I am getting ready for a Half Marathon this coming Sunday. I decided to prepare some fuel for my run. Fuel = Food = Energy. On runs less than 10 miles, I don’t bring along any “fuel”. I don’t need extra fuel as long as I eat smart before the run. On runs 10 miles and longer I usually bring along a couple of medjool dates. One for me, one for Sneakers. Actually, Sneakers usually gets a doggie “cookie” but she sometimes also gets one of my dates. She needs fuel too, ya know.
There are many different types of commercially prepared “fuel” that are conveniently packaged for runners, cyclists, etc. Hammer Gel, Clif Shots, sports chews, beans, … the list goes on. I have yet to find one that I can stomach. I don’t mind the taste, but the texture of Goos and Gels really grosses me out. Plus, I’m not crazy about the ingredient list on most of them.
My choice for sports fuel is the date. Simple, natural, healthy dates. I particularly like medjool dates cause they are big, soft and chewy, but any type of date will do for me. I was planning to bring a couple of dates along for the race on Sunday when I remembered a recipe from Brendon Brazier’s book, The Thrive Diet. I thought it would be fun to try out his recipe for Direct Fuel Bites.
According to Brazier, dates are rich in glucose which goes straight to the liver for immediate energy (the body doesn’t have to convert it to glucose before it can utilize it.) Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a form of fatty acid, which the body also uses for quick energy. These Direct Fuel Bites will give me a quick burst of energy, but one that won’t last very long — only about 20 mins. I will take 4 or 5 of these with me to eat during the race. My plan is to eat one around mile 6 and then every other mile after that. I’m timing my fuel to coincide with the water stations located at every even mile along the route. I figure I’ll need some water to help me eat these fast so it seems like a good idea. The biggest issue for me will be remembering to eat these Direct Fuel Bites as I tend to forget that I even need fuel until I’m already on “empty”. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Here is what my Direct Fuel Bites looked like before I cut them into 1/2-ounce squares.
And here is what my “stash” looks like all wrapped up. The recipe makes 8 1/2-ounce squares. I’m currently storing them in my freezer. Hope I remember them on race day!
These are very tasty. The lemon juice + zest add a nice, refreshing flavor.
Direct Fuel Bites (recipe from The Thrive Diet by Brendon Brazier.)
- 5 medjool dates, pitted
- 2 T coconut oil
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- a pinch of sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Spread out on a piece of wax or parchment paper and form into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle. (I froze it on a plate at this point to make cuttig easier.) Cut into 8 squares, wrap and store in refrigerator or freezer.