Have you ever found yourself struggling to find the energy to push through those last few hours of the workday or staring at the barbell wondering if you have enough in the tank for one more rep? Or maybe you’re involved in the elite, yet grossly underestimated, sport of professional parenting. Life is exhausting, so we often reach for another cup of coffee or a sugar-filled energy drink filled with caffeine. We spike. We crash. We wonder if there’s ever a way we’re going to make it through another day. The good news is there are energy sources that can work with your body’s natural chemistry to provide sustained energy to get through these rough patches. Protein balls are a quick, easy, and delicious way to get the nutrients and energy boost you need when you’re feeling your most tired. Here’s how to make your own protein balls so your body can perform at an elite level.
What Makes Protein Balls So Great?
Unlike energy drinks, which rely largely on their high sugar content and caffeine levels to give you an energy boost (and lead to an equally hard crash once the spike wears off), protein balls are a convenient way to get the energy you need — naturally.
The most nutrient-dense protein balls provide a combination of essential macronutrients — that is, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein — rather than highly processed ingredients, extra sugar, and excessive stimulants.
The Importance of Carbs, Proteins & Fats
The human body needs carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats to function. Despite what some fad diets might claim, carbohydrates are essential to the human body. Carbohydrates provide complex chains of glucose, which process adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a vital source of energy needed to perform even the smallest of cell functions.
Fats often get a bad rap due the ubiquitous presence of saturated fats in processed foods; however the human body needs certain healthy fats to perform regular cell maintenance. Fats are also highly dense caloric sources that can provide sustained energy over time.
Protein, meanwhile, is necessary for muscle repair. When the body breaks down muscle through tiny tears, often the result of intensive strength training, proteins form the basic building blocks needed to repair our muscles so they come back stronger.
Protein Balls in the Kitchen
You can make your own nutrient-dense protein balls at home with several ingredients you probably already have in your pantry — and the best part is they’re easily customisable! Protein balls usually contain a combination of nuts, dried fruits, nut butters, and protein powders to provide all the essential carbohydrates, fats, and proteins you need.
To hold protein balls together, most people use dates, which are naturally sweet and provide a sticky texture. For added sweetness without the added sugar, you can also add your favourite fruit, dried coconut, natural sweeteners like agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup. Nut butters are another great way to hold your protein balls together and get additional protein and healthy fats. Add some chia seeds or protein powder for additional protein or some rolled oats for extra carbohydrates.
Once you have all your ingredients, assembling your protein balls is easy. Simply throw your chosen ingredients in a food processor, mix everything together, and then roll your dough into bitesize balls for easy snacking. Store your protein balls in the freezer or refrigerator for a chewier texture and to extend their shelf life.
Our protein powders are sugar free and VEGAN!