Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy during high intensity activity. They are our bodies’ rocket fuel for endurance sports as they provide the energy that our muscles need to sustain a fast pace. Whether it be running, swimming, biking, hiking, skiing, etc. we want to get plenty of carbohydrates from whole grains for energy levels and overall health. Choosing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains over refined products provides optimal fuel for the muscles and provide beneficial nutrients like fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and adding to daily protein intake. In short, carbs are our friends! We simply have to know how to incorporate them into a healthy and active lifestyle.

When fueling our bodies for endurance exercise or training for a race, carbohydrates replenish the body with what it needs to continue performing at its best. Keep in mind that endurance by definition is continuous efforts lasting greater than one hour, and that hydration and electrolytes are also very important to consume throughout endurance exercise. When training or a race exceeds one hour, aim to refuel the body with 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour. There are multiple ways to get those carbs like: sports drinks, gels, and chews. If you prefer real food during exercise, check out these whole-food energy bites below that incorporate whole grains and another trusty carbohydrate source, dates, to help keep your energy levels up so you can crush your next workout or event. For most, one energy bite paired with 12 oz of water combined with a scoop of an electrolyte/carbohydrate mix will do the trick for fueling each hour of endurance training or racing.



Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 20 bites

These Cinnamon Date Energy Bites are a great option to snack on when you feel your energy running low during exercise.

o 4 packets of Kodiak cakes oatmeal unleashed cinnamon
o 1.5 packed cups Medjool dates, pitted and soaked
o 2 TBSP warm water

1. Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until thick dough created.
2. Add in more water to make texture sticker as needed.
3. Chill in fridge to set for 10 minutes.
4. Roll into 20 energy bites and store in fridge for up to 2 weeks, pack in small bag as fuel during race.


Tip from the RDN: Remember to practice these strategies and try the foods/products in training so that you know it works for you in competition. You never want to try something new on race day!

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