NRC

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DIY
SPORTS NUTRITION

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THREE ENERGIZING RECIPES TO GIVE YOU THE EXTRA PUSH YOU NEED DURING YOUR NEXT RUN
If you've never eaten an energy gel while running before, be forewarned: It doesn't always go down easy. And after you've taken that first one down, you might be left wondering what, in fact, you just put into your body. But we know that gels (along with sports drinks, chews, bars, etc.) can be super helpful in keeping you fueled through tough training sessions. So we asked Craig Weller, an exercise specialist with Precision Nutrition, for a few easy, all-natural alternatives that we could swap out for the pre-packaged versions. Simply bottle (or bag) these up and take them with you on your next long run.

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CHOCOLATE COCONUT MOCHA PROTEIN BAR (Makes about 1 dozen)
"In addition to providing a good amount of protein, these bars also offer a solid dose of carbohydrates (with dates), and balanced, healthy fats (with coconut and macadamias)," says Weller. They also contain antioxidants and minerals, like magnesium, to help with your electrolyte balance.

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TART CHERRY AND LEMON WORKOUT DRINK (Makes 32 ounces)
"This beverage contains tart cherry juice to help prevent muscle soreness and carbohydrates to fuel your working muscles, plus it provides sodium and potassium to help keep your electrolyte levels balanced," says Weller.

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COCONUT CACAO CHIA GEL (Makes about 1 cup)
"Some of our endurance athletes follow a lower carb, higher fat nutrition plan during certain stages of their training. In this case, we shift them toward snacks like this, which provide plenty of energy without the traditional load of carbohydrates," notes Weller. "The coconut provides a great dose of healthy fats and medium-chain triglycerides, which are easy to absorb and provide quick energy. And both the cacao and chia seeds are antioxidant-dense and provide a good dose of minerals, like magnesium and potassium, which are valuable for electrolyte balance."