Sound Bites! Vol. 1

Welcome to the first installment of Sound Bites!  Our goal is to provide you with food and nutrition information that promotes optimal performance, both on and off the water, in a timely, fun, tasty way—and we’ll be evidence-based, too.

Today we’ll focus on the tasty—I’ve included the recipe for Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars that some of you have asked for in the past (and we had at practice recently).  These bars contain lots of complex carbs (whole wheat flour, oatmeal) as well as simple carbs (granulated, powdered, and brown sugar) that will help replace the liver and muscle stores of sugar (called glycogen) that you use up during a hard practice.

The bars also have protein from the peanut butter, and, interestingly, a fair amount of protein from the whole wheat flour, oatmeal, and even the chocolate chips.  Drinking an 8 ounce glass of milk along with the bar will add another 8 grams high quality protein and go a long way toward helping your muscles recuperate from said hard workout.

Please note that the bars are also pretty high in fat—half the calories come from fat.  The recipe calls for canola oil, which, along with the peanut butter, provides a lot of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.  However, chocolate chips contain quite a bit of saturated fat, which can raise blood cholesterol, so go a little easy on the amount you eat—1 or 2 with milk should be plenty.

In addition, high fat foods slow down digestion, so save these bars for after your workout or race, and eat something high carb, low fat beforehand.  Good lowfat choices are a piece of fruit, fig bars, or breakfast egg sandwich with ham instead of sausage and cheese.

If you are watching your weight, make the smaller bars rather than the big ones.  Enjoy!


½ cup                    Canola oil

½ cup                    Brown sugar, packed

½ cup                    Granulated sugar

1 large                  Egg

1/3 cup                Peanut butter

½ tsp                     Baking powder

1 cup                    Whole wheat flour

1 cup                    Old fashioned oatmeal

1 cup                    Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Icing – combine and set aside:

½ cup                    Powdered sugar

2 Tbsp                  Peanut butter

2 Tbsp                  Milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Mix until creamy the oil and sugars.  Add egg and peanut butter and mix well.  Stir in soda, flour, and oatmeal.  Press into 9”x13” pan.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over top.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven.   Using spatula or back of a spoon, immediately spread softened chocolate chips evenly over cookie layer.  Drizzle icing over top, then spread with the back of a spoon over the chocolate layer.  Cool completely.  Cut into squares and serve.

Nutrition Information per serving (1 bar):

Number of servings Calories Carbohydrate (gm) Protein (gm) Fat (gm) Fiber (gm)
24 bars 175 22 3 10 1
40 bars 105 13 1.5 6 0.5