Once frozen divide into freezer bags and leave in freezer until you need them

  8. Pop them in your gob and enjoy!


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