Nutrition Tip of the Week: Additional Calories Needed + Cookie Dough Balls Recipe

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

I wanted to address all the posts about increased hunger last week. As your training is ramping up, your energy needs are, too. That means you need additional calories to sustain your training workload, to adapt and recover, and to progress. You also have to be eating enough to take care of your regular physiological needs and metabolic processes to stay healthy!

Instead of just eating whatever you want, be intentional about the additional calories you’re taking in. You need more carbohydrates and more micronutrients. You may need slightly more protein and fat, but the majority of your additional intake should be coming from nutrient-dense carbs. Some good choices are fruit, protein and fiber-packed whole grains, veggies, (non-starchy and starchy both), and beans and lentils.

So how do you accomplish this?

  1. Don’t neglect taking in carbs during your training or your post-workout recovery nutrition. Even just 30 grams of carb or 120 calories per hour can help. See my video post on this topic for more info.

  2. Simply increase the portion of carbohydrate foods in your regular 3-4 meals per day. If you normally eat 1/2 cup of rice, increase that to 3/4 cup or more. Or just add another carb such as a potato or roasted squash.

  3. Beware of the extra calories (and lack of nutrients) that come along with choosing lots of processed food and/or fast food and eating meals out.

  4. And as always, listen to your body’s cues and signals! If you find yourself wanting to snack all day long or are very hungry at night, increase your intake during your meals and during/after your ride as indicated above.

That being said, it’s good to have some snack options around! The BootCamp meal plan will give you lots of snack options, but these homemade cookie dough energy balls are some of my favorite to make and have around.

Cookie Dough Energy Balls Recipe (vegan and gluten free)


1 can reduced-sodium chickpeas, mashed

1 teaspoon coconut oil

2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup

1 cup almond meal

Add-ins such as peanut butter and Enjoy Life chocolate chips


Combine all ingredients. Roll into balls and refrigerate.

About the Author

Dr. Namrita Brooke began her coaching practice while a doctoral student. Today she is a full time coach and nutritionist, and she runs an online group program called Fueling Fat Loss. She is also a cycling coach and the head nutritionist with Velocious Cycling Adventures. Her personal athletic experience ranges from endurance mountain biking to off-road triathlon, cross-country mountain bike racing, running, road cycling, duathlon, and cyclocross. Her research background includes hydration and sports drink research, and the interaction of nutrition, physical activity, and the brain.

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