If you are any kind of endurance athlete, you probably love salt. You crave it. You find yourself shoving shameful amounts of tortilla chips / peanuts / margaritas in your food hole all hours of the day (No? Just me?).
Do you know why?
We lose a lot of salt through exercise-induced sweating. That’s why athletes consume salt in sports drinks or salt tablets during exercise to compensate for those losses. Failure to do so will cause internal fluid imbalances and muscle cramps.
Trust me. I’ve learned the hard way. Getting a calf cramp renders my motor function useless. I turn into one of those wiggly dudes outside of the used car lot.
My miles are increasing as I train for both the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon here in Kansas City, and the Nashville Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon. So I want salts. All of the salts. And I want it quick.
Just like my Nothing Says Thank You Like Peanut Butter Vanilla Protein Balls, little bites of protein are a perfect afternoon snack (Or morning. Or noon. Or midnight. Or 11:34 a.m.). But where’s the salt?
My Salted Caramel Protein Balls recipe.
This no bake recipe is packed with protein, salt, fiber and yumminess. Yes, yumminess is an ingredient. And all of these things are excellent for muscle repair and recovery.
SALTED CARAMEL PROTEIN BALLS
2 cups raw walnuts
2 cups raw almonds
1/3 cup maple syrup
10 Medjool dates (remove pits)
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (I used hemp)
1/4 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
2 tbsp. desiccated (dried) coconut for the mixture, plus extra to roll balls in (TWSS)
Splash of water
1. Blend nuts first in a food processor until chunky.
2. Combine remaining ingredients together in processor until the mixture is quite sticky and you can roll it easily. You may need to add a splash of water if it’s too dry, or some extra coconut or nuts if too wet.
3. Pour extra coconut into a shallow bowl for rolling (I added an 1/8 tsp of salt to the bowl here. After tasting the mixture, it wasn’t quite salty enough for me. You may think otherwise.).
4. Roll mixture into bite-sized balls.
5. Roll balls through coconut until fully coated and place on a non-stick pan or tray.
6. Place in fridge or freezer to set about 30 minutes, then place in airtight container. Will last about 2 weeks.
How do you use salt in your endurance nutrition plan?
Have you ever wanted to rent one of those air dancers for your front yard? Yea, me neither.