The Fall Endurance Bonanza is in full swing. It seems like everyone is participating in or training for an upcoming event, and with that training comes the “nutrition issue.” While it is outside my scope of practice to tell you what to eat, I can tell you that as an endurance athlete or trainee, if you are going to be out running or riding for much longer than 60 mins, you better be fueling your body during your training. There is an entire market for the various gels, chews, snacks and drinks made specifically to fuel the modern athlete, and many of them are quite natural and very good. (My current favorite for gels is Huma gel. The mangoes and strawberry flavors are fantastic! As for my drink mix, I am still 100% completely in love with Skratch Labs brand.)
But what happens when you’re on a budget, you prefer to know exactly what is in everything you eat, or maybe you have a finicky tummy, or just really enjoy creating in the kitchen? Behold – you have options my friends! Follow the links below to learn how you can make your own gels and chews!
Check out the No Meat Athlete’s guide to homemade energy gels
(To store and carry your own gels, I recommend reusable pouches like these)
For Chews, here’s a great article from Trail Runner Magazine
Of course, I am also a HUGE fan of whole foods (but not everyone’s tummy can tolerate it) and my “go to’s” include bananas, boiled potatoes, rice balls, and my own homemade energy balls:
1 1/2c OF Oats (uncooked)
1c Nut Butter of your choice (peanut, almond, cashew etc)
2 TBs Coconut oil
3/4c dried fruit, chopped dates or chocolate chips (I prefer dried cherries or cranberries)
1/2 c Ground Flax seeds (these can have a strong flavor, so adjust amount to taste as needed)
1c. Unsweetened coconut flakes
2 TB Chia Seeds
1/3c cocoa (optional)
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (optional, but highly recommended)
Liquid sweetener of your choice (or none at all) this can include maple syrup, honey etc.
Combine all ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon or clean hands. The mix may seem wet – continue to mix until all ingredients are blended. Put bowl in fridge for 30-60 min. Once chilled, use a melon baller, spoon, or clean hands, and scoop and roll into 1-2 inch balls, then transfer to an airtight container. Will keep in the fridge, in the container, for up to two weeks – if they last that long! I enjoy one or two of these with a piece of fruit before a run. Yum!
No matter your choice, train hard, recover well, and have fun!