Recipe for Marathon Runners: No-Bake Protein Bites

WRITTEN BY: Sports Medicine
Friday, April 4th, 2014

Not all runners get enough protein, and these no-bake protein bites are an easy, tasty and portable way to meet daily protein needs – and they also provide a good source of both fruit and vegetable. We recommend eating two bites after a run with a serving of fruit for additional carbohydrates, or having the bites alone about 30 to 60 minutes prior to a weight workout.


  • 1/2 cup roasted soy nuts, puréed
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla protein isolate
  • 2 tablespoons grated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons plum purée
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ
  • Cinnamon and ginger to taste


Combine all ingredients and roll into small balls, about the diameter of a quarter. Freeze for at least one hour and thaw before eating these no bake treats.

Nutritional Information for no-bake protein bites

Change it up!

  • Substitute apple butter for dried plum paste
  • Replace coconut with chopped nuts, such as almonds
  • Go savory! Swap vanilla protein powder, coconut, cinnamon and ginger, with unflavored protein powder, crushed walnuts, and cumin, curry and chipotle to taste.

This is the first article in a 3-part series of recipes designed for marathon runners by Leslie Bonci, R.D., UPMC Sports Medicine’s director of sports nutrition.

Ms. Bonci is a nutrition consultant to organizations in Pittsburgh and nationwide, including Pittsburgh’s own Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates. Among her many other roles, she has authored or co-authored several sports nutrition books, including Run Your Butt Off, and serves on the editorial advisory board of Fitness magazine.

An avid runner herself, Leslie has completed SEVEN marathons!

Sports Medicine

UPMC Sports Medicine is the region’s largest and most experienced program dedicated to treating, training, and inspiring athletes at levels, in all sports. Our physicians, surgeons, physical therapists, athletic trainers, sports nutrition, and sports performance experts are dedicated to helping athletes and active people recover from injuries, and even prevent them. Read More