Running Fuel Recipe: Nut Butter Stuffed Salty Dates

I know many of you are gearing up for long runs and marathons this fall, so I thought now was the perfect time to share a formal recipe for one of my favorite real food running fuels: Nut Butter Stuffed Salty Dates. Want more? Check out my posts on how to fuel a long run, and what to eat before and after a run.

peanut butter stuffed dates picmonkey

I’ve written about my love for these in the past (while training for the Richmond Marathon, they were my fuel of choice). Not only are they delicious when you’re out there trudging the pavement, but they are easy to throw together a few minutes before you run (literally) out the door.

Why do these make great running fuel? Dates provide ample carbohydrates for energy as well as potassium, which can help to prevent cramps. The salt helps replace that lost from sweat, and the small amount of nut butter helps to keep your energy levels more stable. I especially love eating these later on in my long runs, when I start to get sick of gels and more hungry for serious food (and just a little fat/protein – enough to satisfy me but not so much that it’s hard to digest while running).

peanut butter stuffed dates

Everyone’s nutrition needs vary (see the end of this post for more info on figuring that out), but a good general rule is to eat one of these every 30 to 45 minutes for runs over 1 hour.

Here’s the “recipe” – aka the easiest thing ever. Happy fueling!

Serves 1SERVING     adjust servings

Nut Butter Stuffed Salty Dates

Prep Time 5 MINUTES Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time 5 mins Total Time


  • 1 medjool date, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon nut butter (any kind)
  • One shake/pinch salt


  1. Open the date and remove the pit, if not already pitted.
  2. Stuff the nut butter inside, where the pit used to be.
  3. Add a shake of salt and pop it in a ziplock bag so you can eat it on the run!


You guys know I’m normally anti-calorie counting, but for the purpose of sports nutrition, it’s important to know that you’re taking in enough calories/carbs during a workout. (And it’s really hard to eat intuitively in the middle of a really long run.) For that reason, I’ve included the nutritionals for this recipe below for your reference.

Nutrition information per stuffed date: 98 calories, 2.7g fat, 156mg sodium, 202mg potassium, 19g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 16g sugar, 1.8g protein.

peanut butter stuffed dates 4 cropped

Interested in learning more about sports nutrition, fueling right without driving yourself crazy, and getting additional sport-specific recipes? Check out my Nutrition for Runners Program – you can get started for free!

More sports nutrition related posts you might enjoy:


  1. 1

    Happy 6 years! I can’t believe it’s been that long!

  2. 5

    I LOVE nut butter stuffed dates! I haven’t done them with the salt on top but a nut butter filled date is one of my go-tos to calm a sweet tooth craving! For my last ½ marathon, I did PLAIN dates for fuel instead of a gel but I love the idea of adding that extra bit!

  3. 7

    Happy blogging anniversary to you, Anne! I am a huge date fan and eat them every single day. I usually have one before an early morning workout, or slather some chocolate sauce on them for a healthy dessert. These sound fab! A great fuel indeed. :)

  4. 9

    Love the addition of the salt..great idea! I’ve never tried this combo, but I need to!

  5. 11

    I’m going to try these! And happy blog-versary! My blog is 11 years old. Seriously…that’s like having a kid. Except I don’t have to feed it. I am going to be such a great mother. :)

  6. 13

    Yum! I love dates stuffed with peanut/almond butter. I’m not running right now but I read that eating dates while pregnant is supposed to help with labor/delivery so this is still a go-to snack for me!

  7. 15

    Happy blogging anniversary!! I’ve been a reader from the beginning! Love the blog!

  8. 17
    Roadrunner says

    These look super, Anne. Why don’t you market them? Can see folks loving them, but not wanting to make them…

  9. 18

    These look delicious! I’m always looking for the best and worst things to eat for both pre and post workouts. What is your ultimate favorite that is both healthy and filling?

    • 19

      Pre workout I usually do toast with nut butter and banana. Post workout it totally varies! I just make sure to get a mix of protein, healthy fat, and carbs.

  10. 20

    These look absolutely fabulous!!

  11. 21

    So good seeing you again this weekend! I really want monthly RD blogger trips just to eat, catch up, and laugh! These stuffed dates look great, I do something similar but I stick a few chocolate chips in as well. Taste like a mini snickers bar! :)

  12. 23

    Hi Anne!

    I came across this article as I have my first 21km in two days! I don’t eat a lot of grain type carbs but I ‘eat loads of medjool dates and almonds etc. I was planning to bring a homemade gel of cacao powder, dates, honey, salt and chia during the run if I needed to eat (I usually do my long runs empty; most I’ve ever run was 16km). Do you think these would be sufficient for breakfast too, or stick to not eating pre-run, as I’ve done thus far?


  13. 25

    I gave this little guy a trial run yesterday morning – not sure why it took me so long! I will for sure add the salt next time. My question – how do you avoid the messy mess? Maybe my almond butter was too running, but I had it dripping down my fingers. Ha.

    • 26

      Hmm I guess I use firmer nut butter… but I also store them in a snack sized ziplock so if there was a mess it wasn’t in my pockets!

      • 27

        I agree on the ziploc. I’ll just lick my fingers of the runny leftover almond butter. Thanks!

        • 28

          Hey – so how do you exactly carry these? What kind of pockets do you have? I have the RaceReady shorts but I think the “heat” of being next to my body would make them go all over the place! I have a little pocket on my FuelBelt and it would fit a few I guess. How many do you eat for a typical run? I’m doing 15 this weekend…

          • 29

            I always carry them in a tiny ziplock and put them in either a fuel belt or in the front pockets of my hydration pack. I’d suggest eating one of these every 30 to 45 minutes for runs over 1 hour. Good luck and have fun out there – let us know how it goes!

  14. 30
    Miles McKee says

    I’ve also tried prunes but was worried about GI issues. They both have the same amount of fibre, any concerns with eating too many? I read in another blog that the type of sugar in prunes draws water into the intestine which is why they act as a laxative, is that true? Do dates have the same sugar?


  1. […] well to. I plan on packing a couple of my favorite gels as well as my new favorite fuel – dates stuffed with a little peanut butter and sprinkled with salt – with me for the LA Marathon next […]

  2. […] were in the park for the next 5 miles or so. I ate a Clif Margarita Shot Blok and a couple of my Nut Butter Stuffed Salty Dates (packed from home) when we first entered – I was feeling a bit hungry and didn’t want to crash […]

  3. […] Energy Balls from The Lean Green Bean   Detox Green Juice Gummies from Plaid and Paleo   Nut Butter Stuffed Salty Dates from Fannetastic Food    Morning Glory Breakfast Muffins from Natural Girl Modern World   […]

  4. […] the course of the run I took a couple clif margarita shot bloks as usual, and I also ate two of my Nut Butter Stuffed Salty Dates. Yummy – love […]

  5. […] fuel this time, I kept things simple and just snacked on my nut butter stuffed salty dates. I think I had 5 or 6 of them over the course of the 20 miles. I love those – the bit of protein […]

  6. […] of the run that I ate slowly over a few miles (mile 4 to 8 I think), and then I had 8 of my nut butter stuffed salty dates over the rest of the run. These are the BEST. Obsessed! They really keep me from feeling […]

  7. […] I’m planning to do my usual combination of fuel – I’ll start with a mocha Clif shot gel early in the race for some caffeine, then move on to a combination of margarita shot bloks and my homemade nut butter stuffed salty dates. […]

  8. […] also spent some time prepping for the race! I made a bunch of my Nut Butter Stuffed Salty Dates to eat during the […]

  9. […] Nut Butter Stuffed Salty Dates – Dates provide carbohydrates for energy as well as potassium, which can help to prevent cramps and support fluid balance for hydration. The salt helps replace that lost from sweat, and the small amount of nut butter provides that little bit of fat and protein to keep you satisfied without being hard to digest. These are my #1 favorite running fuel – I ate them ALL the time while training for my full marathons! […]

  10. […] few handfuls of low-fiber cereal or granola or a few nut butter stuffed salty dates would work well, […]

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