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!