Fuel Your Workouts with Energy Bites
By Alex Raymond, RD, LD and Caroline Best, Intern
Athletes, especially those with busy schedules, sometimes have trouble getting in enough fuel and protein to match the intensity of their workouts. Fitness progress can be slowed, or even reversed, if your body doesn’t have the energy it needs to repair itself after the strain of a workout. A workout isn’t nearly as effective if a body is in “starvation mode”, so making sure you’ve consumed enough fuel before and after a workout is key. Did you know protein should be eaten within 30 – 40 minutes of a workout to help with muscle repair and to help refuel your body? It’s highly important to also combine this protein with carbohydrates so the muscles can more easily utilize the protein.
Energy bites are a quick and tasty way to meet nutritional needs before or after a workout and require almost no prep time. If you compare all of the recipes listed, there’s a lot of overlap with the ingredients, meaning once you have the “base” ingredients for energy bites you can have fun with it and mix and match the kinds you make, or even come up with your own variation!
Blueberry Muffin Bites
These are perfect to eat on the way to a morning workout. They are so tasty and really easy to make, once you have the ingredients it takes about 10 minutes.
- 1 cup of old fashioned oats
- ⅔ cup of dried blueberries/cranberries
- ⅓ cup vanilla protein powder
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- ⅔ cup cashew/almond butter
Mix all together in bowl and press to form 1 inch balls and you’re done!
Note: Mine came out a little crumbly, but I left them in the fridge overnight and then they were great!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Seed Bites
These are a great, protein-packed, snack and remind me of Reese’s peanut butter cups.
- 2 handfuls (about 10 – 13) of pitted dates
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup peanuts
- ¼ cup chocolate protein powder
- 2 tbsp Chia seeds
Blend everything together in a food processor, if the mixture is isn’t sticky enough I’ll add ½ tbsp. of water. Then just press into 1 inch balls.
Oatmeal Cookie Bites
This recipe is great because it makes a ton of bites, so ten minutes of food prep and you’re set for a while. Plus, the bites taste like oatmeal raisin cookies.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup almond butter
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 ½ tsp Vanilla
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- Mini dark chocolate chips (optional but very tasty)
Mix everything together in a bowl, press mix into 1 inch balls, and you’re done!
Strawberry Dessert Bites
- 1 ½ cups dried strawberries
- 1 ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup vanilla protein powder
- 1 tbsp. honey
- ⅔ cup almond butter
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
Mix, press into balls, and you’re done!
Chocolate Protein Mini Muffins
These don’t quite qualify as energy bites, but they’re about the same size, packed with protein, and are really yummy, so they’re on the list.
- 1 cup chocolate protein powder
- 3 tbsp. flour ( can sub with coconut flour if gluten free)
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 ripe mashed bananas
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk
- 1 egg (recipe calls for 2 egg whites, but I just used 1 whole egg and it came out fine)
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
- 1 tbsp. honey
- ¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Mix everything except the chocolate chips together in a mixing bowl. Grease a smaller muffin tin and fill each cup only ⅔ full. Press a few chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350 for 23-27 minutes.
If you are searching for ways to adequately fuel your workouts, click here or call (240) 670-4675 to schedule an appointment with Alex today!