So, remember how I’m training for a half marathon?
(My last half marathon – it was very epic!)
Well, I’m still chugging along with my training plan. It’s challenging to stick with it when it’s so cold outside, but I’m doing pretty good. I’m excited to do a long race in Charlotte, as I’ve never raced a half in my hometown before!
When I trained for the Half Ironman, I did everything Coach Marni told me to do. I trained as she instructed, and I fueled as she instructed. Although I’ve always been decent about fueling for endurance events, Marni really helped me take it to the next level in terms of 1) being very precise about what I ate and when; and 2) focusing more on liquid calories than solid food (which I was not used to doing for triathlons and think helped my stomach during the run).
I had a lot of success with Marni’s plan, and for this race, I thought I’d take everything she taught me (which really was a lot!) and build on it.
A few weeks back, I was contacted by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, who told me about their new FIT MAPLE program. Their goal is to make active people like you and I understand that pure maple syrup is an excellent source of workout fuel.
Why is pure maple so great for athletes?
- It’s a great natural endurance booster for pre-workout meals. Unlike other sources of fuel, maple syrup is a pure, unprocessed, and 100% natural energy source (I love you, HEED, but you are definitely processed).
- It contains more manganese and zinc than any other sweeteners, two minerals vital for muscle recovery
- A 1/4 cup of maple syrup contains as much antioxidant activity as a raw tomato or broccoli.
- Maple syrup contains potassium, which helps regulate fluid balance and assists with normal muscle function.
YES. It is true. Maple syrup is good for you. 😉
The FIT Maple website has several great recipes, but I was most intrigued by their Maple Cranberry Sports Drink.
This all-natural homemade energy drink provides a great tasting mix of carbohydrates to fuel your muscles. It also contains electrolytes (sodium and potassium) to help replace what your body loses through sweat. The added bonus is what it doesn’t contain– artificial flavors, colorings and preservatives.
- 3 cups cranberry juice (100% juice)
- 5 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 star anise, optional
Directions: Mix together all the ingredients. If using star anise, leave to infuse for one hour then strain. Refrigerate.
Yield: 4 portions
Per portion (16 oz.): 114 calories; 0 g protein; 0 g fat; 30 g carbohydrates; 0 g fiber.
For the exact recipe, click right here. Recipe reprinted with permission.
Verdict? Totally delicious AND functional. Especially for long runs! I have had so much energy during my longer workouts, and I credit this fuel. Plus, I really like the taste (you could easily sub in other juices, too, like pomegranate or apple!). And I love that I can make it with ingredients that I already have in my fridge.
Have you ever created your own sports drink? What did you put in it?
This post was sponsored by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. Thank you all for the continued support.
Sounds delicious! I can’t wait to try it out!