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.
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).
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!
- 1 medjool date, pitted
- 1 teaspoon nut butter (any kind)
- One shake/pinch salt
- Open the date and remove the pit, if not already pitted.
- Stuff the nut butter inside, where the pit used to be.
- 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 nutritional info for this recipe below for your reference.
Nutrition information: 98 calories, 2.7g fat, 156mg sodium, 202mg potassium, 19g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 16g sugar, 1.8g protein.
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!
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