Recipe: The infamous “Salty Balls”



Training for an endurance event takes more than just physical conditioning; proper fueling can make or break your race.

But finding success can take some trial and error, so I’m always on the lookout for new recipes and recommendations.

Which is why I was pumped when pro triathlete and fellow Coeur Sports athlete Hailey Manning shared her secret recipe for the famous Salty Balls that she uses as her bike nutrition during Ironman races.

The recipe was developed by Stacy Sims, chief research officer and a co-founder of Osmo Nutrition, and both Hubby and I have been eating ’em nonstop on runs and rides.

See my take on the treat below!

Hailey Manning’s Salty Balls


  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (or any kind of nut butter)
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup (I ordered this kind from Amazon)
  • 1/2 cup whey protein isolate (I used half vanilla-flavored powder, plus half Osmo Acute Recovery for some spice)
  • 1/2 cup dry oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut


  1. Combine all ingredients. If you need a bit more holding power, add a dash of protein powder.
  2. Throw a sprinkle of salt on top and freeze until needed (makes ~10 balls, ~140kcal/ball).

Here’s a look at the process, starting with all the ingredients (sorry, red wine is not one of ’em, although it is key to my performance in the kitchen!)…


First, add all the dry ingredients — this is both protein powders, plus the oatmeal.


Tip: Use a sturdy spoon after adding the peanut butter and brown rice syrup.


The mixture should be sticky, but not overly so; mine had the consistency of crumbly cookie dough.


Take small spoonfuls and roll into balls. Sprinkle with salt, or dip one whole side for more salty goodness, like I did here.


I store the balls in an airtight container in the freezer, then before a ride or run I pull a few out, wrap them individually and devour ’em within a few hours!

Thanks again to Hailey and Stacy for sharing this recipe. What are your favorite fuels for endurance events? 


14 thoughts on “Recipe: The infamous “Salty Balls”

    • Pretty well! That’s why I store ’em in the freezer – not only do they last longer, but you can take ’em out right before you leave & they slowly unfreeze while you’re riding/running. Can’t speak to a super-long ride (our most was maybe 2-3 hours), but as long as you keep then out of direct sunlight, they should work well!


  1. Your blog is quickly zooming to the top of my favorites list! These look fantastic and I will definitely be giving them a test ride (see what I did there?) this weekend on the bike. How do they hold up on long rides? My other half and I are always looking for “portables” to make and take without all the added crap. These will be a welcome addition! 🙂


    • Haha, thank you! Likewise – you guys are hilarious. I totally want to come out and grab some miles & gab with you! I see what you did there – and I like it 🙂 They hold up great, as long as you keep ’em in the freezer & take ’em out right before you leave. They slowly thaw & are perfecto by the time you need them! I also reco the Feed Zone Portables book – will be posting a recipe from there for rice balls (hm, sensing a theme?) that I used during the ultra!


      • We LOVE both Feed Zone Books! Such great stuff! I make portables from them all of the time- especially for cycling. I’m making these little guys this weekend! Gabbing and grabbing miles are our favorite things!!! 🙂


  2. These look so easy! Thanks for sharing. I’m definitely loving the “real food” movement when it comes to endurance training. My body hates gels and chews, but they work. I will have to try these ASAP.


  3. Love me some good nutritious balls. Wait, I don’t think that came out right… 😉 Will have to try though, I am a salty sweater and need to replenish!


    • Yes, so odd about the AB – but I always have a really heavy feeling when I eat it on apples. So fingers crossed that the PB works better for you – reminds me a bit of cookie dough, which is never a bad thing 🙂


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