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Salty balls to fuel your summer runs

Dr. Stacy Sims' energy-packed rockets are perfect to take on the go

Dr. Stacy Sims

These tasty, nutrient-packed balls will help you fuel on the run without causing GI distress. With only six essential ingredients, you can whip these up, wrap them, and pop a few in your running gear to munch on during the miles.


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Finding food that is both digestible and satisfying to eat while running or racing can be challenging. Renowned nutrition scientist and exercise physiologist Dr. Stacy Sims started out as a runner and endurance athlete. Her recipes are designed to hit the spot for athletes seeking a nutrient-packed alternative to store-bought gels or bars.

Dr. Stacy Sims’ Salty Balls

Energy balls in a bowl
Photo: Instagram/salllys_kitchen


1/2 cup natural chunky almond or peanut butter

1/2 cup brown rice syrup (in a pinch, I’ve omitted the brown rice syrup and simply used the regular, already-sweetened peanut butter we had in our cupboard)

1/2 cup vanilla protein powder (can use dairy or vegan)

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp espresso powder (optional)

2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, coconut, or almond meal (for rolling)

Dash of sea salt

Dr. Stacy Sims doing yoga
Photo: Instagram/drstacysims


In a microwaveable bowl, combine the nut butter and brown rice syrup. Microwave on high for one minute, until syrup boils. Note: the longer the syrup boils, the harder the finished ball will be. Stir until combined.

Add the protein powder, cinnamon, and espresso powder (if using), stirring well.

Use a tablespoon or melon baller to roll into bite-size, approximately one-inch balls. Roll in the cocoa, coconut, or almond meal to coat. Sprinkle the sea salt on top, grab one and head out on your run.

Store these in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.