Mocha Protein Balls

Mocha Protein Balls

Mocha Protein Balls

I’m always on the lookout for great pre & post workout snacks. And I found this recipe, from Knead to Cook, at the perfect time! I am participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer this coming weekend, so lately I have been on the lookout for great snacks that will help keep me fuelled during my training rides. Now that it’s getting close to the actual ride, I’ve been testing out a few recipes that I think will be great to keep me going during the long 100km ride days. 

Both carbohydrates and protein are crucial in optimizing workouts. Protein helps to build and restore muscles, whereas carbohydrates help to restore glycogen stores, which is crucial for energy. Below is a breakdown of what to look for when fuelling for pre, during, and post workout:

  • Pre-workout
    • Generally, you can look for a snack that has a breakdown of 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. The carb content is essential as it will give you energy and help you push through your workout. Another added bonus of carbs is that they are digested a lot quicker than protein is so your body isn’t using extra energy to digest your snack while you are working out. Instead, it is enabling you to use more energy to focus on optimizing your workout.
  • During Workout
    • No matter what type of exercise you are doing, hydrating during your workout is very important. As a general guideline, during exercise drink ½ to 1 cup of water every 15-20 minutes (this depends on type and intensity of exercise). Sometimes I add a squeeze of lemon or a hydrator (I like Vega’s hydrator) to my water bottle. 
  • Post Workout
    • For endurance workouts, an ideal ratio is 4:1 carbs to protein. A great option would be Mocha Protein Balls. See the recipe below!
    • For strength training workouts, an ideal ratio is 2:1 carbs to protein. A great option would be a nutrient dense smoothie.
    • For strength and endurance workouts, an ideal ratio is 3:1 carbs to protein. A great option is legumes. 

Protein balls are great for post-workout recovery, not only because they taste so good, but also because they contain Vega Performance Protein Powder. This protein powder contains branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) as well as L-Glutamine, which both help with muscle recovery. 

 

BP_MochaProteinBalls_2015These protein balls are a great option for post-workout recovery so I am definitely going to make a batch to fuel up on after each day of the ride this weekend. Wish me luck on my first long endurance cycling adventure! 

 Ingredients:

  • 1  1/4 cup oats
  • 2 tbsp. Vega Mocha Protein powder (if you don’t have this flavour, you can use any other that you have on hand, though I highly recommend the mocha flavour for those of you who love coffee or mocha flavoured treats)
  • 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of almond butter (or any nut butter you have on hand)
  • 1/8 cup of ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup of almond flour (or ground almonds)
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1/6 cup of (melted) coconut oil
  • 1/6 cup of maple syrup
  • a pinch of salt
  • You can also add chocolate covered espresso beans for an extra kick of energy and deliciousness

How to Make:

  • Melt the coconut oil in an oven proof dish (I usually use a small ramekin for this as I like to avoid using the microwave)
  • Grind the flax seed and half of the oats in a blender
  • If your nut butter isn’t very runny, add it to the warm coconut oil to help break it down into a more liquid form
  • Add all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together
  • Form into small one-inch balls and place in the fridge
  • They taste much better when they have hardened so leave them in the fridge for at least two hours before enjoying

 

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