But even though I’ve been doing this since the winter, lately, I’ve started feeling really lethargic and just generally pooped!
I asked Toronto-based nutritionist Miranda Malisani what might be going on. She suggested that my tiredness likely stemmed from not giving my body enough fuel—especially pre-workout.
It’s true. Getting multiple workouts in each week means that I usually start early in the morning, and end up running out of the house without anything in my belly. This didn’t seem to bother me at first, but now that I’ve been doing this for consecutive months, it’s beginning to take its toll.
Running (or really any kind of exercise) on a full stomach is not a good idea—hello, cramps!—so Miranda suggested making my own energy snack to eat 30 minutes prior to exercising, so that my body isn’t running completely on empty.
Check out her recipe below:
Honey Spirulina Energy Balls
- 1 cup cashews
- ½ cup almonds
- ¼ cup cacao powder
- 1 tsp spirulina
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup raw local honey
- ¾ cup unsweetened coconut
- Grind the cashews and almonds in a food processor.
- Add in the cocoa powder, spirulina and sea salt, and pulse until combined.
- Add the raw honey and pulse to mix.
- Scrape out the dough and roll into small balls (about 1” in diameter).
- Spread the coconut out on a flat surface—I put down some wax paper on my counter—and roll the balls in it until coated.
- Store in the fridge.
What’s great about this recipe is that it literally takes 10 minutes to make, and they're actually pretty delicious. You can also play around with the ingredients to suit your preferences—I added some chia seeds to mine to give a little extra crunch and an added dose of protein.
Here’s why each ingredient is important:
- Cashews: These are packed with protein and essential minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and copper, which help strengthen your cardiovascular health and increase flexibility in bones and joints.
- Almonds: Tasty and full of magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin E. These help strengthen bones, reduce muscle damage and boost energy.
- Honey: A natural, unrefined sugar and mineral that is easily absorbed by the body.
- Cacao: Contains antioxidants to reduce free radical cell damage.
- Spirulina: A green algae powder that helps the body increase the efficiency of glycogen storage and fat used for fuel. (Warning: it smells pretty funky!) Its use dates back to the Aztecs in Mexico—particularly runners!—who consumed it as part of their daily diet.
- Sea salt: Contains minerals you lose when you are sweating, which help to fire nerve impulses.
- Coconut: Contains fibre, healthy fat and other essential nutrients to help boost your workout.
If you have any nut allergies, obviously don't try this recipe, but if you're good with all of these ingredients, then these balls are a great alternative to some of the sugary, processed energy-boosters on the market.
Have Your Say
How do you fuel up before a workout? Have you tried this recipe?