Let’s play a game. I’ll say a word, and you say the first thing that comes to mind. Ready?
Me: Maple syrup.
You: Pancakes! Waffles! French toast! Bacon (the maple kind)! (And damn. Now I’m hungry for breakfast food.)
I’ll bet my fit bottomed dollar I guessed correctly for the majority of you, and until I went to Quebec, I was right there with you. I always kept pure maple syrup around, but it rarely (if ever) made an appearance past brunch hours. But that’s changed — after learning about some of the nutritional benefits this ingredient has to offer (63 antioxidants according to the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, you guys!) and getting some awesome tips on how to use maple in dishes I already make, I now bust out that bottle pretty much on the daily.
And when it comes to my workouts? It’s becoming a regular part of my nutrition plan. (I never would’ve seen this one coming a few months ago, let me tell you.) Check out my list below, and click on through to get the full maple syrup recipes (all courtesy of Pure Canadian Maple Syrup).
3 Maple Syrup Recipes to Fuel Your Workout
1. Sports drink. This all-natural maple sports drink provides electrolytes, is easy to make, and tastes really good. Honest. It’s just OJ, maple syrup, lime juice, water and salt.
2. Energy gel. Want your mid-race gel without the ingredients you can’t pronounce? You can take a straight shot of maple syrup or pre-made maple syrup gel (and there are companies beginning to provide them in the types of packets you’re used to seeing sports gels in … I just haven’t found them in the States just yet, but I remain hopeful because these were good), or you can make this maple and apricot energy gel yourself! It only requires dried apricots, maple syrup, water and salt. So simple.
3. Energy bars/bites. With just a little planning, you can make your own homemade, chewy, maple energy bites, which gives you the added bonus of being able to top them with just the nuts or dried fruits you like best! This recipe is slightly more involved than the other two — it does require actual baking and all — but I have faith in your abilities. And considering it’s got cinnamon, maple sugar, maple syrup, egg whites, banana and lemon zest, you know it’s gonna be tasty.
Do you ever use maple syrup to fuel your workouts? Think you might give one of these recipes a try? If it tells you anything, I’m planning to use the sports drink as my main hydration at my next tri. —Kristen